Cancer update on apricots

One of the many natural supplements that keeps resurfacing in connection with cancer treatment, and prevention, is apricot kernels. I recently met a lady who has had cancer who has been taking them for some time and is convinced they have helped her. The evidence on this is not cut and dried, but there is certainly a body of anecdotal evidence and some clinical trials that seems to support this view, but there are also very clear dangers in this somewhat innocuous fruit.

It has been suggested that eating 7-10 Apricot Kernels a day may help to prevent cancer, alongside a healthy lifestyle and a good diet though this is outside the limit recommended as safe by many authorities. Certainly apricots themselves have been held up as the substance that helped the Hunza to achieve their very long life span, and relative freedom from cancer. Apricot Kernels are especially rich in Vitamin B17, which is also known rather confusingly by three different names: Amygdaline, Amygdalin or Laetrile. It is B17 that is the substance that is believed to both help prevent cancer, and have a direct impact upon cancer cells and many of the best sources we simply do not eat. For instance, we core our apples, and peel our parsnips and usually give the compost heap the B17 we need for ourselves. The best source is in apricot kernels and the lady I referred to at the beginning of this piece tells me she buys the ground kernels from Dayspring on 01483 418258. They also have a website at for more information.

The kernels should be chewed, or ground and sprinkled on food or in fruit juice. An excellent way to take Apricot Kernels is to fill a jar half full, add a 1/4 of a jar of organic or Manuka honey and mixed well with a fork, and keep in a fridge or cool cupboard. The kernels can then be added to fruit and muesli or simply taken straight from the spoon. For anyone who is not ill but wants to guard themselves from cancer they should just take a small amount – say a small half teaspoon of the ground kernels, but for more treatment levels up to three full teaspoons is usual, but I strongly suggest you consult with a qualified natural practitioner before you begin on a regime such as this.

Food Sources:
There are many foods that contain Vitamin B17 in varying amounts and these include: apple seeds, alfalfa sprouts, apricot kernels, bamboo shoots, barley, beet tops, bitter almond, blackberries, boysenberries, brewer’s yeast, brown rice, buckwheat, cashews, cherry kernels, cranberries, currants, fava beans, flax seeds, garbanzo beans, gooseberries, huckleberries, lentils, lima beans, linseed meat, loganberries, macadamia nuts, millet, millet seed, peach kernels, pecans, plum kernels, quince, raspberries, sorghum cane syrup, spinach, sprouts (alfalfa, lentil, mung bean, buckwheat, garbanzo), strawberries, walnuts, watercress, yams.

I would not be responsible if I didn’t repeat that you need to use apricot kernels with caution. The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment suggests that you eat no more than one or two apricot kernels a day. This is because they have a high natural level of amygdalin and, during digestion, highly toxic hydrocyanic acid is released from it. This can lead to symptoms of acute poisoning like cramp, vomiting and respiratory distress. At high doses it can even lead to a fatal respiratory paralysis, which can lead to severe, acute poisoning. At very high doses it can even prove fatal.