Seeds prevent Cancer 
By Walter Sorochan Emeritus Professor San Diego State University

Posted December 03, 2015; Updated November 20, 2021. Disclaimer The information presented here is for informative and educational purposes only and is not intended as curative or prescriptive advice. The statements of this web-site have not been evaluated by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Nothing stated here should be considered as medical advice for dealing with a given problem, or to diagnose / treat / prevent / cure any disease.

"An apple a day keeps the doctor away"

Actually this quot only applies if the person consumes the entire apple, along with chewing the seeds. The small amount of cyanide in the seeds is supposed to create a hostile environment for cancer and pathogens, thus keeping the doctor away.

Mystery of Laetrile

This website presents information about cancer and laetrile therapy. It does not take sides in the laetrile controversy! Although the focus has been on laetrile, the real preventative benefit for most persons may be the amygdalin found in natural seeds of fruits and nuts. 

Laetrile as a treatment for cancer is a topic that has been around since 1950. Prior to 1990, it was suppressed by various entities and appeared to be forgotten.

But with the availability of the internet since 2000, interest in the mystery of B17 has exploded!

You may be eating foods containing small amounts of amygdalin that, in turn, may be preventing cancer.

Amygdalin and Laetrile deserve another look.

So how can seeds and apricot kernels reverse cancer?

The answer is in understanding the make-up of a cancer cell.  Cancer cells contain an enzyme called beta-glucosidase – this makes up part of the cancer cell ‘wall.’ When this enzyme comes into contact with nitrilosides, an amazing transformation occurs. [ Nitriloside is a designation proposed to include a large group of water-soluble, essentially non-toxic, sugary, compounds found in over 800 plants, many of which are edible. ] These nitrilosides turn into the tumourcidal trio of glucose, benzaldehyde and hydrogen cyanide. This trio of nano-chemicals attack cancer cells while leaving healthy cells alone. Article by Krebs: B-17 significance is no longer active.

Want proof?

Dr Binzel’s book Alive and Well is full of testimonies from cancer patients brought back from the brink with Laetrile and nutritional therapy. One 44-year-old woman with metastasized colon cancer was still cancer free, 13 years after being treated with Laetrile [no chemo, no radio]. The odds of her reaching a 5 year survival had she undergone ‘conventional’ therapy? One in a thousand.  Binzel: cancer with nutrition 1994

Then there’s Polly Todd, a 59-year-old woman who was diagnosed with breast cancer (spread to her lymph nodes) in 1975. She was told her odds of survival were ‘slim’ and she was urged to have chemotherapy and radiation. Instead she chose to have Laetrile and nutritional therapies with Dr Binzel. When his book was published – 19 years later – she was 79 years old and had not had a recurrence of the disease. Dr Binzel decided to ditch chemo and radio in the 1970s and start treating his patients with nutritional therapies instead.   Binzel: cancer with nutrition 1994

Of the 180 patients Dr Binzel treated with primary cancer 87.3 % did not die of their cancer after 18 years. In the year that Dr Binzel published his results the American Cancer Society was officially reporting that with conventional treatment – involving early detection and primary cancer – 85% of cancer patients would die within five years.  Binzel: cancer with nutrition 1994

Video: cancer testimony Length = 2:22mns.

laetrile B17

For five years, between 1972 and 1977 laetrile was meticulously tested at Sloan-Kettering Cancer Centre in Manhattan under the direction of Dr. Sugiura. At the conclusion of his experiment he reported five results:     Article about AntiCancerInfo: Cancer prevention & diet is no longer active.

    1. laetrile stopped metastasis (the spreading of cancer) in mice
    2. it improved their general health
    3. it inhibited the growth of small tumors
    4. it provided relief from pain
    5. it acted as a cancer prevention

So .... what are we dealing with here? Fiction, scam or the hidden truth? Sarich: B17 truth or fiction 2013

The comments so far pertain to Amygdalin .... a plant compound that contains sugar and produces cyanide  [Cn] [chemical structure on the right]. It is found in small quantities in the kernels of many fruits and raw nuts. The names natural plant Amygdalin and the synthetic Laetrile are often used interchangeably. The name vitamin B17 is also used to describe this compound, although it is not recognized as a vitamin.  

"Although the names laetrile, Vitamin B17, and amygdalin are often used interchangeably, they are not the same product. The chemical composition of U.S.-patented Laetrile (mandelonitrile-beta-glucuronide), a semisynthetic derivative of amygdalin, is different from the laetrile/amygdalin produced in Mexico (mandelonitrile beta-D-gentiobioside), which is made from crushed apricot pits."  PDQ: Cancer summaries 2015

"There are many chronic or metabolic diseases that challenge medicine. Many of these diseases have already been conquered. What proved to be their solution? By solution we mean both prevention and cure. What really cures really prevents. Let us think of some of these diseases that have found total prevention and hence cure. We are speaking of metabolic or non-transmissible diseases. At one time the metabolic disease known as scurvy killed hundreds of thousands of people, sometimes entire populations. This disease found total prevention and cure in the ascorbic acid or vitamin C component of fruits and vegetables. Similarly, the once fatal diseases so aptly called pernicious anemia, pellagra, beri beri, countless neuropathies, and the like, found complete cure and prevention in specific dietary factors, that is, essential nutrients in an adequate diet."   Article by Krebs: B-17 significance is no longer active.

Who is susceptible to cancer? The answer is controversial and revealing. Those susceptible include having cancer genes, living a faulty lifestyle that may include exposing them to chemical pollutants such as those found in the home, foods and environment, as well intentioned public works like fluoridated water supply. A study published by World Without Cancer, United Kingdom, in 2001, stated the following: World Without Cancer: B-17 therapy 2001


Medical doctors unsure of B17 as a cancer cure:

The controversy about laetrile being an effective cancer treatment stems from the numerous theories on this topic. Conventional medicine doctors do not agree on what cancer is nor how it is caused. So it should not be a surprise that doctors do not agree on the use of laetrile in cancer treatment. Four different theories have been advanced to explain the anticancer activity of laetrile. You, the reader can read about these theories in the the history of laetrile  PDQ: Cancer summaries 2015  World Without Cancer: B-17 therapy 2001

In a study by the Department of Physiology at Kyung Hee University in South Korea, when amygdalin extract was combined with cancerous human prostate cells, the extract helped significantly induce apotosis in the prostate cancer cells. The researchers conclude that amygdalin may offer a valuable, natural option for treating prostate cancer.   Chang: Amygdalin fights prostate cancer 2006

Other animal studies show that vitamin B17 amygdalin is effective at killing cancerous bladder and brain cells under certain conditions, especially when combined with other antibody-enzyme complexes. PDQ: Cancer summaries 2015

On the other hand, other studies using human lung and breast cancer cells show no effects of vitamin B17 on stunting tumor growth. Therefore, in the medical community, there still isn’t agreement at this time as to whether vitamin B17 should be used as an anti-cancer treatment. Axe: B17 controversy 2015  Richardson: Cancer case studies  However, Binzel reports that he successfully treated women who had breast cancer using laetrile.  Binzel: cancer with nutrition 1994

The use of laetrile has greatly diminished in the United States, but the compound continues to be manufactured and administered as an anticancer therapy, primarily in Mexico, and in some clinics in the United States. PDQ: Cancer summaries 2015

"Today, vitamin B17 laetrile is not approved for cancer prevention or cancer treatment use in the United States. That’s because there’s little evidence to fully understand how laetrile works in humans and prove that it’s definitely safe and effective. While vitamin B17 shows anti-cancer activity in some animal studies, the FDA feels that more information is needed regarding the effects of vitamin B17 in human clinical trials before it can be widely used to prevent disease and increase immunity. While it’s a banned substance for retailers to sell, it’s not illegal to possess or use. Therefore, some practitioners still use vitamin B17 in the form of laetrile to help treat cancer."      Axe: B17 controversy 2015

The legal status of apricot seeds: Are raw apricot seeds, Laetrile, or B17 illegal to buy in the USA? They are banned in North America.

"How could they ever be? There is one apricot seed in each apricot fruit, and you can buy fresh apricots in almost any supermarket in any neighborhood in the world. If the raw apricot seed was illegal, the fresh fruit would be taken off the market completely!

What it means is: If any hospital uses laetrile, the law says that they jeopardize any grants from the government as well as any money from Medicaid and other hospital insurance originating from the government. Since nearly all of hospital revenues come from patient insurance, not one hospital in the U.S. will take the chance and use any banned substance including, Amygdalin [also called vitamin B17], Laetrile, or raw apricot seeds.

Any doctor who wants to use the substance from raw apricot seeds must have his/her patient fill out a form and then the doctor must submit the form to the FDA. Again, doctors don't want to get involved in this and would rather keep their names off of the FDA watch lists. Additionally, the doctor's malpractice insurance will not be valid if they prescribe laetrile [B17, amygdalin, or raw apricot seeds] to a patient. The American Medical Association (AMA) treats any doctor that prescribes laetrile as a renegade (traitorous) and as though he has violated the AMA's membership policies and will be subject to membership termination. Therefore any doctor that prescribes laetrile may destroy his career as a doctor. They're NOT going to do that for ANY patient EVER!

Any individual that sells laetrile must not claim that it does anything in his place of business. Many health food stores in the past were raided and had to give up their supplies of B17 because the B17 was near books that claimed that the B17 was the answer to cancer. In other words, the books were near the B17 in the stores and was therefore considered "labeling" which is a term used by the FDA. Labeling, according to the FDA, is against the law and you can be prosecuted for it.

However selling on the Internet is different. Internet law is tricky and not the same as U.S. commercial law. In one case, Ken Kholas took the FDA to court and won his B17 back. That court case proved it wasn't wrong for him to have or to sell it. Bottom line TO YOU is that you can purchase, use, and have B17 or raw apricot seeds."

The body's natural defenses against cancer:  "They [scientists] found that the cancer cell is coated with a protein lining which prevents the body's normal defenses from getting to the cancer cell. They found that, if you could dissolve the protein lining from around the cancer cell, the body's normal defenses - the white blood cells - would destroy the cancer cell. They found that the pancreatic enzymes dissolved this lining and these enzymes acting with the body's immune system were the body's first line of defense. They also found a second line of defense, which was formed by a group of substances known as nitrilosides.  The cancer cell has an enzyme, beta-glucosidase, which, when it comes in contact with nitrilosides, converts those nitrilosides into two molecules of glucose, one molecule of benzaldehyde and one molecule of hydrogen cyanide. Both the benzaldehyde and the hydrogen cyanide are toxic to the cancer cell."    Article about AntiCancerInfo: Cancer prevention & diet is no longer active.

How then does B17 work to kill cancer cells? [ Here is a simplistic explanation ] "There is only one substance that can unlock the B17 molecule and release the cyanide. That substance is an enzyme called "beta-glycosidase", which is called the "unlocking enzyme". When B17 comes in contact with this enzyme in the presence of water, not only is the cyanide released, but also the benzaldehyde, which is highly toxic by itself. In fact, these two working together are at least a hundred times more poisonous than either of them separately; a phenomenon known in biochemistry as synergism. Fortunately, the "unlocking enzyme" is not found to any dangerous degree anywhere in the body "except at the cancer cell", where it is always present in great quantity, sometimes at levels in excess of one hundred times that of the surrounding normal cells. The result is that the Vitamin B17 Amygdalin is unlocked at the cancer cell, releases its poisons to the cancer cell and ONLY TO THE CANCER CELL."

You may still be skeptical that laetrile can cure cancer.  Day: B-17 Fact or fiction 2009  If this is you, then you should check out the following articles for more information:

1. Where is the laetrile compound 'nitriloside' found:  Article by Krebs: Nitrilosides in plants is no longer active.

2. Freedom of choice for treating cancer:  Binzel: cancer with nutrition 1994

3. Doctors treating cancer patients with laetrile:  V-17 Information

4. Metabolic therapy for cancer patients:  World Without Cancer: B-17 therapy 2001

5. Diets and Foods to eat to get natural laetrile:  Good and Bad foods

6. More info about laetrile:   Wiki: amygdalin  Griffin: World without cancer 1974

7. Where to get laetrile therapy help:  Cancer Tutor: Cancer therapy 2015

8. Other cancer information:  Griffin: World without cancer 1974

 So .... what else can you conclude from this article about Amygdalin? The answer: You may be preventing cancer by eating seeds without being aware that you are! 

Check your chances of successful orthodox treatment against laetrile and Amygdalin.  Richardson: Cancer case studies

You may be eating nuts like almonds and other foods like beans and broccoli in very small amounts that may be helping your body to prevent cancer.  Or .... you eat apples but throw away the apple seeds that contain very small amounts of beneficial Amygdalin. Eating fruit and nut seeds may explain why some persons may be more predisposed to cancer than others but not having cancer symptoms.

Diet may be your best medicine! Check out the articles above for foods that can help you prevent cancer. The list of foods by Josh Axe [MD] on the right side is self explanatory.  With the exception of apricot seeds, these foods have very small and usually safe amounts of Amygdalin.  Such foods may help prevent cancer.  Article by Admin: B17 healing from nature is no longer active.  Binzel: cancer with nutrition 1994  MyApricotSeeds: Apricot seeds info Eating 6 to 7 apricot seeds do not contain enough amygdalin dose to be effective in stopping stage 4 cancer.  But advocates say that eating 4 to 5 apricot seeds each day would be a safe way to prevent cancer.  "By eating raw apricot or almond seeds daily, you drastically reduce your odds of ever being diagnosed with cancer during your lifetime." You need to decide about all of this!


Testimonials that apricot kernels do prevent cancer:

Shannon Knight cured stage 4 breast cancer with alternative therapies Length = 46:26 mns.:

Source: internet projector

Tamara St. John ate apricot kernels to send breast cancer into remisssion Length = 2:26 mns.:

How long does it take for cancer to die out after consuming raw apricot seeds?   The cancer cells start dying out immediately after taking the apricot kernels. With raw apricot seeds alone, it is a slow process, because the apricot seed only contains about 2% to 3% amygdelin. For example: • For bone cancer, it takes a little longer for the laetrile to absorb deep into the body. • Skin cancer reacts the quickest. Within one week a notable difference is seen. In many cases complete tumor regression is achieved in less than three weeks. • Carcinomas can take a few months to shrink. • Cervical cancer has been noted to completely regress in less than three weeks.

Testing for cancer - How Much Cancer Do You Have? How To Measure Your Progress!: Kerr: K-17 treatrment for cancer 2015

"Many people are not sure if they have cancer, and they want to know if they really do have cancer. Others are confident they have cancer, but they have no clue how much cancer they really have. Other individuals know they have cancer and they want to know if their cancer treatment is effective. They want to know: “Is my treatment working?” The good news is that people don’t need an expensive and dangerous “P.E.T. Scan” (Positron Emission Tomography) to have a good feel for how much cancer they have. Traditional medical screening can only “detect” cancer when it is roughly the size of a pea – a billion cancer cells – which they can see, scan, measure, and poke. But who wants to wait 6 months or more for your next scan to know whether or not your treatment is working, possibly wasting precious time and resources on something that may not be working. Blood tests for cancer that measure traditional tumor markers are only moderately effective at best. In fact these biomarkers are only sloughed off once you have cancer. This is too late. Cancer patients want to know how effective their cancer treatment is. So how do they measure their progress?"  Kerr: K-17 treatrment for cancer 2015

Traditional medical screening tests, as mentioned above, to detect cancer in patients is the medical standard.  However, there are many tests, most of which are expensive and need the approval of the attending doctor.  Cancer Cure Foundation: Lab tests 2015    If you are using a cancer treatment, please consider regular and periodic testing (e.g. once every two or three months) to empower yourself to know how effective your treatment is working!! If your score goes up significantly – change protocols!!

Two new ultra-sensitive blood tests, which are both about 85-90% effective in monitoring cancer, are available directly to the consumer. It is important to use the SAME blood test every time. The scores of the different tests cannot be compared to each other.

  • 1) The CA Profile (Kelley) – This blood and urine test measures a combination of 6 biomarkers which when taken together have a documented correlation to the development and progression of cancer. 3 of the markers are tumor markers, and the other 3 markers look at the downstream effects of cancer on your organs and immune system. It is recommended for detecting the amount of cancer:
  • CA Profile
  • 2) Navarro Urine Test – This simple urine test is a very good way to test your cancer. While not as accurate as the other methods it can provide a very good clue as to how much cancer you are dealing with. For example, someone in remission or who is not sure if they have cancer should take this test every six months to see if there is any growth of the cancer: NNavarro Medical Clinic

Dosage oral: It should be stressed that anyone seeking healing through natural means should consult both, a physician along with a pharmacist, with knowledge in the field of complimentary or nutritional therapy, especially with serious or potentially life threatening situations.

Dosage herein refers to ingesting apricot seeds. Bromley reports that high dose of vitamin C may interfere with Amygdalin.  Bromley: Interactions mygdalin and vitamin C 2005  The cautionary side of this is that small dose of vitamin C may be safe to ingest.

On average, bitter apricot kernels contain about 5% amygdalin and sweet kernels about 0.9% amygdalin.   These values correspond to 0.3% and 0.05% of cyanide. Since a typical apricot kernel weighs 600 mg, bitter and sweet varieties contain respectively 1.8 and 0.3 mg of cyanide.   Wiki: Apricot kernels 2015  Although the amount of amygdalin may vary depending on the soil where apricots are grown, ingesting about 4 to 7 seeds per day is deemed to be safe while ingesting 10 or more apricot seeds may eventually bring on toxic symptoms.

Adverse Effects of laetrile: "The side effects associated with laetrile treatment mirror the symptoms of cyanide poisoning. Cyanide is a neurotoxin that can cause nausea and vomiting, headache, dizziness, cyanosis (bluish discoloration of the skin resulting from oxygen-deprived hemoglobin in the blood), liver damage, hypotension (abnormally low blood pressure), ptosis (droopy upper eyelid), ataxic neuropathies (difficulty walking caused by damaged nerves), fever, mental confusion, coma, and death. Oral laetrile causes more severe side effects than injected laetrile. These side effects can be potentiated (increased) by the concurrent administration of raw almonds or crushed fruit pits, and by eating fruits or vegetables that contain beta-glucosidase (e.g., celery, peaches, bean sprouts, carrots), or by taking high doses of vitamin C orally."  PDQ: Cancer summaries 20155

There are cautionary reports about how many apricot seeds to eat per hour or day and also that some nutrients may interfere with amygdalin. Article by Krebs: B-17 significance is no longer active.  Richardson: Cancer case studies   The possible ensuing side effects may be slight symptoms of cyanide poisoning.  Good research on this issue may be inexact and missing at this time for persons eating bitter apricot seeds.  It would be prudent to proceed with caution in ingesting apricot seeds.  Do so under the guidance of your therapist doctor and pharmacist who can monitor your body.

Nutrients in Apricot seeds:  Not surprising, an internet search failed to find the nutritional status of apricot seeds .  How much amygdalin does an average raw apricot seed contain, on the average? In the USA it is reported to be about 4-5mg.  It would also be wonderful to know the nutritional content of apricot seeds.  But we only have the nutritional status for apricot fruit and apricot oil; neither of which give relevant information about apricot seeds!  So, can we get some .... idea of the nutritional status of the next closest rich food substance?  Lets try almond seeds! 

Amygdalin amount in Almond seeds:    Almond Bd California: Amygdalin in almonds 2013

almond k17 levels

The California study compared the trace amygdalin contents of raw kernels of 10 commercial nonbitter (sweet) varieties of California almonds obtained from four major growing regions (2010 harvest). Mean amygdalin levels ranged from ~0.2 to 16 mg/100 g in sweet almond varieties and mean amygdalin levels ranged from ~3,300 to 5,400 mg/100 g in bitter varieties.  Almonds are a good source of amygdalin, although apricot seeds are much better.

The following nutritional anlysis is for almond seeds [below]:

Nutritional Status of Almond seeds [Serving size= 16 g = 1 tspn]
Source:  Self Nutrition Data
1 almond nut facts
2 cal info
9 other
3 Carbs
4 fats
5 protein
8 sterols
6 vits
7 minerals


Admin, "Vitamin B17 Can Cure Cancer – We Just Need To Take It From Nature," Natural healing magazine, June 25, 2015.   Article by Admin: B17 healing from nature is no longer active.

Alternative Cancer Treatments, "Food."   Video: How immunity works

Almond Board of California, "Quantification of amygdalin in nonbitter,semibitter, and bitter almonds (Prunus dulcis)," by J. Lee, G. Zhang, E. Wood, C.R. Castillo, and A.E. Mitchell, Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2013, 61:7754–7759.   Almond Bd California: Amygdalin in almonds 2013

AntiCancerInfo, "CANCER PREVENTION - A CHANGE IN OUR DIET ," ANTICANCERINFO.CO.UK.   Article about AntiCancerInfo: Cancer prevention & diet is no longer active.

Axe Josh, "Vitamin B17 Controversy: Poison or Cancer Cure?" DrAxel Food is medicine, 2015.  Axe: B17 controversy 2015

Binzel Philip E., "One Doctor's Experience with Nutrition in the Treatment of Cancer Patients, ALIVE AND WELL [ article & book ], American Media Publisher, 1994.  Binzel: cancer with nutrition 1994

Bond Laura, "B17 – Apricot Kernels," 2015.  Bond: Apricot Kernals 2015

Bromley J, Hughes BG, Leong DC, Buckley NA., "Life-threatening interaction between complementary medicines: cyanide toxicity following ingestion of amygdalin and vitamin C," Ann Pharmacother. September, 2005;39(9):1566-9.  Bromley: Interactions amygdalin and vitamin C 2005

Cancer Cure Foundation, "Laetrile and Information on Vitamin B17."  Cancer Cure Foundation: Getting laetrile & Doctors

Cancer Tutor, "Laetrile / Vitamin B17 Treatment For Cancer," November 21, 2015.  Cancer Tutor: Cancer therapy 2015

Day Phillip, "´Vitamin´ B-17: Separating Myth From Reality," InteractiveCancer, 2009.  Day: B-17 Fact or fiction 2009

Griffin G. Edward," A World without cancer," Part 1 - The Science Of Cancer Therapy, December 1974.  Griffin: World without cancer 1974

Chang HK1, Shin MS, Yang HY, Lee JW, Kim YS, Lee MH, Kim J, Kim KH, Kim CJ, "Amygdalin induces apoptosis through regulation of Bax and Bcl-2 expressions in human DU145 and LNCaP prostate cancer cells," Biol Pharm Bull, August 29, 2006 (8):1597-602.   Chang: Amygdalin fights prostate cancer 2006

Kerr Webster, "Laetrile / Vitamin B17 Treatment For Cancer," Cancer Coach, November 21, 2015.  Kerr: K-17 treatrment for cancer 2015

Krebs Ernst T. Jr., "THE NITRILOSIDES IN PLANTS AND ANIMALS -- Nutritional and Therapeutic Implications," John Beard Memorial Foundation, (Privately published: 1964).   Article by Krebs: Nitrilosides in plants is no longer active.

Krebs Ernst T. Jr., "The Nitrilosides (Vitamin B-17)-Their Nature, Occurence and Metabolic Significance (Antineoplastic Vitamin B-17)," Journal of Applied Nutrition, Volume 22, Numbers 3 and 4, 1970.   Article by Krebs: B-17 significance is no longer active.

My Apricot Seeds, "Frequently Asked Questions and Answers," My Apricot  MyApricotSeeds: Apricot seeds info

PDQ Cancer Complementary and Alternative Medicine Editorial Board, "Cancer Information Summaries Laetrile/Amygdalin (PDQ®)," PubMed Health, September 29, 2015.   PDQ: Cancer summaries 2015  [ PDQ is a independent of NCI ]

Richardson John, "Case Studies [for different cancers]," Richardson: Cancer case studies

Sarich Christina, "Vitamin B17: Able to Treat and Prevent Cancer, or Pure Poison?," Natural Society, MAY 26, 2013.   Sarich: B17 truth or fiction 2013

The Cancer Cure Foundation, "Laetrile and Information on Vitamin B17," The Cancer Cure Foundation.   V-17 Information

The Cancer Cure Foundation, "Laboratory Tests that Detect Cancer." December 15, 2015.  Cancer Cure Foundation: Lab tests 2015

Wikipedia,"   Wiki: amygdalin

Wikipedia, "Apricot kernals." December 24, 2015.   Wiki: Apricot kernels 2015  

World Without Cancer, "THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO VITAMIN B-17 METABOLIC THERAPY," Publisher, 2001.   World Without Cancer: B-17 therapy 2001