ACKEE

OTHER NAME(S):

Ackée, Akee, Akée, Aki, Akí, Anjye, Arbre Fricasse, Arbre à Fricassée, Blighia sapida, Cupania sapida, Daki, Ishin, Jakí, Kaha, Ris de Veau, Seso Vegetal.<br/><br/>

Overview

Overview Information

Ackee is a plant that produces fruit. It is found in West Africa, the Caribbean, southern Florida, and Central America. Ripe ackee fruit is eaten as food and is considered a dietary staple in Jamaica. However, unripe ackee fruit is very poisonous. Unripe ackee is a frequent cause of poisoning in Africa and the Caribbean. Poisonings may occur as epidemics when the unripe fruit is eaten during times of food shortage. Children seem to be especially sensitive to the toxic effects of unripe ackee. Most ackee products have been banned from import into the US for the past 30 years because of concerns about poisoning from unripe fruit. The US has just recently begun to allow the import of canned ripe ackee on a limited basis.

Some people use ackee fruit to make medicine. It is used as a treatment for colds, fever, water retention (edema), and epilepsy.

How does it work?

There isn't enough information to know how ackee might work for medicinal purposes.

Uses

Uses & Effectiveness?

Insufficient Evidence for

  • Colds.
  • Fever.
  • Water retention (edema).
  • Epilepsy.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of ackee for these uses.

Side Effects

Side Effects & Safety

The ripe fruit of ackee is LIKELY SAFE when eaten as a food.

The unripe fruit of ackee is UNSAFE to eat, even if it has been cooked. Additionally, the water used to cook the unripe fruit can be poisonous. The unripe fruit contains poisonous chemicals that can harm the liver. The unripe fruit can also cause severely low blood sugar levels, convulsions, and death.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Children: It is UNSAFE to give unripe ackee fruit to children. Children are more sensitive to the toxic effects of ackee than adults. There isn’t enough information to know whether the ripe fruit is safe for children to eat.

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: It is UNSAFE to eat unripe ackee fruit if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. There isn’t enough information to know whether the ripe fruit is safe during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Interactions

Interactions?

We currently have no information for ACKEE Interactions.

Dosing

Dosing

The appropriate dose of ackee depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for ackee. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

View References

REFERENCES:

  • Addae, J. I. and Melville, G. N. A re-examination of the mechanism of ackee-induced vomiting sickness. West Indian Med.J. 1988;37(1):6-8. View abstract.
  • Anto, F., Aryeetey, M. E., Anyorigiya, T., Asoala, V., and Kpikpi, J. The relative susceptibilities of juvenile and adult Bulinus globosus and Bulinus truncatus to the molluscicidal activities in the fruit of Ghanaian Blighia sapida, Blighia unijugata and Balanites aegyptiaca. Ann Trop.Med Parasitol. 2005;99(2):211-217. View abstract.
  • Blake, O. A., Bennink, M. R., and Jackson, J. C. Ackee (Blighia sapida) hypoglycin A toxicity: Dose response assessment in laboratory rats. Food Chem Toxicol. 2006;44(2):207-213. View abstract.
  • Borison, H. L., Pendleton, J., Jr., and McCarthy, L. E. Central vs. systemic neurotoxicity of hypoglycin (ackee toxin) and related substance in the cat. J.Pharmacol.Exp.Ther. 1974;190(2):327-333. View abstract.
  • Chase, G. W., Jr., Landen, W. O., Jr., and Soliman, A. G. Hypoglycin A content in the aril, seeds, and husks of ackee fruit at various stages of ripeness. J.Assoc.Off Anal.Chem. 1990;73(2):318-319. View abstract.
  • Chase, G. W., Jr., Landen, W. O., Jr., Gelbaum, L. T., and Soliman, A. G. Ion-exchange chromatographic determination of hypoglycin A in canned ackee fruit. J.Assoc.Off Anal.Chem. 1989;72(2):374-377. View abstract.
  • Escoffery, C. T. and Shirley, S. E. Fatal poisoning in Jamaica: a coroner's autopsy study from the University Hospital of the West Indies. Med.Sci.Law 2004;44(2):116-120. View abstract.
  • Feng, P. C. Hypoglycin--from ackee: a review. West Indian Med.J. 1969;18(4):238-243. View abstract.
  • Golden, K. D., Kean, E. A., and Terry, S. I. Jamaican vomiting sickness: a study of two adult cases. Clin.Chim.Acta 10-15-1984;142(3):293-298. View abstract.
  • HASSALL, C. H. and REYLE, K. Hypoglycin A and B, two biologically active polypeptides from Blighia sapida. Biochem.J. 1955;60(2):334-339. View abstract.
  • HASSALL, C. H. and REYLE, K. Hypoglycin A,B: biologically active polypeptides from Blighia sapida. Nature 2-20-1954;173(4399):356-357. View abstract.
  • HASSALL, C. H. and REYLE, K. The toxicity of the ackee (Blighia sapida) and it relationship to the vomiting sickness of Jamaica; a review. West Indian Med.J. 1955;4(2):83-90. View abstract.
  • Ikeda, Y. and Tanaka, K. Selective inactivation of various acyl-CoA dehydrogenases by (methylenecyclopropyl)acetyl-CoA. Biochim.Biophys.Acta 4-19-1990;1038(2):216-221. View abstract.
  • Joskow, R., Belson, M., Vesper, H., Backer, L., and Rubin, C. Ackee fruit poisoning: an outbreak investigation in Haiti 2000-2001, and review of the literature. Clin Toxicol (Phila) 2006;44(3):267-273. View abstract.
  • Kean, E. A. Commentary on a review on the mechanism of ackee-induced vomiting sickness. West Indian Med.J. 1988;37(3):139-142. View abstract.
  • Kean, E. A. Selective inhibition of acyl-CoA dehydrogenases by a metabolite of hypoglycin. Biochim.Biophys.Acta 1-23-1976;422(1):8-14. View abstract.
  • Kupfer, A. and Idle, J. R. Methylene blue and fatal encephalopathy from ackee fruit poisoning. Lancet 5-8-1999;353(9164):1622-1623. View abstract.
  • McIntosh, R. M. and Andrews, J. Blighia sapida. Toxic effects on renal morphology and function in rat. N Y.State J Med 7-1-1971;71(13):1639-1643. View abstract.
  • Mills, J., Melville, G. N., Bennett, C., West, M., and Castro, A. Effect of hypoglycin A on insulin release. Biochem.Pharmacol. 2-15-1987;36(4):495-497. View abstract.
  • Odutuga, A. A., Asemoto, H. N., Musac, I., Golden, K. D., and Kean, E. A. Jamaican Ackee. Jamaican Journal of Science and Technology 1992;3:30-32.
  • Prince Leopold Institute of Tropical Medicine. Medical problems caused by plants. 2006;24-27.
  • Quere, M., Ogouassangni, A., Bokossa, A., Perra, A., and Van Damme, W. Methylene blue and fatal encephalopathy from ackee fruit poisoning. Lancet 5-8-1999;353(9164):1623. View abstract.
  • Sherratt, H. S. and Turnbull, D. M. Methylene blue and fatal encephalopathy from ackee fruit poisoning. Lancet 5-8-1999;353(9164):1623-1624. View abstract.
  • Singh, P., Gardner, M., Poddar, S., Choo-Kang, E., Coard, K., and Rickards, E. Toxic effects of ackee oil (Blighia sapida L) following subacute administration to rats. West Indian Med.J. 1992;41(1):23-26. View abstract.
  • Ware, G. M. Method validation study of hypoglycin A determination in ackee fruit. J.AOAC Int. 2002;85(4):933-937. View abstract.
  • Wenz, A., Thorpe, C., and Ghisla, S. Inactivation of general acyl-CoA dehydrogenase from pig kidney by a metabolite of hypoglycin A. J Biol.Chem 10-10-1981;256(19):9809-9812. View abstract.
  • Anon. Toxic hypoglycemic syndrome - Jamaica, 1989-91. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 1992;41:53-5. View abstract.
  • Barennes H, Valea I, Boudat AM, et al. Early glucose and methylene blue are effective against unripe ackee apple (Blighia sapida) poisoning in mice. Food Chem Toxicol 2004;42:809-15. View abstract.
  • Carod-Artal FJ. [Neurological syndromes linked with the intake of plants and fungi containing a toxic component (I). Neurotoxic syndromes caused by the ingestion of plants, seeds and fruits]. Rev Neurol 2003;36:860-71. View abstract.
  • FDA Import Alert #IA2111. Detention Without Physical Examination Of Ackees (All Types) Due To Contamination By Natural Toxins. Issued on 7/3/00. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/ora/fiars/ora_import_ia2111.html
  • Golden KD, Williams OJ, Bailey-Shaw Y. High-performance liquid chromatographic analysis of amino acids in ackee fruit with emphasis on the toxic amino acid hypoglycin A. J Chromatogr Sci 2002;40:441-6. View abstract.
  • Larson J, Vender R, Camuto P. Cholestatic jaundice due to ackee fruit poisoning. Am J Gastroenterol 1994;89:1577-8. View abstract.
  • Lebo DB, Ditto AM, Boxer MB, et al. Anaphylaxis to ackee fruit. J Allergy Clin Immunol 1996;98:997-8.
  • McTague JA, Forney R Jr. Jamaican vomiting sickness in Toledo, Ohio. Ann Emerg Med 1994;23:1116-8. View abstract.
  • Meda HA, Diallo B, Buchet JP, et al. Epidemic of fatal encephalopathy in preschool children in Burkina Faso and consumption of unripe ackee (Blighia sapida) fruit. Lancet 1999:13;353:536-40. View abstract.
  • Sherratt HS, Turnbull DM. Methylene blue and fatal encephalopathy from ackee fruit poisoning. Lancet 1999;353:1623-4.

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CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version.
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