Nutritionally, apricot seeds are similar to other nuts: they are rich in healthy fats and provide some fiber and iron. There are several ways in which apricot seeds are used in our food today. The seeds or apricot kernels that are grown in Central Asia and around the Mediterranean are so sweet that they are sometimes replaced by almonds. Italian liqueur amaretto and amaretti biscotti is flavored with apricot kernel and almond extract; In addition, the pressed oil from these cultivars has been used as cooking oil.
Sweet apricot seeds are sometimes sold as snacks or baking, and contain little or no amygdalin, a controversial component in the grain. People eat apricot seeds as a snack, much like almonds rich in nutrition. Bitter apricot seeds, on the other hand, definitely contain amygdaline, which can raise cyanide levels once consumed.
The worrying problem here is that apricot seeds are often not labeled correctly, whether sweet or bitter, and eating sandwiches with these tasty seeds is potentially dangerous to your health. It is difficult to find a clear answer about the safety of these seeds: it is known that sweet apricot kernels increase immunity and fight bodily infections, but there is also a great debate about its chemical compound Amygdalin (or Laetrile, its patented name of drug ) called “vitamin B17”, its commercial name) and its effectiveness as a natural treatment against cancer.
Anti cancer compounds in Apricot seeds?
Apricot seeds contain a toxic chemical known as amygdalin, which is also known as Laetrile. Some companies call this compound “vitamin B17” to label and market the product as an essential substance. In the body, this chemical becomes cyanide, which is poisonous and can cause serious damage.
There has been interest in using apricot kernels, which are inside the seeds, to fight cancer because of this toxic chemical that fights cancer cells before they turn into cyanide and spread throughout the body. Some researchers believe that cyanide alone would damage the cancerous tumor, but scientific studies suggest that this is not always true.
What is Laetrile?
The name Laetrile is a patented drug name used to describe a purified form of chemical amygdalin, a plant compound that contains sugar and produces cyanide. This compound is found in the pits of many fruits (such as apricot seeds), raw nuts and other plants, such as beans, clover and sorghum.
Laetrile has been used in the USA. UU For the treatment of cancer since the 1970s; After treatment was banned in the 1950s because it was considered too toxic, states argued that it was not fair that the US government could block access to promising new cancer therapies. After court cases in Oklahoma, Massachusetts, New Jersey and California challenged the role of the FDA in determining what drugs should be available for cancer patients, Laetrile was legalized in more than 20 states.
In 1980, the Supreme Court of the USA. UU He acted to defend a federal ban on the interstate shipment of Laetrile, and as a result, the use of Laetrile has diminished considerably. Nowadays, the compound is manufactured and administered mainly in Mexico and in some clinics in the USA. UU Although patients resort to this alternative treatment, the positive and negative effects of Laetrile are still subject to debate.
Laetrile, which is a proposed non-toxic intravenous form of tonsillin, was first used as a treatment for cancer in Russia in 1845 and then in the United States in the 1920s. At that time, the amygdala was taken in a of pill, but this was considered too toxic and research on this treatment was abandoned. In the 1950s, Laetrile was patented and tested for its ability to kill cancer cells in animal cells, whole animals, transplanted tumor cells and humans. After decades of research, mostly on animals and cells, it was proposed that cancer cells are more susceptible to the toxic effects of Laetrile than normal cells.
Another theory suggests that the cyanide released by Laetrile has a toxic effect beyond its interference with the use of oxygen by cells, so that cyanide increases the acid content of tumors and leads to the destruction of lysosomes. , which are compartments within cells that contain enzymes. These destroyed lysosomes release their contents and kill the cancer cells, which stops the growth of the tumor.
According to the National Cancer Institute, Laetrile can be administered orally as a pill, or it can be administered by injection (intravenous or intramuscular). It is usually given intravenously for a period of time followed by pills, which is known as oral maintenance therapy.
The biggest concern with treatment with Laetrile are the levels of cyanide that grow in the body. Research shows that the incidence of cyanide poisoning is much higher when Laetrile is taken orally because intestinal bacteria and some commonly eaten plants contain enzymes that activate the release of cyanide. On the other hand, when Laetrile is taken intravenously, the levels of cyanide that are released are very low.
The results of the study investigating the anticancer effects of Laetrile are mixed. Some show that it is beneficial to avoid cancer and keep the spread of existing cancer cells to a minimum, while others show no effects on cancer cells. While many professionals claim that Laetrile is a qualified cancer treatment, most agree that it should not be the primary treatment for cancer in any patient; instead, some experts recommend that it be used as a supplement.
A 1982 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine evaluated the effectiveness of Laetrile in 178 cancer patients. (2) Patients received Laetrile intravenously, in addition to following a “metabolic therapy” program consisting of oral treatments with Laetrile; adopted a special diet that restricts caffeine, sugar, meats, dairy products, eggs and alcohol; In addition, patients took high doses of enzymes and vitamins.
The result of this 21-day treatment indicated that there was no substantial benefit in terms of cure, improvement or stabilization of the cancer; improvement of symptoms related to cancer; or extension of the useful life. Several patients showed symptoms of cyanide toxicity or had blood cyanide levels approaching the lethal range after intravenous treatment, but the levels did not rise after oral treatment. One patient, who had gastric carcinoma with metastasis to the cervical ganglion, experienced a partial response that was maintained for 10 weeks while on treatment with Laetrile.
In a study conducted in 2006 by the Department of Physiology of Kyung Hee University in South Korea, when the extract of Laetrile was combined with human prostate cancer cells, the extract helped to significantly induce apoptosis (programmed cell death) in the prostate cancer cells. Researchers conclude that the amygdala may offer a valuable and natural option to treat prostate cancer.
There are several scientific studies with animals and cell cultures, and the results are varied. Some found that treatment with Laetrile inhibited the growth of primary tumors in mice, while others reported that none of the solid tumors or leukemias that were investigated responded to Laetrile at any dose that was tested. (4) Due to these variable results, the medical community has not yet accepted the efficacy of Laetrile as an anti-cancer treatment.
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