Vitamin B17 (Laetrile, Amygdalin) Cancer Benefits and Food Sources

Vitamin B17, also known as laetrile, amygdalin and nitriloside, is a nutrient found primarily in the seeds of fruit, particularly the apricot.

Vitamin B17 Health Benefits

Cancer Treatment

Supplements of vitamin B17 for the prevention and cure of various kinds of cancer are virtually impossible to purchase in some nations, such as the United States, where the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has made it illegal to sell them. Raw apricot seeds, generally viewed as one of the best sources of the nutrient, are not sold in health food stores in the U.S. for the same reasons that the sale of vitamin B17 supplements was banned. The use of laetrile to prevent and cure cancer has been vehemently rejected by the FDA, the American Medical Association and the American Cancer Society. They have even labeled belief in the nutrient as a cure for cancer as medical fraud.

Many people disagree, however, with such rejection of the use of vitamin B17 in the treatment of cancer. The consumption of laetrile by cancer patients proved to be effective in greatly reducing and even completely halting the growth of tumors in their body. High levels of injectable laetrile are known to help alleviate the pain associated with cancer. The anti-cancer properties of vitamin B17 cannot be denied. Many U.S. citizens view the ban on the sale of these supplements as restricting their right to alternative medical treatments.

Other Health Benefits

Apart from its claimed use in treatment or natural prevention of cancer, there are several other health benefits associated with this vitamin. It is believed to help in lowering high blood pressure or hypertension. Secondly, it is also believed to have a positive effect on the immune system. Vitamin B17 helps in strengthening the immune system. On the other hand, it is also beneficial in improving one's overall health and maintaining it.

Why is Vitamin B17 BANNED from U.S. store shelves?

Question: I had heard that Vitamin B17 was beneficial in preventing and curing some forms of cancer, but I couldn't find it on any store shelves. Even the fresh raw seeds like Apricot and bitter Almonds, that contain usable Vitamin B17, can not be found in health stores.

Answer: Vitamin B-17, more commonly known as laetrile, is not a vitamin, but rather a substance found naturally in the pits of apricots and other fruits. In the 1970s, vitamin B-17 was proposed as a treatment for cancer. It was even more strongly claimed that when one eats about 7 apricot seeds per day they can never develop cancer, just as one can never get scurvy if they have an orange every day, or pellagra if they have some B vitamins every day.

This chemical compound is not readily available in the United States for several reasons, however.


Although natural healing advocates touted the benefits of vitamin B-17 for cancer treatment, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration banned the importation and interstate transfer of this substance in 1977. The ban on vitamin B-17 was based on the lack of evidence of this chemical compound, as well as the lack of a New Drug Application. Numerous injunctions have arisen from attempts to manufacture and distribute vitamin B-17 in violation of the ban.

Although vitamin B-17 cannot be legally imported or transported across state lines in the United States, it it legal in Mexico and other countries. Also, it is offered as part of some alternative cancer treatment programs in the United States despite the FDA's ban. Obtaining vitamin B-17 can be prohibitively expensive, however.

Although Vitamin B17 is banned, it is not illegal!

What's the Difference?

If any hospital uses laetrile, the law says that they jeopardize any grants from the government as well as any monies 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 and Laetrile).

Any doctor that wants to use the substance from apricot pits, must have their 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 lists. Additionally, the doctor's malpractice insurance will not be valid if they prescribe laetrile (B17--amygdalin) to a patient. The American Medical Association (AMA) treats any doctor that prescribes laetrile to have violated the AMA's membership policies and may be subject to membership termination. In addition, doctors are officially forbidden from using or even discussing B17 unless a patient mentions the subject first. Therefore, any doctor that prescribes laetrile may destroy his career as a doctor.

Any individual that sells laetrile must not claim that it does anything in his place of business, and especially in regards to curing cancer. Making health claims about vitamin B17 is illegal and may send you to jail. 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 can be prosecuted.

However, on the Internet, it is different. Internet law is tricky and not the same as U.S. commercial law. In one case, a person 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.

What THIS MEANS TO YOU is that you can purchase, use and have B17, and you will not have violated any law.

Now Barely Legal ― Vitamin B17

Vitamin B17 has technically become legal in the United States again, but it is still banned as a medicine by the F.D.A. This means that Americans may legally own sources of B17, give them away, or sell them in their own state; but doctors are officially forbidden from using or even discussing B17 unless a patient mentions the subject first. The A.M.A. is fully backing the F.D.A. on this issue, and one has to ponder why they are acting so afraid of this vitamin. A person still places himself in great legal jeopardy if he discloses what his B17 products are capable of medically, because this would be considered by the F.D.A. to be practicing medicine, making unapproved claims, and promoting a banned medicine to boot health.

Be careful discussing such things with a regular doctor or that you use "alternative cures" on your children, because he may tell child protective services that you are "medically neglecting" your child, and if he doesn't do it, the A.M.A. may whenever it is notified.

Vitamin B17 Foods

We are all aware that vitamins are required for normal functioning of the human body. Vitamin A, B, C, D, E and K are the most important vitamins that are required daily by the human body. Vitamin B is a known as vitamin B complex as it consists of vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9, B12, etc. There is another vitamin included in the B complex group, and that is vitamin V17. Vitamin B17 is commonly known as Laetrile. It is a modified form of amygdalin and is popularly used as a cancer cure. One of the most important point to note is that although known as a vitamin, it is actually a glycoside. It occurs naturally and is found in several foods. So, are you wondering what foods contain vitamin B17? Take a look at the following list of foods rich in vitamin B17.

Food Sources of Vitamin B17

Vitamin B17 is found in highest quantity in bitter almonds. This vitamin is usually found in seeds and pits of fruits. These parts of the fruit are usually not consumed by human beings. It is also found in high quantities in beans and nuts. Following is a list of sources of vitamin B17.


  • Blackberry

  • Choke cherry

  • Currant

  • Cranberry

  • Elderberry

  • Gooseberry

  • Mulberry

  • Raspberry


  • Apple seeds

  • Apricot seeds

  • Cherry seeds

  • Flax seeds

  • Nectarine seeds

  • Pear seeds

  • Peach seeds

  • Plum seeds

  • Squash seeds


  • Black beans

  • Fava beans

  • Garbanzo beans

  • Green peas

  • Kidney beans

  • Lima beans

  • Lentils

  • Moong


  • Bitter almonds

  • Cashews

  • Macadamia nuts


  • Alfalfa sprouts

  • Acacia

  • Bamboo shoots

  • Fuschia plant

  • Milkweed

  • Sorghum

  • Watercress

  • Whole grains

  • Yams

If you wish to know what foods have the most Vitamin B17, then note that among the list of foods containing B17 mentioned above, all the seeds (especially apricot seeds), bitter almonds, blackberry, alfalfa, fava beans, etc contain highest amounts of vitamin B 17. As mentioned above, this vitamins has been widely claimed as a natural preventive for cancer.

Raw Bitter Almonds, and Apricot Seeds

In 2007, bitter almonds (not regular almonds) were becoming popular with alternative medicine due to their vitamin B17 content. The reason for the exploding popularity of vitamin B17, and thereby bitter almonds, was due to the fact that vitamin B17 has dramatic and amazing cancer killing properties. While alternative medicine has had effective and non-toxic cancer cures since the 1930's, the new vitamin really looked like a the cure. There were reports everywhere of cancers being killed merely from patients eating heaping servings of bitter almonds daily. Soon there would be almond extract capsules, so that these same patients would need only to take one cheap, non-toxic pill per day.

However, in September of 2007, the F.D.A. claimed that raw almonds had been linked to two salmonella outbreaks in five years, and that all almonds needed to be pasteurized. These salmonella outbreaks were not due to any organic almonds, which reminds us of the many meat recalls. Salmonella and e-coli are present in our foods only because of grossly unhygienic factory conditions; not because any natural foods are inherently covered with bacteria. For the organic bitter almonds, the required pasteurization would bring only one significant change in them. It would neutralize the vitamin B17. Raw almonds are the only easily accessible source of vitamin B17. They are partially illegal now by F.D.A. decree. The highest source of B17, the bitter almond tree, was banned from the U.S. In 1995.

So since September 1, 2007, raw untreated California almonds have technically not been available in the United States. Despite floods of phone calls and letters of disapproval to the U.S.D.A. and the F.D.A., almonds sold in the U.S. must now be pasteurized. These same agencies have notified food producers that they may freely and dishonestly label their pasteurized almonds as "raw". Controversially, California almonds labeled as "raw" are required to be steam-pasteurized or chemically treated with propylene oxide. This does not apply to imported almonds, or to almonds sold from the grower directly to the consumer in small quantities. Nor is the treatment required for raw almonds sold as exports to countries outside of North America.

Most almonds are pasteurized with Propylene oxide. Propylene oxide is a known carcinogen, and it is on California's Proposition 65 list of chemicals known to cause both cancer and reproductive harm. This means that the majority of almonds sold in the U.S. are not only nutritionally neutralized, but contain dangerous chemical toxins as well. Remember that before the F.D.A. decided most almonds must be tainted to make them healthy, almonds were so healthful that they could quickly cure cancer without side effects in many test subjects.

Some food companies only sells almonds which have been pasteurized with steam, which is an improvement over poisonous pasteurization methods; but it still degrades the nutritional value of almonds, and of course, eliminates all of the anti-cancer vitamin B17. There is usually no way to know which method has been used for pasteurization, because labeling laws are made to benefit the manufacturers, and deceive the consumers.

Wait A Minute! Aren't Bitter Almonds Poisonous?

According to the modern F.D.A., bitter almonds are poisonous. However, it's also a fact that they contain the cancer destroying vitamin B17. Funny how that works. Bitter almonds had been eaten by humanity unimpaired during the previous 6,000 years of history.

People who warn us about bitter almonds typically state that they contain prussic acid (a chemical precursor to cyanide compounds), and hydrocyanic acid (also in the cyanide family). Similar compounds exist in benign organic forms in most of our healthiest foods, so while it is true that bitter almonds contain these compounds (like other healthy foods), is it also equally true that our science does not understand how these organic forms operate inside the body. The danger of bitter almonds is generally assumed based on the discovery of these compounds, and not on empirical evidence of people actually falling dead from almond poisoning. Real science does not present assumptions as facts.


The cyanide in it is non toxic just like the cyanide in B-12. And targets only cancer cells any kind of cancer cells. Does not harm any other part of the body ONLY TARGETS [CANCER CELLS]. Is a supplement NOT a herb.

But Aren't Apricot Pits Poisonous?

The FDA claimed that apricot pits and laetrile have free hydrogen cyanide in them and are, therefore, extremely poisonous.

Let's ask another question before addressing the issue of whether apricot pits and laetrile are poisonous. When was the last time you saw a health warning against blueberries? What you hear and read about blueberries is that they're close to being the perfect food, that their skins are full of cyanin (short for anthocyanin). Does that word sound a bit familiar? Similar to cyanide, perhaps? Cyanin—the substance that makes blueberries dark blue, bing cherries deep red, and blackberries black—is considered extremely nutritious because it's an excellent antioxidant. The cyanin of blueberries and other fruits is bound with glycosides, just as apricot pit cyanin is. Therefore, if it's dangerous in one, then it must be dangerous in every plant in which it's found.

Studies have shown that anthocyanins can help slow or stop the growth of premalignant cells, speed up the death rate of cancerous cells, reduce inflammation that leads to cancer, inhibit the growth of blood vessels that nurture cancer, and minimize DNA damage from cancer.

So does the claim made about dangers inherent in the cyanide of apricot pits and raw almonds has to do with a cancer industry that's focused on protecting its turf by preventing the use of readily available and nearly free substances that might prevent the sale of their toxic drugs? One could wonder.

One point should be made. Cyanide most assuredly is poisonous, extremely so. However, it requires a huge amount of food with cyanide in it, and likely also dietary deficiencies, to produce poisoning. It has been known to occur in Africa, where cassava is eaten as a staple, and at times has been nearly the only food available. Thus, both elements—excessive intake of the cyanide-laden plant and inadequate nutrition—were present before poisoning was noted. There may have been other cases, including among people overdoing it in trying to stop cancer, though there is little that can be termed conclusive to document it.

Raw Almonds Can't Be The Problem

One of the biggest brainteasers about the last four years of almond regulation is that growers from the U.S. can ship unpasteurized almonds outside of the U.S. without any need to gas or steam them (these are the two processes of pasteurization) as long as they're clearly labeled "Unpasteurized."

If actions always speak louder than words, then we can assume one of two things from this.

First is we don't care about the health of the other countries that buy almonds – assuming almonds are truly a danger to society, we'd be running the risk of contaminating foreign almond consumers with salmonella.

Or, second, we can conclude that almonds really aren't contaminated – and the industry knows the two cases above were just isolated cases.

Any business owner in their right mind (or even in their wrong mind), does not want to have a contaminated product. It's bad for business – let alone the people who purchase it, even if they are overseas.

So my guess, is that contamination of almonds really isn't that big of a deal. Otherwise, the almonds leaving the country would, in fact, be pasteurized.

If almonds were the issue, and were really a threat to human health, then all almonds that are sold in the U.S. would have to be pasteurized.

But here's the thing. Really raw almonds can be sold in the U.S. by retail outlets – as long as they're not grown in the U.S.

You can buy unpasteurized, raw almonds from Italy at your local store (be prepared to pay!) and no one seems to care if they've been regulated or not.

Farmers in California can also sell unpasteurized almonds direct to the consumer. This means, simply by action, that almonds are – again – not the issue or the reason this legislature was passed and continues to be enforced.

Vitamin B17 Treatment

There are many success stories from people using just laetrile or apricot pit kernels. Some cancer victims cured themselves simply by chewing large quantities of the apricot seeds alone. The usual recommendation for prevention is around 5 to 7 over the course of a day. For actual cancer cases use 2 to 3 times that. Some say one kernel for every 10 lbs of body weight. For maintenance after a cure, go back to 5 to 7 per day.

Some laetrile therapists have patients use vitamin B15 tablets and digestive enzymes such as papaya's papain and pineapple's bromalene. Too many apricot pit kernels can create nausea or dizziness. There are no recorded deaths or disabilities from the apricot seeds or laetrile, however. Although some success has been recorded with patients undergoing conventional therapy and using laetrile, it's not recommended. Eventually most of those who combine the two get off the chemo or die anyway.

There are many practitioners and writers who recommend you combine other alternative cancer therapies while taking laetrile or using the apricot pits - especially if you go for it alone at home. It should be obvious that a foundation of healthy food and less stress is necessary. A fundamental lifestyle change has to be a part of any permanent cancer cure. In addition, a little eclectic mix and match with other alternative therapies seems like a good approach.

Vitamin B17 Side Effects and Precautions

Vitamin B17 is still used as an alternative cancer treatment today, but it is not an essential nutrient. It should not be used as a supplement because it is generally unnecessary for good health, and the effects of using it over an extended period are unknown. Misuse or improper use of concentrated B17/laetrile may be harmful in some situations. It is recommended to use B17/laetrile only under the close supervision of a naturopathic doctor, or someone else knowledgeable about it. Remember, regular doctors are forbidden from even discussing it with you.

Vitamin B17 Reviews

The following reviews have been selected:


30 of 30 people found the following review helpful:

5.0 out of 5 stars Life Saving, May 18, 2011


B. Buhrman "Ms Style"

After both chemo and radiation failed and my husband was given a max of six months to live, this product [raw apricot kernels] may just save his life. We are in the fourth month and he is doing better than ever. Has not had any tumor pain in months and his body is recovering. He looks more now like the man I married and not like an Auschwitz survivor. Watch this space, I will report back. By the way, my husband has/had an inoperable 19 by 15 inch long sarcoma in his left pelvis.

I wrote this review May 18, 2011. Today, August 1, 2011, my husband is still going strong and doing well. We now have a personal trainer who is rebuilding every muscle in his body with the goal that he can walk again. He is making good progress and is getting stronger but it will take a while after laying in a hospital bed for nearly six months. Since taking the apricot kernels, his tumor pains have disappeared. The tumor did damage and attack muscles, nerves, and bones in his left leg and pelvis and he is taking pain medication for all this which allows him to exercise nearly every day and rebuild his body. We are also able to go out and do things together because he is strong enough with assistance to get into a wheel chair and in and out of our car. According to the doctors, he should be dead by now and because of this prognosis, insurance will not pay for any scans to check whether or not he still has the tumor, whether it is smaller in size etc. In Germany, vitamin B17 is legally used for cancer treatment and according to their research first, the vitamin B17 attacks and destroys cancer cells and then it attacks and dissolves any dead tumor tissue. Some research was done in this country before it was shut down and made illegal. Just google the terms vitamin B17 and cancer treatment. It seems to be working but we cannot affort $10.000 for a CT scan. Here is what we did and we got it from a German web site: Starting with 10 kernels and increasing every day by two, my husband took 50 kernels daily for about two months. Then we reduced it to 40 kernels a day and he is still on it now. My husband's tumor was very large and aggressive, so I gave him a very high dose. Cancer patients can take up to 50/60 kernels a day but for how long depends on the cancer and the severity. So right now, we don't know for how long to continue and when to reduce but we believe that my husband's body will tell us somehow like in many other situations before. So far, no problems, no side effects. Also, as a healthy person, I am taking between 5-8 kernels a day for prevention.


4 of 5 people found the following review helpful:

5.0 out of 5 stars Best B17 Natural Supplement, July 20, 2011


Antonio Abreu

I got the 500 mg and I love the B17 content derived from apricot kernels. This needs to be sold everywhere to prevent cancers.


26 of 26 people found the following review helpful:

5.0 out of 5 stars Vitamin B-17, December 30, 2010


P. C. Fuller

This product is a must to add to your diet because people need this. This product is largely suppressed in the U.S. because it is beneficial to ones diet. The medical industry does NOT want anybody to know how beneficial and important this is to have in ones diet. If your not familiar with vitamin B-17 then you need to look at G. Edward Griffin's A World Without Cancer series. Highly recommend this.


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:

5.0 out of 5 stars B17, December 29, 2011


Amanda Steele "Amanda Steele" (Omaha, NE)

The B17 has been great. I bought it for a friend with breast cancer. Since she has been taking it, her cancer has completely disappeared. She also did 2 chemo treatments during this time, but was not able to complete the treatments because of an allergic reaction to them. This gives me hope that the B17 was her cure. This natural supplement is definitely worth trying if you have cancer or are trying to prevent it. The product arrived promptly with no problems.


12 of 13 people found the following review helpful:

4.0 out of 5 stars Fight against cancer, May 8, 2011


J. Lane "bella jahne" (laguna beach, ca)

From what I've read, B17 is the answer to warding off cancer. I know I will have to take it for the rest of my life, but I know I am doing what I can to ward against this deadly disease (along with eating properly and exercise).


24 of 25 people found the following review helpful:

5.0 out of 5 stars Cancer: A deficiency, not a disease., September 16, 2009


William Russo "wjr" (Nebraska)

I've been digesting these seeds on a daily basis for over 10 years now...they are wonderful for your overall diet and well being. They must be broken/crunched up when consuming to fully digest them and release the laetrile (i.e. Vitamin B-17) which the body "needs" versus the tragic American diet. This vitamin is what's needed to prevent any/all types of cancer. However, this is not common news to the public becuase many will lose their jobs if this is found out...what a shame.


28 of 30 people found the following review helpful:

5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, September 21, 2009


Kevin J. Maguire

I purchased these about 2 and a half weeks ago. My father had the big "C" and given 3-6 M's. Today we find that "it" is almost completely gone. Thank you.


14 of 16 people found the following review helpful:

5.0 out of 5 stars I love this Super Vitamin!!, March 25, 2011


J. J. Diaz "JJD"

I started eating these a while ago due to the fact that there's Cancer in my family. I'm taking 7 per day and I love them! Yes, they're bitter but I found an easier way to eat them. Everytime I finish brushing my teeth I eat them, for some reason Toothpaste makes the eating process a lot better! Sometimes I don't even feel the flavor, just make sure you eat them inmediately after you brush. I'm planning to buy more bags because I plan to gradually increase the amount I eat per day. I'm just not sure how many are the maximum I should eat per day, but I want to consume lots of B17 because due to my DNA I'm at greater risk of Cancer so I want to be fully protected.

And for the people believing you're going to " poison" yourself... Let me ask you something: Would you rather take chemotherapy? That's really a POISON that WILL KILL You! Wonder why you lose all your health, hair, Inmune system, and also get Nausea and vomiting? No THANK YOU! I would rather eat my natural Apricot Kernels from Mother Nature.


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