Among the diseases that occur in the Arctic, a special place is a kind of poisoning that occurs from eating polar bear liver.
In 1.5-3 hours after a meal is usually a headache, accompanied by phenomena of food poisoning: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, severe cramping in the stomach and intestines. The body temperature rises to 39-40 ° C. Patients complain of shortness of breath, palpitations. After about 36-72 hours of the skin starts to peel off and leaves intact layers. However, the disease is rapidly on the decline, and on the second or third day of recovery occurs.
The reason for this strange disease has long remained a mystery. Chemical analysis of extracts from bear liver has shown that one gram of it contains up to 20 000 ME retinol – vitamin A. As to meet the immediate needs of the body needs only 3300-7800 ME vitamin A, ie, 1-2.5 mg, man , "who defeated" 200-300-gram serving bear liver, along with it will at once a gigantic dose of vitamin A – 4-6 million ME, which exceeds the norm by more than a hundred times. No wonder that this amount is more than enough to cause severe poisoning.