When it comes to alternative, non-invasive methods of treating cancer, vitamins can play a significant role. Not only can they actively help your body fight back against cancer cells, but they can also boost your immune system, prevent oxidative stress, and alleviate inflammatory pain. There are many b17 benefits that you should consider.
One of the most valuable vitamins in terms of cancer treatment, as well as prevention, is B17. In fact, B17 is the main ingredient used in laetrile therapy—an alternative treatment that countless patients have turned to over the last sixty years. Read more on our blog to learn about what is laetrile therapy.
While new research is constantly being conducted to better understand the efficacy of B17 treatment, there’s one thing we do know—B17 offers an array of benefits that can contribute to the success of your cancer treatment. So what is the role between b17 and cancer?
What is B17?
B17 is another name for amygdalin—a naturally occurring compound that was first used successfully in cancer treatment in Russia in 1845.1 Apricot seeds are among the highest sources of naturally occurring amygdalin, although other fruit seeds contain the vitamin as well, including cherries, apples, pears, and plums. Amygdalin can also be found in some nuts, and certain plants, including lima beans and clover.
In the 1950s,2 Dr. Ernest Krebs recognized the importance of amygdalin—or B17—in cancer treatment. He, along with other doctors, theorized that cancer could therefore be caused by a B17 deficiency within the body.
However, during digestion, B17 is converted into cyanide. In high doses, cyanide can be fatally toxic. This led Dr. Krebs to develop laetrile therapy—a treatment that utilizes the full potential of B17 with reduced risk of toxicity.
How B17 Fights Cancer
B17 is an extremely beneficial tool in the fight against cancer, and recent studies have only continued to prove it. One way that B17 treats cancer is by causing cell death, otherwise known as apoptosis. When it comes to cancer cells, apoptosis is the ultimate goal.
New studies have found that B17 can induce apoptosis in leukemia cells, certain prostate cancer cells, oral cancer cells, and cervical cancer cells. In fact, a study conducted in Korea discovered that B17 also effectively caused apoptosis in one type of breast cancer cell.3
How does B17 do this?
The exact mechanisms are not fully understood yet, but one theory suggests that the cyanide produced by B17 is responsible for cancer cell death. This could be due to the fact that cancer cells lack a sufficient level of rhodanese.
Rhodanese is an enzyme found within the healthy cells of the body. It works to protect those cells against cyanide, which is not only found in B17, but also in other common food sources. Normally, when cyanide comes into contact with your cells, rhodanese takes over and converts the cyanide into a harmless compound. Since cancer cells are deficient in rhodanese, they’re vulnerable to cyanide’s oxygen-depriving effects.
Without oxygen, these cancer cells cannot survive.
Other B17 Benefits
While apoptosis is the most significant benefit of B17, its secondary benefits also play a role in cancer treatment, as well as cancer prevention.
What other benefits does B17 offer?
#1 Antioxidant Properties
B17 contains powerful antioxidant properties. Antioxidants help your body defend itself against an excess of free radicals, which has been linked to an increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.4
Free radicals are not dangerous on their own. In fact, everyone produces free radicals naturally. Within the body, they’re used to help fight off infections. Our bodies are also equipped with their own antioxidants to maintain a healthy level of free radicals.
The danger arises when the amount of free radicals in your body outnumbers the amount of antioxidants. This imbalance can put your body in a state of oxidative stress. If your body stays in this state for too long, your DNA can be damaged, which increases your risk of cancer.
Some external elements that can lead your body to overproduce free radicals are:
- Air pollution
- Cigarette smoke
- Alcohol intake
- High blood sugar
- Intense, prolonged exercise
- Exposure to radiation
- Excessive intake of iron, magnesium, or zinc
- A lack or a surplus of oxygen in the body
This is why maintaining a sufficient level of antioxidants can help reduce your risk of cancer and keep your body functioning properly.
In addition to inhibiting cancer cell growth, some nutritionists also believe that antioxidants can aid in the growth of healthy cells. By incorporating B17 into your diet, you can naturally increase your antioxidant count.
#2 Boosted Immune System
Another major benefit of B17 is its ability to boost your immune system. It does this by increasing your white blood cell count.
Think of your white blood cells as your white knights—they’re your body’s predominant line of defense against bacterias, infections, and viruses. Some white blood cells are even able to attack cancer cells directly. However, certain cancers—including leukemia, lymphoma, and multiple myeloma—can actually lower the amount of white blood cells in your body. Chemotherapy can have this effect as well.
By increasing your white blood cell count, B17 bolsters your immune system, giving your body the boost it needs to fight back against cancer and other diseases. If white blood cells are your white knights, B17 is their secret weapon—a brand new, shiny sword—for enhancing their strength.
#3 Regulation of Hypertension
B17 has also been shown to regulate hypertension by lowering blood pressure. Many people with high blood pressure can go years without experiencing any symptoms. However, over time, high blood pressure can lead to a number of dangerous and life-threatening medical conditions.
Some of these conditions include:
- Damaged arteries
- Coronary artery disease
- Heart failure or heart attack
- Dementia or mild cognitive impairment
- Kidney scarring or failure
- Blurred vision or loss of vision
One study found that B17 lowered systolic blood pressure (the pressure in your arteries when your heart beats) by 28.5%.5 This same study also saw B17 lower diastolic blood pressure (the pressure in your arteries in between beats) by 25%.
These substantial reductions suggest that B17 can be beneficial in easing stress on your heart and adding years to your life.
#4 Pain Relief
B17 also works as an effective pain reliever. This is due to its anti-inflammatory properties, which can alleviate symptoms caused by conditions such as arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, and even certain cancers.
In fact, a study conducted by the National Cancer Institute found that patients who received laetrile therapy (the main ingredient of which is B17) reported improvement of their symptoms.6 Due to pain relief, these patients were able to go back to activities they had previously been unable to perform.
Natural Sources of B17
While B17 is utilized in laetrile therapy, it’s also found in many natural sources. These include:
- Fruit seeds – The seeds found within apricot pits (yes, there are seeds in there!) have some of the highest natural amounts of B17. But apricots aren’t the only fruit whose seeds offer B17. Other fruits include apples, plums, pears, and cherries.
Because fruit seeds contain higher levels of B17, it’s important to consult a doctor before adding them to your diet. They can help recommend a daily dose that’s right for you and your health needs.
- Flax seeds – In addition to B17, flax seeds are also high in soluble fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, and protein. You can easily incorporate them into your diet by adding them to smoothies, sprinkling them over salad for an added crunch, or baking them into homemade granola.
Squash seeds, millet seeds, and buckwheat seeds are also notable sources of B17.
- Berries – Raspberries, elderberries, strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries all contain B17. The vitamin is present within the berry itself, as well as within the berry’s tiny seeds.
Berries are also high in antioxidants, making them true superfoods.
- Nuts – Almonds offer high levels of B17. They’re also a great source of protein. Feel free to put together a medley of almonds, macadamia nuts, cashews—all of which contain B17—and the fruits listed above for some homemade B17 trail mix.
- Grains – Grains like sorghum and buckwheat provide an abundance of B17. Stumped on how to incorporate these into your diet? Sorghum actually makes a tasty and healthy replacement for rice or quinoa. In its flaked form, it can be added to cereal, cookies, or granola bars.
Have you ever tried buckwheat pancakes? They’re easy to make with buckwheat flour, and they add additional fiber to your diet. You can even top them off with some fresh berries for a boost of antioxidants.
- Sprouts – Bamboo sprouts, alfalfa sprouts, and mung sprouts all boast high levels of B17. You can incorporate them into salads or sandwiches for added flavor, texture, and crunch.
The Power of B17 and Laetrile Therapy
If you’re looking for a natural way to prevent or treat cancer, look no further than B17. The benefits it can provide make it a powerful addition to any treatment or diet.
If you’re interested in learning more about B17 or laetrile therapy, reach out. Our experts can customize a plan that’s geared toward your specific needs, and monitor your progress to ensure your comfort and success.
At Immunity Therapy Center, we offer more than standard treatment. Our goal is to provide you with multiple options for your care, the knowledge to understand what’s best for you, and most importantly, hope through healing.
- Very Well Health. Can Vitamin B17 (Amygdalin) Beat Cancer? https://www.verywellhealth.com/laetrile-amygdalin-89572
- National Cancer Institute. Laetrile/Amygdalin (PDQ)-Health Professional Version. https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/treatment/cam/hp/laetrile-pdq#_10
- Medical News Today. Can apricot seeds help treat cancer? https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/314337#research
- Healthline. Laetrile (Vitamin B17 or Amygdalin): Benefits, Myths and Food Sources. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/laetrile-vitamin-b17#TOC_TITLE_HDR_5
- Journal of Cancer Research and Therapeutics. Advanced research on anti-tumor effects on amygdalin. https://www.cancerjournal.net/article.asp?issn=0973-1482;year=2014;volume=10;issue=5;spage=3;epage=7;aulast=Song
- Heal Navigator. Vitamin B17 and Cancer Research. https://healnavigator.com/treatments/vitamin-b17-cancer-treatment/
- NCBI. Amygdalin Regulates Apoptosis and Adhesion in Hs578T Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Cells. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4703354/
- NDTV Food. Vitamin B17 Sources and Reasons To Not Skip Them. https://food.ndtv.com/health/vitamin-b17-sources-and-why-you-must-not-skip-them-1679476
- Healthline. Antioxidants Explained in Simple Terms. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/antioxidants-explained
- Cancer.Net. Understanding Your Complete Blood Count (CBC) Tests. https://www.cancer.net/navigating-cancer-care/diagnosing-cancer/reports-and-results/understanding-your-complete-blood-count-cbc-tests
- National Cancer Institute. Laetrile/Amygdalin (PDQ)-Patient Version. https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/treatment/cam/patient/laetrile-pdq
- NDTV Food. How To Eat Flaxseeds? Health Benefits, Tips and Recipes. https://food.ndtv.com/food-drinks/how-to-eat-flaxseeds-health-benefits-tips-and-recipes-1247569
- Healthline. What Is Sorghum? A Unique Grain Reviewed. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/sorghum#uses
At Immunity Therapy Center, our goal is to provide objective, updated, and research-based information on all health-related topics. This article is based on scientific research and/or other scientific articles. All information has been fact-checked and reviewed by Dr. Carlos Bautista, a Board Certified Medical Doctor at Immunity Therapy Center. All information published on the site must undergo an extensive review process to ensure accuracy. This article contains trusted sources with all references hyperlinked for the reader's visibility.