Also known as Amygdalin or Laetrile is a controversial compound that occurs naturally in nature in the bitter seeds of Apricots, apples and peaches.
It's well worth the attention of Biohackers with a little higher risk tolerance and those who have cancer.
You've probably never heard of Vitamin B17. If you're some shade of conspiracy theorist who thinks that the FDA is at least a little evil you'll probably want to try it, if you think the FDA is a perfectly benign agency acting only for the good of the public, you'll want to pass on Vitamin B17.
If, like me, you're prone to sporadic episodes of unrequited hedonism, you'll want to consider adding this to your arsenal of lifestyle Biohacks.
A very personal anecdote...
A couple of years ago when I was living in South America I faced quiet a dilemma in regards to birth control. I was dating this lovely 21 year old Colombian university student.
One night that we had a date scheduled she told me she was feeling sick; so I hopped in a little taxi that drove recklessly through the streets of Medellin to bring her chocolate.
In a moment that brought me back to high school, we were cuddling on her bed pretending to watch a movie while trysting and listening warily for her madre's footsteps coming down the hallway to make sure she was being a good catholic girl!
She nonchalantly mentioned to me that she was feeling sick because she had just started taking the pill.
Now this Colombiana will remain forever young and nubile in my imagination. She was eager to please and would purrrrr like a cat in bed. It was truly glorious making love to her.
The prospect of her most intimate embrace without protection was truly tantalizing, but as a Biohacker I knew that the pill was bad news for women's health. So I found myself in quiet a predicament, but I really did care for her and she was a pretty sharp girl, who at least pretended to share my passion for all things healthy. So I resolved to talk to her about my reservations about the pill and my willingness to keep using condoms.
Ultimately, I failed to provide her the emotional rollercoaster that the intoxicating women of that country so crave, we stopped seeing each other and the dilemma resolved itself.
However; if I had known about herbal birth control and Vitamin B17 I would have had a viable contraceptive option that satisfied both my bioethics and my most primal desires.
A Dubious Contraceptive Method
Vitamin B17 and apricot seeds in particular likely prevent pregnancy and can even be used for an herbal abortion (Yes, that's a thing!).
From The Tao Of Health, Sex, and Longevity:
For thousands of years, the young women of Polynesia have enjoyed complete and uninhibited sexual freedom prior to marriage, with no worries about unwanted pregnancy. Their secret is to eat a few handfuls of papaya seeds every day. The active ingredient responsible for their freedom from pregnancy is vitamin B17, more popularly known as laetrile, the controversial drug banned in the United States due to unproven claims that it can prevent and help cure cancer. (4571-4574)
From the queerly named book Herbal Abortion: the Fruit of the Tree of Knowledge
If you made love with a man during your fertile time (for example, days 10-16 in a 28 day cycle), and you do not wish to be pregnant, here is what you do:
1. After unprotected intercourse on a potentially fertile day, begin eating 5-10 apricot kernels 3 times a day. Continue this until your period comes. This prevents implantation. (The same effect can be achieved with high levels of Vitamin C in this way. Use more than 10 grams per day.)
Is this scientifically proven? Not really.
However, there's a significant quantity of positive anecdotal evidence and a stark lack Nocebo reports; which you would especially expect for a birth control measure. If you wear a BrandX condom but yet somehow end up impregnating Jyll who you met at the Ladies Night at Sky Bar you're going to warn everyone you can for the rest of your existence against buying those damn leaky BrandX condoms!
Also, consider that since time immemorial there's been a significant economic incentive for those who work in the world's oldest profession to prevent pregnancy. People have been having sex in exchange for money, well probably since ever since we invented money, so these herbal medicine traditions arise as a result of pragmatism not mysticism. Anything that didn't actually work surely would not have been passed down through ages from madam, to courtisan, to pimp, to street walker...
I foresee myself using herbal birth control in the future when I'm in a relationship where pregnancy is undesirable, yet not unacceptable. If I were married or in a serious long term relationship, I would rather have her using a herbal birth control strategy than the pill which is going to fundamentally alter her hormones, psychology and libido.
Depending upon which sexpert you listen to; the pullout method is actually just a little less effective than using condoms.
If a woman uses the birth control pill imperfectly; namely forgetting to take it at the same time every day; it's effectiveness in preventing a little bundle of joy decreases detrimentally.
How many stories have you heard of people that had an unexpected pregnancy even while using mainstream birth control methods? Maybe it's even happened to you!
I wouldn't depend upon herbal birth control alone if I was sleeping with someone who I really didn't want to have a child with. The amalgamation of the limited science done and the preponderance of anecdotal accounts online don't give me the confidence to bet at least $250,000 and 18 years of my life on herbal birth control working.
Conversely though, given the unreliability of conventional birth control methods, if I were sleeping regularily with someone who I really didn't want to make babies with I would hedge my bets and supplement the normal contraceptives with herbal birth control. Specifically...
Californian apricot seeds ($19.99)
Queen Anne's Lace Seeds
If I had my partner use all of them properly, the cumulative contraceptive effectiveness would be pretty close to 100%. Especially, if I'm also using the much maligned pull out method and Taoist semen retention methods, the chances of inadvertently making a little Roseland are virtually nil.
A Less Dubious Cancer Cure
The FDA banned it because it cures cancer.
Upon reading the previous sentence you're maybe thinking...
Of course! They wouldn't want us curing cancer! That would put them out of business!
Some days I would totally share your cynicism but the reality is probably a whole lot more complex and nuanced.
I haven't researched it thoroughly enough to say conclusively whether or not it actually cures cancer, I don't think anyone has.
If a close friend or family member of mine was facing the dire specter of cancer, I wouldn't get their hopes up too high repeating the hyperbole surrounding Vitamin B17. However given the preponderance of scientific and anecdotal evidence I'll recommend using it to promote longevity and prevent cancer.
About a hundred years ago it was isolated from bitter almonds has since been embroiled in controversy because one of it's constituent parts is cyanide. However, in moderation the cyanide is counter-acted by another chemical in the seed. Actually, you consume cyanide all the time, if you eat raw almonds or spinach for example.
Apparently two of the doctors that published the 1952 paper which initially demonized it were also amongst the many doctors who publicly endorsed smoking cigarettes as healthy, going as far as saying that "a pack a day keeps lung cancer away"
The FDA banned Laetrile the semisynthetic version of amygdalin in 1977.
A 1982 paper called it:
"the slickest, most sophisticated, and certainly the most remunerative cancer quack promotion in medical history."
However, far from a universal research moratorium on it there's been over a hundred papers, human studies and meta-analysis done in the past 10 years alone.
A 2016 paper out of Goethe-University in Germany concluded:
No convincing evidence showing that amygdalin induces rapid, distinct tumor regression in cancer patients, particularly in those with late-stage disease, is apparent. However, there is also no evidence that purified amygdalin, administered in "therapeutic" dosage, causes toxicity. Multiple aspects of amygdalin administration have not yet been adequately explored, making further investigation necessary to evaluate its actual therapeutic potential.
A recent in vitro study of prostrate cancer cells was more optimistic
Amygdalin exhibits significant antitumor activity in both castration-sensitive and castration-resistant PCa cell lines and merits further evaluation for therapeutic purposes.
If there's a chance this could save your life or the life of someone you care about I'll encourage you to peruse the abstracts of the recent studies done; the general sentiment of the researchers who have devoted themselves to profoundly understanding this bitter compound is quiet positive.
I found two recent reports on Pubmed of severe cyanide poisoning, but both are pretty extreme cases that could be avoided by a responsible Biohacker using conservative doses. One resulted from some idiot parents who gave too many apricot kernels to their 4 year old child
"On detailed questioning of the parents, the use of CAM including intravenous and oral "vitamin B 17" (amygdalin) and oral apricot kernel was reported."
The second report advises that there's a serious conflict with Vitamin C
Amygdalin and laetrile (a synthetic form of amygdalin) are commonly used as complementary or alternative medicine (CAM) for the treatment of cancer. Vitamin C is known to increase the in vitro conversion of amygdalin to cyanide and reduce body stores of cysteine, which is used to detoxify cyanide. Amygdalin has been used for decades by patients with cancer who are seeking alternative therapies, and severe reactions have not been reported with this dose. An interaction with vitamin C is a plausible explanation for this life-threatening response.
The War on Cancer?
Looking at the stark statistics western medicine is doing a remarkably bad job finding a cure for cancer.
A glaring example of the failure of the Western approach to health and disease is the so-called war on cancer in America, where this deadly disease flourishes more than anywhere else on earth. Over the past 35 years, the National Cancer Institute has spent more than $ 20 billion researching a cure for cancer, while suppressing all homoeopathic and preventive approaches to the disease. Since 1962, the number of cancer deaths per 100,000 people in America has risen from 170 to 185, and in 1986 close to 1 million new cases of cancer were reported. (4492-4496).
It would seem to be less of a race for the cure and more of a perverse game of musical chairs, that costs billions of dollars and millions of lives. The risk that Vitamin B17 presents looks a whole lot better in the shadow cast by the mountain of bodies after the 45 year War on Cancer.
There's a book Laetrile Case Histories documenting work done at The Richardson Cancer Clinic; from it's blurb
Here are 62 case histories proving beyond any doubt that Laetrile (Vitamin B17) works in the control of cancer. These are not anecdotal stories or cases of people who never had cancer in the first place. Each history is authenticated by a firm diagnosis and meticulous medical documentation.
Youtube has a handful of (not very professional) videoblogs of cancer survivors who found it helpful.
You'll find a lot more testimonials and frank discussion at BeatCancerWithB17.blogspot.com, not a lot of people calling it a miracle cure for cancer, but it does seem to help and I've yet to come across any real horror stories about cyanide poisoning.
Apricot Power has received nearly 600 customers reviews on Trustpilot.com and I actually reviewed all of them, especially the few one and two star reviews. There's a handful of people complaining about taste, bitterness and upset stomachs but literally no one having crazy adverse reactions that required hospitalization or the poison control center.
You can't buy Laetrile itself thanks to the FDA ban but you can eat foods high in Amygdalin
Californian apricot seeds (8%)
Peach seeds (6%)
Plum seeds (2%)
Bitter almonds (5%)
The general rule of thumb is that you shouldn't eat more seeds than you would if you were eating the whole food. You wouldn't eat more than 4-6 apricots in a sitting, so don't eat more than 4-6 apricot seeds.
Vitamin B17 is a higher risk Biohack; but I share it with you because the potential upside is tremendous...
- Preventing, treating (and maybe even curing) cancer.
- Being able to naturally have quiet safe sex without the significant downsides of hormonal birth control.
Whereas the downside is that - if used correctly - it's about as risky as Botox, Mushrooms, Kratom or raw almonds!