Why does eating fresh apples cause nausea in some people? Is there a chemical or combination of them that cause this? The exception, for me, are mcintosh apples. For other varieties, I can eat about 1/3 of an apple before experiencing mild nausea (no vomiting) accompanied by a feeling of hunger and jitteriness. I see that others online report the same symptoms.
I’ve done a few hours of online research, but have not found an answer. There are plenty of forums in which sufferers share their woes, but no reasons. I wonder if anyone here knows the answer, or has some advice for searching. So far, I’ve taken two tactics:
1. Look for the abundance of nausea-inducing chemicals in apples. I’ve had to do this backwards (look up biological effects of some common apple components) since I do not have an intuition about what chemicals will cause the symptoms. Should I be looking at esters, carbonyls, aldehydes?
2. Look for differences between mcintosh and other apples. I have not been able to find good data on this beyond basic sugar content, though I suspect it exists in the more expensive literature. I don’t want to pay $50 for an article that I’m not sure has the data I need yet. I’ve also tried to note which chemicals vary among varieties figuring that I could try to find data on that chemical for mcintosh. Also, the mcintosh exception may be more complicated than just a variety that is low in some chemical. For one thing, they tend to be smaller apples, so it may just be a dosage effect. Also, they don’t store well, so they tend to be sold fresh. Thus, other apples may be developing the nauseating effect after months of storage through biological or chemical action.
This paper on the Phenolic composition of apples (including mcintosh) looks like it may be pertinent, but I can only see the first page. They are comparing juicing methods, but the data might still be interesting.http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf00097a031
White measured the composition of the volatile fraction from a mixed apple juice: www.honey.com/white/pdf/white12-composition-of-a-volatile.pdf
Markowski et al measured apple juice from some varieties. There is some variation in sorbitol, which I think causes digestive problems in large doses.www.jhortscib.com/isafruit/isa_pp068_074.pdf
Young et al did mass spec on the volatile fraction from Royal Gala apples
GLC volatile fraction analysis of mcintosh apples by Sapens
This herbal website lists some compounds in apples with “known biological activity”. I’m not sure how useful this is.http://www.herballegacy.com/Lovett-Brown_Chemical.html