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Lauki (Bottle Gourd) juice can be injurious to health

Lauki juice or bottle gourd juice can be harmful for health? Yes, says doctors at a private hospital.

A CSIR scientist died after consuming bottle gourd and bitter gourd juice on an empty stomach in New Delhi. The 60-year-old scientist Sushil Kumar and his wife had been consuming the bottle gourd juice for more than four years to keep their diabetes in control.

 According to Dr M P Sharma, Head of the Department, Gastroenterology and Internal Medicine at Rockland Hospital, the couple had diabetes problem. But Sushil Kumar passed away after the consumption of bottle gourd juice, whereas, his wife complained of vomiting blood and severe diarrhea, but had a narrow escape. The doctors conducted an endoscopy on his wife and found her entire stomach was inflamed. There were ulcers in her stomach.

Dr Sharma said the vegetables and fruits from the cucumber family have harmful toxins called tetracyclic triterpenoid cucurbitacins compound, which is responsible for the bitter taste.
However, the doctor suggests that old people having diabetes and other problems may go for bottle gourd juice removing the bitter part of the vegetable. Because higher levels of cucurbitacins compound causes harm to health due to either improper storage of vegetables or high temperature. Dr. Sharma said that the bitter parts of fruits are traditionally cut apart and not consumed. In case of vegetables, cooking helps to destroy such toxins.

Doctors said that two more such cases have been reported earlier in India — one at the Himalayan Institute in Dehradun and another from Ahmedabad. “Higher levels of cucurbitacins compounds are triggered by high temperature, wide temperature swings and also due to improper storage of vegetables,” said a doctor.

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