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.”


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.

35 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.

      • While I agree it takes advantage of the gullible, so does all these poisonous and highly expensive chemo treatments and all the medications the go along with it. Big biz here! Lit’s of money to made off our lives?

  • 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.

    • The only thing rancid here is your vitriolic lies, and stubborn stupidity. Apricot seeds cured my cancer. Something your poisonous drugs never could do. You are a paid shill.

  • 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.

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

    • Beats me. The webpage you linked to has me so scared of cyanide poisoning, I’m too busy clearing the house of apricot seeds to look into it.

    • Apricot seeds “usage in cancer treatment ” has NOT been controversial or debatable. It is malpractice and totally unjustified.

    • Probably why the article has so many warnings. If the author’s goal was to warn against cyanide poisoning from apricot seeds, they succeeded. I don’t know how they could make it clearer, since they warn against eating the seeds as a snack – “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.”

      If you think the article is promoting the usage of apricot seeds, you need to check your bias.

      • No! Your comment that it is debatable and controversial is wrong and dangerous, suggesting that it’s use may be acceptable, which it clearly is not.

      • That’s not my comment. It’s from the article. All of the warnings I posted are straight from the article Edzard linked to. If someone follows the advice of the article, they will consult their doc before touching an apricot seed.

        So there’s really no danger if their MD is paying attention.

  • I think that Big Pharma would be very pleased by the passionate recommendation of traditional treatments and rejection of a natural treatment. I ask the writers to consider whether they would have the Big Three treatments in the event that they got cancer (chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery) in view of their roughly 97% failure rate and in view of what they do.

    There are many natural cures for cancer, including laetrile. Foods even cure cancer. Cancer is not a big deal anymore unless you have the traditional Big Three treatments.

    • ” roughly 97% failure …”
      “There are many natural cures for cancer, including laetrile. Foods even cure cancer”

    • This guy Peter has been drinking the Kool-aid! Please ignore his profound ignorance if you or a loved one has cancer and consult one or more appropriate, credentialed, board certified MD’s., and be sure you are given clear information on the known risks, benefits and legitimate options for treatments.

      • “…consult one or more appropriate, credentialed, board certified MD’s., and be sure you are given clear information on the known risks, benefits and legitimate options for treatments.”

        Just as the article recommends.

        • Medicine should not continue to promote and advertise treatments with no proven benefits and serious side effects, like apricot seeds. Covering your ass with a disclaimer does not make it right.

        • That’s probably why the article linked to in Edzard’s post isn’t promoting apricot seeds for treatment. They don’t have a ‘disclaimer’ – it’s the whole point of the article.

          I’m getting the sense you didn’t actually read it.

          • @jm on Friday 28 July 2017 at 15:26

            Whereas we have always known you are detached from reality.

            Why don’t you put your scraper where it will harm only you?

  • I need to express my opinion on Apricot Seed and Asparagus. I have been taking apricot seeds and Asparagus capusels for 6 years as I was diagnosed with Bladder Cancer when I was 76 years and now at 82 years there has been no new growth of tumors on all of my follow-up with my urologist to date. This was done without any cancer medications from the Pharma organization. I also had stage 3 ovarian cancer in the year of l988
    With 30 % survival and did have Chemo and P2 radiation at the time. I do realize I am a walking miracle due to my physicians as they did listen to me when I informed them no more Chemo. My point in all of this is that too much of anything can be just as harmful. I only consume less than half a teaspoon per day of grounded apricot in my cereal and 175 mg of asparagus capsule. Kudos to Apricot and Asparagus for remission.

    • Hi Joan, My mom is fighting with ovarian cancer, she had chemo, then surgery and chemo, but it appear to come back within 3 months, ots now in stage 4. We are suggested to continue with more chemo but We are looking for other better options, so please provide me your honest review of taking these apricot seeds or kernels. I am actually scared after reading so many reviews, please suggest, It will be really helpful.

      • I never give medical advice to specific patients without seeing them.
        but I can tell you that the evidence does not show that apricot kernels are an effective option for any type of cancer.

      • So sorry I have not responded but just came across the email today and was not aware that my original email of 7/17 was even posted. As I am not tech savy like most people I hope and pray you get this reply. How is your Mom I pray she is still with us. As I stated in my comment back in July I preferred and still do QUALITY and not quantity and that was the reason I seeked other alternatives and was informed of the Apricot and Asparagus which I still consume to this day. I grind the bitter apricot seeds and sprinkle it on my oatmeal and I now take asparagus capsule (175mg) as personally I could not see myself eating it daily?. I will not advise or say this is the reason I am in remission but I do know I have not had to rely on the Pharma organization to give me quality. My prayer is with you and your Mom and my only advise is to do everything in moderation.

  • Limes will cure scurvy.

    • My father had a squamous cell carcinoma cut from his face. He was told it was rapidly multiplying and had many bouts of surgery to try and get it all out. They said its likely they could not get it all out and advised him he would need radiation therapy. Our family was already familiar with Apricot kernels and have a few family friends who have beaten prostate cancer before. My father decided not to take the radiation therapy and to take 25 kernels morning and night (this is a very high dose and i would not suggest anyone to take it). The doctors were surprised to find that the cancer was gone and now 3 years on remission has not been experienced. Its possible that they got all the cancer out during surgery but i guess we will never know. Its hard to trust the established medicine as its less likely to give way to disruptive means of treatment if it will pull less money from the pockets. If you have any doubt about big business not acting for money first then you need to do more research. money unfortunately always comes first.

      • @jj

        I’m pleased for you both that your father’s carcinoma has remained in remission for 3 years (I think you meant to say “relapse has not been experienced”). But two points about your comment need to be made.

        “Its possible that they got all the cancer out during surgery but i guess we will never know.” That’s exactly right. Proving cause-and-effect is far more complicated than your n=1, minimally detailed anecdote. You need data from a large group of patients with similar squamous cell carcinomas who had multiple surgeries till the surgeons felt they could do no more, who refused to undergo radiotherapy, and who were then randomly assigned either to take either apricot kernels at the same high dose as your father or to take similar-looking kernels from a different fruit at the rate of 25 twice daily. Otherwise the remission of your father’s cancer might equally well be explained by absolutely anything.

        I hope you can see that your kind of tale is exactly the sort of evidence-free basis of myths that tend to spread all too easily. Though mind you, if you google “almond kernels for cancer” the first page of hits should be enough to deter anyone from following your father’s lead. Certainly no ethical committee worthy of the name would ever approve a trial of the type I’ve described.

        The second point concerns this sentence: “Its hard to trust the established medicine as its [sic] less likely to give way to disruptive means of treatment if it will pull less money from the pockets…money unfortunately always comes first.” You need to realize that by no means all doctors in every country are paid in proportion to the costs of the treatments they administer. But your accusation is equally valid if applied to the charlatans who charge enormous sums for unproved ‘alternative’ cancer cures of all types.

        You mention big business always putting money first, but vast amounts of biomedical research is funded by governments and charities. What do you think are the conflicts of interest that affect scientists with research grants from such independent sources? Are they all liars or idiots?

        • The evidence exists, you just have to dig deep enough. I could cite multiple scientists who actively promote B17 as a cancer prevention yet cannot publicly state as such as their cancer research funding will be cut.

          It costs $10 per kg of apricot kernels so no there is not an “enormous sum” to be made from them (where i come from). I eat about 4kg per year.

          You think government and charity money are independent sources? not sure where you have been the past 10 years but clearly they are not. You need to read more and keep your mind OPEN.

          • show us the evidence then!

          • jj has also got a really pretty girlfriend. She does modelling and everything. But we wouldn’t know her because she goes to another school.

          • Have you read the paper you linked to?

            It certainly does not promote Amygdalin as a cancer cure; if anything the reverse. The authors state that its toxicity to non-malignant cells probably rules it out as a treatment. They then go on to see what biochemical effects it has on malignant cells in culture. Although this is an essential step in testing cancer treatment this is very different from a tumour (which is much more complex than a cell culture) in a human body (which is hardly the same as a test tube). Less than 0.1% of potential treatments that look promising at this stage ever make it to clinical use.

            Can you quote any scientists who actually are promoting Amygdalin, and if so, does that fall within their area of expertise?

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