In this context, amygdalin from bitter almonds and apricot kernels is particularly well known; these can also lead to prussic acid poisoning if consumed in excess. The cyanogenic glycosides linustatin, neolinustatin and linamarin are mainly found in flaxseed. In a human study it was shown that equivalent amounts of cyanide in the form of different foods do not lead to an equivalent increase in blood cyanide concentration.
This fact is due to the different levels of endogenous β-glucosidases, in the respective foods. These enzymes release cyanide from cyanogenic glycosides. Since flaxseed, in contrast to bitter apricot kernels or cassava, contains only small amounts of β-glucosidase, the blood cyanide content also increases only comparatively slightly after consumption of ground flaxseed. At normal consumption levels of up to 30 g of ground flaxseed per meal, a risk to the health of adolescents from the age of 13 and adults can be largely ruled out. In the case of children, the consumption of up to 30 g of flaxseed may have an adverse effect on their health, but this cannot be ruled out according to the current state of knowledge. An adverse health effect from the consumption of whole, unground linseed or linseed oil is considered to be excluded.