Cancer Treatment with Vitamin B17/Laetrile

Read about Cancer Treatment with Vitamin B17/Laetrile

Laetrile is another name for a chemical called amygdalin and vitamin B17. Laetrile therapy is one of the most popular and best known alternative cancer treatments. Alternative treatment means that people use it instead of conventional cancer treatments such as cancer drugs or radiotherapy.

It is very simple to use and is very effective if used in high enough doses and if the product is of high quality and if it is combined with an effective cancer diet and key supplements.

The first use of laetrile as a treatment for cancer was in Russia in 1845and it was used in the USA from the 1920s. In the 1970s, laetrile was widely promoted as an anti-cancer agent either on its own or as part of a programme with a particular diet, high dose vitamin supplements, and pancreatic enzymes.

Laetrile works by targeting and killing cancer cells and building the immune system to fend off future outbreaks of cancer. This beneficial compound is released into the body’s tissues and targets and destroys mutated cells.

Cancer Treatment with Vitamin B17/Laetrile

Other Names

Some people call laetrile vitamin B17, although it isn’t a vitamin. It also has the names

  • Mandelonitrile beta D gentiobioside
  • Mandelonitrile beta glucuronide
  • Laevorotatory
  • Purasin
  • Amygdalina
  • Nitriloside

Sources of Vitamin B17

Laetrile is a partial synthetic form of the natural substance amygdalin. Amygdalin is a plant substance found naturally in

Seeds of Fruits or Kernels:

These have the highest concentration of B17 in nature apart from bitter almonds. Seeds of apricot, cherry, apple, peach, nectarine, plum, pear & prune contain good amounts of laetrile.


Macadamia, Bitter Almond and Walnuts.


Burma, Broad (Vicia faba), lentils (sprouted), mung (sprouted), Lima, Scarlet runner, Rangoon.


Nearly all wild berries Chokeberry, Blackberry, Christmas berry, Elderberry, Raspberry, Cranberry, Strawberry.


Acacia, Aquatic, Alfalfa (sprouted), Milkweed, Sudan, minus, white Dover, wheat grass.


Flax, Chia, Sesame.

Vitamin B17 Benefits

Although there is no evidence that laetrile can help with cancer, some people take it because they believe it might

  • Improve their health, energy levels and wellbeing
  • Detoxify and cleanse the body
  • Help them to live longer

Some people want to use laetrile if they are told that their cancer can’t be cured with conventional cancer treatments. They hope that laetrile will be able to control or cure their cancer. There is no scientific evidence to support any of these reasons for using laetrile.Other benefits of Laetrile are

  • Lowers high blood pressure
  • Reduces pain
  • Boosts immunity

Modes of Availability

Laetrile is available as

  • Intravenous injection
  • Tablets
  • Skin lotions
  • Liquid to put into the

Taking laetrile as tablets has more side effects than having it as an injection. Our digestive bacteria, and the enzymes in the food we eat, break down the laetrile and release cyanide.


Laetrile’s promoters usually recommend that you have daily injections into a vein for 2 or 3 weeks, followed by laetrile tablets for some time. Laetrile is also used in lotions to apply to your skin. It is used in enemas that are inserted into the rectum.

It can be quite a rigid and complex treatment to stick to. It is suggested for the persons who take laetrile or vitamin B17 to additionally take high doses of other essential vitamins according to recommended daily allowance quantities and follow a special diet.

Laetrile contains cyanide, which is a type of poison. So the side effects of laetrile toxicity are the same as those of cyanide. These include

  • Sickness
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Liver damage
  • A lack of oxygen to the body tissues
  • A drop in blood pressure
  • Drooping eyelids
  • Fever
  • Nerve damage, causing loss of balance and difficulty walking
  • Confusion, coma and eventually death

It is estimated that eating approximately 50 to 60 apricot kernels, or 50g of laetrile, can cause death.

If you take laetrile as tablets, it is very important that you avoid eating other foods that contain amygdalin such as

  • Raw almonds
  • Crushed fruit stones or pips
  • Celery
  • Apricots
  • Peaches
  • Bean sprouts
  • Carrots
  • High doses of vitamin C
  • Beans like lima, butter and other pulses
  • Flax seed
  • Nuts

These foods are safe when you eat them without laetrile because the levels of amygdalin in them are low. It is also important for anyone with liver problems to know that laetrile may cause further damage to their liver.


Because of the lack of evidence that laetrile works, and the serious side effects it has, it is not authorized for sale in the European Union. The Food and Drugs Agency (FDA) in the USA have also banned it. An American website estimated the cost of laetrile injections for 21 days to start the treatment at about $336. Then it costs about $160 a month for laetrile tablets.

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