Also known as vitamin B17, Amygdalin, or Laetrile
Laetrile is believed to fight cancer by targeting and killing cancer cells and building the immune system to help fend off future outbreaks of cancer.
About Apricot Kernels
Apricot kernels contain cyanide, a potent compound against cancer.
Unfortunately, the presence of cyanide in Laetrile was also the excuse the FDA used to ban it in 1971. Prior to this time, laetrile was readily obtainable. In fact, scandal surrounds the reasons why laetrile is still banned in many countries, and discerning eyes point to the deep pockets of Big Pharma. In the mid-70s, investigative journalist G. Edward Griffin did in-depth research into the circumstances surrounding around the FDA ban. What he discovered was shocking. He uncovered documents buried by Sloane-Kettering Cancer Institute which proved that laetrile was “highly effective” against cancer.
The fact is that many healthy foods such as bitter almonds, spinach and even apple seeds have quantities of cyanide in them, yet they are still safe to eat. This is because the cyanide remains “locked” within the substance in these plants and is harmless when bound within other molecular formations. In addition, the body has its own safety mechanism in the form of the rhodanese enzyme, whose job is to “catch” any free cyanide molecules that may have escaped and render them harmless.
Cancer cells, on the other hand, are not normal cells. When the beta-glucosidase in a cancer cell unlocks an amygdalin molecule, a toxic synergy is created that specifically targets cancer cells and leaves healthy cells untouched and unharmed.
Those who do not yet have cancer might want to plant a few apricot trees in their backyard for a long-term source of laetrile.
Unfortunately, “vitamin B17” is yet another natural substance that has fallen victim to misinformation and bad press. The truth is, apricot kernels have been consumed for their nutritional and healing properties for hundreds, perhaps thousands, of years, especially in the cool, arid areas where apricot trees naturally grow.
More Apricot Seeds Benefits
Aside from the debate over apricot seed’s ability to fight cancer, there are other health benefits that come from the presence of laetrile.
1. Boosts Immunity
Laetrile contains special properties that slow down the spread of illness throughout the body by killing harmful cells, but the exact way this is done isn’t fully understood. A study found that the amygdalin present in apricot seeds stimulated the immune system by causing a statistically significant increase in the ability of a patient’s white blood cells to attack harmful cells. One theory is that consuming apricot seeds may help increase the production of pancreatic enzymes that destroy harmful properties within the body. Every person’s health and well-being are dependent on how his or her body removes and purges toxins from the body. With all of the environmental pollution, toxic body care products and processed foods that are unavoidable today, most people are in desperate need of a liver cleanse. By supporting liver function, apricot seeds are also known to enhance the body’s detox effects. A detox rids the body of harmful substances that can lead to illness or infection and provides a liver cleanse, which boosts the immune system.
2. Relieves Pain
Although some research that tested the components of apricot seeds as anticancer compounds showed no change in cancer cells, some of them reported that patients declared a decrease in pain. In a series of case reports published in 1962, 10 patients with metastatic cancer (meaning it spread from one part of the body to another) were treated with a wide range of doses of intravenous laetrile. Pain relief was the main reported benefit; plus reduced swelling of lymph nodes and decreased tumor size were also reported.
In Chinese pharmacology, apricot seeds are used to treat arthritic pain. The fiber present in apricot seeds traps acids and other toxins in the digestive system, pulling them out of the body. The seeds are also detoxifying, so they reduce inflammation in the body and serve as a natural arthritis cure. Arthritis is a joint disease that causes swelling and pain in the joints. Osteoarthritis, a type of arthritis, occurs when cartilage between joints wears down,
3. Lowers High Blood Pressure
Apricot seeds may cause a low blood pressure reaction due to the formation of thiocyanate, a powerful blood pressure-lowering agent. In the early 20th century, thiocyanate was used in the treatment of hypertension, but it’s no longer used because of reports of toxicity; however, sodium nitroprusside, a metabolite of thiocyanate, is still used for the treatment of a hypertensive emergency. An emergency occurs when blood pressure in the arteries is elevated for an extended period of time, which can lead to health conditions including heart disease, coronary heart disease, stroke, aortic aneurysm, peripheral artery disease and chronic kidney disease. It’s unknown if this is an effective treatment long-term or if the effects are only temporary; research suggests that once amygdalin is metabolized, it causes enzyme beta-glucosidase production that interacts with intestinal bacteria to detox the body and lower blood pressure naturally.
What the Hunzas Knew About Apricot Kernels
In the 1930s, Major Sir Robert McCarrison wrote about a tribe called the Hunzas who lived in the remote countryside near Northern Pakistan. He encountered this hardy community while he was working with the Indian Medical Service. According McCarrison’s written observations, the Hunzas seemed to enjoyed near-perfect health. Some lived to be over 135 years old and no one in their clan had any of the conditions so common in the modern world, such as diabetes, obesity, heart attack, and cancer.
Then, twenty years later, Dr. Ernest Krebs, a biochemist with a desire to understand what makes cancer cells work, discovered McCarrison’s writing about apricot kernels. Krebs also began studying the lifestyle habits of the Hunzas.
What became clear to Krebs was that the Hunzas’ vitality had a lot to do with their overall lifestyle and diet. Their diet consisted of raw milk, the occasional meat and bone broth, fresh grains and veggies. They ate little sugar and, as nomads and herders, they naturally got plenty of exercise. The other characteristic that was unique about the Hunzas is that they ate massive quantities of apricot seed kernels.
Intrigued, Krebs continued his research until he found what he thought was the secret weapon inside the humble apricot kernel when it came to tumor eradication.