Vitamin B 17 (Laetrile)

CLICK AICI pentru  limba ROmana(traducerea „aproximativa” utilizand google translate).

Vitamin B17 was thoroughly studied by Japanese researchers in the early 1970s. Vitamin B17 is found especially in apricot (Prunus armeniaca) kernels.

It is also found in the bitter seeds of wild almonds (Prunus amygdalus), of cherries (Prunus avium), of plums (Prunus domestica), of peaches (Prunus persica), of blackthorns (Prunus spinosa), of acerolas (Malpighia punicifolia), of quinces (Cydonia oblonga), as well as in the seeds and/or pulp of many other fruits like apples, grapes , berries(see table below).

This vitamin is very useful for cancer therapy. Indeed, it takes advantage of cancer cell metabolism, which is different from healthy cell metabolism in human beings.

Neoplastic cells, and especially anaerobiotic neoplastic cells, have a high concentration of beta-

Glucosidase, without Rhodanese. Therefore, they immediately phagocyte vitamin B17, and divide it by hydrolysis into two poisons: benzaldehyde and cyanide ions. On the contrary, healthy cells are normo-oxygenated and rich in Rhodanese, so they quickly convert these two poisons into benzoic acid and thiocyanates respectively.
 Both of them are harmless for healthy cells; actually, they are useful for them.

According to Kanematsu Sugiura, a Japanese researcher, beta-Glucosidase is found in the cells of breast, stomach, womb, mesentery and gullet cancer, in much higher concentrations compared to healthy cells.

On the contrary, the Rhodanese enzyme is not present in cancer cells (514, 515,774-787).

The modern history of vitamin B17 started in 1830, when two French scientists, Roubiquet and

Bontron-Chariand, purified for the first time a vitamin later called Amygdalin or vitamin B17 (1187).

Seven years later two German scientists, Von Liebig and Woehier, discovered that this vitamin

could be found in all fruit seeds (apart from citrus fruits) and could be divided into Cyanide ions,

Benzaldehyde and Glucose by only one specific enzyme.

The use on human beings for medical purposes and cancer therapy followed shortly after.

In 1845, fifteen years after the first French scientific experiences, the French scientific journal “Gazette Medicale de Paris”, (1188) and afterwards the German journal “Journal für die Chirurgie und Augenheil-kunde”(1189), described the first case of metabolic therapy with vitamin B17 to “cure cancer”, created by Russian doctor Inosmetzeff, professor at the Imperial University of Russia in Moscow. Therapy was performed on a twenty-one-year-old boy affected by cancer, and consisted of 46 grams of Amygdalin administered for 3 months. Inosmetzeff had also cured a 48-year-old woman with extended metastases due to womb cancer. In 1845 this woman was still alive, 11 years after metabolic therapy with Amygdalin. In both cases, Inosmetzeff said that he never noticed any side effects with vitamin B17.

This vitamin was only used again for cancer therapy after more than a century, that is in 1950, when US researcher Ernest Krebs started using vitamin B17 again. After boiling it, evaporating it in alcohol, and then settling it in small white crystals, he called the result “Laetrile”.

The term “Laetrile” is the acronym for “LAEvomandeloniTRILE-glucoside”. It is almost the same  as Amygdalin (which is naturally present in fruit bitter seeds). The only difference is in chemical structure: Laetrile has two molecules of glucose, Amygdalin has more.

Indeed, the chemical structure of Laetrile is D-1 mandelonitrile–beta-glucuronide, while for Amygdalin it is Dmandelonitrile- bi-glucoside.

There are at least a dozen other cyanogenetic glucosides (nitrosilides) similar to Amygdalin, that

can be found in vegetables, fruit (including lemons), cassava, legumes and cereals (1190).

Vitamin B 17 is a stable, chemically inert molecule, and it is not noxious if taken in the right quantity under a doctor’s supervision.

The initial recommended dosage in adults is 4-5 bitter seeds per day for apricot bitter seeds (quantity has to be higher or lower if seeds are of a different fruit) for the first week.

In the following week, the doctor can decide whether dosage can be increased or diminished. The values that have to be reached must be carefully calculated according to the following parameters: the biological half-life of vitamin B17, urine analysis (the presence of Sodium Thiocyanate and hippuric acid in certain quantities could mean that the quantity of seeds taken is too high), the patient’s hematic and body mass, the patient’s good or bad liver, kidney (and other organs’) function, the possible massive colliquation of cancer mass with possible death due to irreversible kidney failure, etc…

The pharmaco-cynetics of vitamin B17 are complex and must be taken into account.

In medical and/or phitotherapic literature, episodes of deadly poisoning of children have been reported. Death occurred after they ate food that was particularly rich in vitamin B17, such as peculiar berries, traditionally not eaten and therefore extremely interesting for cancer therapy, or bitter almond seeds, which are notoriously richer in vitamin B17 than apricot bitter seeds. Death in children is easier because the concentration of vitamin B17 is higher in a smaller body. Moreover, their liver mass is smaller: this organ is essential to detoxify blood from vitamin B17. Finally, liver enzymes in children could be less functional.

Treatment has to be interrupted from time to time under a doctor’s supervision. Seeds must be chewed very well or previously ground.

Therapy has to be stopped immediately if sickness arises.

Seeds must never be taken all together, but during the whole day. It is better to eat them on a full stomach, in order to avoid the partial hydrolysis of vitamin B17 by hydrochloric acid.

It is forbidden to take more than six apricot bitter seeds in one hour, even if health conditions are good; as far as peach seeds are concerned, a dosage of no more than half seed per one hour can be taken.

Vitamin B17 poisoning is not the only possible one.

Other natural vitamins, too, can cause death if taken in excess. For instance, medicine books still report an episode that took place at the beginning of the 20th century. A group of arctic explorers died because of vitamin A poisoning: they had eaten huge quantities of polar bear liver, that they had taken for survival.

The only vitamin that seems NOT to cause poisoning is said to be vitamin C. It can be taken in quantities higher than 50 grams per day.

Back to vitamin B17, Krebs discovered that this vitamin reacts to enzyme Beta-glucosidase. The latter is found in many tumors, and is virtually absent in healthy cells. In the reaction, the enzyme splits the innocuous vitamin B17 into two powerful poisons: Cyanide ions and Benzaldehyde. The latter is a strong painkiller. These two substances are produced in small quantities by cancer cells themselves, and combine in cancer cells producing an extremely toxic substance that kills cells in a sort of pseudo-apoptosis.

Small quantities of this poison can still be active even after cancer cells died and can go into circulation, cancer generally having many blood vessels.

On the contrary, healthy cells have another enzyme, called Rhodanese. It is found in cells in quantities that are inversely proportional to those of Beta-glucosidase.

If vitamin B17 comes intocontact with healthy cells, Rhodanese neutralizes Cyanide ions and oxidizes Benzaldehyde. Two products are obtained: Thiocyanate and benzoic acid, which are good nutrition for healthy cells. If these two products are in excess, they are eliminated through the urine.

It is clear then that the enzyme Beta-glucosidase produces Cyanide ions from nitriloside food.

Notice that Cyanide ions have to be freed from vitamin B17 or from Laetrile. Cyanide ions are not found freely in food: they are only produced in cancer cells, because the specific enzyme for this (Beta-glucosidase) can only be found in cancer cells.

In 1947, Fishman and Aniyan wrote in the important medical journal Journal Biol. Chem. (1191):

“…Tissue excised from malignant noeplasms (cancers) of various organs, including breast, uterus, stomach, abdominal wall and esophagus were found to contain 200 to 3600 percent more betaglucosidase activity than uninvolved adjacent tissue. Metastases to lymph nodes from cancers originating in various organs contained beta-glucosidase in higher concentrations than the uninvolved lymph nodes”.

In the same year, they wrote in the notorious journal Science (1192): “…high Beta-glucosidase is probably a characteristic feature of cancer cells”.

In his book “Nitrilosides (Laetriles)”, pages 189-204, Krebs writes:

In addition to their high levels of Beta-glucosidase, malignant lesions are characterised by a generally profound deficiency of Rhodanese, as was reported by Homberger, Mendel, Rodney and Bowman. Rosenthal reported an 80% decrease in Rhodanese in cancerous liver tissue, and a similar decrease was found in the leukemic invasion of tissues”(1187).

Researcher James South explains the essential biochemistry of what happens when a person eats nitriloside food or takes vitamin B17 in pharmaceutical form, either as Laetrile or as Amygdalin:

“…These two properties of cancel cells – an excess of Laetrile-splitting Beta-glucosidase and a deficiency of cyanide-detoxifiying Rhodanese – are presumed to provide the explanation of both why Laetrile kills cancer cells, and why it is preferentially split by cancer cells into Cyanide ions, Benzaldehyde and sugar. They will then be poisoned, since cancer cells lack the Cyanidedetoxifying enzyme Rhodanese. If some Cyanide “spills out” from the cancer cells, adjacent normal cells will then be able to detoxify it through their Rhodanese enzymes.” (1187).

If quantities do not exceed liver (and other organs’) function of purifying blood from this poison, it is the doctor’s task to assess how the metabolic therapy is going from blood and urine tests and rom the patient’s general check-up.

The Rhodanese enzyme destroys hydrocyanic acid and produces a non-toxic substance:


As Oke notes:

“…Rhodanese is widely distributed in all the tissues with the highest concentrations in the liver.

Detoxification can therefore take place in all parts of the body, but with the liver as the chief site.

When hydrocyanic acid (Cyanide) is converted to thiocyanic acid (Thiocyanate) there is a 200-fold reduction in toxicity”(1190).

When Beta-glucosidase destroys Laetrile, Benzaldehyde and Cyanide ions are released in cancer cells.

Several studies on humans used Benzaldehyde itself as a drug against cancer (1193,1194). In 1980-

1985 Kochi wrote: “ …no toxic effects were reported, including hematologic or biochemical disorders, even when Benzaldehyde was repeatedly administered for long periods.”

Tatsumura used an average total dose of 393 grams of a substance similar to Benzaldehyde, that subsequently changed into Benzaldehyde, and obtained a positive reaction rate of about half the patients who were given treatment:

“…Careful monitoring showed no toxic action of the drug at these large doses. Complete necrotic liquefaction of tumour was seen in 2 of 3 cases in which histological examination was feasible” (1195).

During the Seventh International Congress of Chemotherapy in Prague, in 1971, Dean Burk said:

In vitro tests with Ehrlich ascites carcinoma (a type of cancer cell culture) revealed that, where  cyanide alone killed one percent of the cells and Benzaldehyde alone killed twenty percent, a combination of the two was effective against all the cells. Amygdalin with Beta-glucosidase added also succeeded in killing 100 percent of the ascites tumor cells, due to the same two chemicals” (1187).

But Krebs soon realized that he had clashed with huge economic interests. Chemo-pharmaceutical multinationals could not obtain a registration nor have exclusive rights on vitamin B17. Thus, they began a long defamatory campaign against apricot bitter seeds, and they convinced the whole American population that these are allegedly dangerous.

At the moment, cancer treatment with Laetrile is forbidden by law in the USA, even if under a doctor’s supervision. That is why dozens of thousands of American citizens get treatment in expensive private hospitals just beyond the Mexican border, in Bahamas, and in other places, where they officially go “on holiday”.

For instance, doctor Francisco Contreras, the current managing director of the Oasis of Hope hospital in Tijuana, Mexico, treated more that 60,000 patients with a vegetarian therapy and vitamin B17 in 35 years of activity (1187). http://www.mednat.cancro/Contreras.pdf

Doctor Ernesto Contreras has been using Laetrile since 1963, and thinks that

“…The majority of most frequent cancers, such as lung, breast, colon, ovarian, stomach,esophagus, prostate cancer, and lymphoma, can improve dramatically with Laetrile” (1187).

Clinical Case history


Amygdalin taken orally has been known to be a poison since ancient times, though amygdalin-laden black and brown bitter seeds were described as antitumor agents in the pharmacopeia of ancient China (1497)

Egyptian, Greek, Roman and Arabic physicians also used amygdalin to treat tumors (1498).

In a study conducted in 1958, Prof Marco Tasca, head of the radiology department of the Civil Hospital in Sanremo, treated 21 Italian terminally ill patients – 3 suffering from seminomas, 4 from breast cancers, 1 from womb cancer, 2 from laryngitis cancers, 7 from lung cancers, 1 from cancer of the oesophagus, 2 from stomach cancers, 1 from Hodgkin’s disease – with intramuscular injections of Laetrile. He noticed that patients showed good drug tolerance, their clinical conditions improved during the entire treatment period and only one month – on average – after the interruption of the therapy the neoplastic pathology resumed its progression. He pointed out only two complications:

hemorrhage and icterus. The former probably caused by necrotic eschars coming off the tissues, the latter induced by a direct toxic action on hepatic cells, which rarely happens though (5% of his case histories). The article is available in PDF format (1373) at  or

In the 1966 report, Proceedings of the Ninth International Cancer Congress, Rossi cites a ten-year trial in Europe involving 150 patients that found „50 percent of all cases in treatment showed objective improvement” and concluded that laetrile was „an extremely useful chemotherapeutic drug.”(1382)

In 1994, professor Dr .Binzel published the results he obtained treating patients with Laetrile between 1974 and 1991. His case history included 180 patients with primary cancer (with no metastasis and limited to only one organ or tissue). 131 patients were still alive in 1991, when the report was published. At that time, 58 patients had been followed for 2 to 4 years, while 80 of them had had a medical follow-up for 5 to 18 years. Out of the 42 patients that had died by 1991, 23 had died from cancer, 12 from “unrelated causes” and 7 of “unknown causes” (Binzel E.P.: “Alive and Well”).

Among patients with metastasis, 32 out of 108 had died from their disease, 6 from “unrelated causes” and 9 from “unknown causes”. Out of the 61 patients that were still alive in 1991, 30 had had a medical follow-up of 2-4 years, 31 had been followed for 5-18 years.

Doctor John A. Richardson’s case history of 1976 reports over 6,000 cases that show a positive effect of vitamin B17 against cancer. (1187)

There are 4,800 cases reported and carefully studied by doctor Ernesto Contreras. Those were

selected among 10,000 case sheets collected in 14 years of experiences with Laetrile.

Doctor Paul Wedel from Oregon reported about 4,000 cases of metabolic treatment. He survived cancer himself with vitamin B17 and a diet similar to the gersonian one (1187).

1,000 cases were reported by doctor Manuel Navarro of Santo Tomas University in Manila, the Philippines. The Mexican government is even monitoring about 100 patients that are being treated with metabolic therapy and vitamin B17, under the guidance of doctor Mario Soto de Leon, medical director of the Cydel Clinic in Tijuana (1187).

In Germany, doctor Hans Nieper reported about 1,000 cases. (  )

It is interesting to notice that cases such as that of Mr. Glen Rutherford from Kansas, who healed completely in Tijuana, are recorded in tribunal archives as “cures” (1187).

Clinical Trial of Chemotherapeutic treatment of advanced cancers with Leatrile

Guidetti Ettore

Rossi Benedetto

Deckers Christian

Presented at the 9th International Cancer Congress in Tokyo, October 1966

From 1954 to 1966 we gave 150 patients the above-mentioned therapy, chiefy at San Cottolengo Hospital, Turin; DosioHospital, Milan; and Louvain University Cancer Institute. All patients were in the terminal stage of the disease, the majority of them prey to cachezia, and all other therapies had failed.

The following table summarizes the cases treated, classified according to the site of the tumor, and showing the number of patients for each degree of reaction to therapy. We use the sign ++ to denote patients who reacted in an objectively favourable manner, by which we mean diminution of volume of the tumor or at least all interruption of its evolution, improvement in the roentgenographic picture, and improvement in laboratory findings. The mark + and + indicates patients who showed a more or less distinct subjective improvement, and the mark – those who reacted negatively to the treatment.

Cases corresponding to ++ represent about 20% of those treated.

We again underline the fact that the majority of these cases were simultaneously subjected to an immunotype therapy, which might have some bearing on the number of positive results observed, grouped under the signs ++ and + totalling about half the number of cases treated.

Cancer Site        No. cases            ++    +    +-          

Toruli tactiles                    26                           5             6             6             9

Breast                                  25                           3             8             7             7

Uterus                                 24                           7             7             4             6

Rectum                                               20                           2             9            2             7

Ovary (with infusion)    10                           2             2             2             4

Other types                       30                           9             7             2             12

Totals                                   135                        28           39           23           45

We have separately considered neoplasms of the pleura with effusion (15 cases), where the product was used direct by injection in the pleural cavity. In these cases we observed our best results, as generally we obtained reduction and then on occasion complete disappearance of the effusion, associated with a distinct improvement in the patients’ condition.


On the basis of our clinical trial, we are able to state that L-mandelonitrile-beta-diglucoside may be considered an

extremely useful chemotherapeutic drug for palliative medical treatment of malign neoplasms, from the standpoint both of its therapeutic effect and its very low toxicity.

Amygadin metabolic liver aspects

Detoxification of cyanide can take place in all tissues of the body, but principally in the liver. The dosage levels and toxicity of amygdalin (Laetrile) in laboratory animals and humans is well established and documented.

No evidence of acute or accumulative toxicity was observed in any animals giving doses in excess of 100 times the maximum intravenous dose usually given in humans.

These findings coincide with that mentioned by Otto Jacobsen in 1887, Davidson in 1944 and Dr. Dean Burk (National Cancer Institute) in 1968: „Amygdalin is impressively nontoxic from the pharmacological point of view„, and „non-hydrolyzed amygdalin is less toxic than glucose„. The oral toxicity of amygdalin was found to be 39 to 44 times greater than the intramuscular route, and more toxic than intravenous route (parentenal route). Amygdalin is less tolerable by oral administration because of the hydrolysis of amygdalin by the gastric juices. On the other hand amygdalin, in dosages of 20-40/mg/kg orally (for a 200 lb human this would translate to 16 -500mg laetrile/B17 tablets, daily), used in humans, is 10 to 20 times less than the minimum toxic dosage in dogs. The biological half life of amygdalin is only 80 minutes.

Over 80% of the amygdalin administered is excreted from the body in 4 hours.

The usual metabolic approach to amygdalin (laetrile) therapy is to provide the patient with adequate nutritional support, with relatively nontoxic high doses of vitamins and minerals, and other active natural substances.

Amygdalin (laetrile) has been administered in dosages of up to 70 grams (70,000 miligrams-mg) per day in adult humans by combined oral and parentenal routes without adverse effects.

Ever since the days of Louis Pasteur (1822-1895) and Paul Ehrlich (1854-1915), cancer victimshave hoped for the „wonder vaccine” or the „magic bullet”.

Amygdalin (laetrile) does NOT come under the heading of either of these dramatic therapies. There are a number of factors that enter into the cancer treatment complex.

The type of cancer involved is an important factor. Some types of cancer tend to be more sensitive to treatment than other.

Amygdalin (laetrile) is NOT equally effective in all types of cancers.

Rubin (1977) found in their clinical investigations in Israel that Amygdalin (laetrile) was most effective against Adeno-carcinoma and Hodgkin’s disease, somewhat less effective in certain other of the Sarcomas and Melanomas, and relatively poor results were achieved with the Leukaemia. Similar results have been obtained by other clinicians in the United States and elsewhere.

The best results with Amygdalin (laetrile) therapy have been achieved with Lung, Prostate, Breast, Lymphomas, Liver and Brain cancer.

The chemical quality of the Amygdalin (Laetrile) also has a bearing on the clinical therapeutic results.

Only the laevo isomer of Amydalin (Laetrile) has been found to be therapeutically active. A high quality Amygdalin is now produced in Mexico and some products are currently under investigation in the United States and Germany . It is therefore of the utmost importance that quality products be utilized. Failure to recognize this point can result in inadequate dosage levels and false negative therapeutic results (Krible, 1912; Levi, et al, 1965; Rubin, 1978).

Other factors relating directly tothe administration of Amygdalin (Laetrile) concern the dosage.

In the past, most physicians have tended toward administering too low a dosage. Therefore the frequency of administration, the route of administration, and the dosage are of the utmost importance if adequate blood levels are to be maintained. In the past, most errors of administration have been made on the side of too little, rather than too much. However, it should be kept in mind that the most effective routes are by parenteral injection (I.M or I.V.) and the physician should not attempt to achieve the necessary dosage levels by the oral route. Rubin (1978) reports administering 70 gr. per day to each patient with no ill effects.

Another aspect that will have a bearing on the recovery of a patient depends upon the  degree of tissue damage caused by excessive radiation and toxicity resulting from Chemo-Therapy.

It is presently estimated in the United States, Mexico, and elsewhere, that about 90% or more of the patients begin using Amygdalin (Laetrile) only after all other types of cancer therapies have failed.

Most metabolic physicians are of the opinion that if the patient were to begin Metabolic Therapy earlier in the course of the disease, it would improve the patient’s chances of Cancer Control.

The adequacy of liver functions is of the utmost importance in cancer therapy. The liver has varied, intricate and extremely complex metabolic functions. Among other things the liver is concerned with fat, carbohydrate and protein metabolism.

The liver has a propensity for storing vitamins, especially A, D and B 12, and Iron in the form of ferritin. The liver forms a large proportion of the blood constituents: Fibrinogen, Prothrombin,

Accelerator Globulin, Factor VII, and other coagulation factors. The liver is involved in vitamin K metabolism. The liver is concerned with the vascular storage and filtration of blood, with about 1,000 ml of blood flowing from the portal vein through the liver sinusoids each minute, and an additional 400 ml flows into the sinusoid from the hepatic artery. Thus when the liver or kidneys are damaged due to a primary or metastatic malignancy, it may adversely affect the entire metabolism of the body.

The studies conducted thus far on Amygdalin (Laetrile) indicate that there is no damage to the liver or kidney function. Much of the effort of metabolic therapy is dedicated toward sustaining adequate liver and kidney functions, and to attempt to minimize the detoxification load placed upon them.

It should be emphasized that Amygdalin (Laetrile) therapy is most effective when used in conjunction with a comprehensive METABOLIC approach. Most physicians using this form of therapy provide adequate nutritional support with the use of proper vitamin and mineral supplements. The patient is placed on a complete vegetarian diet with a reduction of proteins, fats, refined sugars, and processed foods. All tobacco, alcohol, caffeinated drinks, and most toxic medications are eliminated. The patient is placed on a high intake of select fruit juices, fresh fruits and vegetables. A program of Detoxification is required. A minimum of 9 gr of Amygdalin (Laetrile) per day is administered, largely by the parenteral route, but even higher levels may be given if indicated.

Patients that refuse to follow the general Metabolic Program are discouraged from taking Amygdalin (Laetrile)




 Amygdalin poisoning: medical aspects

1) Effect: quick tissue anoxia due to intracellular respiratory failure and toxic lesion of respiratory centres.

2) Amygdalin plasmatic half-life: about 80 minutes.

3) Clinical symptoms: asthenia, torpor, somnolence, headache, vertigo, coma, dyspnea, apnea, polypnea, heart rhythm disorders (bradycardia, atrial fibrillation). Vomit and diarrhea are possible as well. High abdominal pain. Not associated with cyanotic coloration.

Basic therapy

1) Artificial breathing with 100% oxygen.

2) Hypotension needs to be treated with sympathomimetic amines (if it is of cardiogenic origin) or with liquid infusion (if it is of hypovolemic origin).

3) Electrolytes and acid-base balance have to be checked (risk for lactic acidosis).

Antidotal therapy

1) Inhalation of gauze pads soaked with a vial of amile nitrate for 15-30 seconds, to be repeated every 2-3 minutes using another vial.

2) Slow endovenous infusion (3-5 minutes) of 10 millilitres of 3% sodium nitrite solution.

3) Endovenous infusion of 50 millilitres of 25% sodium thiosulfate.

Clinical observation must be intense for at least 24 hours. Medical treatment should be corrected according to methaemoglobin monitoring (it should not be more than 40%).


Therapeutic dosage of vitamin B17

The various kinds of seeds or food contain adequate quantities of vitamin B17. But, unfortunately, it is not possible to calculate the bioavailability of these foods for absorption of vitamin B17 by intestinal walls, and this depends on many factors. Empirically, in adult patients weighing about 70 kg, it can be lethal to administrate daily 15 (fifteen) bitter almond seeds, or 30 (thirty) peach bitter seeds, or 300 (three hundred) apricot bitter seeds.

On the contrary, even a quantity as small as 2-3 bitter almond seeds is deadly for a child.

4 Tables showing the quantity of vitamin B17 found in 100 grams of fruit, the quantity of vitamin B17 found in 100 grams of seeds , quantity of vitamin B17 found in 100 grams of various types of leaves & the quantity of vitamin B17 found in 100 grams of various types of tubers are in my book.

Various sources report a very low biological half-life of about 80 minutes. This confirms that it is possible to administrate a maximum dose of about 5-7 apricot bitter seeds every hour for adults.

Some American doctors that have been working in Mexican clinics for the past 30 years claim that a safe dosage for an adult weighing 70 kg is about 5-7 bitter seeds every hour, about 100-250 seeds per day in total. Daily administration of 250-300 apricot seeds in an adult weighing 70 kg gives a quantity of vitamin B17 that is surely toxic. According to these doctors, it is important that seeds are taken on a full stomach, to avoid partial hydrolysis of Amygdalin by gastric juices. This would produce Cyanide ions directly in the stomach. Moreover, in their opinion endovenous administration of Amygdalin can be useful, because it is more tolerated as the maximum dose without reaching the above mentioned toxic quantities.

Finally, it is important to start administrating Amygdalin, if orally, in low doses, not higher than 5 bitter seeds per day, for the first week, and then 7-10 bitter seeds in the following weeks, at different intervals.

The bioavailability of apricot seeds is very high compared to other sources of vitamin B17.

However, I take no responsibility for B17 therapies carried out without a doctor’s supervision.

I especially advise against this therapy on patients who already underwent chemotherapy.

Their liver cannot properly detoxify blood from Cyanide ions and benzaldehyde. As far as this is concerned, doctor Moertel’s work, published on N.Engl.J.Med. in 1982 (Moertel CG: A clinical trial of amygdalin (laetrile) in the treatment of human cancer, N.Engl.J.Med., 306, pp.: 201-206 (1256), shows this therapy’s complete failure (   )

Note on the work of New Engl.J.Med., 1982 (Moertel CG: A clinical trial of amygdalin (laetrile) in the treatment of human cancer, N.Engl.J.Med., 306, pp.: 201-206): this work was conduced by the dr. Moertel of the Mayo Clinic;

In this work are:

1) Chemically pure amygdalin was not used. Instead a mixture, which supposedly mimicked what was being used in a Mexican Clinic.

2) 70 per cent of these patients were stable during the first three weeks of the study, during which the patients received intravenous amygdalin.

3) Once the patients were switched to oral amygdalin alone, they did deteriorate fairly quickly.

4) Supporters of amygdalin do not believe that this study was valid proof against amygdalin efficacy.

From : England Journal of Medicine, 307, pp.119, 1982 (on the work of dr. Moertel CG: A clinical trial of amygdalin (laetrile) in the treatment of human cancer, N.Engl.J.Med., 306, pp.: 201-206 ; )


To the Editor: In the article on the Laetrile clinical trial, the investigators state, “No substantive benefit was observed in terms of cure, improvement, or stabilization of cancer, improvement of symptoms related to cancer, or extension of life span”. In the accompanying editorial there appears the statement, “Even when combined with the “metabolic” therapy (vitamins and a “natural” diet) so enthusiastically touted by the anti-establishment cancer therapists, Laetrile produced no discernible benefit in a group of 178 patients with a variety of types of advanced cancer”. As one of the touters, I wish to point out that these conclusions are not justified by the evidence. The reason for my contention is that there was no control group with which the group of treated patients could be compared.

The investigators say that the median survival time was 4,8 months (five months for patients with colorectal cancer, five months for those with lung cancer, four months for those with breast cancer, and three months for those with melanoma), and they claim , “These survival times appear to be consistent with the anticipated survivals in comparable patients receiving inactive treatment or no treatment “. No survival curves for these comparable patients are presented, nor are there any references to pertinent reports. The editorial states that “The lack of concurrent controls was partially offset by the fact that all patients were in the advanced stages of a disease known to be almost uniformly and rapidly fatal. Any objective responses in tumor size or apparent prolongation of survival could be identified by comparison with historical controls. But there was not the slightest suggestion of any beneficial effect”.

It is my opinion that there probably was a beneficial effect, including prolongation of survival. Other studies have shown that the median survival time in patients with cancer “for which no standard treatment was known to be curative or to extend life expectancy” was about 1,4 months; an example is the control group in the study by Creagan et al. (Failure of high-dose vitamin C therapy to benefit patients with advanced cancer: a controlled trial. New England Journal Medicine, 1979, No. 301, pp: 687-690).

The observed median of 4,5 months accordingly constitutes a substantial increase. In any case, it is improper to announce a negative result without performing a careful statistical analysis of the treated group and a suitable control group.

The report by Moertel et al is marred by other errors and imperfections. For example, Figure 3 shows that 10 of the  patients in the group survived to the end of the study, whereas in the text it is stated that 26 of the 178 survived; one of these numbers is wrong.

One third of the patients had not received chemotherapy, but despite the well-known contention that vitamins and diet have greater value for these patients than for those who have received chemotherapy, no statistical analysis of the observations on the two sub-groups is presented. Moreover, 14 of the 178 patients received much higher doses of vitamins than the others did, but little information is given about these 14 patients, and no statistical analysis of their responses in comparison to those of the others is reported.

LINUS PAULING Ph.D. Linus Pauling Institute of Science and Medicine Palo Alto, CA 94306


To the Editor:

Despite your belief that the National Cancer Institute (NCI) “clinical trial” of Laetrile “closes the books” on the use of amygdalin in cancer therapy, your readers should be well aware of many dissenting views and of our widespread suspicion that the trials were designed to make certain that Laetrile – or whatever the NCI was construing to be Laetrile –failed.

This organisation and the undersigned are parties to ongoing litigation against the NCI in regard to the conducting of the trials.

Officers of this organisation were the only Laetrile proponents who assisted at the early stages in developing the NCI design protocols for the study.

We became involved in litigation only after it became clear to us that the NCI was going to test not pure amygdalin but a degraded or decomposed form of it (the putative “RS-epimer racemic mixture” said by Moertel et al. to be a copy of material provided by a major Mexican manufacturer).

Let me stress that our side does not believe that even with appropriate material the lives of most of the patients with incurable or inoperable cancer could have been saved.

It is our belief that the patients’ responses within the first three weeks of treatment (when most patients were on the 21-day injectable part of the program) indicate at least some fleeting anti-neoplastic action, even from the degraded product.

Indeed, by any of the various semantic renderings of the results of the first three weeks of therapy, either a majority of patients were stable or a sizable minority (46 per cent) had no signs of progressive disease during this part of the program. Unless the English language has substantially changed during the past 24 months, I cannot interpret these renderings as other than suggesting limited efficacy of the injectable material. Would it not have been wise to continue giving injections and to make a real effort at a real metabolic program in these incurable patients ?

Our side also laments the lack of any Laetrile-using physician in the NCI program and the lack of available raw data on the patients.

We insist that the NCI “clinical trial” has asked far more questions than it has answered about Laetrile, but that by no stretch of the imagination can it be said to have “closed the books” on Laetrile.

Michael Culbert

Committee for Freedom of Choise in Cancer Therapy, Inc.

Los Altos, CA 94022

More details about this topic in my book.

Best of health!


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