Amygdalin – Cure or Poison?

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Laetrile is another name for a natural product called amygdalin. Amygdalin is a chemical ingredient found in the pits of many fruits, raw nuts, and plants. It is also known as Vitamin B17.

Over the years, I have stumbled upon seemingly credible testimonials of people who managed their gliomas (aggressive brain cancer) with amygdalin. It is hard to get reliable information on this subject, but recently, I received a couple of testimonials.

First day I took 3 kernels, and yesterday 5. And some time in the night, my heart started beating very fast, which happened before, but I haven’t had such problem for the last couple of months. And then I felt general weakness in my body like I’m having a fever. This morning I measured 38C, and now I’m on 37.2C. I don’t have running nose or throat problems.

So I wonder if that was some Herxheimer effect or just a coincidence. After I recover I will try it again, but more slowly.

This is what I found about amygdalin in the Lyme Guide by Dr. Rath Research Institute:

The apricot’s kernels contain amygdalin which is also is present in plum and peach pits, bitter almonds, wild cherry bark, and apple seeds. Amygdalin is toxic in high amounts. It is effective in killing the spirochetes in the non-division stage, since they have no defense against its cyanate residue (-CN). All human cells can convert it into harmless thiocyanate (-SCN) by an enzyme called rhodanase (a mitochondrial enzyme). SCN in turn is a substrate for lactoperoxidase that converts thiocyanate into hypothiocyanite (-OSCN) that is considered as a safe product: it is not mutagenic and has antibacterial activity. Hypothiocyanite has been researched extensively for its capabilities as an alternative to antibiotics as it is harmless to human body cells while being cytotoxic to bacteria. The antibacterial activity of lactoperoxidase is important in white blood cells to fight pathogens. Amygdalin showed anti-borrelieae effects by killing mature cysts as well as the “persisters” in cerebrospinal fluid, the brain, and the disseminated remnants not killed by antibiotics or non-synthetic (natural) compounds in the organism.

It is interesting to see that amygdalin fights stealth infections. Some brain mass infections look clinically and radiologically indistinguishable from a (cancerous) brain tumor:

In the end, the reporter of the testimonial quoted above said that there was no significant change in his health condition. He did brought to my attention the following papers though:

Braz J Med Biol Res, April 2009, Volume 42(4) 346-352
Antioxidant and antimicrobial activities of bitter and sweet apricot (Prunus armeniaca L.) kernels

The most effective antibacterial activity was observed in the methanol and water extracts of bitter kernels and in the methanol extract of sweet kernels against the Gram-positive bacteria Staphylococcus aureus. Additionally, the methanol extracts of the bitter kernels were very potent against the Gram-negative bacteria Escherichia coli (0.312 mg/mL MIC value). Significant anti-candida activity was also observed with the methanol extract of bitter apricot kernels against Candida albicans, consisting of a 14 mm in diameter of inhibition zone and a 0.625 mg/mL MIC value.

The person above was targeting Chlamydia pneumoniae and in this paper, that microbial agent is not listed. The information about E. Coli, staph and candida albicans is very reassuring though.

Here is the second paper:

Food Science and Biotechnology, April 2013, Volume 22, Issue 2, pp 455–463
In vitro antioxidant, antimicrobial, and antitumor activities of bitter almond and sweet apricot (Prunus armeniaca L.) kernels

The antioxidant capacity of the sweet apricot kernels was better than those recorded for bitter almond ones. The highest total antioxidant activity (59.53 mg/g dry extract), ferric ion reducing power (1.626), antioxidant index (67%), total phenolic content (3.290 mg/g dry extract), and total lycopene content (4.70mg/mL) were detected in the aqueous extract of sweet apricot kernels. The antimicrobial activities of the above extracts were also tested against some pathogenic microorganisms using a disc-diffusion method. Additionally, the extracts of sweet apricot and bitter almond kernels could inhibit the growth of human breast (MCF-7), colon (HCT-116), and hepatocellular (Hep-G2) carcinoma cell lines in a dose-dependent manner with different sensitivity between cell lines. The overall results indicate promising baseline information for the potential uses of apricot (Prunus armeniaca L.) fruit extracts in the treatment of infectious diseases and tumors.

Shortly after reading this paper, I received the following testimonial in the comments section:

Robert McCueJanuary 25, 2017

I like your website, lots of good information. I was first directed to your site while researching DMSO, which I purchased and am using with great satisfication. In May 2016, my wife (65 years old) had a 4 cm malignant tumor removed from her brain, and was further diagnosed with mestathasized uterine cancer, with numerous cancer nodules throughout her body, including one 5 cm tumor in her bladder. She refused chemo and radiation, electing to die with dignity when the time comes. She was told it wouldn’t be long. Then we learned about apricot seeds, specifically Amygdalin, or Vitamin B17. Having nothing to lose, we started the seeds the end of September 2016. Today (Jan. 2017) all her symptoms are gone, and she is more upbeat and has more energy than she’s had in many years. I have also benefited, having an enlarged prostrate for over ten years, which is shrinking back to its normal size and my urination problems associated with enlarged prostrate have gone away. I wonder if Amygdalin is something you’d like to take a look at, it having even more egregious FDA and Big Pharma interference than DMSO. Thank you for giving so much of your time to educate us as to what is really going on with our health issues.

After thanking him for the report, I inquired about their amygdalin source. Robert wrote back as follows:

There are many vendors for both the apricot seeds and Amygdalin in capsule form. I get mine from “Apricot Power,” and also from “Apricots from God.” Delivery is usually quick and always arrives in good order.

Whether it was the amygdalin’s anti-microbial or anti-cancer properties, or any other property, we don’t know. Possibly it was a combination of both and perhaps something else we ignore. Nevertheless, this is a pretty amazing testimonial!

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  1. Jurian  February 2, 2017

    “Some Laetrile promoters have claimed that the cyanide generated by laetrile is immediately harmlessly detoxified by the mitochondrial enzyme rhodanese into thiocyanate.

    However, these claims are false. First, because thiocyanate is also toxic, although to a lesser degree. Second, the body only can use the small amount of rhodanese that is present in the blood, regardless of the stores present in kidneys and liver. Third, the limiting factor in this conversion are the stores of cystine, cysteine, glutathione and other sulfur compounds, which are rapidly depleted in laetrile poisoning (that in itself is very dangerous and leaves the body exposed to harm from many sources).

    Fourth, blood analysis show undetoxified cyanide in persons poisoned with Laetrile or with apricot kernels.[2]

    The Laetrile was not detoxified. Translation: they died of the treatment, just like chemotherapy.”

    • Gabriela Segura, MD  February 3, 2017

      It would be important to revise the doses used and if it was truly the cause of death. I think that a verifiable testimonial has a lot of weight to suggest that if correctly done, it can be a good alternative to truly poisonous treatments.

  2. Nikola  February 3, 2017

    “Fourth, blood analysis show undetoxified cyanide in persons poisoned with Laetrile or with apricot kernels.”

    Well, to me this actually sounds like a good news. Because if all of the cyanide in the body is detoxified than it couldn’t be effective against cancer or bacteria, right?

    And that article talks about poisoning with Laetrile, not with apricot kernels:

    “Amygdalin is NOT laetrile and vice versa. Laetrile is a patented scam by altering the natural molecule. So forget the propaganda it’s somehow natural or “holistic”.”

    So even if Laetrile was a scam, that still leaves the apricot kernels (or pure amygdalin) as a possible treatment.

  3. Mark Butler  February 9, 2017

    I was in turkey last year and the property where I was staying had several apricot trees. The fruit was ripe so we were gorging on these daily. My Turkish friend explained to me that we need to save the pits and let them dry so we could eat their seeds later, which we did. And we ate handfuls of them. Later I discovered you could buy these seeds by the kilogram at the grocery store. People there eat these like others eat peanuts. How could they possibly be toxic with so many people eating these as a snack food?

  4. Robert McCue  February 22, 2017

    My reply to the above is that my wife and I have been taking both apricot seeds and Amygdalin capsules more or less on a daily basis since the end of September 2016. Although we have been carefully watching for any of the signs of Cyanide poisoning listed by researching on Google, neither of us has exhibited any ill effects whatsoever. (The Amygdalin capsules are 500 mg each)

  5. stephen  February 28, 2017

    Hi all,

    I have read this article with great interest. Mainly as I have just had a de ja vu moment. I had an item stroke on the 16th Dec 2016. I feel like crap and I ache all over. So this sort of helps set the tone…

    This is going to sound barking mad, and sorry for that. I had a dream last night that I was eating exactly this. I was told to eat “Apricot Seeds” and when I woke up I thought that it was just a stupid dream, until I read this?

    I have just seen the consultant who is adamant that I take Statins and Clopidigrel. I take mega doses of Vitamin C, as directed by a great Professor called Dr Bush. His guidance has kept me a live and according to the consultant today, I am in the high risk group? I see myself as being on the levelling out stage.
    Yet, I really do need help.

    I have been also told that DMSO helps to heal the brain and the spasms in the muscles? I have used some of Dr Jacob’s gel, until just now when I saw that they said it is not for use? So I have stopped it until I get clarification. Yet, it has been truly amazing, as it settles the most painful muscle groups in hours.

    So please, I beg anyone who has any idea if this DMSO, or Apricot Seeds can help to let me know?

    Submitted for your consideration



  6. Mukhtar Ahmed  March 4, 2017

    Stephen, Dr Jacob’s (DMSO) father had a dream in that he saw his son stretching out his hands and healing the world… These are the gifts from the creator. and the dream you had was your personal gift from Him.

  7. Gina  April 26, 2017

    Regarding DMSO: I take a teaspoon DMSO each day on an empty stomach for my RH arthritis. I get the medicinal 99.95% odor free kind (not industrial). I dilute the teaspoon of DMSO in a cup of distilled water and then add something to cover the taste, either some V8 juice a spoonful of frozen OJ. I have been doing this for a couple weeks and I am seeing excellent improvement in my RH arthritis as well as osteoarthritis. I am told to take probiotics. Sorry but I haven’t used the apricot seeds.

  8. Robert McCue  May 15, 2017

    UPDATE since Jan. 25: My wife is still doing well since beginning Amygdalin threapy the end of Sept. 2016. A March MRI showed no further growth of her bladder tumor, as well as a reduction in size of several small nodules in her lungs and Lymph nodes. She is back to her regular routine before the terminal cancer diagnosis in May 2016, and says she feels better than she has in years. The FDA can say what they want, but saying that Amygdalin is toxic, after approving countless drugs which have proven to be twenty times as lethal, is not only ludricous, but should be considered criminal. Don’t kid yourselves, doubters; it’s all about the money.

    • Gabriela Segura, MD  May 15, 2017

      That is such wonderful news, Robert! This made my day. Best to you both!

    • Natalia  May 31, 2017

      I couldn’t agree with you more Robert! This post made my day :) I’m currently fighting with chronic Neurological Lyme disease that causes me to have seizures and I couldn’t even count how many times MDs had wrongly prescribed me toxic drugs that have caused more harm than good. Good luck to your wife and keep fighting!

  9. Robert McCue  June 2, 2017

    Thank you, Natalia. My wife, Sondra, thanks you too, and says she’s fighting it with all she has. Have you seen Dr. Segura’s article on DMSO? It also has many benefits for various health issues. We are both taking Turmeric supplements, as well as powerful probiotics that we credit with other noticable improvements in our general well-being. Good luck to you; hope you find the answer soon.

  10. Mary  July 28, 2017

    When I was a kid we used to eat apple seeds sometimes. Nobody told us they were poisonous. I don’t remember getting any side effects. I know many older people who always eat the whole apple, with seeds.


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