The previous article, Vitamin B17: The Cancer Buster that is kept a secret, surely grabbed your attention and rightfully so since vitamin B17/Laetrile is probably one of the most controversial medical topics in the last 30 years. To say I was pleased with all the emails and comments flooding in, would be an understatement. All your responses and feedback forced me to deviate from my original follow-up article that was to be about Laetrile Therapy. Instead, I am going use your feedback as a “guide” for this article and hopefully we can separate the facts from the fiction…
So let’s continue the story.
Vitamin B17 is not a vitamin…
That was one quirky remark left in my inbox. Truth be told, if you want to get stuck on a name (and one that is being used across the board by doctors and researchers alike), then yes, vitamin B17 is not a vitamin. As stated in the previous article, B17 is a glycoside or more specifically a Nitriloside (certain molecules in which a sugar part is bound to some other part). One of the most common nitrilosides is Amygdalin, which explains two other names by which vitamin B17 is known (and which is used in synergy), Laetrile and Amygdalin. If you beg to be a bit more technical and scientific , Laetrile/Vitamin B17 is simply a more soluble and concentrated form of Amygdalin which allows it to be administered in a much greater concentration. Either way all 3 are essentially the same thing.
The Cyanide connection
If you remember from the previous article, cyanide is where it all started to go wrong for B17.
The following is what scares most people. B17 is made up of 2 parts glucose, 1 part Hydrogen Cyanide (HCN) and 1 part Benzaldehyde(analgesic/painkiller).
Let me say this first: As well as being present in B17, cyanide is also present in vitamin B12 , Cassava and strawberries and a host of other foods we consume. (Have you ever heard of anyone getting cyanide poisoning from vitamin B12 or from eating strawberries? It just does not happen).
So how does this work? We all know that cyanide is bad for you, yet with B17 (in simple terms) it claims that it is the cyanide present that kills cancer…
When B17 is introduced to the body, it is broken down by the enzyme Rhodanese. The Rhodanese breaks the HCN and Benzaldehyde down into 2 by-products, Thiocyanate and Benzoic acid which are beneficial in nourishing healthy cells and forms the metabolic pool production for vitamin B12.
However, when the B17 comes into contact with cancer cells, there is no Rhodanese to break it down and neutralise it, but instead, only the enzyme Beta-Gucosidase is present in very large quantities. When B17 and Beta-Glucosidase come into contact with each other, a chemical reaction occurs and the HCN and Benzaldehyde combine synergistically to produce a “poison” which destroys and kills the cancer cells.
So, cyanide in B17 brings no harm to you when it enters your body, and neither B12 or strawberries have ever killed a person because of the cyanide it contains (or apricots for that matter). What I don”t get is, what then was the foundation for the whole “cyanide poisoning” scare campaign launched by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the American Medical Association (AMA) and pharmaceutical multinationals against B17?
Add this to the story of cancer, B17 and cyanide…
The BBC News reported the following on 6 September 2000:
Cyanide targets cancer.
“Scientists are using cyanide to attack tumours.
They have tested a two-stage drug that harnesses the power of the dangerous chemical to kill bowel cancer cells in the lab.
The researchers, at Imperial College, London, now hope to refine the technology and test it on patients…
The cassava plant, almond tree and hydrangea, all have an enzyme that will produce cyanide when it comes into contact with a particular sugar molecule…”
Do I hear a slight resonance of the story of B17 in this article or is it just the words cyanide and cancer that ring a bell..? Will these researchers also be discredited by a scare-campaign from pharmaceutical multinationals and medical authorities? Just a thought…
Pause from the “conspiracy”
Of course there are also those who say Dr. Krebs (the father of Laetrile) is not really a doctor (someone who never earned a medical degree), or a mad scientist being a crazy quack of some sort.
Likewise, Dr Linus Pauling: one of the few people EVER to win TWO Nobel prizes, who showed that ischaemic heart disease is nothing more than chronic scurvy (vitamin C deficiency). Dr Pauling treated many patients successfully and was still ridiculed by modern medicine. He suffered this mockery for most of his career without the courtesy of “modern medicine” studying the results of his treatments, and they have no answer to his success in treating patients. None of this can take away the true merit and value of a life”s work and dedication to a just cause and one of the most powerful and diverse vitamins… Vitamin C.
Since Dr. Krebs, countless doctors have studied and worked with B17/ Laetrile with a definitive degree of success. I will look at some of these studies in more detail in a follow-up article. To ridicule B17 and conspire whether it is a vitamin or not and whether it is a dangerous poison concocted by a crazy man, are all rubber bullets against a case, which in my opinion have not yet enjoyed a fair and equal trial.
Since there is still so much to say about vitamin B17/ Laetrile as a palliative (relieving or soothing) therapy, I will return to this in future alerts.
For the time being, I want to direct my remarks to people like Jimmy, who prompted me to write about B17.
Vitamin B17 is one of the main sources of food in cultures such as the Eskimos, the Hunzas, the Abkasians and many more. Did you know that within these tribes there has never been a reported case of cancer? Those that have worked with and studied the benefits of vitamin B17 say we need a minimum of 100mg of vitamin B17 (the equivalent of about seven apricots seeds) as a cancer preventative.
Let”s take a look at foods that are rich in B17/ Laetrile.
- Kernels or seeds of fruits: The highest concentration of vitamin B-17 to be found in nature, aside from bitter almonds. Apple, apricot, cherry, nectarine, peach, pear, plum, prune.
- Beans: broad (Vicia faba), burma, chickpeas, lentils (sprouted), lima, mung (sprouted), Rangoon, scarlet runner.
- Nuts: Bitter almond, macadamia, cashew.
- Berries: Almost all wild berries. Blackberry, chokeberry, Christmas berry, cranberry, elderberry, raspberry, strawberry.
- Seeds: Chia, flax, sesame.
- Grasses: Acacia, alfalfa (sprouted), aquatic, Johnson, milkweed, Sudan, minus, wheat grass, white dover.
- Grains: oat groats, barley, brown rice, buckwheat groats, chia, flax, millet, rye, vetch, wheat berries.
- Miscellaneous: bamboo shoots, fuschia plant, sorghum, wild hydrangea, yew tree (needles, fresh leaves).
Sufficient daily B17 may be obtained by following either of two suggestions:
First, eating all the B17-containing fruits whole (seeds included), but not eating more of the seeds by themselves than you would be eating if you ate them in the whole fruit. Example: if you eat three apples a day, the seeds in the three apples are sufficient B17. (You would not eat a pound of apple seeds.)
Second, one peach or apricot kernel per 10lbs of body weight is believed to be more than sufficient as a normal safeguard in cancer prevention, although precise numbers may vary from person to person in accordance with individual metabolism and dietary habits. A 170lb man, for example, might consume 17 apricot or peach kernels per day and receive a biologically reasonable amount of B17.
High concentrations of B17 are obtained by eating the natural foods in their raw or sprouting stage. This does not mean that moderate cooking and other tampering will destroy the B17 content. Foods cooked at a low temperature, for example, will not lose their B17 content.
Finally, certainly, too much of anything is bad for you. These natural foods should be consumed in biologically rational amounts (no more than 30 to 35 kernels per day).
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Disclaimer: Bear in mind the material contained in this article is provided for information purposes only. We are not addressing anyone’s personal situation. Please consult with your own physician before acting on any recommendations contained herein.
“What is Vitamin B17-Laetrile?” by Angel Rodriguez, published online, laetrile.com.au
“Foods Containing B17” by Angel Rodriguez, published online, laetrile.com.au
“Amygdalin (Laetrile) B17 Monographic Summary, by Dr. Jose Ernesto Contraras Pulido,
published online. worldwithoutcancer.org.uk
The Nitrilosides (Vitamin B-17)-Their Nature, Occurrence and Metabolic Significance (Antineoplastic Vitamin B-17), published by THE ROBERT CATHEY RESEARCH SOURCE, Reprinted from the Journal of Applied Nutrition, Volume 22, Numbers 3 and 4, 1970, navi.net
“Cyanide targets cancer” published online 06/09/00, laetrile.com.au/otherpages/cyanidecassava.htm (bbc.news.co.uk)
“Modern medicine – the answer to your problems…or the cause of them?” published online, natural-health-information-centre.com