Today’s post is in response to a reader email.
Laetrile, also known as amygdalin, Vitamin B 17, sarcarcinase and nitriloside, was first promoted as a vitamin supplement; however it is not a true vitamin. The substance is created from crushed pits of apricots, peaches, plums, cherries, nectarines, apples, and almonds. There is no disease that is associated with a deficiency of Vitamin B 17. In the body this substance is metabolized into cyanide.
It is utilized for arthritis pain relief, to lower blood pressure and as an anti cancer agent. None of these are proven treatments.
The FDA has not approved laetrile for use in the United States nor in the European Union. It is used in Mexico for cancer therapies. Laetrile is given as an IV therapy, injection or orally.
Per the National Cancer Institute: “No controlled clinical (trials that compare groups of patients who receive the new treatment to groups who do not) of laetrile have been reported. Findings from only 2 clinical with laetrile have been published. These trials, sponsored by NCI, were done in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and did not include a control group for comparison. ”
None of the studies showed laetrile to be effective in cancer treatment.
“Advocates of laetrile said the test results announced today proved nothing. They charged that the substance tested was not pure laetrile and that the study was a ”setup” to discredit the treatment.” (Source: New York Times, April 1981)
Side Effects of Laetrile are the same as cyanide poisoning:
- Liver damage
- A lack of oxygen to the body tissues
- A drop in blood pressure
- Drooping eyelids
- Nerve damage, causing loss of balance and difficulty walking
- Confusion, coma and eventually death