The Dangers of B17


Vitamin B17 is commonly used to describe an FDA-discriminated anti-cancer drug made from the seeds of apricot, peach and almonds. Because of the lack of evidence for its efficacy as an alternative cancer treatment, it is important to know the dangerous and serious side effects that could result from taking vitamin B17.

The main concern with B17 is the formation of cyanide in your body. When taken, amygdalin in the stomach produces toxic hydrocyanic acid. Hydrogen cyanide dissolves to form the cyanide anion. Cyanide is a fast-acting and deadly toxic compound that can prevent cells from using oxygen and ultimately kill it, according to a report from Case Reports in Emergency Medicine, 2017.

Symptoms of cyanide poisoning

Since Laetrile produces cyanide, a neurotoxin, the side effects of Laetrile reflect those of cyanide. Mild to severe poisoning cases can lead to the following symptoms:

  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Weakness and dizziness
  • Mental confusion
  • Stomach pain
  • Liver damage
  • Low blood pressure
  • Hanging upper eyelid
  • Cyanosis – a bluish impression of the skin and mucous membranes
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Cramps
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Circulatory and respiratory arrest
  • Coma
  • Death

Some of these symptoms may get worse when eating Laetrile together with raw almonds or crushed fruit pits or fruits or vegetables with beta-glucosidase – celery, peaches, bean sprouts or carrots – or with high levels of vitamin C. according to “PDQ Cancer Information Summaries.”

Is Laetrile effective?

Much research has been done in laboratory and animal studies to test the effects of Laetrile, but limited scientific evidence from controlled trials suggests that Laetril is an effective treatment for cancer or other diseases. There are conflicting reports due to positive feedback from in vitro and animal studies. However, in human clinical trials, Laetrile has not been found to have similarly efficacious results and considers the risk-benefit ratio of Laetril or amygdalin as a cancer therapy to be dangerous due to side effects and poor survival.

A systematic review, updated to 2018, examined the effects and side effects of amygdalin and laetrile from previous studies. The conclusion published in Cochrane Systematic Review did not show any positive effects of Laetril or Amygdalin-containing formulations on cancer treatment. 

The researchers cautioned against risks from serious side effects from cyanide poisoning, especially after oral ingestion of the product. In addition, it has been suggested that there is no scientific or ethical justification for further clinical trials with amygdalin or Laetril as a cancer treatment.

A study published in Biochemistry and Biophysics Reports in 2018 warns against the dangerous use of amygdalin as a therapeutic drug due to undefined toxicity-causing dosage levels and non-standard modes of administration. Because there is no state control over the preparation of vitamin B17, batches of amygdalin or laetrile may vary in purity and content and may be contaminated if obtained from questionable sources.

A word of warning

It’s understandable that you’re ready to try anything to treat or cure your cancer. Only you can decide if you want to use a conventional or alternative cancer therapy. Although many sites promote Laetrile or B17 supplements as remedies, no reputable scientific cancer organization argues that Laetrile affects the treatment of cancer. The side effects of B17 have been found to be harmful or even fatal. Therefore, consider the potential consequences before using unproven treatments.

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