Apricot Kernels, Bitter Almonds & Cancer

This stuff is always popping up on my Twitter and FB feed – sodium bicarbonate, ketogenic diet, and vitamin b17 kills cancer. Oh and cannabis, obviously. To be fair, there is a huge amount of evidence for cannabis ‘preventing’ cancer, but that’s another story…

I decided to spend a bit of time, actually researching the claims surrounding vitamin b17 – found in apricot kernels and bitter almonds.

I’ll update this post as I work my way through the internet finding evidence for and against.


I’m not suggesting that vitamin B17/amygdalin is effective – Please make your own mind up – remember around 50g will actually kill you.

Apricot kernels contain ‘vitamin b17’, also known as laetrile and amygdalin.

For a more accurate definition, please see the cancer research webpage here.

Here’s some studies that I managed to find, with the titles and very brief summaries:

Journal of Immunopharmacology and Immunotoxicology
Volume 35, 2013 – Issue 1 i
Amygdalin induces apoptosis in human cervical cancer cell line HeLa cells

The effect of amygdalin on cervical cancer cells has never been studied. In this study, we found that the viability of human cervical cancer HeLa cell line was significantly inhibited by amygdalin


Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin
Vol. 29 (2006) No. 8 P 1597-1602

Amygdalin Induces Apoptosis through Regulation of Bax and Bcl-2 Expressions in Human DU145 and LNCaP Prostate Cancer Cells

D-amygdalin (D-mandelonitrile-β-D-gentiobioside) is known to exhibit selective killing effect on cancer cells…The present study reveals that amygdalin may offer a valuable option for the treatment of prostate cancers.

https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/bpb/29/8/29_8_1597/_article Interestingly so far, a lot of the Asian studies seem to suggest that it works as a potential cancer treatment

World J Gastroenterol. 2005 Sep 7; 11(33): 5156–5161.
Published online 2005 Sep 7. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v11.i33.5156

Amygdalin inhibits genes related to cell cycle in SNU-C4 human colon cancer cells

Results suggest that amygdalin
have an anticancer effect via downregulation of cell
cycle-related genes in SNU-C4 human colon cancer cells,
and might be used for therapeutic anticancer drug.



Pretty interesting?!

I’m even more confused now. You might be interested in the reviews on Amazon as well, a lot of them talk about the almonds curing/helping with cancer treatment.


About Drew

MMA, Fitness & Marketing enthusiast from North Wales, UK. A Stoic Hippy with no hair. Not to boast but - 1st Class Degree in Sports Science from Loughborough, MSc in Nutrition from the University of Liverpool. 20 years experience of weight & fitness training.
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