The Chamorro people of Guam were suffering from a terrible disease that resulted in paralysis, dementia and death.
As the Chamorro became more “Americanised”, fewer people were dying from this disease. Researchers started to look closely at traditional Chamorro food to find the compounds causing the disease. They thought they had found the answer, flour made from the seeds of toxic cycads.
But, there was a problem. Cycad seeds are used by many traditional communities all over the world as food. Why didn’t these other people get sick and die?
Read more in the September 2017 edition of AUS-e-NEWS: