Laetrile (amygdalin)(B-17)
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 foods:

  • Apricot kernal tea
  • Almonds
  • Black cherry bark tea
  • Borage tea
  • Jimson weed tea
  • Peach kernal tea
  • Plum pit tea
  • Redclover tea
  • Yew bark tea
  • Watercress
Amygdalin can be found in lesser amounts in the following:
  • Peanut Butter
  • Oats
  • Rye
  • Barley
  • Wheat
  • Millet
  • Corn
  • Chickpea
  • Garden pea
  • Cassava
  • Canadian thistle
  • Buttercup
  • Garbanzo beans
  • Sprouted seeds: alfalfa, garbanzo, mung, wheat
  • European black currant
  • Apple seeds
  • Limabeans

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 intravenously.
More on the history of laetrile


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