MD, PhD, FMedSci, FSB, FRCP, FRCPEd

In my view, the website of ‘FOODS 4 BETTER HEALTH’ should be more aptly called FOOD FOR QUICKER DEATH. At least this is the conclusion that came to my mind after reading their post on ‘Apricot Seeds: Nutrition, Health Benefits, and Their Role in Cancer Treatment’.

Under the heading ‘Apricot Seeds for Cancer Treatment’, we find the following explanations:

“Laetrile is a drug made from amygdalin. Apple seeds, Lima beans, plums, and peaches also contain amygdalin. Although laetrile isn’t a vitamin, it is labeled as amigdalina B17 or vitamin B17.

Dr. Kanematsu Sugiura received highest honors from the Japan Medical Association for his outstanding contributions in cancer research. He found that laetrile prevented the spread of malignant lung tumors in 10 to 20% of laboratory mice. Meanwhile, the mice given plain saline showed that lung tumor spread in 80 to 90% of the subjects. The study shows that laetrile reduces the spread of cancer and isn’t a cure for cancer.

According to a study published in the Public Library of Science, amygdalin blocks the growth of bladder cancer cells. The researchers studied the growth, proliferation, clonal growth, and cell cycle progression.

According to another study published in the International Journal of Immunopharmacology, the viability of human cervical cancer HeLa cell line was significantly inhibited by amygdalin. The researchers found apoptosis in amygdalin-treated HeLa cells.

However, a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine showed no substantial benefit of amygdalin on cancer patients. In fact, the blood cyanide levels of patients who received the substance intravenously increased alarmingly. But, the levels were relatively low in patients who received an oral dose.

A study conducted in 2002 at the Kyung Hee University in Korea found amygdalin to be helpful in killing prostate cancer cells. A similar study conducted on rats also linked the compound with pain relief, thus decreasing pain in cancer patients.

Amygdalin is considered as an alternative treatment for cancer. Since research so far has shown mixed and inconclusive results, apricot seeds may be helpful in the treatment of cancer, but shouldn’t be the only means to treat cancer. It is best to use it as a supplement with other cancer medications.”

END OF QUOTE

Cancer patients who read this sort of thing – and sadly the Internet offers plenty more of such irresponsible texts – might well decide to try Laetrile or start regularly consuming apricot seeds instead of chemotherapy or other effective cancer treatments. This decision would almost certainly hasten their deaths for two reasons:

  • Amygdalin is NOT an effective treatment for cancer.
  • It is highly toxic and would almost certainly kill some patients after chronic use.

To state, as the author of the above article does, that “research so far has shown mixed and inconclusive results” is irresponsible. The only thing that matters and the only message relevant for vulnerable patients is this: RESEARCH HAS NOT SHOWN THAT THIS STUFF WORKS FOR CANCER.

9 Responses to “Apricot Seeds for Cancer Treatment” … or how to confuse vulnerable cancer patients

  • The Laetrile myth has been well and truly debunked of course, for all but the most stubbornly stupid ( I stand by that word) and malicious ( and that one). But again, I come to the point where, in response to calls for ‘ more education’ in these matters, I can’t see where one goes in trying to educate those who not only can not, but resolutely will not, see reason, part of their excuse being that any reasoned argument on this side is simply the result of being in the pay of Big Pharma.
    One of the more pernicious of the Fake President’s crimes is the entrenching of the view that everything is up for grabs, that any opinion is as valid as any other, and that upon hearing something one does not like- even scientific research- all one has to do, as Colin does, is shout ‘Fake news’, and run away. If science- and, since science, like anything involving humans, occasionally makes mistakes,-the scientific method in these matters won’t persuade you, then you’ve made yourself unreachable.

    • Well said Barrie, and with all the self proclaimed experts,( usually without appropriate background training or experience), misinforming the masses on social media, we see the same propagation of false opinions that sound like facts regarding climate science, medical science, health care and any truth based profession. It has become too acceptable to convert opinion to presumed fact, no matter how dangerous, ignorant or self motivated the perpetrators. The more Trump and those like him lie the more normalized it becomes. We cannot accept this . More experts and honest news sources need to speak out against false opinions, propaganda news sites as FOX and Breitbart, and quackery in every media possible, exposing Gwenyth Paltrow, Dr. Oz, Trump, Dr. Sugiura above, etc. who are taking advantage of the gullible.

  • In the final of her eight years suffering from breast cancer (metastisiced to the liver) my wife’s niece forwarded with euphoria a rancid piece advocating asparagus juice and citing a doctor of whom I could find no trace.

    This made me livid: that an uninformed buffoon such as she should forward, without any checking, such an instinctively dubious piece of advertising for complete gibberish. I explained some of my determination to stand up to BS and bullying, suggesting she do some serious research and thinking (nor least on a compassionate level) before giving any credence to such absolute drivel that could easily (I know others who’ve lost loved ones to greater than avoidable pain) divert folk from the best available medical care.

    Seems apricots are the latest vessel for such irresponsible marketing. We need laws that bring consequences to such Wakefieldesque profiteering.

    Keep up the excellent work, Prof Ernst: you’re saving lives and preventing distress.

    • THANK YOU!!!

    • Rich Wiltshir
      This is one of the more ludicrous aspects of the rubbish that people believe in this respect.
      If Big Pharma knew of a secret, mystical formula involving the careful mixing and administering of rare juices and other ingredients that could cure cancer, but refused to divulge the secret- like some weird Patum Peperium recipe- then this notion might have some wafer- thin veneer ofbplausibility. But tthe idea that asparagus or Vitamin C could cure cancer would be unstoppable. It would go round the world like wildfire. Nobody could keep such a thing secret. That’s why I despair at the idea of education getting beyond a certain point. However much people are told the facts, it looks as though altmed, like racism, is always with us.

  • Amygdalin increases the levels of cyanide in the body, and as such, could prove fatal.

    Because amygdalin is labeled as vitamin B17 on the packaging for marketing purposes, it is misleading as you don’t know how much of it one seed contains.

    It is best to use it as a supplement with other cancer medications.

    Apricot seeds were earlier used to treat high blood pressure. But due to their possible toxic effect, they are no longer used for treatment.

    Avoid consuming apricot seeds on your own without asking your doctor.

    30 bitter apricot seeds contain enough cyanide to poison an adult. Apricot seeds should not be given to children at all.

    Eating greater quantities of apricot seeds are hazardous to your health and may even prove fatal. Consuming foods that contain amygdalin interact with enzymes in the body and release hydrogen cyanide.

    According to a study published in Annals of Tropical Paediatrics, periodical ingestion of apricot seeds causes cyanide poisoning. It may also lead to nerve or liver damage.

    Pairing apricot seeds with vitamin C-rich foods may increase the release of cyanide in the body, which will make it more toxic.

    Apricot seeds may provide some health benefits, but it is important to note that eating even slightly more than the recommended intake could lead to severe health conditions or death.

    It is best to enjoy apricots and leave the seeds. Their usage in cancer treatment has been controversial and debatable. Consult your doctor if you want to consume it as a snack or medicine.

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