“Laetrile”, Amygdalin or any of the nitrilosides. It was researched by Dr. Krebs as
a cancer cure. It is very controversial in the United States, and is
outlawed as fraudulent and/or dangerous in many states. It is still recognized in
some other countries.
B17 is a term used to describe laetrile, mandelonitrile B-glucuronide, or amygdalin -- one of the most controversial vitamins of the 20th century. The term, laetrile, was coined by Ernest T. Krebs, Jr., in the late 1940's as an acronym to describe a purified derivative of amygdalin laevo rotatory in polarized light that was chemically a mandelontrile. The laetrile patented by Krebs, and later successfully synthesized by an FDA-John Hopkins team in 1977, is spelled with an upper case L and differs slightly from the more common, lower case version. Laetrile, which is synonymous with amygdalin, is obtained from vetches, clovers, sorghums, cassava, lima beans, acacia, and the tiny seeds inside the pits of fruits and berries (apricots, peaches, plums, and chokecherries). Amygdalin, is basically, a chemical compound consisting of two sugar molecules (benzaldehyde and cyanide) and is the only "B vitamin" not present in Brewer's yeast.
Sloan-Kettering conducted many tests on laetrile and were shocked to discover that cancer spread in only 20% of those rodents receiving laetrile injections compared to 80% in the untreated rodents. For five years, they tested and came up with the same results. Yet they opted not to release these positive findings in sworn statements before a US state senate in July 1977, where they positively refuted any scientific evidence they had collected showing that laetrile possessed any anticancer properties. (Heinerman).
(Note: A small amount of "laetrile" (actually, the compound l-mandelonitrile-b-glucuronic acid), which is found in the whole kernels of apricots, apples, cherries, peaches, plums, and nectarines, is not harmful. However, no more than thirty of these kernels should be eaten throughout the day -- and NEVER all at the same time. It is the cyanide component that has been reported as being beneficial in the treatment of cancer, but normal animal and human cells lack the enzymes required to release cyanide from mandelonitrile. Thus, it takes special preparations to release any benefits that it may have and "home-concoctions" should not be attempted. In addition, natural sources contain the enzyme beta-glucosidase which can break down B17 into toxins if the natural state is corrupted for a prolonged period of time, such as if a slurry is made in the blender and left standing overnight. Dry heat (roasting) will destroy this enzyme.)
Sources: Apricot seeds, buckwheat, millet, lima beans, flax
Warning: Toxicity symptoms are: (usually due to the cyanide poisoning) - acrid taste in the mouth, choking feeling, nausea, numbness, chest tightness, anxiety, dizziness, confusion, headaches, convulsions, frothing of the mouth, incontinence, rapid/irregular/feeble pulse.
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