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Vitamin B17/Laetrile/Amygdalin (a Review)

  • Research and Development Institute for Bovine Balotesti, Ilfov, Romania

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Vitamin B 17 is a natural substance whose anti-cancer properties have been known empirically for many years, but in the last twenty years they have been scientifically proven. It was co-discovered by Ernst T Krebs, Jr. in 1952 called it Laetrile. Vitamin B 17 is found in the seeds of those fruits in the Prunus rosacea Family (bitter almond, apricot, cherry, nectarin, peach and plum). It is also contained in grasses, maize, sorghum, millet, cassava, apple seeds and many other foods. Dr Krebs and other researchers maintain that cancer is a chronic metabolic disease, like scurvy or pellagra. This review contains the mechanism of action by vitamin B 17 and anticancer activity to humans and animal.
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... Interestingly, the Egyptian papyri 5,000 years ago, did mention the beneficial use of derivatives of bitter almonds in treating skin tumors. Also, the Romans and Greeks connected some therapeutic properties to those derivatives [2]. Thereafter, those derivatives were known as amygdalin or vitamin B17, as bitter almonds are considered one of the richest sources of that [3,4]. ...
... Moreover, it was noticeable that some people and isolated tribes all over the world didn't have any cancer cases, such as the Abkhazians, the Hopi and Navajo Indians, the Hunzas, the Eskimos and the Karakorum. It turned out that they had in common a diet rich in amygdalin [2]. Consequently, many researchers and scientists all over the globe carried out various studies and clinical trials to prove its anticancer activity, and they found that amygdalin can specifically attack cancer cells without affecting other healthy cells [5], decrease the telomerase activity [6], and block the bladder cancer cell growth [7]. ...
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Natural substances and alternative medications such as amygdalin gained huge popularity in treating various diseases due to wide availability and relatively low cost. Nevertheless, their use may cause serious side effects unless appropriate doses are considered. Therefore, this review illustrates the purported anticancer activity of amygdalin as well as its other effects on different body systems. For instance, the endocrine, urinary, genital and respiratory systems, considering its toxic side effects. Also, this review mentions a variety of clinical trials using amygdalin on both, humans and animals.
... Amygdalin, also called vitamin B-17, can be found in seeds and other parts of many Prunus species [35]. Among cyanogenic glycosides (CGG), prunasin is present in smaller amounts in the P. serotina fruit extract compared to amygdalin. ...
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The forest understory is rich in fruit-bearing trees and shrubs. They include both native species and invasive alien plant species (IAPS). One of the most spreading IAPS is black cherry (Prunus serotina E.). Problems with the invasiveness of P. serotina is well known in many European countries. However, there are very few studies related to this IAPS. This article aims to fill the gap in research on the bioactive compounds of black cherry fruits and thus to start a discussion on the potential use of this species on an industrial or semi-industrial scale, which may lead to the reduction of this species presence in forests. Fruits were collected in a forest of Northern Poland. Contents of sugars, phenolic compounds as well as cyanogenic glycosides were determined. Pphenolic compounds and cyanogenic glycoside were assayed using HPLC-DAD coupled with MSn. Sugars and organic acids were determined with the use of HPLC-DAD. Fruits of P. serotina can be considered as rich in anthocyanins, even at a lower level of total phenolics than in their plantation-grown couterparts, fruits of black cherry are still a good source of dietary phenolics of natural, forest-grown origin. When stones are not crushed during processing the level of GCC is within a safe, admissible range.
... Vitamin B17 also known as Laetrile is derived from apricot and some other fruit pits. Vitamin B17 has been known for its anticancer properties empirically [38], however, this vitamin has been shown not to be effective for the management of cancer symptoms or to improve quality of life [39]. Furthermore, deaths attributed to Laetrile have been reported due to toxic levels of cyanide in the blood [40]. ...
Objectives Chemotherapy-related side effects (CRSE) are among the most distressing events cancer patients face. Some patients seek complementary and alternative medicines (CAM), increasing the risk of undesirable drug- CAM interactions. This study aims to identify the prevalence and type of CAM used for CRSE among cancer patients and patient’s disclosure of CAM use to their prescribers. Methods This was a questionnaire-based, cross-sectional study. Data was collected from cancer patients attending to three departments: surgical, medical and gynaecology at a local hospital in Malaysia. Ethical approval was obtained from the Medical Research Ethics Committee, Ministry of Health, Malaysia. Results A total of 273 patients were recruited. Prevalence of CAM used for CRSE management was 166 (60.8%). Of the CAM users, 144 (86.7%) were female, 102 (61.4%) were employed and 123 (74.1%) were married. Breast cancer patients were found to be the highest users of CAM (n=76; 45.8%). The top three CAM used by patients in managing CRSE were dietary supplements (n=166; 100%); herbal products (n=154; 92.8%) and traditional Malay therapy (n=147; 88.6%). About 83% (n=137) patients disclosed CAM use to their prescribers. Among these, 58 (42.3%) reported that their doctors encouraged the use, whereas 89 (65.0%) patients claimed their doctors disagreed the use of CAM. Conclusions Prescribers still have doubt in combining chemotherapy with CAM, hence patients use CAM discreetly. Increasing the awareness and understanding of CAM use are mandatory to distinguish its possible synergistic or adverse reactions with cancer patients.
... In addition, it was noted that, at higher concentrations and longer exposure periods, amygdalin was increasingly effective against cervical, prostate, or liver cancer cells. Currently, the use of amygdalin in cancer therapy has its opponents and supporters [8][9][10][11]. The analysis of amygdalin in various matrices (plant material, water, sewage, and biological materials) is being studied by many scientists [12][13][14][15][16]. Xu et al. [12] performed the analysis of amygdalin, neoamygdalin, and amygdalin amide with HPLC-ESI-MS/MS and HPLC-DAD. Juan et al. [17] postulated solid-to-liquid extraction and HPLC/UV determination of amygdalin in apple seeds. ...
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Amygdalin is a natural cyanogenic compound that plants produce in the fight against insects and herbivores. Excessive amounts of amygdalin by animals and humans can potentially lead to fatal intoxication. However, studies confirm that amygdalin has antitumor properties, including the ability to inhibit the proliferation of cancer cells and to induce their apoptosis. The analysis of amygdalin in various matrices is an important analytical problem today. The publication presents the methodology of direct determination of amygdalin in water, sewage, and biological materials using electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (ESI-MS) and a new analytical method using flowing atmospheric-pressure afterglow mass spectrometry (FAPA-MS). The methods of analyte pre-concentration using a magnetic, molecularly imprinted polymer (mag-MIP) and the influence of interferents on the recorded spectra were discussed. Analytical parameters in ESI-MS and FAPA-MS methods were established. The linearity range was 4.5 µg L−1–45 mg L−1 in positive mode ESI-MS and FAPA-MS. The limit of detection (LOD) for ESI-MS was 0.101 ± 0.003 µg L−1 and the limit of quantification (LOQ) was 0.303 ± 0.009 µg L−1. In FAPA-MS, the LOD was 0.050 ± 0.002 µg L−1 and the LOQ was 0.150 ± 0.006 µg L−1. The content of amygdalin in various matrices was determined.
... Based on this, some studies have concluded that oral administration of amygdalin in mammals should be more potentially toxic than intravenous injections (Moon et al.;. Interestingly, however, the communities with the lowest rates of cancer worldwide, such as the Abkhazians, the Hopi and Navajo Indians, the Hunzas, the Eskimos and the Karakorum, have in common a diet rich in products with a high content of amygdalin (Enculescu, 2009). Original extraction of amygdalin from bitter almond (Prunus amygdalus Batsch) was reported in 1830 by the French chemists Robiquet and Boutron (Robiquet and Boutron, 1830). ...
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En este trabajo se evalúa la eficiencia en la extracción del glucósido cianogénico amigdalina de semillas de manzanas (Malus pumila Mill) empleando las técnicas tradicionales con solventes de reflujo y Soxleth, las cuales son comparadas con la técnica más contemporánea de microondas. Las eficiencias de extracción son determinadas a través de cromatografía líquida de alta eficiencia (HPLC) empleando un método estandarizado que requiere tiempos de retención de alrededor de 1 minuto. La mejor separación cromatográfica es obtenida con el método de reflujo; sin embargo, la eficiencia de separación total más alta es alcanzada empleando la técnica de microondas, la cual requiere de solo un 10% del tiempo total y solventes necesarios en las extracciones por reflujo y Soxhlet. En contraste, la mayor cantidad de extraída de amigdalina de las semillas es obtenida con la técnica de Soxhlet, la cual corresponde al triple y al doble de las cantidades que logran ser extraídas con las metodologías de reflujo y microondas respectivamente. La pureza e identificación estructural de la amigdalina extraída es verificada espectroscópicamente usando las técnicas de UV-vis, RMN (1H and 13C) y FTIR.
... Vitamin B17 is also known as Laetrile or Amygdalin and these three names are being used interchangeably (Enculescu 2009). According to Krebs Jnr (Ernst T. Krebs 1975) this "newly designated vitamin B-17" (nitriloside) could account for: ...
Maqolada ferrotsen asosida o-ferrotsenilbenzoy kislotasini olish va uning amigdalin bilan hosilasi sintezi, ularning fizik-kimyoviy tahlillari keltirilgan. Bundan tashqari ushbu hosilalarning tuzilishi IK-spektroskopiya yordamida o’rganilgan va eksperimental ma’lumotlar bilan taqqoslangan. Sintez qilingan modda molekulasining tebranish spektrlarini hisoblash Gaussian 98 dasturida DFT/B3LYP metodining 6-311G(2d) bazisida amalga oshirildi. Shuningdek ushbu birikmaning biologik faolligi chigitlar unuvchanligida o’rganildi.
Background Amygdalin (Vitamin B-17) is a naturally occurring vitamin found in the seeds of the fruits of Prunus Rosacea family including apricot, bitter almond, cherry, and peach. Objective The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of amygdalin with and without zinc on hepatocellular carcinoma (HepG2) cell line. Methods MTT assay was used to evaluate the cytotoxicity of amygdalin without zinc, amygdalin + 20µmol zinc, and amygdalin + 800µmol zinc on HepG2 cell lines. The cell cycle distribution assay was determined by flow cytometry. Apoptosis was confirmed by Annexin V-FITC/PI staining assay. Moreover, the pathway of apoptosis was determined by the percentage of change in the mean levels of P53, Bcl2, Bax, cytochrome c, and caspase-3. Results Amygdalin without zinc showed a strong anti-HepG2 activity. Furthermore, HepG2 cell lines treatment with amygdalin + 20µmol zinc and amygdalin + 800µmol zinc showed a highly significant apoptotic effect than the effect of amygdalin without zinc. Amygdalin treatment induced the cell cycle arrest at G2/M and increased the levels of P53, Bax, cytochrome c, and caspase-3 significantly, while it decreased the level of anti-apoptotic Bcl2. Conclusion Amygdalin is a natural anti-cancer agent which can be used for the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma. It promotes apoptosis via the intrinsic cell death pathway (the mitochondria-initiated pathway) and cell cycle arrest at G/M. The potency of amygdalin in HepG2 treatment increased significantly by the addition of zinc.
The bioactive component, amygdalin, was successfully separated from the crude extract of Prunus armeniaca L. using high‐speed countercurrent chromatography (HSCCC) with high recovery. A polar two‐phase solvent system, containing n‐butanol‐ethyl acetate‐water (4∶1∶6, v/v/v) was run on a preparative scale. The lower phase was used as the mobile phase in the head to tail elution mode. A 208 mg quantity of the crude extract, containing 36.1% amygdalin, was loaded onto a 270 mL HSCCC column, which yielded 69 mg amygdalin of 98.7% purity with 90.7% recovery. The chemical structure of amygdalin was determined by electrospray ionization MS‐MS and H NMR.
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