07 Jun Apricot Seed Kernels and B17- The Debate Continues
Have you heard about the amazing discovery made by Dr. Ernst Theodore Krebs through his study of the Hunzas and their eating habits? Dr. Krebs was fascinated by the lack of diseases, such as cancer, amongst the people of the Hunza tribe from the Hunza Valley in the Himalayas. One of the realizations he made about their diet was that they ate a very large amount of apricot seed kernels. Through further investigation, Dr. Krebs surmised that the reason for this lay with the amygdalin within the apricot seed kernel. The amygdalin compound has since been referred to as a secret weapon in the eradication of cancerous tumors.
Following this Dr. Krebs created a substance, using the amygdalin extracted from the apricot kernel, called laetrile (B17).
In the time to follow there has been much debate about the safety of laetrile as well as the safety of ingesting bitter apricot kernels that contain amygdalin (the sweet kernels that are for sale as snacks contain very little amygdalin). This is due to the fact that amygdalin contains cyanide. Some, like the Natural News, argue that the cyanide is not released in a harmful way into the body. They say that it is the presence of the cyanide helps amygdalin to fight off the cancerous tumors. Others, such as The Verge, suggest that the consumption of the cyanide within amygdalin is very dangerous and harmful to the body. They warn that it has a very high health risk factor. Due to this discovery Laetrile itself was banned from the USA by the FDA- it was deemed too toxic a drug. However, the drug is still used today in Mexico and in some US clinics.
The debate is ongoing and there may never be one clear school of thought. Studies by the Department of Physiology at Kyung Hee University in South Korea, have proven that amygdalin has helped in the treatment of cancer, although many specialists agree that it should not be the primary treatment but instead as an addition to treatment. Studies have also proved that ingesting high levels of amygdalin over long periods of time increase cyanide levels in the body and can lead to cyanide poisoning.
Many health stores in the USA sell apricot seed kernels as a snack. Those interested in introducing the seeds into their diet for cancer treatment should consult their physician and moderate the intake of the kernels.
Author: Mary-Anne Elizabeth Wright