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Does Eating Apricot Seeds or Vitamin B17 Have Health Benefits?


Apricot seeds are surrounded by major controversy. Primarily, there are two diametrically opposed camps.

People who passionately consider that apricot seeds have health advantages and ought to be freely obtainable and particularly to assist individuals with cancer.

Equally passionate people on the other aspect, consider that apricot seeds are toxic and ought to be banned.

I am all in favor of passion but I like my ardour to be guided by actual science. Once I learn the science, I did turn into passionate too.  Here is what the science says.

What Is Vitamin B17?

Technically, there isn’t any such factor as vitamin B17. ‘Vitamin’ B17 is the wrong identify given to laetrile which is a discredited most cancers drug. It isn’t a vitamin – which is by definition ‘an essential micronutrient’. Subsequently, it does not matter whether or not you need to select the quantity 17 or another number you want, it nonetheless doesn’t classify as a vitamin. Finish of story.

Amygdalin (nitriloside, purasin) is the pure substance from which laetrile is made. Amygdalin is discovered in the seeds of rosaceous fruits reminiscent of apricots, apples, peaches, plums, pink cherries and almonds.

Amygdalin is damaged down within the intestine to type cyanide. The small drawback here is that that is the very same cyanide that can kill a person (think of previous cold-war spy films).

Laetrile has been banned by the FDA  and EMA (European Medicines Agency) because of critical considerations about lack of efficacy and dangers of toxicity (the worst profile potential for any therapeutic agent). Undeterred by science, the manufacturers of laetrile decided to re-market the compound as vitamin B17. (It’s still not a vitamin).

There are over 1000 apricot seed merchandise out there on the market on Amazon. The typical value of an oz of apricot seeds is someplace between $1 and $2.

Is There Any Research

There are simply over 100 publications on apricot seeds which includes just 2 medical trials. Changing the search to publications on vitamin B17 will get us 741 publications and 21 medical trials.

To put this into context, there are virtually 150,000 publications on vitamin B which includes virtually 1,000 medical trials.

Do Apricot Seeds Deal with Most cancers?

In 1987, the National Most cancers Institute decided to answer the widespread public interest in laetrile by enterprise a comprehensive assessment (1). Requests have been sent to 385,000 physicians and 70,000 different health professionals and by direct contact with pro-laetrile groups who have been requested to submit instances of successful remedy of most cancers with laetrile.

It was thought at the time that no less than 70,000 People had used laetrile however only 93 instances have been submitted for evaluation and solely 68 instances offered enough knowledge for significant analysis.

A panel of oncologists then reviewed these 68 instances together with 68 instances of typical chemotherapy however they have been blinded to the remedy utilized in every case. They concluded that there had been 6 patients out of 68 who had responded to laetrile (two complete and 4 partial responses).

Four years later, 178 patients with most cancers have been treated with amygdalin plus dietary recommendations (2).The research was carried out by the Nationwide Cancer Institute and included patients with most cancers of the lung, colon or breast.  The research reported a short-term improvement in stomach most cancers in a single patient.

General there was no cancer remedy, stabilization of most cancers, enchancment in most cancers symptoms or improved mortality famous. On the draw back, a lot of patients skilled signs of cyanide toxicity. The authors concluded with this beautiful unequivocal assertion ‘Amygdalin (laetrile) is a toxic drug that is not effective as a cancer treatment’. Recreation over.

Just to make it possible for we’re left with little question, a 2015 Cochrane assessment of amygdalin for most cancers concluded with the line ‘The risk-benefit balance of laetrile or amygdalin as a treatment for cancer is therefore unambiguously negative’ (three). Recreation completely over.

A really direct paper entitled ‘The case against laetrile: the fraudulent cancer remedy’ criticised what they referred to as ‘the propaganda for the doctrine of “freedom of choice in cancer treatment” (4). Propoganda isn’t a great factor in medical sceince.

In 1991, a paper entitled ‘Questionable cancer practices in Tijuana and other Mexican border clinics described the use of ‘unconventional, unproved, and disproved’ methods provided in the border clinics (5).

Listed among these questionable practices was laetrile infusions. The paper finishes with the road ‘The American Cancer Society, therefore, strongly urges individuals with cancer not to seek treatment with metabolic therapies in the Mexican border clinics’.

Backside Line

Laetrile doesn’t treat most cancers but does have the potential to trigger critical side-effects. I don’t assume that I have ever seen such overtly destructive and important commentary in the literature on another matter earlier than.

Does Apricot Seeds Increase Immunity?

A element of the immune system referred to as Treg-cells performs a task in the prevention of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). A research in mice showed that amygdalin can increase Treg exercise and thereby shield towards atherosclerosis (6).

The purpose of the research was to look at the consequences of amygdalin in heart disease however is quoted right here as one of the solely studies taking a look at amygdalin and immunity.

Whereas this research does present a useful impact of amygdalin on Tregs in mice, it needs to be stated that Tregs are a really particular and area of interest part of the immune system and this research cannot be taken as evidence that amygdalin boosts the immune system to guard you from colds and flus.

A paper in Future Medicinal Chemistry lists new chemical compounds referred to as amygdalin analogues or lookalikes as potential future remedies for psoriasis based mostly on their immunosuppressing potential (7). Just to state the apparent, immunosuppression is the other of boosting immunity.

Bottom Line

There isn’t a human proof to recommend that amygdalin can increase immunity.

Does Apricot Seeds Lowers High Blood Strain?

Probably. There’s a case report of a 65 yr of a 65 yr previous woman with liver cancer who turned critically unwell which included low blood strain following laetrile ingestion (8). This is hardly definitive, by any means. A lot of crucial sicknesses end in drops in blood strain.

Backside Line

A single case report mentions apricot seeds and low blood strain which is hardly conclusive of anything. If we suspend our disbelief for a moment and use the info from this case report, we might nonetheless should say that this can be a fairly extreme strategy to decrease blood strain.

Does Apricot Seeds Relieves Ache?

Relieves PainIn a research in rats, formalin was injected into the best hind-paw plantar surface subcutaneously utilizing a 30-gauge syringe (9). This is called the formalin check and is used to cause ache within the rats. Amygdalin was injected intramuscularly to proper biceps femoris and the behaviour of the rats was noticed.

Response to pain was gauged by behaviours akin to licking, biting and shaking in addition to measurements of inflammatory cytokines in the paw pores and skin. Ugh. Amygdalin worked and vital decreases have been noted in all of the above ache measures as in comparison with a placebo arm.

A yr beforehand, the identical research group confirmed that amygdalin can exert anti-inflammatory and analgesic results by inhibiting prostaglandin E2 and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) (10).

A really disturbing paper from a Army Medical University looked at ‘hot plate and acetic acid-induced writhing tests’ in mice (11). Ugh, ugh. That sounds very painful certainly. They found that amygdalin was analgesic but not anti-inflammatory.

Amygdalin didn’t end in habit but couldn’t exchange morphine in morphine addicted rats. I can hear the propoganda brigade selling the anti-addictive effects of amygdalin already.

A paper revealed this yr looked at a Conventional Chinese Drugs referred to as Guizhi Fuling which incorporates gallic acid ,amygdalin, albiflorin , prunasin and cinnamic acid (12). Right here is where issues get super weird. The investigators have been learning main dysmenorrhea (painful durations) in rats.

They discovered that the components in Guizhi Fuling and notably amygdalin might relieve interval ache. The paper got here from the New-tech For Chinese Drugs Pharmaceutic Process in China which is fascinating.

Western drugs is often criticised for being reductionist ie making an attempt to scale back issues completed to the bottom widespread denominator and we are advised that there synergies in Traditional Chinese language herbal blends that can’t and shouldn’t be deconstructed. But right here we now have a Chinese language firm doing exactly that.

Bottom Line

There’s evidence from rats and mice, however not humans, that amygdalin has analgesic properties.

Is Eating Apricot Seeds Protected?

Ten canine fed laetrile with sweet almonds didn’t do nicely (13). All canine confirmed indicators of cyanide poisoning and 6 of the ten canine died.

The researchers who studied laetrile in most cancers revealed a companion paper on laetrile toxicity (2). Vital will increase in blood cyanide ranges have been noted however the sufferers remained asymptomatic. One affected person was challenged with uncooked almonds and developed symptoms of cyanide poisoning.

Signs of cyanide toxicity embrace liver injury, neurological injury, fever, coma and typically even dying (13). The danger of cyanide toxicity might be elevated by co-administration of vitamin C, raw almonds and eat vegatables and fruits that include the enzyme beta-glucosidase (found in celery, peaches, bean sprouts, and carrots) with laetrile.

Due to the best way that amygdalin is broken down by the gut, symptoms of cyanide poisoning are more likely to happen when amygdalin is taken orally as opposed to intravenously (14).

There is a case report of a 65 yr previous woman with liver most cancers who died of liver failure following ingestion of amygdalin (eight).

Laetrile also resulted in congenital skeletal malformations in pregnant hamsters.


I don’t think about myself totally naive and I do like a very good conspiracy principle. I’m properly aware that the likelihood exists that large-scale financial pursuits might systematically trump the humanitarian agenda and of course, this may be mistaken. Individuals often accuse government businesses and large pharma corporations for such sins.

Having read the science,I simply don’t consider that laetrile is a type of casualties.

The science does not help using laetrile. It makes cyanide and may kill you.

What we see right here just isn’t authorities and/or massive pharma collusion. What we see here is failure to simply accept science and deliberate false advertising of a poisonous compound which I can solely assume is for monetary achieve.

My sincere advice is keep away from this one.