Vitamin B17: The Story of Laetrile and Cancer Continues

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 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).


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.

Sources:

“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

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  • A great page and a fantastic read.

    I was just wandering, what happenes to the HCN and benzaldehyde within the body if used as a preventative measure and not specifically to target a perticular cancer cell? Is it used any other way by the body, or just passed after being rendered useless by the body?

  • I have advanced metastatic prostate cancer and about to commence chemo. I have only recently come across the B17 apricot regime and consume approx 12 – 15 apricot kernels a day. Can someone tell me if it is safe to continue with the above during treatment (Taxetia ?) If so how many are suggested on a daily basis. I would also like to know where in the UK you can find a practitioner of B17 intravenously.

  • Hi where in Britain can one be given b/17 in injection? The hospitals in America are for rich people. I would like to say I took 35 to 40 apricot kernels per day with 30mg of zinc and pineapple juice for 8 months and went on a vegan diet for that time after having a lumpectomy for breast cancer in 2005.

    I went against my doctors advice and did not have a lymph clearance or chemo. I had to wait for 4 mths for radio therapy and I had some under my arm instead of lymph surgery. I went on zoladex once monthly for a year but it tired me out so I had radiotherapy on my ovaries to mop up oestrogen . I take one arimadex daily as I did not want to take tamoxifen because the binding agent can cause lactic acid in the liver.

    I am at least proof that the apricot kernels do not poison you. I would like to know who gives the intravenous b/17 here in the uk.
    Susan

  • For all those here who have expressed a need to get hold of B17, or apricot kernels, go to http://www.worldwithoutcancer.org.uk where you can find essential information on how to use Laetril for cancer patients, as well as for prevention.

    There you will also find an ad by a vitamin supplier in the UK who can send you bags of apricot kernels. These are the easiest and richest source of B17 but it needs other enzymes and minerals such as zinc, to be properly absorbed, so you need to read up about healthy cancer prevention diets to combine with the B17 therapy.

    I’m a bit late coming to this article, I started off at the Worldwithoutcancer.org.uk about two weeks ago and have since learned so much about cancer prevention and treatment following links and reading the story of Jimmy Keller, (one of the ‘quacks’ who was most succesfull with his use of ‘Tumorex’ and intravenous B17) so I hope other posters will check back here for this link.

    As with other alternative treatments/therapies, using B17 must be combined with other factors such as diet, high vitamin and enzyme intake, and is most effective on late stage cancers if used intravenously, not simply by swallowing.

    And to save you time in your Googling: yes, Laetril and B17 can help those undergoing chemo, and those who have just discovered lumps, but as another poster mentioned, you must secure a guarranteed supply and combine a protocol which will suit you, or the patient (principally metabolic therapy which means drastically changing your diet. Not enough B17 will not succesfully treat cancer, and you can not eat enough to treat properly, it should be intravenously or very high doses. You can buy it online from the U.S although it will be shipped from Mexico, since the FDA have managed to criminalise anybody supplying or selling it!

    Jackie Smith, the second poster here, if you come back and read this, can you tell me which private clinic this was in Tunbridge, which used B17 on your friend? My husband has benign bladder cancer and we are interested in anywhere in Europe which may offer B17 treatment, rather than surgery following his (sadly) poisoning by chemo (we didn’t know about Laetril then!) We are sure there is a safe alternative to complete removal of his ‘bad’ bladder ….. thanks!

  • For all those here who have expressed a need to get hold of B17, or apricot kernels, go to http://www.worldwithoutcancer.org.uk where you can find essential information on how to use Laetril for cancer patients, as well as for prevention.

    There you will also find an ad by a vitamin supplier in the UK who can send you bags of apricot kernels. These are the easiest and richest source of B17 but it needs other enzymes and minerals such as zinc, to be properly absorbed, so you need to read up about healthy cancer prevention diets to combine with the B17 therapy.

    I’m a bit late coming to this article, I started off at the Worldwithoutcancer.org.uk about two weeks ago and have since learned so much about cancer prevention and treatment following links and reading the story of Jimmy Keller, (one of the people who was most successful with his use of ‘Tumorex’ and intravenous B17) so I hope other posters will check back here for this link.

    As with other alternative treatments/therapies, using B17 must be combined with other factors such as diet, high vitamin and enzyme intake, and is most effective on late stage cancers if used intravenously, not simply by swallowing.

    And to save you time in your Googling: yes, Laetril and B17 can help those undergoing chemo, and those who have just discovered lumps, but as another poster mentioned, you must secure a guaranteed supply and combine a protocol which will suit you, or the patient (principally metabolic therapy which means drastically changing your diet. Not enough B17 will not succesfully treat cancer, and you can not eat enough to treat properly, it should be intravenously or very high doses. You can buy it online from the US although it will be shipped from Mexico, since the FDA have managed to criminalize anybody supplying or selling it!

    Jackie Smith, the second poster here, if you come back and read this, can you tell me which private clinic this was in Tunbridge, which used B17 on your friend? My husband has benign bladder cancer and we are interested in anywhere in Europe which may offer B17 treatment, rather than surgery following his (sadly) poisoning by chemo (we didn’t know about Laetril then!) We are sure there is a safe alternative to complete removal of his ‘bad’ bladder ….. thanks!

  • I have a friend just about to start chemotherapy treatment for a malignant brain tumour. Can B17 be of benefit ?

  • PLEASE keep the information coming on B17 and also any updates on research.
    My Father had Cancer and tried it before it was banned in the US. It did not work. It might not have been a reliable Company. We didn’t have a way of checking.

  • As a cancer patient undergoing chemo I found this article of particular interest and look forward to reading ‘next instalment’. Any additional information on introducing B17 into the diet or recipes for bread etc would be interesting.

  • It definitely caught my attention. I want to know more about B 17 and how best to consume it. Thank you for spreading awareness.

  • I have beaten breast cancer and am very interested in B17. Where can I buy it or do I eat lots of apple pips?? I take apple cider vinegar – does this contain B17? Where can I buy apricot kernals?? Many thanks for bringing this vitamin to light!!

  • Yes, there is cyanide in all these kernals, pips, etc, but only as the cyanide RADICAL, CN. It needs a metal or a gas, etc, to make something-cyanide, eg hydrogen cyanide, a deadly gas. Which is exactly what is released when B17 reacts with beta-glucosidase. But on its own it is nothing, even an essential part of beneficial substances like thiocyanates. After all, there is chlorine in a substance called sodium chloride, (table salt) but this doesn’t give off clouds of deadly yellow chlorine gas when sprinkled! Having studied much chemistry in the past, I can see how vested interests use the general ignorance of it to spread scare stories, sometimes so untruthful that they are criminal.

  • Hi I have also heard and read much about B17. I now include B17 in my everyday diet and have done for the last 6 months, and I have no intension of stopping. I work in a hospital and see only too clearly the suffering cancers and other life threatening diseases causes . I have lost both my parents too cancer – Prevention is far far better then cure.

  • My grandmother who was born in 1874 was a believer in eating all natural foods. She would eat her planted vegetables and fruits and ate the seeds too. She stayed away from any commercially processed foods which she would say was bad for the body. She died in 1968 from guess what?….. old age! (94 yrs)

  • We have been using apricot seed (Adu beej majja) marrow for the last thousands of years for gray hair, skin deseases, aburd (unwanted tissue formation in the body). This article is a great help for my research in future treatments for cancer & B-17 and its deficiency as a possible reason for the disease but also as an alternative therapy. We in Ayurveda combine supporting herbs instead of depending on only one herb. Thanks. Dr. S. Kaushal

  • I was interested in Dr Kaushal’s comments that apricot seed marrow had been used for thousands of years to treat grey hair. Can he clarify? If I start taking it, will my hair revert gradually to its original colour?

  • Very intriguing – would like to know more.We lay people should unite against the ”drug cartel”for the sake of our health…

  • Great article and thanks to Peter Burns for the info. about Dr Binzel’s online book…..Lets not forget the isothiocyanate group of plants….their cancer busting qualities are well known, they contain that essential cyanide compound and Isothiocyanates can be found in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, kale, turnips, collards, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, radish, turnip and watercress. Glucosinolates are precursors of isothiocyanates. When the raw vegetables are chewed the plant cells are broken and an enzyme (myrosinase) hydrolyses the glucosinolates into isothiocyanates. Ive never heard anybody mention they are dangerous vegetables – we are even encouraged to eat them raw!

  • Quote:
    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).
    Unquote:

    What makes 30-35 kernels the limit when a single packet of peanuts etc contains many more. Is it simply the maximum amount that the body can utilise or is there some other justification.

  • I have a friend (aged about 80) who has had an operation for breast cancer followed by Chemotherapy. The side effects of the latter seem to have been equally debilitating as the the cancer. At this late stage can vitamin B17 alleviate?

  • Dear Sirs, Vitamin C controversy has been raging for a long time. I go back to the 70’s when I was ill and it helped massively. What everyone seems to forget is that LINUS PAULING got two Nobel prizes for Medicine, Vitamin C and cancer being one of them, where he PROVED its efficacy. There was a film (true story) which I used to have recorded and can’t find, forgotten the name, where the American editor of a high powered magazine, diagnosed with a disease, was told the very painful condition he had meant surgery to enable him only to sit up or lie down, his choice, plus pain killers and death at the end. of that. He had heard that laughter was good for producing endorphins and Vitamin C (Paulin) would help. He had money and power so he DEMANDED his doctor at the hospital gave him intravenous C, which in oral doses would have taken the lining off his guts, then his secretary did a lot of research for books which he read, then he hired Laurel and Hardy films. Long story short, no surgery needed, cured. Whenever I hear of a herbal or “alternative” medication being given the thumbs down, my immediate reaction is “who financed the research”. The best one in that area that I heard was someone on tv saying sugar was not bad for children’s teeth, in fact it could enhance them! One, only one, journalist kept on at the spokesman and found out it was financed by the Sugar Board, though that didn’t affect the outcome of the research. Right! Best wishes. Philomena Smart.

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