Organic Bitter Apricot Kernel Powder

The apricot kernel (Prunus armeniaca) is the soft part inside the seed of the apricot. It is said to be a good source of iron, potassium and phosphorus. Amongst the nutrients they contain is one called amygdalin, which I also known as vitamin B17. This attacks cancer cells, and thus can help prevent cancer from breaking out in our bodies.

Amygdalin vitamin B17 is contained in many hundreds of foods, but ones that are particularly rich in amygdalin have disappeared to a large extent from our western diet. Peoples throughout the world who still eat a traditional diet, have been found to largely free from cancer. Theses diets are rich in foods containing B17

 

Amygdalin is a compound that is found in over 1200 edible plants in nature (and, not surprisingly, is also missing in large part from the Standard Westernised Diet). It is found in the highest concentrations and with the most effective accompanying enzymes in apricot seed kernels.

 

The Hunza people are considered living proof of the health benefits of apricot kernels. Based in the remote Himalayan region near West Pakistan, they are traditional apricot farmers and are believed to consume 200 times more B17 than Westerners do (about 30 to 50 apricot seeds a day). The Hunza are also said to have low levels of cancer and high rates of longevity.

Apart from apricot kernels, examples of other amygdalin rich foods are bitter almonds (amygdalin tastes bitter - sweet almonds do not contain it, and apricot kernels that are not bitter do not contain it). Other foods containing amygdalin are apple pips, grape seeds, millet, broad beans, most berries, cassava and many other seeds, beans, pulses and grains - but not ones that have been highly hybridised. There are many ways you can fight cancer. One is to build up the immune system so that it is very strong. Another is to supplement with antioxidants which fight carcinogens in the body. However, amygdalin seems to be unique in the way that it directly attacks cancer cells.

Amygdalin was first extracted and named over one hundred years ago and has been listed in pharmacological dictionaries since that time as being non-toxic. However it does have a poison locked away in it - one of its constituents is cyanide. But, locked into the compound amygdalin, it is chemically inert and harmless to normal living tissue. In the same way common salt (sodium chloride) is safe to eat, and in fact is necessary to the body. But this also has locked away in it a poison - chlorine. Of course if you ate too much salt at one time you would be ill. This is true of any substance, and would equally apply to apricot kernels. However, amygdalin is less toxic than salt, and less toxic than sugar.

For prevention, however, Dr Ernst T Krebs Jr., the biochemist who first produced laetrile (concentrated amygdalin) in the 1950s, recommended that if a person would eat ten to twelve apricot kernels a day for life, then barring the equivalent of Chernobyl, he is likely to be cancer free. At the beginning of the 21st century it is expected that one in eight women in the UK will get breast cancer and one in nine men prostate cancer. If other types of cancer are added in, then no family is likely to be free. Therefore the suggestion that eating 10 - 12 kernels per day for life is likely to prevent cancer - is very good news indeed.

***PLEASE NOTE

  • Apricot kernels may lower blood pressure.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

The pros

  • Some research shows that consuming large numbers of bitter kernels every day over your lifetime may ward off cancer and kill existing cancer. Vitamin B17 is a unique compound that is believed to work with the immune system to fight malignant tumours. A reportedly non-toxic form is called laetrile and is a controversial treatment used in some cancer clinics around the world.

  • Laetrile was made famous by actor Steve McQueen when it was incorporated into his treatment for mesothelioma in Mexico in 1980. McQueen gave it a glowing report but died soon after. It has not been approved for use in the US.

       A preliminary study by Kyung Hee University in Seoul, Korea, in 2002 shows that amygdalin may initiate                     programmed cell death in human prostate cancer cells.

  • The Hunza people are considered living proof of the health benefits of apricot kernels. Based in the remote Himalayan region near West Pakistan, they are traditional apricot farmers and are believed to consume 200 times more B17 than Westerners do (about 30 to 50 apricot seeds a day). The Hunza are also said to have low levels of cancer and high rates of longevity.

The cons

  • Despite these claims, several US studies have found no substantial relationship between apricot kernels and cancer prevention.

  • Nutrition Australia says B17 is not a real vitamin and that there is no strong evidence that apricot kernels are of benefits.

  • Bitter kernels contain small traces of cyanide, (as does white rice) which in large quantities may cause nausea, fever, headaches and coma. In 2006, the British Food Standards Agency posted a health alert, claiming that consuming 20 to 30 kernels in a short period of time could result in cyanide poisoning and death. However, cases of cyanide toxicity are rare.

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