Laetrile -Vitamin B17 -amygdalin
The diet of primitive man and most fruit-eating animals was very rich in
nitrilosides. They regularly ate the seeds (and kernels) of all fruits, since these seeds
are rich in protein, polyunsaturated fats, and other nutrients. Seeds also contain as much
as 2 per cent or more nitriloside. There are scores of other major foods naturally, or
normally, very rich in nitriloside.
Vitamin B-17 (nitriloside, amygdaline) is a designation proposed to include a
large group of water-soluble, essentially non-toxic, sugary, compounds found in over 800
plants, many of which are edible. These factors are collectively known as Beta-cyanophoric
glycosides. They comprise molecules made of sugar, hydrogen cyanide, a benzene ring or an
acetone. Though the intact molecule is for all practical purposes completely non-toxic, it
may be hydrolyzed by Beta-glycosidase to a sugar, free hydrogen cyanide, benzaldehyde or
Apricot Kernels (Vitamin B17)
Apricot Kernels are the richest source of B17 (Laetrile). Ernst Krebs is the world's leading authority on the relationship between cancer
and nitrilosides, and the inventor of laetrile.
Apricot kernels are known to prevent and cure cancer, even though the
medical establishment has worked night and day and even lied to suppress it. Vitamin B17
is found in most all fruit seeds such as the apple, peach, cherry, orange, nectarine and
apricot. It is found in some beans and many grasses such as wheat grass. The hard wooden
pit in the middle of the peach is not supposed to be thrown away. In fact, the wooden
shell is strong armor protecting one of the most important foods known to man, the seed.
It is one of the main courses of food in cultures such as the Navajo Indians, the Hunzas
the Abkhasians and many more. Did you know that within these tribes there has never been a
reported case of cancer. (And there are doctors and scientists from the U.S. living within
these tribes right now studying this phenomena) We don't need to make the seed a main
course but we do need the equivalent of about seven apricots seeds per day to nearly
guarantee a cancer free life. Other foods that contain vitamin B-17 are: bitter almonds,
millet, wheat grass, lima beans and more. (The bitter almond tree was banned from the U.S.
in 1995.) The kernel or seed contains the highest amounts of vitamin B17.
One of the most common nitrilosides is amygdalin. This nitriloside occurs in the
kernels of seeds of practically all fruits. The seeds of apples, apricots, cherries,
peaches, plums, nectarines, and the like carry this factor; often in the extraordinary
concentration of 2 to 3 per cent. Since the seeds of fruits are possibly edible, it may be
proper to designate the non-toxic water soluble accessory food factor or nitriloside that
they contain as vitamin B-17. The presence of nitriloside in the diet produces specific
physiologic effects and leaves as metabolites specific chemical compounds of a
physiologically active nature. The production by a non-toxic, water-soluble accessory food
factor of specific physiological effects as well as identifiable metabolites suggests the
vitamin nature of the compound.
In metabolism, nitriloside is hydrolyzed to free hydrogen cyanide, benzaldehyde or
acetone and sugar. This occurs largely through the enzyme Beta-glucosidase produced by
intestinal bacteria as well as by the body. The released HCN [hydrocyanide] is detoxified
by the enzyme rhodanese to the relatively non-toxic thiocyanate molecule. The sugar is
normally metabolized. The released benzaldehyde in the presence of oxygen is immediately
oxidized to benzoic acid which is non-toxic. Thus this newly designated vitamin B-17
(nitriloside) could account for:
- The thiocyanates in the body fluids--blood, urine, saliva, sweat, and tears;
- For part of the benzoic acid (and subsequently hippuric acid); salicylic acid isomers;
- For the HCN that goes to the production of cyanocobalamin from hydrocobalamin, or
production of vitamin B12 from provitamin B12.
These are the physiological properties of the common nitriloside amygdalin. Before
considering the possible antineoplastic activity of this vitamin B-17, let us recall that
the benzoic acid arising from it has certain antirheumatic and antiseptic properties. It
was rather widely used (in Germany and elsewhere) for rheumatic disease therapy prior to
the advent of the ortho-hydroxy addition product of benzoic acid known as
ortho-hydroxybenzoic acid or salicylic acid. It was originally obtained from beech-wood
bark. As a matter of interest, the para- hydroxy isomer of benzoic acid occurs in the para
hydroxybenzaldehyde aglycon (non-sugar) of the nitriloside found in the cereal millet.
Millet was once more widely used in human nutrition than wheat. Wheat seed contains little
or no nitriloside.
Recall now, that thiocyanate also was once widely used, in both Germany and American
medicine, as an effective agent for hypertension. Used as such, as the simple chemical,
the dosage was difficult to control. Obviously, this difficulty does not arise from the
thiocyanate usually produced in the body through metabolizing vitamin B-17 (nitriloside).
However, chronic hypotension has been reported in Nigerians who eat quantities of the
nitriloside-containing manioc (cassava)--especially that of the bitter variety.
Let us pause to reflect upon this question: Might not the rheumatic diseases as well as
certain aspects of hypertension be in some cases partially related to a dietary deficiency
in nitrilosides? One can hardly deny that the ingestion of a sufficient quantity of
nitriloside-containing foods will metabolically yield sufficient benzoic acid and/or
salicylic acid isomers to palliate rheumatic disease and certainly to decrease, however
temporarily, hypertension as well as to foster the nitrilosation of provitamin B-12 to
active vitamin B-12: cyanocobalamin.
Despite all this, are we justified in suggesting that cancer itself might be another
chronic metabolic disease that arises from a specific vitamin deficiency--a deficiency
specifically in vitamin B-17 (nitriloside)?
There are many chronic or metabolic diseases that challenge medicine. Many of these
diseases have already been conquered. What proved to be their solution? By solution we
mean both prevention and cure. What really cures really prevents. Let us think of some of
these diseases that have found total prevention and hence cure. We are speaking of
metabolic or non-transmissible diseases. At one time the metabolic disease known as scurvy
killed hundreds of thousands of people, sometimes entire populations. This disease found
total prevention and cure in the ascorbic acid or vitamin C component of fruits and
vegetables. Similarly, the once fatal diseases so aptly called pernicious anemia,
pellagra, beri beri, countless neuropathies, and the like, found complete cure and
prevention in specific dietary factors, that is, essential nutrients in an adequate diet.
Let's go a step further, almost to the border of dogmatism, to advance an axiom in
medicine and biology:
No chronic or metabolic disease has ever found cure or prevention, that is, real cure
and real prevention--except through factors essential to an adequate diet and/or normal to
I would welcome a contradiction to this principle; but even an exception would
"prove the rule."
Does it seem likely, therefore, that cancer will be the first exception to this
generalization that to date has not had a single known exception? In my humble opinion,
certainly not. But does it follow from this that vitamin B-17 (nitriloside) is the
specific antineoplastic vitamin? Logically, by itself, alone, this conclusion that
nitriloside is the specific antineoplastic vitamin does not follow. However,
examine the brilliant laboratory studies of Dr. Dean Burk of the Department of
Cytochemistry of the National Cancer Institute in Washington. I believe that in light of
the experimental evidence that he has produced, you might agree that vitamin B-17
(nitriloside) is indeed the antineoplastic vitamin.*
One might ask, then, whether we suggest that vitamin B-17 (nitriloside) or Laetrile is
an effective cancer drug. Our reply must be: it is not a drug; it is a
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