Laetrile, patented by Ernest T. Krebs, Jr. in the late 1940s, is a purified
derivative of amygdalin, a naturally occurring cyanoglucoside. In 1977,
a synthesized version was developed by an FDA-John Hopkins team and
the name was capitalized Laetrile.
There was much controversy over the effects of laetrile in the news
from 1977 to 1981. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had banned
the use of laetrile in the states and a Texas farmer, Glen L. Rutherford,
went to the U.S. District Court in Kansas City against the FDA to lift
the ban. The court case was followed closely by the press. Rutherford
won his case and was allowed to continue treatments.
Shortly after, journalist reported that research indicating positive
effects of laetrile's against cancer conducted at Sloan-Kettering 's
Walker Laboratories in Rye, New York had been suppressed. The assistant
director of public affairs at Sloan-Kettering held a press conference
at the Manhattan Hilton in Manhattan on November 17, 1977, with the
truth of the studies and about the alleged deception at Sloan-Kettering.
He was promptly fired. Today about 21 states permit importing and medical
use of laetrile in cancer treatment.
Amygdalin, referred to as "surgar-coated cyanide" by physicians in the
Rutherford vs FDA court case, is a carcinogenic compound. When hydrolyzed
within the stomach by certain enzymes, amygdalin releases very minute
traces of hydrogen cyanide.
High concentrations (anything over 100 parts per billion) of hydrogen
cyanide in an isolated form is potentially dangerous. When taken intervenously,
laetrile is cconvertedby cancer cell enzymes into cyanide, which then
kills the cell. This enzyme is also present in the digestive system.
However, minute amounts when ingested in food that contains protective
vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes, surgars and fiber have a low
impact upon the system. This situation (in Heinerman's
own words, I could not have worded it more eloquently) "allows
the hydrogen cyanide to patrol around making sure that cancer cells
never develop or that existing tumor cells eventually meet a quiet death
within the circulating blood plasma."
Amygdalin has a slightly bitter flavor. It can be found in the following
Amygdalin can be found in lesser amounts in the following:
- Apricot kernal tea
- Black cherry bark tea
- Borage tea
- Jimson weed tea
- Peach kernal tea
- Plum pit tea
- Redclover tea
- Yew bark tea
- Peanut Butter
- Garden pea
- Canadian thistle
- Garbanzo beans
- Sprouted seeds: alfalfa, garbanzo, mung, wheat
- European black currant
- Apple seeds
WARNING: Never take large amounts of laetrile orally. It can
be fatal. Cancer cells contain certain enzymes which convert laetrile
into cyanide which then kills the cancer cell. This enzyme is also present
in your digestive tract, which is why laetrile is traditionally administered
More on the history of laetrile