Why sprouted potatoes may be dangerous to eat
When left in storage for too long, potatoes can begin to sprout, creating debate as to whether eating them is safe.
On one hand, some consider sprouted potatoes perfectly safe to eat, as long as you remove the sprouts. On the other, many warn that sprouted potatoes are toxic and cause food poisoning and potentially even death.
Potatoes are a natural source of solanine and chaconine two glycoalkaloid compounds naturally found in various other foods, including eggplants and tomatoes.
In small amounts, glycoalkaloids may offer health benefits, including antibiotic properties and blood-sugar- and cholesterol-lowering effects. However, they can become toxic when eaten in excess.
As a potato sprouts, its glycoalkaloid content begins to rise. Therefore, eating potatoes that have sprouted can cause you to ingest excessive amounts of these compounds. Symptoms typically appear within a few hours to up to 1 day after eating the sprouted potatoes.
At lower doses, excess glycoalkaloid consumption typically leads to vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. When consumed in larger amounts, they can cause low blood pressure, a rapid pulse, fever, headaches, confusion, and in some cases, even death.
What’s more, a few small studies suggest that eating sprouted potatoes during pregnancy may increase the risk of birth defects.
Therefore, pregnant women may particularly benefit from avoiding sprouted potatoes.
Sprouted potatoes contain higher levels of glycoalkaloids, which can have toxic effects in humans when consumed in excess. Eating sprouted potatoes during pregnancy may also increase the risk of birth defects.