What is Vitamin B17?
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.
Due to a report about cyanide poisoning, the vitamin was banned for use in this regard in the United States. Despite this, some patients still use vitamin B17 as part of their home protocol as it is still available (mainly through the consumption of seeds of fruits such as peaches and bitter almonds.)
Some alternative healthcare practitioners administer Vitamin b17 orally as a pill or in IV form as “there is also no evidence that purified amygdalin, administered in “therapeutic” dosage, causes toxicity.” (2016).
Below, Dr. Hossami (Verita Life Thailand) explains the amygdalin mechanism, present in B17, helps in fighting cancer cells and discusses the treatment dosages given to cancer patients.
The History of Vitamin B17 and Why it Was Banned for Use in the US
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, which is one of the laetrile’s breakdown products, was tested for anticancer activity in patients with advanced cancer for whom standard therapy had failed. The findings of the research (which were published on the National Cancer Institute) were extremely positive, resulting in an overall objective response rate for 55% of patients (in either complete or partial remission). An additional 37% of patients remained stable, and only 7% of patients showed a progression of the disease.
It is also important to note that no toxicity was associated with the treatment whatsoever, and it was reported that the responses persisted as long as treatment was continued.
Despite these findings, amygdalin was banned for use in many American states in the 1980s and 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 (during 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”
Prostate Cancer and Amygdalin:
- “Exposing certain prostate cancer cells to amygdalin might inhibit metastatic spread promoted by this particular integrin”
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”
Vitamin B17 Toxicity
Over the years several reports referred to the possible toxic side effects that vitamin b17 could allegedly cause. Toxicity was only noticed when b17 was administered orally. Some recorded symptoms such as dizziness, headache, nausea, and vomiting, are similar to that of cyanide poisoning.
The route of administration of vitamin b17 appears to be associated with the 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 Benefits of Vitamin B17
- Serves as an antioxidant, working alongside vitamins A, C, and E to dispose of toxic cells.
- Alleviates pain caused by arthritis and other kinds of inflammatory diseases.
- Improves the immune system due to its ability to boost the level of white blood cells in the body.
- Reduces high blood pressure, thus preventing hypertension.
What Foods Are High in Vitamin B17?
- Apricot kernels or other pits of fruits such as pears, apples, cherries, and plums.
- Raw nuts – specifically, bitter almonds.
- Seeds of buckwheat, flaxseeds.
- Vegetables such as lima beans, carrots, bean sprouts.