Vitimin B17: Alternative Cancer Therapy

Philip Day has written an excellent book, “CANCER – Why we’re still dying to know the truth”. He outlines the exciting discovery of the use of vitamin B17 in curing cancer. Here are some extracts from his book:

“During the 1950s, after many years of research, a dedicated biochemist by the name of Ernst T. Krebs, Jr., isolated a new vitamin that he numbered B17 and called ‘laetrile’. As the years rolled by, thousands became convinced that Krebs had finally found the complete control for all cancers, a conviction that even more people share today.”
“‘Nitrilosides’ are natural foods rich in Vitamin B17. This vitamin is characterised by a large group of water-soluble, essentially non-toxic, sugary compounds found in over 800 plants, many of which are edible. one of the most common sources of B17 is found in plentiful supply within the kernels (seeds) of many non-citrus fruits, such as cherries, nectarines, peaches, plums and apples. However it is within the seed of the humble apricot that the highest concentrations of B17 can be found, up to 2 to 2.5 percent by weight in most varieties.

Krebs’ studies showed that when a human or animal system ingests sufficient amount of laetrile (or in its natural form, hydrocynacic acid), this substance becomes selectively toxic to cancer cells.

Krebs was aware that indigenous peoples consuming vast quantities of hydrocyanic acid were not experiencing any harmful side-effects. On the contrary, their lives were characterised by abundant good health and extreme longevity.
from Cancer – Why we’re still dying to know the truth, by Phillip Day

For apricot kernels in Australia:

Philip Day lists  foods containing vitamin B17. (Remember that while apricot, plum, peach and apple seeds contain higher concentrations, these other foods contain B17 as well)

  • sheep sorrel (see recipe for sheep sorrel tea in “The Healing Power of Food)
  • flaxseed
  • tapioca
  • alfalfa sprouts
  • barley
  • blackberries
  • brown rice
  • cashews
  • gabanzo beans (chick peas)
  • macadamia nuts
  • lentils
  • lima beans
  • millet
  • walnuts
  • yams
  • strawberries

Phillip Day’s research shows that people with cancer should consume apricot kernels, and people who do not have cancer should also consume them, in a lower dose, as a cancer preventative.

For those with cancer, Phillip Day suggests 40 per day, (depends on body weight), but build up to this amount gradually. Start with 5 per day and don’t take more than 5 in one hour. People who are free of cancer and want to avoid it should take 8-10 per day. For cancer patients particularly, it is important to consume paw paw, (containing the enzyme papain) or pancreatic enziymes which can be bought in capsule form from health shops. These enzymes strip the coating on the cancer cells, so that the B17 in the kernels can do its job. Vitamins A and E are also important for enhancing the work of the kernels. A pancreatic enzyme supplement is also advisable.

Paul Reid’s testimony, diet regime and steps to healing from cancer are outlined in our book, “The Healing Power of Food”, an excellent companion to Phillip Day’s book. The Healing Power of Food gives practical advice to those with cancer and those who want to avoid it. Paul took 30 kernels a day for 6 months and now takes a maintenance dose of taking 12 per day. He also takes paw paw enzymes each day.

Vitamin B17, found in the seeds of many fruits including apricots, has vital cancer fighting properties. 
Vitamin B17, also known as laetrile or amygdalin, has vital cancer fighting properties. It is naturally occurring in a variety of foods, such as buckwheat, berries, lentils, linseeds, almonds, cashews, buckwheat and millet, but it is most concentrated in the seeds of apricots, peaches, plums, nectarines and applesIt is a form of cyanic acid, toxic to cancer cells, although not toxic to other cells in the body. 1 
Pineapple, paw paw and additional pancreatic enzymes should be taken in the morning. The kernels should be taken throughout the day and not taken all at once. They should be chewed, or ground and then chewed. They can be added to foods to help disguise the bitter taste, e.g. with mashed banana. However they should be chewed, even if ground. 
The Hunzas, renowned for longevity, were traditional growers of apricots. They cracked the seeds of apricots, ground the kernels and added them to their food. 

Dr.Ernst Krebs Jr. medical graduate of Illinois in 1941, with his father, researched the use of enzymes and Vitamin B17, in their treatment of cancer. He built upon the research of Professor John Beard, from Edinburgh University, 30 years before. Krebs found that Vitamin B17 was extremely toxic to cancer cells, although harmless to normal cells. He discovered that the cancer cell had a protein covering, and if the body’s pancreatic enzymes dissolved that covering, then the cancer cell can be destroyed by the white blood cells, but even more effectively by Vitamin B17. The two components, Hydrogen cyanide and especially Benzaldehyde in the B17, are extremely toxic to cancer cells. 2 

In normal cells, the enzyme rhodinase, produced in the liver, renders B17 harmless. Every day we produce several hundred cancer cells. We need to get them early with a diet rich in B17. B17 seeks out and destroys only the cancer cells. Krebs recommended eating ten apricot kernels per day for life as a preventive measure. A maximum of 5 kernels at any one time in a two-hour period is recommended to prevent excess B17 building up in the liver. Vitamin B17 should not be taken by people with liver cancer, or by people with liver malfunction. 3 
Dr Binzel, who uses nutritional therapy along with Vitamin B17, explains that removing the tumour does not correct the defects in an individual’s defense mechanism, so it is likely that the tumour will come back. Dr. Binzel does not start his patients on laetrile until the patients have been on vitamin and mineral supplements, enzymes and the diet for ten days to two weeks. He finds that laetrile seems to have little or no effect until a sufficient quantity of other vitamins and minerals are in the body. Zinc, for example, is the transportation mechanism for the Laetrile. The body will not rebuild any tissue without sufficient Vitamin C.4


  1. Woollams. C., The Tree of Life, 2004, p. 151
  2. Binzel, P.,Alive and Well, 1994, p. 24
  3. Woollams, C. Op. Cit.,p. 153
  4. Binzel, P., Op.Cit.,p. 25 & 99