Drink a fruit juice laced with poisonous mushrooms
Posted On July 27, 2021
Drinking a fruit-flavored juice containing the poisonous fungus Psilocybe cubensis could lead to “catastrophic” side effects, according to new research published in the journal Scientific Reports.
The new research, led by researchers at the University of New South Wales in Australia, was the first to identify the toxicity of the fungus in the fruit and its potential for causing serious adverse health effects.
Psilocybin mushrooms, also known as magic mushrooms, are a popular recreational drug that are often sold as legal recreational drugs in the United States.
The plant can be grown in a number of different ways, including as a commercial crop in China, or as a natural product in Australia.
Preliminary research by the University’s Food Safety and Standards Branch (FSSB) showed that consuming a commercially available mushroom-flavoured juice containing Psilocarpus cubensis or Psilacanthium psilocarbinum was not only likely to increase the risk of serious health problems, but could also result in “catabolic” effects in the liver and kidney, the researchers say.
The study included 14 participants aged between 14 and 58 years who were recruited from the Australian public.
The participants were tested at the university’s Food Health Research Centre (HFRC) for liver and blood pressure, and for kidney function and blood glucose.
The researchers say there were no significant differences between the participants on any of the other parameters.
The researchers warn that there is no clear evidence that consuming Psilosceles mushrooms, the most common type of mushroom, will cause any harmful health effects, but the research could help clarify the risks.
“This study provides strong evidence that Psilococcus cubensis can be potentially toxic to humans,” said lead author Dr Jennifer Rennie.
“We have shown that consuming this toxin in the form of a fruit flavouring is potentially dangerous and can result in an increase in the risk for serious health effects,” she added.
“If we want to reduce the risks associated with this type of toxin consumption, we need to find a way to prevent or limit its consumption in our everyday life.”
Dr Rennies team has previously shown that P. cubensis is not harmful to humans, but it is more toxic to animals than humans.
The research involved the use of liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) and mass spectrometric techniques to detect Psiloconjans mushroom flavouring.
The Psilo compound, which was derived from the Psilcarpus genus of the same name, is a compound that has been shown to inhibit a variety of biological processes.
It was previously shown to block the release of the neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain.
“The effect of Psilconjans flavouring on brain function was unexpected,” said co-author Dr Joanna Cuthbertson.
“It is a well-studied substance that is known to block several neurotransmitter pathways including dopamine, serotonin, and acetylcholine, and its effects on other systems including the immune system.”
“It appears to inhibit the enzyme serotonin-reuptake inhibitor, which is responsible for the release from the brain of serotonin,” she said.
“In humans, PsilConjans has been associated with an increase of liver and spleen fibrosis, with symptoms including fatigue and pain.”
Given the known potential effects on health, we have identified this as a potentially toxic drug, with potential long-term health effects.
“The researchers say Psilcotin is one of the most well-known hallucinogens and has been used in cultures from China to the US and Europe for thousands of years.
It is produced by a mushroom, and when mixed with water, the spores release an aromatic liquid that can be used in medicinal and spiritual products.”
The study was funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia, the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development of New Zealand, the Australian Science Foundation, the Food and Drug Administration of Australia and the Federal Government of Australia.”
The most important side effects of Pansy-Cuba were mild nausea, but also the mild irritation of the eyes and skin.”
The study was funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia, the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development of New Zealand, the Australian Science Foundation, the Food and Drug Administration of Australia and the Federal Government of Australia.