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Vitamin B17: The Cancer Buster that’s kept secret


I received a letter from one of our readers, Jimmy, which read: ‘I would like you to try getting hold of Vitamin B17. I went to a health shop to try and buy it, only to be told that it does not exist. The lady who served us argued that there was no such vitamin and even took out a large book to look it up. She was very pleased with herself when she couldn’t find it and gave us an I-told-you-so smirk… Later her manager gave us a call and told us that he was not allowed to sell it or even let people know that it exists…’

Well, as you can imagine a letter like this almost made all the alarm bells go off in my head… Firstly, I have a pet-hate for retail assistants on a power trip (especially untrained or ignorant ones in health shops). Secondly, how can you tell people something doesn’t exist when it definitely does?! What are we? Sheep? Lastly (and probably something that will annoy me for weeks to come), why is this extremely beneficial vitamin ‘banned’?

Vitamin B17: A Brief History of Oppression

Vitamin B17, also known as Amygdalin or Laetrile, is basically a glycoside (certain molecules in which a sugar part is bound to some other part). Initially, it was isolated from the seeds of the tree Prunus dulcis, also known as bitter almonds (banned from the US in 1995), by Pierre-Jean Robiquet and A. F. Boutron-Charlard, in 1803 and was followed by a thorough investigation of the glycoside, by Liebig and Wahler, in 1830.

Vitamin B17 is found in almost all fruit seeds such as the apple, peach, cherry, orange, nectarine and apricot, as well as some beans and many grasses such as wheat grass. The seeds of these fruits (particularly apricots) hold the source of one of the most important nutrients known to man. It is one of the main food sources in cultures such as the Navajo Indians, the Himalayan Hunzas and the Abkhasians.

Did you know that within these tribes there has never been a reported case of cancer? (And there are doctors and scientists from the US living within these tribes right now studying this phenomenon). Research has shown that these tribes never contract cancer or suffer from heart disease if they stick to their native diet, which is exceptionally high in both apricots and millet. However, once exposed to western diets they become as vulnerable as the rest of us.

During 1950 after many years of research, a dedicated biochemist Dr. Ernst T. Krebs, Jr. isolated a new vitamin that he numbered B17 and called ‘Laetrile’. Thousands became convinced that Dr. Krebs had finally found the complete control for all cancers, a conviction shared by even more people today. But back in 1950 Dr. Krebs had no idea of the hornet’s nest he was about to stir up.

How do we get cancer in the first place – through exposure to cigarette smoking, intense sunlight or perhaps the effect of toxic food additives? According to Dr. Krebs neither is the case. His hard biochemical evidence points to the fact that cancer is a simple deficiency disease of vitamin B17, long ago removed from our highly refined western diets. Dr. Krebs suggests that the so-called ‘carcinogens’ (substances, radionuclide or radiation that are agents directly involved in the promotion of cancer) are merely stress triggers, which finally expose the B17 deficiency with devastating effects: cancer.

The proof Dr. Krebs has presented over the years to support his claim of ‘lost’ B17 in our diets is impressive. For example, centuries ago, we used to eat millet and linseed bread rich in B17, but now we chew our way through wheat bread which has none at all. Generations ago we used to crush the seeds of plums, cherries, apples and apricots with our home made jams and preserves. Thus, B17 was part of daily diets and guess what… Centuries ago there was a lot less cancer around, if any at all…

Vitamin B17 at work

Vitamin B17 is harmless to healthy tissue for a very simple reason. Each molecule of B17 contains one unit of cyanide, one unit of benzaldehyde and two of glucose (sugar) tightly locked together. In order for the cyanide to become dangerous it is necessary to first ‘unlock’ the molecule to release it. This can only be performed by an enzyme called beta-glucosidase, which is present all over the human body in minute quantities. However, beta-glucosidase is present in vast quantities (up to 100 times as high) at only one place: the site of a malignant cancer tumour. Thus, the cyanide is unlocked only at the cancer site with drastic results, which become utterly devastating to the cancer cells because the benzaldehyde unit unlocks at the same time.

Benzaldehyde is a deadly poison in its own right, which then acts synergistically with the cyanide to produce a poison 100 times more deadly than either in isolation. The combined effect on the cancer cells is best left to the imagination.

Back to the attack

Unable to patent B17 or claim exclusive rights to the vitamin, the pharmaceutical multinationals launched a massive propaganda attack of unprecedented viciousness against Laetrile, despite the fact that hard proof of its efficiency in controlling cancer was everywhere (and still is).

Dr. Kreb’s B17 Laetrile was derived from apricot kernels and then synthesized into crystalline form using his own unique process. Out of the blue, the American Food and Drug Administration bombarded the media with a story about an unfortunate couple who had poisoned themselves by eating raw apricot kernels in San Francisco. The story made headline news across the US but strangely journalists never managed to establish the identity of the unfortunate couple, despite many determined attempts. But the multinational pharmaceutical/FDA boot had been put in with a vengeance. From that point onwards, eating apricot kernels or B17 Laetrile became synonymous with committing suicide.

You can only guess what happened next after the FDA and pharmaceutical multinationals started pouncing on the claims of vitamin B17… Yes, demands were made for government studies to be conducted and the results of these studies showed that evidence for the benefits of B17 as a cancer treatment were ‘inconclusive’ or not ‘comprehensive’ and it became a case of ‘same old story, same old song’.

Unfortunately, most governments have buckled under the pressure exerted by the pharmaceutical multinationals, the FDA, and the American Medical Association (AMA). All three have mounted highly successful ‘scare’ campaigns based on the fact that vitamin B17 contains quantities of ‘deadly’ cyanide; conveniently forgetting that vitamin B12 also contains large quantities of cyanide but is freely available in health food shops world-wide…

Join me next week when the story of vitamin B17 continues and I will tell you all about Laetrile Therapy as well as good food sources of B17 and how to source B17 supplements. For now, dear Jimmy, rest assured: Vitamin B17 exists (it’s been around since 1803), it’s not deadly and it can be sourced.

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.


‘Laetrile -Vitamin B17 ‘amygdalin’, published online,

‘Vitamin B17 Benefits’ published online,

‘Is Cancer Merely a Vitamin Deficiency Disease?’ by Joe Vialls, published online 13/10/03,

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  • Cant wait to read more information concerning our health and the remedies that are kept from us so we don’t achieve optimum health.

  • My husbands stage 4 colon cancer was cured by eating 20 apricot seeds a day with a normal diet for 90 days, then eating 7/day routinely. We tried this after all other chemo failed. Also told a friend about the seeds, he was diagnosed with a malignant tumor on his kidney. He added the apricot seeds to his diet, and two months later on a pre-op scan, the tumor was gone and his surgery was canceled. I’m a registered nurse who at first was skeptical but now I’m convinced that adding apricot seeds saved my husband and our friend. Sad that this is being kept from the public.

  • How many apple pips can one take per day? And, is as person with level 2 caner too late to be helped by B17?
    Awaiting in anticipation:
    Lorraine Wilkes

  • It scares me when things like this don’t surprise me. When corporate greed is alowed to come before the lives of people and the quality of life on the planet.
    Between oil companies pressuring governments into keeping us dependent on fossil fuels and destoying the environment. You think it’s a coincidence the average fuel economy is the same today as it was in 1960.
    Also drug companies bringing in billions of dollars a year in profits. On the death and suffering of the people they are supposed to be “saving” from pain and disease. The fact that they can pressure the FDA is rediculous when the FDA is there to protect us from companies and products. Not help them to make a few extra billion on the millions of people suffering from cancer. Sometimes I think drug companies spend more money on advertising now then they do on research.
    It’s a sick and twisted time to be alive. Maybe if the FDA did there job or I had of seen this earlier my brother and my mom would still be alive. Both lost to cancer.

  • i am confused about the vitamin b17 (laetrile & amygdalin ) is useful for cancer treatment coz some the reports say that is good . but no any evidence that is FDA approved or not . if any so please mail me .

  • I am confused about the vitamin b17 (laetrile & amygdalin ) is useful for cancer treatment coz some the reports say that is good. But no evidence that the FDA approved it or not. If any so please mail me .

  • i am confused about the vitamin b17 (laetrile & amygdalin ) is useful for cancer treatment coz some the reports say that is good . but no any evidence that is FDA approved or not . if any so please mail me .

  • B12 does not have cyanide. Synthetic B12 has cyanide because it is extracted with cyanide.

  • B12 does not have cyanide. Synthetic B12 has cyanide because it is extracted with cyanide.

  • Will it hurt to stop taking apricot kernels for say 6 weeks (going ov erseas) after taking them for 18 months . Does anyone have any suggestions ???

  • There are so many thereapies for prostate cancer. Hydrogen Peroxide enema and now Apricot kernal enema. Someone tell me how often and how many thereapies one needs to do.

  • I got the bitter apricot kernel from Chinese herbal shop after I look around in health food shops that they said they don’t have them. But she suggest in Chinese shop. Then I finally got them.

  • I am researching laetrile (b17) as part of a treatment programme for my wife who is battling cancer. Your readers may be interested in a little book called ‘Alive & Well’ by Dr Philip Binzel in Kentucky – it’s available to read online at :
    I am hoping to publish the results of my cancer research which includes many other topics.

  • 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.

  • if you have heavy metals accumulated in your body from eg mercury amalgam fillings would this cause a reaction with the cyanide which is naturally found in the Vit B17?

  • If you have heavy metals accumulated in your body eg from mercury amalgam fillings would that cause a problem if you ingested the B17 and react with the natural cyanide it contains?? Can anyone perhaps help with an answer?

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

  • “How can one ingest Vitamin B17 through food? The seeds of apricots are very hard.” The outer-shell of the pit is very hard. Crack this open with a nut-cracker and you will find a crunchy, almond tasting center; the “nut.”

  • I’ve been eating apple seeds for quite some time now, and I’ve come to like the bitter taste, although I didn’t at first. I’d like to see some B17 Blogs appear soon. Certainly if I got the big C, and can source b17 I’d do one. It would be nice to know.

  • How can one ingest Vitamin B17 through food? The seeds of apricots are very hard. Can the human digest the seeds of other fruits, even the small apple seeds?

    Thanks for this article.

  • 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!!

  • It really makes my blood boil when I read so many instances of the pharmaceutical companies preventing people from getting natural cures because they cannot make money out of patenting them. If ever you decide to march on Downing Street to make your point, count me in.

  • Everything that is bad for us is given free reign just add it to the food and us human ginnipigs will try it first. everything that is good for us is either expensive or cannot be sourced, thank god for the normal folk who actually educate us on normall health issues. Best thing I ever did signing up for the email advice you give.

  • Eating 3 to 4 apple pips daily… would that give a reasonable amount of B17? If so, is organic apple cider vinegar also of help?

  • I’ve been eating roughly 15 apricot kernels each day for about a year, and so has a retired doctor couple I know, simply to make sure we get enough B17. Somebody mentioned Steve McQueen and why it didn’t work for him, but apparently it did, and he died from other courses ( not sure what it was, but it was neither cancer or poisoning).
    Imagine living in a society where money is getting in the way of what is best for it’s people!! Anybody fancy a revolution?
    Also, don’t forget:Biggest killer in the US: The medicine supposed to cure us!!

  • 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.

  • I would like to know what foods contain B17, because I have Diverticulosis and can not eat nuts, seeds, or grains. If I were to grind up the seeds from these fruits would they be safe for me to eat?

  • 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)

  • E-numbers in all our foods while B17 is banned? What’s going on? Thank goodness for people like you who bring sanity to the darkness.

  • Isn’t it strange that many people now do not like pips in their marmalade, grapes or oranges? maybe they are missing the best part of them !

  • I have always eaten almost every bit of every apple except the stem and the very top leaves. I eat apples when ever I can get my hands on them, so far any arsenic in them has failed to kill me.

  • 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 remember reading about Laetrile when Steve McQueen started taking it. However, it did not work on him and as everyone knows, he died. I wonder why it did not work?

  • How interesting that B17 can be sourced from apples; I always felt that apples were a ‘wonder’ food. Please tell us more!!

  • B17 is banned in the Usa because all the Big Pharma Companies can’t patent it because it is a natural substance and Yes you’ve guessed right: That do not want to hear the B17 talked about because they will lose Billions of $ the FDA shuts down everyone who know that it is something that is very real to combat Cancer not all these researchers are wrong. They are running scared!

  • I have beaten breast cancer and am very interested in vitamin B17. Where can I get it?? I do take apple cider vinegar, does this contain apple pips and therefore the vitamin B17?? Thankyou for bringing this wonderful discovery to light!!

  • With the amount of feedback streaming in as a result of this article I feel compelled to leave a quick note:
    B17 is clearly wrapped in controversy and at the Daily Health/ Healthier Life we have only scraped the surface with this first article. Of course, we intent to present the facts: both bad and good – which is what the next article on Laetrile Therapy will focus on. A topic like this will obviously create debate and that is what we want: People should interact and ask questions. But there is a lot more to the story of Vitamin B17 and we intend to bring you a balanced account of the alternatives available to you with reference to B17. Thank you for your comments, emails and feedback – all of it is much appreciated and most welcome…
    The Editor.

  • I would like to be a part of finding new ways to health issue for my own health reasons. So please add me to your Free Daily Heatlh and Nutition and healing.
    Thank you, I enjoy reading about the B17.

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