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Vitamin B17 Effect on Cancer

Dr. Hoshima, vitamin B17 has been mentioned quite a bit. I have heard many patients seeking vitamin B17 through things like apricot kernels. I have also heard it is a cancer treatment, and can you elaborate on this and the people taking vitamin B17 tablets in Australia and elsewhere?

Vitamin B17 is more of another name for amygdalin or laetrile; it has different names for it. Amygdalin is a plant substance found in nuts, seeds, and fruits. Laetrile is the man-made form of this natural substance, amygdalin.

And it is extracted mainly from apricot kernels or their seeds. On consumption, it gets broken down by intestinal enzymes to produce cyanide, a known poison. People have used apricot kernels extensively in Europe and the US as an alternative to cancer therapy.

People who consumed apricot kernels believed it helped improve their health and enhanced energy levels and well-being. Also, the belief was that it helped detoxify and cleanse the body and gave them a longer life.

The Claim
Promoters of the use of Amygdalin, a substance found in apricot kernels, claimed that it could selectively kill cancer cells while leaving healthy cells unharmed. However, research on animals and cancer patients did not support these claims. Studies found that feeding animals with implanted cancer cells Amygdalin did not slow down the growth of tumors or destroy cancer cells. Additionally, studies on cancer patients found that Amygdalin did not provide any benefits and instead caused cyanide toxicity. As a result, medical practitioners do not recommend the use of Amygdalin or the consumption of apricot kernels as a cancer therapy and this practice has been discontinued.
Renewed Interest
Presently a few researchers have found a renewed interest in this due to the discovery of its anti-cancer mechanisms in recent animal studies in the labs. Amygdalin did inhibit the tumor-promoting effect of the virus under study. The studies also show the downregulation of cell cycle-related genes in colon cancer in human beings. In the study, researchers found that the drug inhibited the growth and proliferation of bladder cancer cell lines by decreasing the cell cycle regulatory proteins. The researchers noted it induced growth-regulating protein follistatin expression in hepatocarcinoma cells in humans.

There is a need for more studies on its safety and effectiveness. Until then, it is prudent to retain the status quo on this.

Lab Studies vs Clinical Evidence
Laboratory studies and experiments have found that amygdalin has anti-cancer properties. But there is no clinical evidence to support this claim. In many cancer patients, amygdalin use has been linked to cyanide poisoning. Hence, there is a need to show precaution and not use it orally or as an injectable without medical guidance.
How It Works
And how does it kill cancer, or what is the idea behind this? It is the amount of cyanide inside. Cyanide, as we know, is a toxic substance if it is, for example, accumulated in the body for a very long time; or at very high dosages. But this is where the therapeutic dose, and the toxic dose, come in. Cyanide can kill cancer. The secondary effect of B17 on the body is more anti-inflammatory, as well as a painkiller or pain reliever. It gets used in many ways, but its effectiveness against cancer is always dependent on the cyanide inside. And it can sound a little scary, you know, when people hear the word cyanide. But I think that people do not realize that there is cyanide in macadamia nuts, bamboo shoots, and cassava, and in many foods we consume
The Dosage
And in very minor doses, it can be an excellent thing for our body. Definitely, yes. So, we administer vitamin B17 more as an IV infusion. And it is also that we calculate the dose according to the body weight. We do not exceed the therapeutic dosage, and do not give one that does not affect cancer. It is essential to know how much vitamin B17 should be used for cancer treatment. The average dosage is between 9 to 15 grams of B17 or amygdalin in an IV form. The oral form is found to cause more side effects. It is because when taken in pill form, there is a release of cyanide, a poisonous substance, as the digestive system breaks down the vitamin b17 or Amygdalin. And this cyanide can be absorbed by the body very easily. Usually, we give around 1000 to 2000 milligrams daily.

So, there is a range difference. What is more, B17 is the opposite of vitamin C. Vitamin C is given in a low dose, in grams in oral form, but we administer B17 in milligrams in the oral form. It is what we do.

The other thing is always that people take the apricot kernels. We do not know the amount of cyanide in each apricot kernel. A few patients might exceed or go extreme with it. And it depends on how it is dried; where the apricot kernel was grown; there are a lot of variabilities.

Exactly, I would say, always with B17 and the apricot kernel, they always have asked a practitioner about this.

How much should they take in order not to be extreme or take a very high amount and then they can get side effects of it and not that they are taking too long, it is not that effective. And it is advisable never to combine, for example, the administration of B17 or the oral B17 with apricot kernels or other food items that are naturally rich in this vitamin. Their consumption may release cyanide, which can become toxic for the body.

Because this might have an overdose, there is a chance we might have side effects from that. It is an excellent point there. And I feel that if you know any patients taking any natural medicine, you must understand that it still could have side effects if not taken at the current dosage, so it is very essential to consult a healthcare practitioner for the appropriate dosage. Thank you.

Side Effects
There are various kinds of side effects of amygdalin intake like redness and inflammation of the skin.

Cyanide toxicity from prolonged use and high dosage of amygdalin can cause nausea, vomiting, dizziness, headaches, bluish skin coloration, mental confusion, reduced oxygen supply to tissues, nerve damage fever, drooping eyelids, liver damage, nerve dysfunction, low blood pressure, coma, or death.

FDA does not recommend its use for cancer treatment in any form, oral or injectable. Anyone who uses this drug should do it at their own risk.

Updated on May 30, 2023

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