A lot of people use the terms amygdalin, Laetrile, and vitamin B17 interchangeably, without knowing there are sources which distinguish them from one another. Both substances – Amygdalin and Laetrile are believed to contain an essential vitamin – Vitamin B-17. However, Vitamin B-17 is believed to be a supplement for conventional cancer treatment.
Vitamin B17, also called laetrile or amygdalin, was coined by Dr. Ernest T. Krebs as the “antineoplastic Vitamin” due to its anticancer properties.
It is a natural chemotherapeutic agent found in many plants, especially in the seeds of common fruits such as apricots, apples, peaches, strawberries, and plums.
Although it is commonly known as “Vitamin” B17, laetrile, or amygdalin, is not technically considered a vitamin.
One major difference between these two is that; Amygdalin is the substance that occurs naturally in plants, while Laetrile is more like a trade name for a synthesized compound, laevo-mandelonitrile-beta-glucuronoside. This compound is chemically similar to amygdalin, but do not have the same molecule.
Amygdalin is less concentrated and harder to absorb, whereas laetrile is more soluble and of a higher concentration.
More specifically, it is a compound known as a nitriloside, which is water-soluble, essentially non-toxic, a sugary compound found in over eight hundred plants, many of which are edible.
Amygdalin is a plant based substance and can be found in the following;
- Seeds of Fruits or Kernels: Raw bitter almonds have the highest concentration of B17, but it has been decades since we are able to find raw bitter almonds as they are all sun-dried and once they go through this process it kills the Vitamin B17. Raw apricot seeds have the second highest concentration of B17 (you can buy them at RawFoodAndVitamins.com), followed by cherry, apple, peach, nectarine, plum, pear & prune contain good amounts of laetrile.
- Nuts: Macadamia, Bitter Almond, and Walnuts.
- Beans: Burma, Broad (Vicia faba), lentils (sprouted), mung (sprouted), Lima, Scarlet runner, Rangoon.
- Berries: Nearly all wild berries- Chokeberry, Blackberry, Christmas berry, Elderberry, Raspberry, Cranberry, Strawberry.
- Grasses: Acacia, Aquatic, Alfalfa (sprouted), Milkweed, Sudan, Minus, white Dover, wheat grass.
- Seeds: Flax, Chia, Sesame.
Amygdalin is sometimes confused with laevomandelonitrile, also called laetrile for short. However, amygdalin and laetrile are different chemical compounds.
Laetrile is a partly man made (synthetic) form of the natural substance amygdalin. While both compounds can be metabolized to produce cyanide in the body, too much of either compound is toxic.