Vitamin B17 and Cancer Research

Vitamin B17 (also referred to as amygdalin or laetrile) is a natural substance that is typically sourced from apricot kernels and bitter almonds. Amygdalin has been used for decades by cancer patients as an alternative cancer treatment. When taken in by the body, B17 creates a type of cyanide that directly harms cancer cells.

but vitamin b17

B17 tablets, 500 mg, 100 Capsules

Due to concerns about cyanide poisoning, the use of vitamin B17 for cancer treatment was banned in the United States. However, some patients still use vitamin B17 as part of their home protocol, as it is still available, mainly through the consumption of seeds from fruits such as peaches and bitter almonds.

In alternative healthcare practices, some practitioners administer vitamin B17 orally as a pill or in intravenous (IV) form. It is important to note that

“There is no evidence that purified amygdalin, administered in “therapeutic” dosage, causes toxicity” (2016).


Is Vitamin B17 Legal in the United States?


Originally, amygdalin (also called Purasin, Nitriloside, and B17) was a very popular cancer treatment in the United States. This alternative treatment was supported by many case studies that described the anti-tumor effects of amygdalin.

For example, Benzaldehyde, a breakdown product of laetrile, was tested for anticancer activity in patients with advanced cancer who had failed standard therapy. The results, published by the National Cancer Institute, were highly positive. Overall, 55% of patients showed an objective response (complete or partial remission), with an additional 37% of patients remaining stable and only 7% showing disease progression. Notably, no toxicity was associated with the treatment, and responses persisted as long as treatment was continued.

In 2020, a landmark study concluded that amygdalin is effective for liver cancer. It works by stopping the cancer cells from growing and forcing them into apoptosis, especially when combined with zinc.

Despite these findings, amygdalin (laetrile) was banned in many American states in the 1980s, and it was deemed ineffective and potentially poisonous.


Vitamin B17 and Cancer Treatment:  Recent Supporting Evidence 


Even though the ban on the usage of Vitamin b17 has been in effect for many years, it has recently resurfaced, coming to the attention of both scientists and patients. The results of recent in-vitro studies are promising, and positive results are beginning to pile up.

The following examples were all published recently (2019):

  • “Our findings suggest that amygdalin might have an anti-cancer effect due to the various gene expressions in A549, MCF7, and AGS human cancer cells, showing its potential as a natural therapeutic anticancer drug.”

Breast Cancer and Amygdalin: 

“The results suggest that amygdalin may be a valuable candidate for the treatment of breast cancer, especially in HER2 positive cells.”

“These data support a mechanism of amygdalin antitumor action against breast cancer cells.”

A study from 2021 concluded that amygdalin can affect how cancer cells stick together and move around, which is important in stopping cancer from spreading

Prostate Cancer and Amygdalin: 

“Exposing certain prostate cancer cells to amygdalin might inhibit metastatic spread promoted by this particular integrin.”

Despite advancements in prostate cancer treatment, resistance to common drugs like taxanes often develops. In 2022 Researchers investigated amygdalin, to see if it could work against drug-resistant prostate cancer cells. The study found that amygdalin effectively stops the growth of both regular and drug-resistant prostate cancer cells. It interferes with the cell cycle and alters certain proteins involved in cell growth. Amygdalin also affects how cancer cells stick and move, suggesting it could help prevent the spread of drug-resistant cancer.

Oral Cancer and Amygdalin:

“Extracts of amygdalin from almonds and apricots were effective as an antiproliferative agent which caused apoptosis in oral cancer cell line.”


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Vitamin B17 Side Effects

There have been reports suggesting possible toxic side effects associated with vitamin B17. However, toxicity has mainly been observed when vitamin B17 is administered orally. Certain symptoms which are similar to cyanide poisoning, have been recorded: blue coloring of the skin, confusion, nerve damage, dizziness, droopy upper eyelids, headache, liver damage, low blood pressure, nausea and vomiting, fever, coma, and death.

The route of administration of vitamin B17 appears to be associated with toxic side effects. When administered intravenously, vitamin B17 does not show toxicity: “There is also no evidence that purified amygdalin, administered in “therapeutic” dosage, causes toxicity.” (2016).


Other Reported Vitamin B17 Benefits

  • Serves as an antioxidant, working with vitamins A, C, and E to eliminate toxic cells.
  • Alleviates pain associated with arthritis and other inflammatory diseases.
  • Improves the immune system by boosting the body’s white blood cell count.
  • Reduces high blood pressure, helping to prevent hypertension.

What Foods Are High in Vitamin B17?


Some vitamin B17 foods you can add to your diet:

  • Apricot kernels or other pits of fruits such as pears, apples, cherries, peaches, papaya, and plums.
  •  Raw nuts – specifically, bitter almonds.
  • Seeds of buckwheat, and flaxseeds.
  • Vegetables such as lima beans, carrots, and bean sprouts.
  • Clover




What does vitamin B17 do for your body?

B17 may enhance immunity, reduce pain, and lower blood pressure. The term “vitamin B17” refers to the substance amygdalin. 

 In what food is vitamin B17 found?

The pits and seeds of apricots, Peaches, Papayas and apples, Fresh almonds, Butter beans, butter beans, and mung beans, Clover Sorghum Carrots, Bean sprouts, Nuts, Celery, Flaxseed

Can you buy B17 in the US?

B17 is available from online retailers in the U.S. However, it is not FDA approved for any use or considered a safe product to use according to the FDA.

Is there a vitamin B17 deficiency?
There is no recognized deficiency of vitamin B17, as it is not officially recognized as a vitamin by the scientific and medical communities. Vitamin B17, also known as amygdalin or laetrile, is not considered an essential nutrient that is required for normal physiological function in humans.

Does B complex have B17?

There are eight B vitamins that makeup vitamin B complex:

B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 (pyridoxine), B7 (biotin), B9 (folic acid), B12 (cobalamin).

These necessary vitamins all support overall bodily function. However, B17 is not present in the B complex. 

Vitamin B17- Relevant Research and News

Can Amygdalin Cause Apoptosis of Breast Cancer Cells?

The January 2016 issue of Biomolecules and Therapeutics published a study that inspected the impact of amygdalin on breast cancer cells.

The study carried out by Lee and Moon at the Duksung Women’s University in Seoul, Korea, investigated the toxic effect of amygdalin on human breast cancer cells. Results showed that the intake of amygdalin inhibited the proliferation of breast cancer cells in a dose-dependent manner. In other words, the higher the dose, the better the effects.

Scientists also wanted to know whether these toxic effects on cells could also lead to their apoptosis or self-destruction. It turns out that amygdalin effectively inhibited the one kind of breast cancer cells known as “Hs578T” and led them to self destruct.

This discovery becomes even more important if we bear in mind that when body cells resist and refuse to die, cancer is more likely to happen. The results of this study indicate that amygdalin causes cell death by increasing the expression of a protein called BAX and lowering the expression of a gene known as Bcl-2 in breast cancer cells. Both BAX and Bcl-2 are proteins encoded by specific genes that regulate cell death, which means they play a role in apoptosis, and therefore a role in cancer treatment.

Based on their results, scientists concluded that amygdalin can potentially aid in the process of apoptosis which aids in cell death and prevents the cells from becoming cancerous. Amygdalin / vitamin B17, was therefore concluded to have the potential in playing a significant role in breast cancer treatment in the future.

Amygdalin Blocks Bladder Cancer Cell Growth 

Amygdalin, a natural compound, has been used by many cancer patients as an alternative approach to treat their illness. However, whether or not this substance truly exerts an anti-tumor effect has never been settled. An in vitro study was initiated to investigate the influence of amygdalin (1.25–10 mg/ml) on the growth of a panel of bladder cancer cell lines (UMUC-3, RT112, and TCCSUP). Tumor growth, proliferation, clonal growth, and cell cycle progression were investigated. Amygdalin dose-dependently reduced growth and proliferation in all three bladder cancer cell lines, reflected in a significant delay in cell cycle progression and G0/G1 arrest.

A molecular evaluation revealed diminished phosphoAkt, phosphoRictor and loss of Cdk and cyclin components. Since the most outstanding effects of amygdalin were observed on the cdk2-cyclin A axis, siRNA knock down studies were carried out, revealing a positive correlation between cdk2/cyclin A expression level and tumor growth. Amygdalin, therefore, may block tumor growth by down-modulating cdk2 and cyclin A. In vivo investigation must follow to assess amygdalin’s practical value as an anti-tumor drug.

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