Vitamin B17 is also known as laetrile or amygdalin. It is derived from a glycoside found naturally in the seeds of bitter almonds and has been known to scientists for over 100 years. For over half a century, B17 has been recommended by many alternative health experts as a cancer cure.
While there is much skepticism surrounding Vitamin B17, you can find it naturally in a variety of foods you probably already have in your kitchen. This article looks at some of the most common fruits, vegetables, legumes, and grains that contain this controversial nutrient.
How does Vitamin B17 work?
According to alternative health experts, Vitamin B17 can cure existing cancerous tumors, as well as prevent further cancerous cells from developing in the body. While the exact chemical process behind B17 is unknown, it appears to strengthen the immune system and specifically target "at-risk cells" in the body.
Foods Containing Vitamin B17
The most well-known food source of B17 is the apricot seed, which is found in the centre of any conventional apricot. Apricots are grown all over the world and are a cousin of the Plum. They are reddish-yellow in color and are commonly used in many popular desserts, including pies, crumbles, and sweet tarts.
While the fruit of the apricot also contains vitamins and nutrients, it's the pit of the fruit which is purported to cure cancer. Many cancer patients simply slice open the apricot and eat the pit raw. It's also possible to find pre-packaged apricot seeds, or "kernels," at health food stores around the world.
Seeds from other Fruits
While the seeds from other fruits such as grapes and raspberries are not as rich in Vitamin B17, they do contain trace amounts. Once again, it's necessary to eat the seeds of these fruits, and not just the sweet flesh, in order to ingest the B17. The oil pressed from these seeds, such as apricot kernel oil, is also a common source of Vitamin B17.
The following fruits are thought to contain small doses of Vitamin B17 in their seeds:
Shoots or Sprouts
Different types of shoots and sprouts, including bamboo and alfalfa, contain Vitamin B17. Bean sprouts are another good alternative if you don't like the taste of bamboo.
Macadamia nuts are salty, sweet nuts that are indigenous to Australia. In addition to Vitamin B17, they contain omega-7, protein, calcium, and potassium.
Black-eyed peas are easily recognizable by their pale white color and small black spot. They are a popular ingredient in soups, rice dishes, and cold salads.
Yams and Sweet Potatoes
Yams and sweet potatoes are tasty, nutrient-rich alternatives to traditional boiling potatoes.
There are several different grains, including buckwheat and barley, which contain a good amount of Vitamin B17. These ingredients are easy to incorporate into breakfasts, salads, and even soups or sauces.
The Oxford dictionary defines a vitamin as follows:
Any of a group of organic compounds which are essential for normal growth and nutrition and are required in small quantities in the diet because they cannot be synthesized by the body.
According to this definition, Vitamin B17 cannot be positively identified as a vitamin.
More on the History of Vitamin B17
Vitamin B17 was first discovered in the early 19th century by the French chemist Pierre Jean Robiquet. Robiquet worked extensively on amino acids and proteins. He was responsible for identifying caffeine in 1821, purpurin (a natural dye for cloth) in 1826, and codeine in 1832. In 1830, Robiquet discovered amygdalin through his extensive work with the oil from bitter almonds, known today as a good source of Vitamin B17.
At the time of its discovery, amygdalin (now called Vitamin B17) was not known as a vitamin. That all changed in the twentieth century with Ernst T. Krebs, a well-known American biochemist. Krebs was the first to identify amygdalin as a "vitamin" and to promote it as an alternative cancer "cure." Krebs already held unconventional beliefs about the origin of cancer. According to him, cancerous cells were the result of trophoblasts, a type of specialized cell that is found in women during the first stage of pregnancy.
The United States Food and Drug Administration has deemed B15 unsafe for human consumption and prohibits the sale or importation of B15 in the US.
In addition to marketing B17, Krebs also popularized pangamic acid, called B15, which was derived from the bitter seeds of apricots. Both Krebs and his father believed that pangamic acid could be used to treat a variety of different diseases, including cancer. Like B17, pangamic acid has been repeatedly rejected by mainstream doctors as a "quack remedy." However, supporters of Krebs' research claim that anecdotal studies conducted in the Soviet Union prove B15's legitimacy.
email@example.com on April 12, 2017:
This is relieving I have a sister who is battling cancer right now and I will try to look for these foods with Vitamin B17.
Its worth trying for I loose nothing. Unfortunately Appricots anbd Macademia nuts which are high in Vitamin B17 are not available in my country.
Thank you for sharing
Niya Sharma from trivandrum on January 26, 2016:
This is one of the exciting article I have come across recently. I also have a similar website Dinefresh
javed sultan on January 22, 2016:
Paula from The Midwest, USA on January 26, 2014:
Glad to learn more about B17. Thanks for sharing.
Schoolmom24 from Oregon on October 18, 2013:
This was very interesting. It's good to be reminded of the sources of B17...great info, thanks!