Amygdalin. Vitamin B-17. Laetrile. For many people, the names are interchangeable.
But there are distinct differences.
Amygdalin is a natural substance that’s found in raw nuts like almonds and the seeds and kernels of many fruits, particularly apricots. It’s also present in lima beans, clover, sorghum and many other things. (You’ll find an extensive list of foods that contain amygdalin below.)
Vitamin B-17 is the name given this substance by Dr. Ernst T. Krebs Jr., the man who first identified amygdalin. He called it a food component, and food components that are natural, non-toxic, water-soluble and compatible with human metabolisms — like amygdalin — are called vitamins.
Laetrile is the concentrated, purified form of amygdalin developed for use in the laboratory and in cancer treatments.
Laetrile Therapy combines amygdalin with other factors to create a potent treatment that fights cancer cells while helping to strengthen the body’s immune system.
(For the purposes of this article, we will use the term amygdalin, except where laetrile or Vitamin B-17 are appropriate.)
The bottom line: Laetrile has been shown to be one of the most effective (and, to be honest, most controversial) natural cancer treatments.
Did You Know?
He’s also a convicted felon. In 2000, the FDA obtained a court injunction to stop Vale from selling apricot seeds. Four years later, he was convicted of criminal contempt of the injunction and sentenced to five years at the Federal Correctional Institution at Fort Dix, New Jersey.
Vale maintained apricot seeds helped him defeat cancer three times, including Askin’s Tumor, a rare form of Ewing’s Sarcoma; renal cell carcinoma; and a tumor in his kidney.
However, he ran afoul of the FDA because he was selling a concentrated form of the vitamin found in apricot seeds, known as laetrile, to other cancer patients via the Internet.
In 1998, the agency stated that it considered laetrile to be a “new drug,” and as such, was not approved for sale or importation.
Following undercover investigations by the FDA, Vale was alleged to have continued to sell and promote laetrile in violation of the consent decree. He was prosecuted for criminal contempt.
The U.S. government maintained that because Vale made therapeutic claims about his laetrile products, the apricot seeds are drugs and therefore require FDA approval before they can be sold or distributed within the United States.
Eliezer Ben-Joseph, one of the most prominent naturopaths in the U.S., said of laetrile, “It’s not a cure; there is no cure for cancer — but there are things that we can do that augment how metabolism works. These are chemicals that the body would use to detoxify or get rid of cancer.
“To make a law that says that the public cannot eat an apricot pit because they think it might keep people from going to regular cancer therapy, I think is a ludicrous jump in jurisdiction,” he said.
Five Facts to Know About Laetrile …
1. Healthy cells contain the enzyme rhodanese; cancer cells do not have rhodanese. Cancer cells have an enzyme called beta-glucosidase, which unlocks the benzaldehyde and cyanide from the glucose to create a targeted poison that kills the cancer cell.
2. Dr. Antonio Jimenez says laetrile has several positive effects, including direct anticancer activity, analgesic properties, and well-being enhancement. He describes Laetrile Therapy as a safe, productive part of an integrative cancer treatment program.
3. For many therapeutic uses, the primary source of amygdalin is apricot seeds. For cancer patients, Dr. Jimenez recommends between 20 and 40 kernels daily, depending on the patient’s history, where the cancer is located, how advanced it is, and other factors.
4. In 1974, Ralph Moss, a novice science writer, was hired by Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. The center had been tasked with testing laetrile. Want to know more about what was discovered? Watch Second Opinion: Laetrile at Sloan-Kettering at FMTV or Amazon Prime.
5. Laetrile is banned in the U.S., but it is administered legally in several clinics in Mexico, Germany, and parts of Asia, usually intravenously in high doses. Apricot seeds and apricot-based pills can be purchased in the U.S. and taken as a nutritional supplement.
How laetrile fights cancer
Laetrile is believed to fight cancer by targeting and killing cancer cells while building the immune system to fend off future outbreaks. It actually uses two different methods to accomplish these goals.
The first revolves around enzymes. Amygdalin is made up of glucose plus two potentially toxic substances — benzaldehyde and hydrogen cyanide. (Note: In the early days of laetrile research it was assumed that the cyanide was the major cancer cell-killing molecule, but now many researchers believe that it is the benzaldehyde that is the primary reason the cancer cell is killed.)
Healthy cells contain the enzyme rhodanese (in his book World Without Cancer, G. Edward Griffin calls this the protecting enzyme). Rhodanese protects the cells by neutralizing the benzaldehyde and cyanide in amygdalin, converting them to useful nutrient compounds, including thiocyanate, which is known as a natural regulator of blood pressure and also is involved in the production of Vitamin B-12.
However, cancer cells do not have rhodanese. Instead, they have an enzyme called beta-glucosidase (Griffin calls this the unlocking enzyme). Beta-glucosidase unlocks the benzaldehyde and cyanide from the glucose to create a targeted poison that kills the cancer cell.
Griffin explains this process in more detail in World Without Cancer.
There’s another way your body fights cancer that is related to laetrile through the power of a healthy immune system.
You are filled with billions of white blood cells — people normally produce about 100 billion new white blood cells a day. These cells attack and destroy anything that is harmful to your body. But cancer cells are covered by a thin protein coating that carries a negative electrostatic charge. This charge repels the negatively charged white blood cells.
Luckily, the pancreas emits enzymes that, in sufficient quantities, can eat away this protective coating, allowing the white blood cells to attack cancer. However, if the pancreas is weak or unhealthy, or if the cancer is growing too fast, the enzymes can’t keep up. That’s where laetrile comes in, working with pancreatic enzymes to fight cancer, while also strengthening the immune system.
Because the laetrile might chemically react with the enzyme of a non-cancerous cell (i.e. rhodanese), before it reacts with the enzyme of a cancerous cell (beta-glucosidase) – thus making it ineffective against the cancer cell – you have to take enough laetrile, over a long enough time, to ensure that laetrile molecules hit all of the cancer cells first.
One of the positive side effects of laetrile therapy is that more Vitamin B-12 is made in the body. In addition, it’s smart to supplement laetrile therapy with Vitamin C. Vitamin C and Vitamin B-12 can be, by themselves, a treatment for cancer.
During an interview with Dr. Antonio Jimenez, chief medical officer and founder of Hope4Cancer Institute in Baja California, and Cancun, Mexico, he stated that laetrile has several positive effects, including direct anticancer activity (from the cyanide and benzaldehyde described above), analgesic properties, and well-being enhancement. He describes Laetrile Therapy as a safe, productive part of an integrative cancer treatment program.
Which foods contain amygdalin?
Amygdalin is a common substance. It’s found in more than 1,200 foods, but primarily in the following:
- apricot seeds
- peach kernels
- bitter almonds
- grape seeds
- apple seeds
- lima beans
- bamboo shoots
- macadamia nuts
Did You Know?
Other things rich in amygdalin are millet grain and buckwheat grain. Bread made with these grains, however, generally do not contain a high percentage of millet or buckwheat, or else the bread would be too dense and hard.
Of course, apricot seeds are the best source of amygdalin. In the middle of an apricot (or a peach) is a hard shell. If you break open that shell with a nutcracker, pliers or hammer, you will find a small seed or kernel in the middle that looks like an almond. However, it is much softer than an almond and certainly does not taste like an almond. It is this seed that is rich in natural amygdalin.
Those who do not yet have cancer might want to plant a few apricot or peach trees in their backyard for a long-term source of amygdalin. The kernels can be frozen while still in the shell.
The seeds of berry plants, such as red raspberries, black raspberries, strawberries, and cranberries are rich in amygdalin. Even better, red raspberries have a second cancer killer in their seeds: ellagic acid. About four dozen foods have ellagic acid, but red raspberries have the highest concentration.
When you buy berry jelly, make sure you buy preserves that have the seeds. Basically, the seeds of any fruit, except citrus fruits, have amygdalin. For example, when you eat an apple, it’s a good habit to eat the seeds as well.
How to obtain laetrile or amygdalin / Vitamin B-17
While there are sources for laetrile pills, they are essentially illegal to sell across state lines. The FDA has made obtaining laetrile supplements almost impossible. However, it is legal to purchase apricot seeds, which contain amygdalin.
The source that Dr. Tony Jimenez recommends is Apricot Power. Be advised, however, that apricot seed sites cannot legally make any medical claims about laetrile being used to treat cancer.
While laetrile is illegal in the U.S., there are several clinics in Mexico that provide high levels of laetrile in a liquid I.V. form. (In these clinics, the doctors also deal with the issues of damage to non-cancerous cells and rebuilding the immune system.)
Clinics that offer
Cancer Tutor Verified
Aloha Wellness Center
Reno Integrative Medical Center
In its June 27, 1977, edition, Newsweek reported that as many as 70,000 Americans had traveled across the border for treatment in the early 1970s, and the flow has continued through the years. Laetrile also is legal in Germany and parts of Asia.
I.V. laetrile appears to be free from toxicity, while there is a slight chance of problems if the patient consumes too many apricot seeds. The signs of cyanide toxicity include nausea, vomiting, a cherry-red color on the skin, headache, fever, and lethargy.
Also, if you obtain laetrile pills, it is important to take them with water before a meal. In addition, Also, it is important to take enzymes like chymotrypsin and trypsin during the laetrile therapy. However, note that these are blood thinners and should be taken within the vendor's recommended maximum dosage (as stated on the bottle). These enzymes allow the laetrile molecules to work at peak efficiency.
What’s the correct dosage?
Based on his years of experience with amygdalin or laetrile (he first encountered Vitamin B-17 in 1988), Dr. Jimenez says clinical dosages vary, depending on the method. Laetrile can be administered intravenously, orally through pills, or with intramuscular injections, normally in the buttocks.
Intravenously, Dr. Jimenez’s clinics give 3-9 grams of laetrile a day, usually administered 6-7 days a week, depending on the individual case. The laetrile is diluted in a saline solution and dripped into the patient during a 30-minute time frame.
“If you are you are eating bitter apricot kernels for the first time, start with one, then wait a few hours before consuming more. Everyone is different and it may take some time for your body to adjust to the desired level of B17.”
Dr. Antonio Jimenez
Laetrile also can be given through intramuscular injections, but Dr. Jimenez notes that it is painful, especially day after day, and there is a danger of noncompliance.
For many of today’s therapeutic uses, the primary source of amygdalin is apricot seeds. For active cancer patients, Dr. Jimenez recommends anywhere between 20 and 40 kernels a day. The variance depends on the patient’s history, where the cancer is located, how advanced it is, and other factors.
As a preventive measure for everybody or for patients in remission, he recommends 14-16 kernels a day.
Although all of the methods of receiving laetrile or amygdalin have their value, intravenously is considered the best, most-preferred method, followed by pills and then by ingesting apricot seeds.
Also, for better results, Dr. Jimenez combines the laetrile in his clinics with Vitamin C and a number of minerals, particularly zinc and selenium.
Laetrile: Controversy and Advocacy
Laetrile has been center stage among alternative cancer treatments and non-traditional medicine for decades. Government agencies have alternately described it as harmless, with nothing to offer patients beyond a positive placebo effect, and as dangerous, because of the cyanide that is part of its core components.
Advocates, on the other hand, point to a history of successful treatments, the lack of any proven toxic episodes, freedom of choice issues, and other factors as reasons why it should be legal and available.
Let’s take a look at some of the events in laetrile’s history that have led us to where we are today.
Amygdalin / Laetrile and the FDA
Amygdalin’s role as a food component and its observed ability to fight disease puts it under the purview of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. And the FDA has long had a contentious relationship with laetrile and with the doctors and patients who want to use it. The following are some of the highlights — and lowlights.
The FDA prohibited the interstate shipment of amygdalin and laetrile in 1977. However, 27 U.S. states subsequently legalized the use of amygdalin.
Did You Know?
According to the FDA, a 1977 controlled, blinded trial of laetrile showed no more activity than placebo. Subsequently, laetrile was tested on 14 tumor systems, reportedly without evidence of effectiveness. The Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center concluded that “laetrile showed no beneficial effects.”
It was this controversial conclusion that spurred Ralph Moss into action. You can read more about this compelling story below.
According to a 2015 systematic review by the Cochrane Collaboration, the claims that laetrile or amygdalin has beneficial effects for cancer patients aren’t currently supported by sound clinical data. The review added that “there is a considerable risk of serious adverse effects from cyanide poisoning after laetrile or amygdalin, especially after oral ingestion.”
In addition, the U.S. National Institutes of Health evaluated the evidence separately and concluded that clinical trials of amygdalin showed little or no effect against cancer. For example, a 1982 trial by the Mayo Clinic of 175 patients found that tumor size had increased in all but one patient. The authors reported that “the hazards of amygdalin therapy were evidenced in several patients by symptoms of cyanide toxicity or by blood cyanide levels approaching the lethal range.”
However, there were several problems with how the Mayo study was conducted. You can read more about that below.
In the 1970s, court cases in several states challenged the FDA's authority to restrict access to what they claimed was a potentially lifesaving drug. More than 20 states passed laws making the use of Laetrile legal. But, after the unanimous Supreme Court ruling in United States v. Rutherford, which established that interstate transport of the compound was illegal, usage fell off dramatically.
The FDA continues to seek jail sentences for vendors marketing laetrile for cancer treatment. For example, Jason Vale, a champion arm wrestler, and cancer survivor, was sentenced on June 18, 2004, to 63 months in prison and three years of supervised release by a U.S. District Court after running afoul of the FDA for selling apricot seeds online as a cancer-fighting tool. The laetrile was working for Vale, yet he still ended up in prison.
While it remains a banned substance in the U.S. for retailers to sell, it’s not illegal to possess or use. Also, it’s legal in Mexico, where quality-controlled laetrile production for medicinal purposes is still supported. Dr. Antonio Jimenez points out that anyone who comes to Mexico can take laetrile back to their home country with a prescription.
Is amygdalin (or laetrile) toxic?
The term “toxic” generally means the substance is poisonous when taken in low doses. Under this definition, laetrile is not toxic.
Still, although amygdalin is a safe nutrient to take therapeutically, there are precautions you should take. Remember, too much water at one time can have fatal effects on the human body. One or two cups of coffee is a pleasure, but 10 cups in one day could have serious effects on the nervous system. The same can be said for amygdalin — too much is a bad thing.
Did You Know?
Luckily your body is programmed to tell you when “enough is enough.” If you have ingested too many apricot seeds or laetrile, the major signs of cyanide poisoning include dizziness, blurred vision, and nausea. If any of these symptoms occur, simply decrease the next dose.
Important note: If symptoms continue or become severe, seek medical help immediately!
Despite the fear that these side effects may bring on, the occurrence is extremely rare if common sense and moderation are followed. In fact, in more than two decades of clinical use, Dr. Antonio Jimenez has never seen a patient with cyanide toxicity. He also points out that in the dosages used by qualified practitioners, laetrile and amygdalin are not toxic.
If you want to read an interesting story about laetrile, read the first chapter of Alive and Well, an online book by Dr. Philip E. Binzel.
Problems with Mayo Clinic studies
Two famous studies on laetrile at the Mayo Clinic claimed that laetrile was toxic and that some of the patients in the studies had cyanide poisoning. It should be noted that many of the people at the Mayo Clinic who did these studies had also participated in three Vitamin C studies to attempt to discredit a study done by two-time Nobel Prize winner Linus Pauling.
However, the Mayo Clinic did not follow standard American protocol and dosages for Laetrile Therapy. For example, if they had followed the standard laetrile diet, which is virtually the same thing as a “raw food” diet, the diet alone would have significantly extended the lives of the patients.
In addition, the National Institutes of Health, which funded the studies, did not allow an alternative treatment vendor to supply the proper laetrile for at least one of the studies, even though they offered to do so for free.
Cecile Hoffman and the Cancer Control Society
The CCS was officially started in 1973. But the real story goes back to 1959 and to a woman named Cecile Hoffman.
Cecile Hoffman was a schoolteacher in San Diego. In 1959, she underwent a radical mastectomy. The doctors told her they had gotten all of the cancer. But they were wrong; the cancer came back, and she was given months to live.
It was about this time that her husband, a chemist, happened upon the book Laetrile: Control for Cancer” by Greg Kittler. He was impressed by the book and the science behind it. He learned that laetrile comes from a natural substance called amygdalin that’s found in the pips of many fruits, like apricots, and in raw nuts. Laetrile targets and kills cancer cells and also builds the immune system to fend off future outbreaks.
So the Hoffmans headed to Montreal, Canada, to the McNaughton Foundation, an early leader in Laetrile Therapy for cancer patients. Cecile started the treatment — and it worked. She began to recover.
However, when they got back to San Diego, they discovered that Laetrile Therapy wasn’t approved by the U.S. government. Her doctor refused to continue the treatment. So they began looking for a doctor who would.
They soon found Dr. Ernesto Contreras Sr., a pathologist and oncologist in Tijuana, Mexico. Dr. Contreras opened Oasis of Hope Hospital in 1963. He explored literally hundreds of treatments — including laetrile — in his quest to help patients. Today, he’s remembered as a pioneer in using integrative medicine to advance cancer research, treatment, and control.
“Dr. Contreras agreed to administer laetrile to me,” Cecile said later. He also promised — at Cecile’s request — to keep accurate records and data to give to the McNaughton Research Foundation in Montreal.
By March 1964, X-rays showed that Cecile’s tumors had disappeared. The Laetrile Therapy was proving successful.
Cecile wanted to let her friend, supporters and others know about her success with alternative treatments. So she established the International Association of Cancer Victims and Friends. Today, the IACVF is known as the International Association of Cancer Victors and Friends. Cecile ultimately died in 1969 — 10 years after orthodox medicine left her for dead.
Ralph Moss and Second Opinion
In 1974, Ralph Moss, a novice science writer, was hired by the PR department at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Sloan-Kettering was America's top cancer research center at the time.
Moss was supposed to help brief the public on the center's contribution to the War on Cancer. The center had been tasked with testing one of the most quackish of all “quack” remedies. Of course, that was laetrile.
The goal was to curb the public's false hope in this alleged therapy. Shortly after starting his position, Moss befriended one of the center's oldest and leading research scientists, Dr. Kanematsu Sugiura. (Ironically, the doctor was an original co-founder of chemotherapy as a cancer treatment.)
Originally a laetrile skeptic, Moss planned to write a biography of this iconic scientist. But he soon discovered that Dr. Sugiura had been studying this laetrile in laboratory mice for nearly two years — and had seen unexpectedly positive results.
Moss reported back to his superiors what he had discovered, but faced denial of what their own leading scientist had found. They instead cited other studies that showed little success with laetrile. They basically killed laetrile as a viable option.
But Moss refused to give up. Fueled by respect and admiration for Dr. Sugiura, Moss spent more than four years in his attempts to publicize the scientist’s positive findings.
He wanted to leak materials to the public. Moss went first to the Committee for Freedom of Choice in Medicine. But that group was associated with the John Birch Society. The Birchers were too fringe for Moss, too easy for the public to dismiss. He went next to a politically active group called Science for the People. But they were skeptical of laetrile.
So he and some colleagues formed an underground organization called Second Opinion. They began publishing documents taken from Sloan-Kettering that detailed Dr. Sugiura’s successful test results.
At the same time, Moss continued working at Sloan-Kettering. Ultimately, he was fired after coming forward as a member of Second Opinion.
This is a thumbnail sketch of a very small part of a huge laetrile story. Want to know more about Ralph Moss and his experiences? Check out the powerful documentary Second Opinion: Laetrile at Sloan-Kettering at FMTV (Food Matters TV) or Amazon Prime.
A basic treatment plan
This specific therapy comes from the Binzel book Alive and Well, mentioned earlier. The Binzel Diet is similar to a typical vegan diet minus citrus fruits.
The Binzel Diet comprises fresh vegetables, fruits, grains, and vegetable proteins. The enzymes present in fresh non-citric fruits, such as apples, peaches and pears, and vegetables greatly contribute to good nutrition. Patients are urged to have lots of salads, fruits, whole grain foods like pasta and brown bread. The diet discourages sugar, fat, and anything that is animal or an animal by-product. This means abstinence from all kinds of meat, fish, eggs, and even dairy products, and stress is placed on a high fiber diet.
“Laetrile is nothing more than a concentrated form of nitrilosides,” Binzel said. When ingested, nitriloside has merited recognition by maintaining non-toxic cyanide levels and acting as a potential threat to the immune surveillance, thereby lessening the frequency of cancerous tumors. The most common clinical appearance of nitriloside is as amygdalin (laetrile) and in natural form in berries, apricot and peach kernels, grape seeds, blackberries, strawberries, bean sprouts, lima beans, macadamia nuts, and other fruits.
It is recommended that you give preference to fruits (i.e. seeds), grains, and nuts (e.g. almonds and macadamia) that are rich in laetrile.
Also, make sure you get the nutrients that are necessary in order for laetrile to work. If you are already taking a multivitamin, compare its ingredients with the below list and take extra supplements to make up any deficiency.
- Zinc (which is the transport mechanism for laetrile)
- Vitamin C (build up to 6 grams a day)
- Vitamins B-6, B-9, and B-12
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin E (at least 2,000 I.U.)
Binzel also adds Megazyme Forte for its trypsin, chymotrypsin, bromelain and zinc nutrients — two pills three times a day. Other pancreatic enzymes (also known as proteolytic enzymes) are Vitalzym and Wobenzym N.
Combining laetrile with other treatments
Whenever you combine two or more alternative cancer treatments together, it is critical to do your homework. For example, Vitamin C, Zinc, and Selenium should be taken with laetrile; however, Vitamin C should not be taken with Protocel, Graviola (e.g. Amazon Factor Protocol), hydrazine sulfate, etc.
In other words, if you are taking a second or third alternative cancer treatment with laetrile, or if laetrile is being used to supplement another treatment, be careful to watch the warnings on each treatment.
Laetrile can be used with many major home protocols and other treatments, including:
- Cesium Chloride
- High RF Frequency Protocol
- Bob Beck Protocol
- The Buckwheat Protocol
- The Binzel Diet
If the patient cannot afford one of the major home protocols, they should combine laetrile with the Dirt Cheap Protocol.
Advice for doctors considering laetrile
The clinics operated by Dr. Antonio Jimenez have extensive clinical experience with laetrile. According to Dr. Jimenez, the most beneficial method for Laetrile Therapy is intravenous, especially for advanced cases of cancer. Intramuscular is not as effective, primarily because it is painful and patients often don’t want to comply with the regimen.
Dr. Jimenez stresses that practitioners (and patients) need to be patient. Laetrile takes time. The expectations initially should be to improve the quality of the patient’s life and slow progression of the disease.
Many patients believe laetrile is a magic bullet. Explain to them that it is not. Laetrile is not a solo answer. Cancer is a multifactorial disease, driven by a variety of components. Laetrile should be part of a broad, integrative plan.
One thing to note is that laetrile is not selective for any particular type of cancer. In other words, it is potentially effective for all cancers. However, Dr. Jimenez says, they have not confirmed that yet; they will have to see the effects at the cell level, as well in respect to clinical results, i.e. how the patients are responding.
Before you embark on a laetrile regimen (or any other integrative or alternative cancer treatment plan), be sure to talk it over with your physician or other medical professionals.
Also, it is important to note that laetrile is not always the best treatment in every situation. For example, with fast-spreading cancers, laetrile may not be strong enough to defeat cancer even if the patient is on a superb raw food diet.
Unless you are using high doses of a quality source of laetrile under a doctor’s supervision, you should not depend on laetrile as the core treatment in a cancer treatment program. Treat this as a supplemental treatment or a remission treatment. As Dr. Jimenez says, laetrile is safe and effective, but it should be part of an integrative oncology program.
It is recommended that you use one of our major treatment articles as a base of operations or as a supplement to high doses of laetrile:
And we encourage you to explore Cancer Tutor to learn more about the wealth of natural and integrative cancer treatments available.
Whether called laetrile or amygdalin or Vitamin B-17, this natural substance has been shown to be an effective weapon against cancer. Amygdalin is primarily found in apricot seeds, as well as in thousands of nuts, fruits, and other sources. But it is not without controversy. Critics say it is at best ineffective and at worst potentially toxic. Advocates point to years of positive results and no known cases of cyanide toxicity.
Laetrile has been banned in the U.S., but it is administered legally in several clinics in Mexico as well as in Germany and parts of Asia, usually intravenously in high doses. What’s more, apricot seeds and apricot-based pills can be purchased in the U.S. and taken as a nutritional supplement by cancer sufferers and by others hoping to prevent cancer. As with all medical treatments, it is important to talk with your doctor or other health professional.
What is laetrile?
- Laetrile (also known as amygdalin and Vitamin B-17) is a natural substance that has been shown to be a safe, effective, and non-toxic treatment for cancer while simultaneously helping to strengthen the body’s immune system.
What is the difference between “Vitamin” B17 (amygdalin) and laetrile?
- B-17 is a naturally occurring compound found in raw nuts and more than 1,200 other foods. Laetrile is a synthesized compound that is used primarily for cancer treatments.
How does laetrile fight cancer?
- Amygdalin is made up of glucose plus two potentially toxic substances, benzaldehyde, and hydrogen cyanide. Healthy cells contain the enzyme rhodanese (in his book, World Without Cancer, G. Edward Griffin calls this the protecting enzyme). Rhodanese protects the cells by neutralizing the benzaldehyde and cyanide in B-17, converting them to useful compounds, including thiocyanate, which is known as a natural regulator of blood pressure and also is involved with the production of Vitamin B-12. However, cancer cells do not have rhodanese. Instead, they have a large amount of an enzyme called beta-glucosidase (Griffin calls this the unlocking enzyme). Beta-glucosidase unlocks the benzaldehyde and cyanide from the glucose to create a targeted poison that kills the cancer cell.
Is laetrile safe?
- Yes. Doctor Jimenez noted in his interview that he has been using Laetrile in his clinic since 1988 at very high doses and has never seen a serious toxic reaction. Doctor Jimenez notes that your body will tell you when you have had enough. Typical signs of too much laetrile would include nausea, vomiting, cherry red color on skin, headache, fever, or becoming lethargic.
What are the main foods that contain amygdalin?
- While it’s found in more than 1,200 different foods, the primary source of amygdalin for therapeutic purposes is apricot seeds. Other common sources include peach kernels, bitter almonds, grape seeds, apple seeds, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, cranberries, and plums. Also, millet grain and buckwheat grain are rich in amygdalin, but bread made with these generally don’t contain a high enough percentage of the grains, or else the bread would be too dense and hard.
Where can I get laetrile?
- Laetrile I.V. therapy and laetrile pills are illegal in the U.S. However, you can legally buy apricot seeds, which contain laetrile, from a number of sources. Dr. Tony Jimenez recommends the 500mg tablet or capsules from Apricot Power. Clinics in Mexico (as well as in Germany and parts of Asia) offer high-concentration I.V. laetrile under the supervision of professional medical staff.
What is the recommended dosage?
- For active cancer patients, Dr. Antonio Jimenez recommends anywhere between 20 and 40 kernels a day. The variance depends on the patient’s history, where the cancer is located, how advanced it is, and other factors. As a preventive measure for everybody or for patients in remission, he recommends 14-16 kernels a day.
If you are interested in learning more about Laetrile, here are some of the resources that we used to compile this article.
- World Without Cancer by G. Edward Griffin (book or movie)
- Alive and Well by Jr., M.D. Philip E. Binzel
- Second Opinion — watch it on Food Matters or Amazon Prime.
- Full Interview with Dr. Tony Jimenez from Hope4Cancer
- For more general information about cancer and cancer treatments, check out Common Questions Cancer Patients Ask.