Vitamin B17, also known as laetrile or amygdalin, is often touted as a cancer remedy, but using Vitamin B17 for cancer treatments has not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. But what about Vitamin B17 foods?
When found in nature it’s called amygdalin, and as an extract, it’s called laetrile. The substance was added to the B-vitamin family in 1830 when it was discovered, although it is not referred to as a vitamin by nutritionists, biochemists, or scientists.
There is a no recommended dietary intake allowance for amygdalin because it’s not considered an actual vitamin, but another thing to consider is that vitamin B17 sources taste bitter, so many people don’t eat them anyway. Foods rich in vitamin B17 are referred to as nitrilosides, which contain cyanide.
Vitamin B17’s Potential Benefits
There are claims that Vitamin B17 foods can cure cancer or at the very least put it in remission when large doses are consumed every day, but this is merely anecdotal evidence, not scientific evidence. The “results” need to be taken with caution and after researching the pros and cons.
A study published in the Journal of Radiation and Biology found that amygdalin helped the immune system by increasing how many white blood cells attacked harmful cells. Those with low white blood cell counts could possibly benefit from taking B17 supplements. It may also lower blood pressure and reduce pain, but not enough research has been done to make these claims valid; it is mere speculation at this point.
Is It Safe to Consume Vitamin B17?
There have been some studies done on B17 and they do indicate that B17 is safe for human consumption, but the bottom line is that more research needs to be done to determine safety for both short- and long-term periods of supplementation. There is a greater chance of cyanide toxicity when B17 is taken orally and in high enough amounts, but not when injected. The safest way to get B17 at this point is from vitamin B17 whole food sources.
Vitamin B17 Foods
What are some vitamin B17 foods? Quite a few, but many might not be what people would normally eat, particularly seeds. Fruit seeds have the highest concentration of B17 of any food, yet most people avoid eating them. There is some controversy surrounding Vitamin B17 because it has cyanide molecules in it. In high doses cyanide is lethal, but the amounts found in food are required for proper health. Vitamin B17 in foods is the best and only way to get the vitamin into your body.
The best sources of amygdalin come from a variety of seeds, fruits, vegetables, sprouts, and nuts, and the very best source is found in apricot seeds. Soil and climate play a large role in how much vitamin B17 is in a particular food, so it can be difficult to determine the exact levels in each food. Below are some foods that are good sources of vitamin B17.
Many types of berries are a good source of this vitamin. Look for strawberries, huckleberries, cranberries and blueberries. One serving (one cup) of gooseberries, blackberries, boysenberries, raspberries and elderberries have 500 milligrams of vitamin B17. Other fruits that are good sources of the vitamin are peaches, plums, nectarines, cherries, and prunes, but remember, the pits in these fruits are the true sources of amygdalin.
Bitter almonds have the most B17, with cashews and macadamia nuts following.
Leaves/Leafy Greens, Grasses
Many leaves and grasses are a good source, but few people add them to their diet or have even heard of them. Johnson grass, Tunis grass, and arrow grass are good grasses to eat if you can find them. Alfalfa and eucalyptus leaves are better sources of B17; spinach, beet greens, and watercress all have moderate amounts.
Bamboo sprouts are the best sprouts to eat, but alfalfa, mung, and garbanzo sprouts are also decent sources.
Apricot seeds are the best vitamin B17 source of any food. Other good seeds sources include apples, grapes, berries, buckwheat, cherry, squash, and millet. Seeds can be added to salads and yogurt.
Sweet potatoes and yams are much easier to come by at the grocery store, so when in doubt grab one of these. Plus, they’re affordable!
Vitamin B17 Foods Chart
|Fruit||Strawberries, huckleberries, cranberries, blueberries,
gooseberries, blackberries, boysenberries, raspberries,
elderberries, peaches, plums, nectarines, cherries, and prunes
|Nuts||Bitter almonds, cashews, macadamia nuts|
|Leaves/Leafy Greens/Grasses||Johnson grass, Tunis grass, arrow grass,
alfalfa, eucalyptus, spinach, beet greens, and watercress
|Sprouts||Bamboo, alfalfa, mung, and garbanzo|
|Seeds||Apricot, apples, grapes, berries, buckwheat, cherry,
|Tubers||Cassava, sweet potatoes, yams|
How Much Vitamin B17 Is Appropriate to Consume?
People with cancer may want to use vitamin B17, even though the FDA does not regulate it. The basic consensus is that if you have a lot of cancer, you need a lot of B17, but be cautious and know that the side effects of large amounts of B17 are not properly documented.
So before jumping from zero B17 to taking a mega-dose, perhaps consider incremental dosing to gauge how your body responds, and then you can add or subtract as determined by how you feel. It varies from person to person, but often 500 milligrams per day twice a day can be enough. Or try including some natural Vitamin B17 foods listed above.
Sources for Today’s Article:
“Foods Rich in Vitamin B17,” Livestrong web site; http://www.livestrong.com/article/85705-foods-rich-vitamin-b17/, last accessed March 14, 2016.
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“Laetrile-Vitamin B17-amygdalin,” Cure Zone web site; http://www.curezone.org/foods/laetrile.asp, last accessed March 14, 2016.
“Fruits and Vegetables that Contain Vitamin B17,” Livestrong web site; http://www.livestrong.com/article/286441-fruits-vegetables-that-contain-vitamin-b17/, last accessed March 14, 2016.
“Vitamin B17 Foods: Foods Rich in Vitamin B17,” Hub Pages web site;
http://hubpages.com/health/Vitamin-B17-Foods-Foods-Rich-in-Vitamin-B17, last accessed March 14, 2016.
“How Much B17 Should I Take?” I Beat Cancer with Vitamin B17 web site;
http://beatcancerwithb17.blogspot.com/p/how-much-b17-should-i-take.html, last accessed March 15, 2016.
“Vitamin B17 Controversy: Poison or Cancer Treatment?,” Dr. Axe web site; http://draxe.com/vitamin-b17/, last accessed March 15, 2016.
“Laetrile/Amygdalin (PDQ®),” Pub Med Health web site; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0032851/, last accessed March 15, 2016.