Agent Name

Linamarin

CAS Number

554-35-8

Formula

C10-H17-N-O6

Major Category

Biological Agents

Synonyms

2-(beta-D-Glucopyranosyloxy)-2-methylpropanenitrile; 2-(beta-D-Glucopyranosyloxy)isobutyronitrile; Phaseolunatin; Propanenitrile, 2-(beta-D-glucopyranosyloxy)-2-methyl-; [ChemIDplus]

Category

Plant Oils and Extracts

Description

Solid; [Merck Index]

Sources/Uses

Found in seed skins and embryos of flax; [Merck Index] A glycoside found in the tropical cassava plant; [HSDB]

Comments

Hydrolyzed by the body to hydrocyanic acid; Emergency treatment: "Plants- cyanogenic glycosides"; 500 mg/kg of linamarin and 5 mg/kg of cyanide were equivalent oral doses in rats causing arrhythmias and respiratory changes; [HSDB] Causes flaccid paralysis and diarrhea in lethal dose feeding studies of rats; [RTECS] Linamarin is hydrolyzed to hydrogen cyanide and acetone; Proper processing (soaking the peeled cassava in water) releases 45% of the cyanogens after one day and 90% of the cyanogens after 5 days; Inadequate processing results in the consumption of linamarin, which is hydrolyzed to cyanohydrins by the intestinal microorganisms and then converted into cyanide in the small intestines; Chronic exposure to inadequately processed cassava causes a demyelinating disease called tropical ataxic neuropathy. Elevated thiocyanate levels also cause thyroid disease. [Goldfrank, p. 1678, 1680]

Adverse Effects
Other Poison

Chemical Asphyxiant

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