Vitamin B17 Food Sources And Health Benefits

What is Vitamin B17?

Vitamin B17 or Laetrile (the Semi-synthetic version of Amygdalin) or Amygdalin is a chemical compound which can be naturally found in the seeds of apricots, apples, plums, and almonds. The IUPAC name of Vitamin B17 is [(6-O-β-D-Glucopyranosyl -β-D-glucopyranosyl) oxy](phenyl)acetonitrile having the molecular formula C20H27NO11. This chemical compound was found in the 1800s by Pierre Jean Robiquet and Antonie Boutron Charlard. Laetrile has been in controversy as some believe it cures various sorts of cancer in humans. It has been banned by the Food and Drug Administration authority long back while due to personal experiences some continue to believe its cancer curing abilities.

Food Sources of Vitamin B17 

This particular chemical compound belongs to the category of vitamin B complex and is under argument for its acceptance as a drug for curing cancer. It is generally found in natural food products such as Beans, fruits, green leafy vegetables, and nuts.

The major sources of Amygdalin or vitamin B17 are as stated below –

  1. Seeds– Seeds are one of the major sources of Vitamin B17 especially Apricot seeds. The others include the seeds of plums, apples and certain berries. Various other sources include flax seeds, strawberry seeds, grapes etc. These foods have a considerably high amygdalin content.
  2. Nuts – Amygdalin or Vitamin B17 was first extracted from bitter almonds in the early days. A large of nuts available are rich in vitamin B17 content such as cashew nuts and macadamia.
  3. Green Foods – Green leafy vegetables are an excellent source of Amygdalin. These include spinach, eucalyptus, Broccoli, Kale, and Cauliflower.
  4. Fruits – Various fruits such as nectarines, cranberries, prunes, cherries etc. have proved to be an important source of Vitamin B17. More than the flesh, the pits or seeds of these fruits are rich in amygdalin content.

Apart from these, various other sources include grains and beans such as millet, buckwheat, green beans, black beans etc. When consumed in adequate and measured levels these sources are capable of stimulating the Vitamin B17 content in your body.

Health Benefits of Vitamin B17 –

A comparatively recent addition to the vitamin B complex category is the B17 compound which has scientifically analysed and proven benefits. Its major medical applications include its use as an alternative to cure cancer.

1. Blood pressure –

It plays a crucial role in lowering the blood pressure. Scientific studies have been carried out on patients by giving them the measured quantity of amygdalin through Kernel Apricot seeds, and these studies have confirmed the subsequent lowering of blood pressure in the patients.

2. Stimulation of Immunity –

When used in a controlled manner, vitamin B17 has the potency to boost one’s immune system and provide protection from certain diseases and ailments. This vitamin catalyses the release of certain enzymes which help I protection against external disease-causing factors.

3. Pain Relieving –

Various studies and usage of Vitamin B17 on patients have recorded a significant relief in pain. It is especially useful in conditions such as arthritis and Gout.

These benefits of Amygdalin are a result of careful observations made by medical science researchers. When used in a controlled manner this compound has the potential to ease a wide range of medical issues. A rather recent development in medical science studies states that Vitamin B17 or Amygdalin can be successfully utilised in curing certain types of cancer as it is known to destroy and inhibit the growth of cancer cells in the boy. It is still a topic of debate as the prominent medical research bodies are yet sceptic about its effectiveness as a drug for cancer. Due to these arguments and scepticism, Vitamin B17 is used as a secondary or add-on supplement for cancer treatment. It has yet to prove its effectiveness to be used as a primary drug. Though a wide number of researchers conclude that Amygdalin can be successfully used in the treatment of prostate cancer.

Myths about Vitamin B17 – 

The properties and use of Amygdalin as a cure for any cancer is still a topic of debate. A large number of studies have been carried out to analyse its effectiveness for various kinds of cancer treatment. Many researchers have proved that controlled intake of Laetrile, which is a semi-synthetic derivative of Amygdalin, is capable of inhibiting the growth of various cells causing conditions such as cervical cancer, prostate cancer etc. whereas an equal group of medical research bodies believe otherwise. The ability of Amygdalin as a drug for cancer is not widely acknowledged and accepted. The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) which is in charge of public health protection by regulating the circulation of biological, veterinary and medical devices, has not officially identified Amygdalin as a primary treatment for any cancer. Hence any professional in the medical field is answerable to this authority if he/she uses the Amygdalin against the law.

Numerous studies have been recorded on humans and animals both. None of which have provided constant results. The outcomes of these studies vary greatly and hence the use of Amygdalin as a primary drug for treating cancer is still an unanswered question.

Various arguments on Laetrile states that it is not known to cure any medical conditions and has prolonged side effects if ingested. But as it is a semi-synthetic form of the naturally occurring substance Amygdalin, which is found in various fruits, seeds, nuts, and beans,  which are rich in various other vitamins such as vitamin A and C, it is safe to consume those fruits in their natural form.

Various studies have shown the fatal side effects of Laetrile, which are stated below:

  • Very low blood pressure
  • Dizziness
  • Liver Damage
  • Bluish skin due to Deprivation of oxygen
  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Confusion
  • Sleep Disorders

These side effects are known to occur due to the haphazard consumption of Laetrile, as the body breaks it down into Hydrogen Cyanide. The cancer curing abilities of HCN are still a topic of profound research studies and experimentation.

Certain studies regard Laetrile as an extremely poisonous substance due to the fact that it can easily be broken down into Hydrogen Cyanide, which can result in serious poisoning effect and in many cases cause death. In spite of these side effects, Laetrile has survived as an alternative and passive treatment for cancer since the time of its introduction in 1830. Many have experienced a positive outcome while certain times it has proved to be fatal.

Concluding Statements :

Laetrile, the semi-synthetic form of Amygdalin or Vitamin B17 which can be extracted from naturally occurring substances such as beans, seeds, nuts, and fruits has proved as an effective cure to cancer and quite paradoxically in certain other cases, has proved otherwise. Some regard it as potentially toxic while others believe it to be harmless to the human body when ingested in administered quantities. The reviews and studies give a mixed feeling which can give rise of unnecessary confusion.

The legality of the use of Laetrile is also as confusing as the medical aspects. Using Amygdalin on a cancer patient is equivalent to putting the life of the patient in jeopardy in various parts of the world. It is strictly banned in the United States while it’s usage is legally appropriate in certain parts of Asia, Mexico, Australia, and Germany. Before looking up to this controversial cancer curing treatment, a legit health professional or oncologist should be consulted to know about the proper dosage and treatment procedures.

Sagar Papneja

For me, health is about sustainable living and consuming environmentally conscious food; I am a vegan.

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