In general, animal and laboratory studies of the amygdala have mixed results. Several did not find benefits, while others suggest that the chemical slightly affected certain types of cancer cells. An animal study said that amygdalin delayed the growth of cancer in animals and helped prevent tumors from spreading to the lungs. But the repeated studies could not show similar results.
In 1977, in a controlled and blinded trial, laetrile did not show more activity than placebo. Subsequently, laetrile was tested in 14 types of tumors without evidence of effectiveness. In a study that only examined 6 people to assess which levels of laetrile were safe, 2 people developed symptoms of cyanide poisoning because they ate raw almonds while taking amygdalin. A second study in 1982, analyzed whether laetrile could reduce cancer in 178 people and only 1 person had any apparent response to laetrile.
However, within 7 months, all cancers had continued to grow. But as time went on, the results were clear: no person was cured or even stabilized their cancer.
The average survival rate for laetrile was 4.8 months from the start of therapy and in those who remained alive after 7 months, the tumor size had increased. This was the expected result for patients who did not receive any treatment. In addition, several patients experienced symptoms of cyanide toxicity or had blood levels of cyanide that were approaching the lethal range.
The National Cancer Institute has reviewed the use of laetrile for cancer in people on its website. They sponsored 2 studies published in the late 70s and early 80s. Some scientists have tested the laetrile in more than 20 modes of animal tumors, as well as in humans, and found no benefits either alone or in combination with other substances.
More recently, in 2015, the Cochrane Library published a systematic review. He found that the declared benefits of laetrile are not supported by controlled clinical trials. He also found a risk of serious side effects from cyanide poisoning. The authors of this study conclude that, for ethical and scientific reasons, no further clinical research should be conducted on this subject.
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