Monday, July 6, 2009

Poppy Seed Myths: How True Are They?

By George ONeil

Poppy seeds are one of the most common things you can find in a kitchen. These are directly harvested form its seedpods out of a plant called opium poppy taking the shape of a small kidney like structure. dried poppy pods have been long known through many centuries and were mainly used to treat various ailments. In our times, a different approach is applied on poppy seeds and that is using these seeds on a lot of tasty and delicious recipes.

Through the ages, there have been some theories that evolved out of the tricky minds of some people. These theories have become myths and legends as there were no firm proofs and evidences to support its claims.

One widely known myth of poppy seeds is the shameful and unfortunate result it can cause on a drug test. Such myth came out in relation to the fact that poppy seed resin is a common element in the manufacture of codeine, heroine, and morphine. When it first came out, a lot of people were alarmed making them avoid poppy seed based goods and even refrained from using them on their usual dishes. The issue became more sensitive and discomforting when it was strongly insisted that ingestion of poppy seeds on any amount could lead to a positive drug result from Opiates. But bear in mind that this is just a myth and nothing more.

However, it is somehow far from possible to gain a positive drug test by eating foods with a poppy seed ingredient. Such firm statement is supported by various drug testing laboratories that are using Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry. These laboratories use a two step process used to confirm the presence of heroine, codeine, and morphine, which are the three main members of the Opiod class. In this process, a 300 ng/ml result is contracted from a person who has been eating poppy seeds. The Department of Health and Human Services set a cutoff level of 2,000 ng/ml for the Opiate class. Under this guideline, people who are fond of eating poppy seed based goods are safe from having a positive drug result and only those who are truly using opium based illegal drugs are confirmed.

As you look for a job, one of the many requirements to accomplish is passing the drug test. This is one precautionary measure most employers do on any job openings. In this case, another myth on poppy seeds grew in relation to the previous one implying the possibility of losing a job opportunity through poppy seeds. By ingestion of poppy seeds on any amount, a good and stable job opportunity is simply lost due to a positive drug result. Making the case even worse, it can also gain you the title of being a drug user. This specific case may have happened to some when the cutoff level for the Opiate class was still at 300 ng/ml. As mentioned above, individuals who are fond of ingesting poppy seeds provide the same results, forcing the Department of Health and Human Services to raise such cutoff level to 2,000 ng/ml.

Nowadays, such misleading beliefs on poppy seeds are nothing but mere distractions. With a more efficient guideline, you can freely enjoy the health benefits of eating poppy seed based foods. As what most myths are, the ones mentioned above are nothing but unproven theories.

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