Vitamin B17; Deficiency Symptoms, Food Source, Health Benefit

Vitamin B17; Deficiency Symptoms, Food Source, Health Benefit

Vitamin B17 is a naturally occurring chemical compound, famous for falsely being promoted as a cancer cure. It is found in many plants, but most notably in the seeds (kernels) of apricot, bitter almonds, apple, peach, and plum.Amygdalin is classified as a cyanogenic glycoside because each amygdalin molecule includes a nitrile group, which can be released as the toxic cyanide anion by the action of a beta-glucosidase: eating amygdalin will cause it to release cyanide in the human body, and may lead to cyanide poisoning. Neither amygdalin nor laetrile is a vitamin.

Deficiency Symptoms of Vitamin B17

  • High blood pressure
  • Lowering cholesterol levels
  • Rheumatism
  • Angina
  • Heart troubles
  • Asthma
  • Hypertension
  • Emphysema
  • Alcoholism
  • Cancer
  • Cirrhosis of the liver
  • Hepatitis
  • High cholesterol
  • Arteriosclerosis
  • Headaches
  • Emotional and mental stress
  • Deterioration of red blood cells
  • Pernicious anemia
  • Accelerated production of cancer cells
  • This is an important vitamin for the body and its deficiency may lead to the destruction of red blood cells, anemia, usually pernicious anemia as well as increasing growth of cancerous cells in the body.

Food Source of Vitamin B17

It contains purified amygdalin, which is a compound found naturally in the following :

  • Raw nuts – Such as bitter almonds, raw almonds and macadamia nuts.
  • Vegetables – Carrots, celery, bean sprouts, mung beans, lima beans and butter beans.
  • Seeds – Millet, flaxseeds and buckwheat.
  • Pits of –  Apples, plums, apricots, cherries and pears.
  • Foods with the highest amount of B-17 are apricot kernels and bitter almonds. Almost all fruit pips and kernels are filled with B-17, so eating apple seeds as well as the seeds from other fruits is an excellent way to receive the nutrient.
  • Bamboo Shoots Barley Beet tops Blackberries, boysenberries, cranberries and raspberries Brewer’s yeast Brown rice, buckwheat and millet Butter beans, lima beans, fava beans, and garbanzo beans Cashews, macadamia nuts and pecans Currants Flax seeds Cassava Lentils Loquats Spinach Sprouts Wheatgrass
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Health Benefits of Vitamin B17

While most of the research on laetrile focuses on its effects on cancer, some studies have found that amygdalin, the natural form of laetrile, may have other health benefits.

Here are a few possible health benefits of amygdalin:

  • It may lower blood pressure – In one study, amygdalin helped lower systolic blood pressure (upper value) by 28.5% and diastolic blood pressure (lower value) by 25%. These effects were enhanced when taken with vitamin C .
  • It may relieve pain – Several animal studies show that amygdalin may help relieve pain caused by inflammatory conditions, such as arthritis. However, there is a lack of human-based evidence in this area .
  • It may boost immunity – A test-tube study found that amygdalin improved the ability of immune cells to adhere to prostate cancer cells .
  • Its anti-cancerous properties aside – Vitamin B17, especially if derived from natural food sources instead of supplements, can bring in a bevy of health benefits. They include:
  • Regulating Hypertension – Vitamin B17 can help regulate hypertension issues due to the formation of thiocyanate, instrumental in lowering high blood pressure.
  • Boosts the Immune System – Vitamin B17 is also known to work wonders for the immune system. Dr. Anju Sood, a Bangalore based-nutritionist, hails the biggest benefit of the vitamin to be its potential to increase white blood cells, which improve immunity.
  • Great Antioxidant – Some experts also claim the ability of the vitamin to associate with other powerful antioxidants like vitamin A, C and E to break down and eradicate toxic cells from our body, thus aiding a natural detox process and promoting overall health.
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  1. “Laetrile: the regulatory challenge of an unproven remedy”Public Health Rep99 (4): 333–8. PMC 1424606Freely accessiblePMID 6431478.
  2. Application of the Prunus spp. Cyanide Seed Defense System onto Wheat: Reduced Insect Feeding and Field Growth Tests”Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry64 (18): 3501–3507. doi:10.1021/acs.jafc.6b00438ISSN 0021-8561PMID 27119432.
  4. Wikipedia contributors. “Amygdalin.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 10 Mar. 2017. Web. 11 Apr. 2017.
  5. United States, Food and Drug Administration. “Laetrile, the Commissioner’s decision” 1978

Vitamin B17


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