Glycoalkaloids (Solanine)

Glycoalkaloids are produced by nightshades. Glycoalkaloids are bitter compounds which are found throughout the plant. They are there to defend plants against bacteria, fungi, viruses, and insects by binding strongly to the cholesterol in the cell membranes of predators, disrupting their structure and the cells to leak or burst open. Glycoalkaloids are also neurotoxins. They block the enzyme cholinesterase which is responsible for breaking down the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Acetylcholine can then accumulate and electrically overstimulate predators muscle cells leading to paralysis, convulsions, respiratory arrest, and death. Military “nerve gases” work exactly the same way.

Significant glycoalkaloid consumption is linked with mental health problems including anxiety, insomnia, headaches, drowsiness, restlessness and even hallucinations. Symptoms of Solanine poisoning, which is a glycoalkaloid found in Potatoes, includes vomiting and diarrhoea, fever, low blood pressure and confusion. Very high doses are fatal! Many people know that old, green and improperly stored potatoes are poisonous and the eating of raw potatoes has resulted in many cases of livestock death. Cooking has minimal effect but peeling and deseeding can help lower the glycoalkaloid load from nightshades. Side Note: The Tobacco plant is of the Nightshade family and all edible nightshades contain a small amount of the highly addictive plant pesticide Nicotine.

Glycoalkaloids are only found in Nightshades, these include: - Potatoes - Eggplant (Aubergine) - Tomatoes - Bell Peppers (Capcicum) - Tobacco - Goji Berries - Paprika - Cayenne Peppers - jalapenos