The posts created within this blog are my opinions or those of other proponents of apricot kernels and their use therapeutically. Though I endeavor to write nothing that isn't factual, I am not a scientist nor am I doctor. My writings are based on many years of experience, observation and research, and the conclusions drawn are my own. I want to stress the importance of having the advice and guidance of a practiced and experienced healthcare professional. You should only take my writings into consideration in the course of arriving at your own conclusions following extensive research. Research is essential in a proactive approach to well-being. You should feel well-informed and empowered before making any decisions about your health.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Ralph Moss on Chemotherapy, Laetrile, Coley's Toxins, Burzynski, & Cancer Politics

Laura Lee radio show, 1994

This is an interview with Ralph Moss by Laura Lee.

Ralph Walter Moss is an American author whose writings advocate alternative cancer treatments. Moss served as a science writer and assistant director of public affairs at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in the 1970s.

Laura Lee: The medical establishment keeps telling us that there are only 3 ways to treat cancer -- chemotherapy, radiation and surgery. Many people disagree and among them is Dr Ralph Moss, author of a new book, Cancer Therapy. Dr Moss, can we have a bit of background and why you became interested and decided to devote your practice and research to cancer? 

Ralph Moss: Twenty years ago I was hired at Memorial Sloane Kettering (MSK) cancer center in New York as the science writer, later promoted to assistant director of public affairs. Shortly after I went to work there I went to visit an elderly Japanese scientist, Kanematsu Sugiura, who astonished me when he told me he was working on Laetrile (B17), at the time it was the most controversial thing in cancer, reputed to be a cure for cancer.  We in public affairs were giving out statements that Laetrile was worthless, it was quackery, and people should not abandon proven therapies. I was astonished that our most distinguished scientist would be bothering with something like this, and I said why are you doing this if it does not work. He took down lab books and showed me that in fact Laetrile is dramatically effective in stopping the spread of cancer. The animals were genetically programmed to get breast cancer and about 80 - 90% of them normally get spread of the cancer from the breast to the lungs which is a common route in humans, also for how people die of breast cancer, and instead when they gave the animals Laetrile by injection only 10-20% of them got lung metastases.  And these facts were verified by many people, including the pathology department. 

Laura Lee: So this is verified, that Laetrile can have this positive effect? 

Ralph Moss: We were finding this and yet we in public affairs were told to issue statements to the exact opposite of what we were finding scientifically, and as the years went by I got more rapped up in this thing and 3 years later I said all this in my own press conference, and was fired the next day, "for failing to carry out his most basic job responsibility" -- ie to lie to the public what goes on in cancer research 

Laura Lee: How can these people justify this in their own minds? 

Ralph Moss: Basically the attitude was best expressed by Lewis Thomas, the president of the center, who told my boss, as he would not see me, "I am not going to die on the barricades for Laetrile. It is not a cure, it is only a palliative, (meaning it relieves pain and stops the spread of cancer), if it were a cure it might be a different story, but I am not going to give up my career, to die on the barricades". That's how they justified it in their own minds. I could not do that, nor could Dr Sugiura, who never renounced the results of his own studies, despite the fact they put enormous pressure on him to do so. 

Laura Lee: Are we practicing science here, or medicine, or politics? 

Ralph Moss: Politics. Political science as we say! 

Laura Lee: You were mentioning that patients hear cure rate when something very different is being talked about.  And we can go into the poor statistics for the standard modalities. They are not that effective, which is why everyone is looking for an alternative. 
Ralph Moss: When I was at MSK a lot of very weird things started to happen to me, there was this cognitive distance between what I was told, and was writing about treatment, especially chemotherapy, and what I was seeing with my own eyes. One time I heard the head of the intensive care unit give a talk in which he bragged about how he had one of the lowest mortality rates in his unit. I went out to lunch with him, where he became a bit inebriated, and told me how he managed to get those statistics -- by wheeling the dying patients out into the corridor where they died and didn't sully our departments record. 

Laura Lee: Lets skew those statistics any way that looks good to us. 

Ralph Moss: Another time I went to interview a breast surgeon, and he had a lamp in the shape of a women's breast on his desk. I couldn't even get out a single interview question I was so astounded by this insensitivity, and here women were flocking in to have their breasts removed by this guy, and I thought...I didn't have any idea what was wrong but it was that twilight zone of knowing, feeling that something was definitely wrong but not knowing what it was. It was only when I had the enforced leisure from being fired that I was able to really look into it. 

Laura Lee: It is interesting how many establishment doctors start out, in many cases to disprove the efficacy of alternative therapies and become advocates of alternative therapies. I don't hear many stories of the other way round. 

Ralph Moss: No, it is not likely. So, I started to look into the whole question of chemotherapy in particular, that is the cutting edge of orthodox treatment and I have now completed a report -- Chemotherapy, How, When, and Why. With emphasis on the why. Although we do give some information for those who are taking chemotherapy on what they can take to decrease the side effects. Basically it is a very critical and comprehensive look, for we deal with about 60 different types of cancer, and all of the FDA approved anti cancer drugs. The bottom line is for a few kinds of cancer chemo is a life extending procedure -- Hodgkin's disease, Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia, Testicular cancer, and Choriocarcinoma. Testicular cancer has yielded to platinum containing drugs. 

Laura Lee: It probably makes you impotent 

Ralph Moss: It does more than that. It is extremely damaging to the body, but it does lead to a very extended life for people with this problem. An interesting thing is that platinum is the old homeopathic drug for problems of the testicles or the ovaries, and Hahnemann proved that on himself 180 years ago, but Allopathic medicine takes this basic idea, without giving credit of course, ups the dose by the billions because they can't conceive of small doses having significant biological effect, and consequently put in massive amounts of homeopathic medicines and cause tremendous toxicity and other problems, second cancers down the road and so forth.
Outside those 4 or 5 treatments for which chemotherapy is effective there are a few where there is very moderate effectiveness in terms of life extension -- lung cancer and ovarian cancer with a possibility of colon cancer. 

Laura Lee: When you look at the statistics chemotherapy is a standard treatment for all types of cancer generally speaking. 

Ralph Moss: Yes, it has become. 
Laura Lee: However, when you really look at the statistics, you were saying, only a few respond. 

Ralph Moss: Yes, 2-4%. 

Laura Lee: How in the world, Dr Moss, can it be considered a standard cure, when it works for 2-4, and very specific ones? 

Ralph Moss: We are dealing with an industry. It is not supported by the facts. The way that it is done is this. The drugs are tested in test tubes, and they look for things that will kill cells. After you have found something that kills cells, cancer cells, cell lines which are very abnormal non-typical sort of growths, maybe a new life form almost, then you put it into animals. Then if it kills the cancers before it kills the animals, and shrinks the tumors, you consider you have an active agent. You then put it into people, and go through the 3 phases the FDA prescribes for this, and basically if you can shrink the tumor 50% or more for 28 days you have got the FDA's definition of an active drug. That is called a response rate, so you have a response.. 

Laura Lee: Different from a cure? 

Ralph Moss: Quite a bit because when you look to see if there is any life prolongation from taking this treatment what you find is all kinds of hocus pocus and song and dance about the disease free survival, and this and that. In the end there is no proof that chemotherapy in the vast majority of cases actually extends life, and this is the GREAT LIE about chemotherapy, that somehow there is a correlation between shrinking a tumor and extending the life of the patient. 

Laura Lee: Or that there is a correlation between looking at a cancer cell in a test tube and the tumor in someone's body. 

Ralph Moss: Absolutely. What happens as you grow those cells in cell lines they become very weird. Hundreds and hundreds of generations later they don't even look like even normal human cancer cells. They are things that grow under glass, immortal cells, unlike normal body cells or normal cancer cells. So much cancer research is very questionable because it is based on this cell line research. 

Laura Lee: Politics it seems is the word you must understand in order to understand what is going on. It is not science, it is not medicine, it is politics.. 

Ralph Moss: And big money You have to understand that cancer is 1/9th of the overall health budget in the United States. The last figures I have seen from the American Cancer Society of money spent on cancer indirectly or directly at 107 Billion dollars. 

Laura Lee: AIDS is a 4 billion dollar... 

Ralph Moss: Research, but you can't come compare AIDS to cancer. Cancer we are talking about well over a million cases a year, not counting skin cancer which probably equals that. 

Laura Lee: One million new cases discounting skin cancer? 

Ralph Moss: Right. About 630,000 people die every year of cancer in the US, and it really is an epidemic disease.  We have got a tremendous industry. Every one of those people who is getting cancer and dying of it is going to be treated, and these treatments are extremely expensive. Chemo is tens of thousands, sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars. A bone marrow transplantation which is basically another way of giving chemotherapy or radiation can run to about 150,000 dollars per person, and is almost never effective. It kills about 25%.. 

Laura Lee: Why carry on doing it? 

Ralph Moss: Because of the money, which is tremendous. If you look at the board of directors of MSK you will find that the drug industry has a dominant position on that board. One company in particular, Bristol Myers, which produces between 40-50% of all the chemotherapy in the world, and they have top positions at MSK hospital. 
Laura Lee: Doesn't that constitute a serious conflict of interest? 

Ralph Moss: They are selling their own drugs to that particular hospital but they have written into the by-laws of the centre that it does not constitute a conflict of interest to sell their company drugs to the center. They get around it by not taking a salary. They are not paid, they are volunteers. Look what happens. You have a man like Benno Schmidt, who was first head of the president's cancer panel under Nixon, then becomes head of MSK. He then goes on using the knowledge he gained at MSK to set up his own drug company to make tens of millions of dollars. 

Laura Lee: Another revolving door. 

Ralph Moss: You bet, and a big one.
We have had 50 years of American Cancer Society (ACS) brainwashing on the question of cancer, so most people out there believe we are making progress in the war on cancer. We are not, we are losing the war. The statistics... 

Laura Lee: 1.7% increase in terms of success rate a year, its nothing 

Ralph Moss: By the time we get to the 24 century we might have effective treatments, Star Trek will be long gone by that time. It is not working, yet we have had this infrastructure, the cancer establishment, imposed over this country for the last 50 years. It is a fund raising machine. The ACS takes in 400 million dollars a year. What are they doing with it? Where are the treatments? Where are the cures? Where is the good research? They are way way way out, far, drifting out to sea in terms of anything approaching human cancer. We have to re-orientate ourselves around the actual patient in front of you. The only thing that matters in cancer or any other disease.
Instead we have this very abstract, academic, cruel, inhuman system which is now going to be forced down our throats by government decree. 

Laura Lee: I am told the tobacco industry tries to influence the boards of directors of some of these cancer hospitals. 

Ralph Moss: At MSK in New York we had two top executives of Philip Morris and one of Nabisco on the board. You will not find much research being done on tobacco at MSK. They are not interested in tobacco, that is old hat, they are interested in P53 and other kind of weird genes that they find in their petri dishes. At the Tish hospital at NYU (New York University), named after the Tish family that is are chairman of the board. They own the Laura lard [sic] tobacco company, so they giveth and taketh away. They are going to give you cancer and then they will "cure" you of cancer, although they can't cure you. They will give you 3 months extra survival with vicious chemotherapy and call that a cure. 

Laura Lee: I'd rather die gracefully in my sleep. 

Ralph Moss: You bet. You better not smoke and then most of the lung cancer won't happen, but that is one example of how the tobacco industry has infiltrated the medical establishment. The bigger thing is the industrial interests. If you look at the board of MSK you will find the who's who of the petro-chemical industry. Why are they there? Again, very little research is done on the effect of chemicals in causing cancer. We know that is probably one of the main things that causes cancer -- petro-chemical pollution. But that is denied. Of course it's denied, because the people who are paying the bill and directing cancer research have a vested interest in keeping the scientists away from that area, and keeping them focused on DRUG cures, things that can be patented, marketed and so forth, and the FDA is in total collusion in this. They have set up a system where it costs hundreds of millions of dollars to develop a new drug in the US. Well, right there you know you are dealing with a monopoly situation. 
Laura Lee: You can't be a small company and afford those research bills. 

Ralph Moss: You can't get in. It is a poker game where the ante is a 100 million dollars. 
Laura Lee: Don't we have anti-trust laws? 

Ralph Moss: We are supposed to, and I have gone to people in the anti-trust division of the justice department. Their attitude is show us the smoking gun, in other words we want to see the conspiracy. Well I don't have access to the yachts off shore.. 

Laura Lee: You can see it. You have big business looking at cancer as a potential growth industry. 

Ralph Moss: You can come up with any results you want. You can buy the scientists to do that research. There are hired hands out there to attack any non-toxic treatment that you want to attack, and come up with some phoney results, give people synthetic vitamins with carcinogens, and that proves that vitamins cause cancer instead of curing cancer. You name it. If you have got the money you can buy the minority of scientists who are corrupt, but they are out there.
Basically most people know how the data on the breast cancer study at the National Cancer Institute was fudged. The question of whether lumpectomy was as good as mastectomy is now in somewhat doubt, because of the fake data that was submitted to the national surgical adjuvant and bowel project run out of the University of Pittsburgh. This kind of corruption and fakery, and abuse of the public has been going on as long as the war on cancer has been going on. The fact is that all of the studies that have been supervised by the National Cancer Institute should now be re-examined by congressional committees to see whether or not there is real corruption in all of them. 

Laura Lee: If there was an even playing field some of the alternative therapies would shine. 

Ralph Moss: The Japanese are not afraid to look at things that are non-toxic. Here we will look at natural things as long as they are more toxic than chemotherapy. We don't want any competition. It would be unfair competition to have a less toxic drug than chemotherapy because everyone would then flock to the less toxic drug. 

Laura Lee: What is really sick is the industry leaders value their bottom line more than the well being and life of people. 

Ralph Moss: Yes, because we have set up a situation where it costs hundreds of millions of dollars for a new drug.  Once you have got a situation like that you have got to have a patent on the drug. 

Laura Lee: We know that natural substances cannot be patented. 

Ralph Moss: If you want to change it, you change the law that establishes the need for double blind clinical studies in drugs. You eliminate the efficacy clause from the Harris amendment to the food and drug act, which Harris himself didn't even want. This was imposed by the FDA and the drug industry. This upped the ante and made a regulatory barrier. Now instead of it taking 1 million dollars to establish the safety of a drug, you now need 300 million dollars. So none of the small inventors, or the people with good ideas can ever hope to possibly hope to get their drugs approved. They put you in administrative limbo where the best you ever hope to get is this backburner simmering kind of thing, and I know of a number of good scientists who have got IND's (Investigative New Drug Applications) to test drugs, but when you try to market the drug they will put you out of business, and Dr. Burzynski is the prime example. Brilliant scientist, wonderful results in cancer, validated by the NCI, and yet he is on the verge of federal indictment. 

Ralph Moss: If there is one thing you should pick up from this show tonight it's this: If you ever get into a situation where a doctor recommends chemotherapy to you or your family, ask to see the studies that the chemotherapy actually extends the life of the patient. 

Laura Lee: With chemo you may be shortening your life, certainly be under discomfort, certainly incurring huge costs. It can bankrupt you or your family. You have a right to know 

Ralph Moss: What are the actual toxicity? Go to a library to get a physicians desk reference, or my chemotherapy report. I am continuously amazed. I was doing some research due to my consultations on AM L-- a type of Leukemia, and the treatment is so intense and toxic that in the older group that this particular patient fell into, 40% die from the toxicity of the treatment. 

Laura Lee: 40% would have lived longer if they hadn't had the treatment. 

Ralph Moss: And the cure rate is miniscule, under 10%. It is terrible odds. In Las Vegas you wouldn't gamble with those odds unless you were crazy. The doctors fudge the statistics. They are confounding and confusing different issues, the response rate, the cure rate, the one year survival rate and so forth. Many doctors don't know any better. They are afraid. The widest prairies have electric fences and they are afraid to wander too close to the edge of their own field to find out what is on the other side because they know from the example of Dr. Jonathan Wright or Burzynski that if you stray too far from the herd you are liable to bump into one of those electric fences. So there is a kind of self censorship. I have seen this a hundred times. You talk to oncologists and doctors, and they are individually open-minded and interested but as an aggregate they will not move until their leadership moves because that is a very dangerous thing for an oncologist to do. They would stand out too much, and they can't afford to do that as they all depend on referrals from everyone else. So the minute you get branded as a "quack" -- it is a conformist world -- and in the professions the peer pressure is what makes for success or failure. Nobody wants to alienate their peers, so you don't stick your neck out or you will get your head chopped off. 

Laura Lee: Lop the tallest poppy. Where does good science happen? 

Ralph Moss: Dr Gavalo in Russia who gets 75% five year survival in most carcinomas. Unbelievable. CG hormone.  Trophoblastic cells. Cancer is similar to pregnancy. Cancer looks like a pregnancy. Dr Lance...isolate the blocking factor...analized proteins...anti tumor necrosis factor...blocking factors of tumor...we dismount immune system when pregnant... remove blocking proteins...3 patients with over 2 pounds of cancer...within 24 hours all dead...on autopsy they did not have a single cancer cell...all gone in 48 hours...but kidneys could not handle it...they did not know about detox...the word detox does not appear in the main textbook on cancer or the main medical textbook...the word in medicine refers to heroin addicts and getting them off heroin...they do not conceive that their are such things as toxins created by a tumor...where do they think it all goes? goes straight to the kidney, liver, lungs...Lentz learned to go slower... surgery can reduce tumor load...this failure is more exciting than most of the success I read shows you how incredibly powerful the immune system is not just that people have failing immune is primarily that the tumor can evade the immune does not see the tumor there...if you make it visible it will go in and wipe it out....the Burton Clinic in the Bahamas does this...Lentz did learn (1986) 2 patients who were terminal are still 1902 a man, Beard, discovered cancer is trophoblast, wrong time wrong place............cancer is far too intelligent to submit to the raid approach of Allopathic medicine. 

Laura Lee: Other research? 

Ralph Moss: Burzynski, only available in Texas. Some results are amazing, for example in brain cancer. The NCI sent a team, finally, after we were asking them for 15 years, and validated the cases. I met one of the boys who was treated for a tumor about the size of pear in his brain. Within one month the tumor was gone, and it is 3 years down the road, cancer free. He has damage from the radiation treatment he received prior to that, he lost some of his hearing In non Hodgkinson lymphoma I have a friend who had stage 4, went through chemo, radiation and bone barrow transplant. He failed the bone marrow transplantation. More chemotherapy. Read my book and found out about Dr Burzynski, and its 5 years, and he is completely free of cancer... an amazing case.....he also took the whole "chicken soup" of vitamins etc...why is this better than chemo? is very low toxicity 

Laura Lee: You are talking about not damaged immune systems but how the immune system was fooled. 

Ralph Moss: Exactly, but you still have to have an immune system. Chemo decreases it. 

Laura Lee: And you are going to die when some other germ comes along. 

Ralph Moss: Or another cancer comes along, which happens to about 10% of the people who survive the chemotherapy, they develop a second cancer, and they will never cure that one. It is almost impossible to cure.
Another treatment COLEYS TOXINS which is one of the ones that excites me the most. This is not generally available though I do know of ways to get it in different forms. It was invented here like many of our alternative treatments and then they have to go abroad to be used. There is a Coley's hospital in China. They can get it in China but not here. It was discovered at MSK in 1893 and the results...over a 1,000 people were treated with it. It is basically a high fever treatment. Some guy rung a radio show I was on, he had a sarcoma that was operated on, it spread, and his doctor sent him to Dr Coley. He was 13 at the time and 95 now. This is 82 years. Sarcoma is an incurable disease. A blow away treatment. In advanced terminal breast cancer they got complete remissions in 50% of the cases using this treatment. 

Laura Lee: This is criminal. 
Ralph Moss: That is not saying what you would get if you used it in conjunction with surgery, you may get a 100% 

Laura Lee: It is criminal that these are not incorporated into the standard procedures. 
Ralph Moss: You bet, it is criminal. I have known about this and lived with it for 20 years. You know what? THEY know about it at Sloane Kettering. They even put Coleys picture in their publicity material, as a pioneer of immunology, but they would never use the treatment themselves. They want to develop DRUGS that can be spun off like Tumor Necrosis Factor, like these other immunologically based drug treatments, highly toxic, destructive of the immune system, incredibly expensive. 

Laura Lee: It's big business. 
Ralph Moss: Yes, he who pays the piper calls the tune, and the drug industry pays the piper. Do you know what the MSK president makes? 

Laura Lee: $400,000? 

Ralph Moss: That's chicken feed. The president of MSK makes 2 million dollars a year, 2.2 million.
Coleys toxins are bacteria that force the body to fever and kill them and the cancer as well. Tumors are very poorly vascularized, so you disrupt their ability to get nutrients and to get rid of wastes by raising the body temperature.....this is really an effective treatment and it an OUTRAGEOUS crime of the century that we at MSK were able to cure cancer a 100 years ago that they can't cure today. This is a fraud being perpetrated on the public.... 

Laura Lee: Why isn't the New York Times writing about this? 

Ralph Moss: The chairman of the board of Bristol Myers, the main company producing anti-cancer drugs, who also happens to be on the board of MSK, is also on the board of the New York Times. Everybody's brother in law is an oncologist, or on the board of somebody else's something or other, so it is a money making thing for the establishment. A hundred and seven billion, with a B, dollars a year business, and we are not going to get rid of it easily. The point is use your vote.... 

Laura Lee: Or your mind 

Ralph Moss: Or your mind, what a novel idea. 

Laura Lee: Lets work with it (cancer) rather than go out to stamp on it like a cockroach. 
Ralph Moss: Chemotherapy is machismo practiced to the N'th degree. It is a war in which you are the battleground, lucky you, I mean you have to treat your body better than that. The folks that bring you the toxic chemicals that cause the cancer are then kind enough to bring you toxic chemicals that allegedly..... 

Laura Lee: We live in interesting times.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Apricot Kernels - Dangerous Or Not?

The word, 'Cyanide', is a scary word for most people. It conjures imaginations of dark glass bottles adorned with skulls and crossbones. It's no surprise, therefore, that this is the word used most in the efforts to steer the masses away from apricot kernels and amygdalin. If one reads the warnings and fear propaganda surrounding apricot kernels and amygdalin (vitamin B17), they'd be forgiven for making the assumption that hundreds of people come to harm from their consumption each year. One might even assume that hundreds of people have died from their consumption. So much time, money and energy has been spent warning of the dangers of apricot kernel consumption.

If we search for evidence of harm resulting from the ingestion of apricot kernels, we discover that it is wildly and disproportionately absent. You'll struggle to find 10 medically documented reports after decades of use by hundreds of thousands of individuals. Would it surprise you to learn that, of those medically documented reports, death has never resulted? In most of these cases, irrational quantities of apricot kernels were used - quantities highly unlikely to be consumed by the majority of users. Treatment for acute toxicity is readily available, easily applied and has been 100% effective to date.

In the United States each year, approximately 79,000 deaths result from excessive alcohol consumption, according to the CDC. Can you imagine how many people are admitted to hospital each week with alcohol poisoning all over the world? And yet, bitter apricot kernels, though evidently safe, are on the brink of illegality as a food.

When the health authorities calculate risk based on theoretical data, as they've done with apricot kernels, they don't take into account the body's natural ability to process amygdalin, nor the time-frame in which this happens. This is why they recommend a person not consume more than 4 kernels per day. 4 kernels is the quantity they believe could cause the first of any degree of side-effects, no matter how mild, in the weakest, most susceptible person - this is the poor person for whom the quantity guidelines are established. This person bears very little resemblance to the vast majority of likely users. This isn't explained to the public, of course. They're counting on the masses to use their imaginations. For the uninitiated, this vision might involve dying or ending up in hospital after the consumption of just 5 apricot kernels.

No medicine is one-size-fits-all. The same applies to apricot kernels. Apricot kernel consumption, when tailored to the individual's experience, is entirely safe. The body processes amygdalin in the space of roughly 1.5 hours. Once the amygdalin has been metabolized and its constituents processed, we can start from scratch. The authorities don't take this into consideration and their warnings and recommendations sniff of a massive discrepancy. This ultimately lends itself to conspiracy theory. A great many people are using between 40 and 60 kernels per day with absolutely no adverse reactions or side-effects whatsoever. They are doing this by adhering to sensible, smaller quantities their bodies can tolerate within each consumption session. Read my post about safe dosage.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Nitrilosides (Foods containing B-17)

Their Nature, Occurrence and Metabolic Significance

Ernst T. Krebs, Jr. 

Reprinted from the Journal of Applied Nutrition, Volume 22, Numbers 3 and 4, 1970

Vitamin B-17 (nitriloside) is a designation proposed to include a large group of water-soluble, essentially non-toxic, sugary, compounds found in over 800 plants, many of which are edible. These factors are collectively known as Beta-cyanophoric glycosides. They comprise molecules made of sugar, hydrogen cyanide, a benzene ring or an acetone. Though the intact molecule is for all practical purposes completely non-toxic, it may be hydrolyzed by Beta-glycosidase to a sugar, free hydrogen cyanide, benzaldehyde or acetone.
We have proposed the collective generic term n-i-t-r-i-l-o-s-i-d-e for all such cyanophoric glycosides of dietary significance.

One of the most common nitrilosides is amygdalin. This nitriloside occurs in the kernels of seeds of practically all fruits. The seeds of apples, apricots, cherries, peaches, plums, nectarines, and the like carry this factor; often in the extraordinary concentration of 2 to 3 per cent. Since the seeds of fruits are possibly edible, it may be proper to designate the non-toxic water soluble accessory food factor or nitriloside that they contain as vitamin B-17. The presence of nitriloside in the diet produces specific physiologic effects and leaves as metabolites specific chemical compounds of a physiologically active nature. The production by a non-toxic, water-soluble accessory food factor of specific physiological effects as well as identifiable metabolites suggests the vitamin nature of the compound.

The ubiquity of the compound or its metabolites in plant and animal foods further corroborates its vitamin status. And the development of specific deficiency states as a result of its deficiency in or absence from the diet, and the correction of such pathologic deficiency states by supplying the factor confirm its vitamin status.

The diet of primitive man and most fruit-eating animals was very rich in nitrilosides. They regularly ate the seeds (and kernels) of all fruits, since these seeds are rich in protein, polyunsaturated fats, and other nutrients. Seeds also contain as much as 2 per cent or more nitriloside. There are scores of other major foods naturally, or normally, very rich in nitriloside. Let's consider now what happens when one eats the nitriloside-rich seeds of fruit.

In metabolism, nitriloside is hydrolyzed to free hydrogen cyanide, benzaldehyde or acetone and sugar. This occurs largely through the enzyme Beta-glucosidase produced by intestinal bacteria as well as by the body. The released HCN [hydrocyanide] is detoxified by the enzyme rhodanese to the relatively non-toxic thiocyanate molecule. The sugar is normally metabolized. The released benzaldehyde in the presence of oxygen is immediately oxidized to benzoic acid which is non-toxic. Thus this newly designated vitamin B-17 (nitriloside) could account for:
  1. The thiocyanates in the body fluids--blood, urine, saliva, sweat, and tears;
  2. For part of the benzoic acid (and subsequently hippuric acid); salicylic acid isomers;
  3. For the HCN that goes to the production of cyanocobalamin from hydrocobalamin, or production of vitamin B12 from provitamin B12.
These are the physiological properties of the common nitriloside amygdalin. Before considering the possible antineoplastic activity of this vitamin B-17, let us recall that the benzoic acid arising from it has certain antirheumatic and antiseptic properties. It was rather widely used (in Germany and elsewhere) for rheumatic disease therapy prior to the advent of the ortho-hydroxy addition product of benzoic acid known as ortho-hydroxybenzoic acid or salicylic acid. It was originally obtained from beech-wood bark. As a matter of interest, the para- hydroxy isomer of benzoic acid occurs in the para hydroxybenzaldehyde aglycon (non-sugar) of the nitriloside found in the cereal millet. Millet was once more widely used in human nutrition than wheat. Wheat seed contains little or no nitriloside.

Recall now, that thiocyanate also was once widely used, in both Germany and American medicine, as an effective agent for hypertension. Used as such, as the simple chemical, the dosage was difficult to control. Obviously, this difficulty does not arise from the thiocyanate usually produced in the body through metabolizing vitamin B-17 (nitriloside). However, chronic hypotension has been reported in Nigerians who eat quantities of the nitriloside-containing manioc (cassava)--especially that of the bitter variety.

Let us pause to reflect upon this question: Might not the rheumatic diseases as well as certain aspects of hypertension be in some cases partially related to a dietary deficiency in nitrilosides? One can hardly deny that the ingestion of a sufficient quantity of nitriloside-containing foods will metabolically yield sufficient benzoic acid and/or salicylic acid isomers to palliate rheumatic disease and certainly to decrease, however temporarily, hypertension as well as to foster the nitrilosation of provitamin B-12 to active vitamin B-12: cyanocobalamin.

Despite all this, are we justified in suggesting that cancer itself might be another chronic metabolic disease that arises from a specific vitamin deficiency--a deficiency specifically in vitamin B-17 (nitriloside)?

Again, let us reflect for a moment. There are many chronic or metabolic diseases that challenge medicine. Many of these diseases have already been conquered. What proved to be their solution? By solution we mean both prevention and cure. What really cures really prevents. Let us think of some of these diseases that have found total prevention and hence cure. We are speaking of metabolic or non-transmissible diseases. At one time the metabolic disease known as scurvy killed hundreds of thousands of people, sometimes entire populations. This disease found total prevention and cure in the ascorbic acid or vitamin C component of fruits and vegetables. Similarly, the once fatal diseases so aptly called pernicious anemia, pellagra, beri beri, countless neuropathies, and the like, found complete cure and prevention in specific dietary factors, that is, essential nutrients in an adequate diet.

I can hear an objection of course. But let me remind you that all the solved or conquered chronic or metabolic diseases were found to be simple specific dietary diseases. Remember this: before these diseases were understood, before the means of total prevention and cure were discovered, it was widely believed that these dietary deficiency diseases were due to viruses, bacteria, bad air, "infection," or some such cause.

Now I ask you to name a single chronic or metabolic disease that has ever found total prevention and cure except by specific dietary factors and/or factors normal to adequate animal economy. I have never found anyone who has been able to suggest a single chronic or metabolic disease that has ever been totally prevented and cured except through a factor essential to adequate diet and/or to the animal economy.

Let's go a step further, almost to the border of dogmatism, to advance an axiom in medicine and biology:
No chronic or metabolic disease has ever found cure or prevention, that is, real cure and real prevention--except through factors essential to an adequate diet and/or normal to animal economy.
I would welcome a contradiction to this principle; but even an exception would "prove the rule." Does it seem likely, therefore, that cancer will be the first exception to this generalization that to date has not had a single known exception? In my humble opinion, certainly not. But does it follow from this that vitamin B-17 (nitriloside) is the specific antineoplastic vitamin? Logically, by itself, alone, this conclusion that nitriloside is the specific antineoplastic vitamin does not follow. However, examine the brilliant laboratory studies of Dr. Dean Burk of the Department of Cytochemistry of the National Cancer Institute in Washington. I believe that in light of the experimental evidence that he has produced, you might agree that vitamin B-17 (nitriloside) is indeed the antineoplastic vitamin.*

One might ask, then, whether we suggest that vitamin B-17 (nitriloside) or Laetrile is an effective cancer drug. Our reply must be: it is not a drug; it is a

*Author's footnote: Dr. Dean Burk's paper was in the same program, also a report on the pharmacodynamics and clinical application of vitamin B-17 nitriloside (amygdalin) by Dr. Hans Nieper, a brilliant young man who combines an excellent ability in biochemistry with a genius in clinical medicine, in my opinion.

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vitamin. We feel certain that it will never be possible to speak of a true or effective "cancer drug," any more that it is possible to speak of a pellagra drug, a scurvy drug, a pernicious anemia drug, or the like. The U.S. Food & Drug Administration has just announced that the major drug (as contrasted to the normal animal product insulin) used in the palliation of diabetes--Orinase--is "no good." We know of no true drug that actually prevents or cures metabolic or chronic diseases--or really does any genuine good. We mean by "drug," of course, relatively toxic chemicals foreign to the body or foreign to the animal economy.

As already mentioned, vitamin B-17 (Laetrile) is totally non-toxic. Its lethal dose in mice and rats, by injection, is about 25,000 milligrams per kilogram of body weight. It is so nearly non-toxic that in some studies the water, used as a diluent, presents a greater toxicity than the vitamin. This applies for acute, subacute and chronic toxicity. By mouth in test animals it is less than 1/20 as toxic as aspirin. Speaking of aspirin, let us recall that this great German discovery, the acetylation product of ortho-hydroxy benzoic acid, and some salicylic acid isomers, as well as benzoic acid itself, are the normal metabolites of dietary nitrilosides found in the seeds of nearly all fruits and some cereals. For example, millet, mentioned above, once more widely used than wheat, yields the salicylic acid isomer para-hydroxybenzoic acid, which arises as the metabolic product of its nitriloside: p-hydroxymandelonitrile-B-glucoside. In this you can discern, however dimly, the dietary-therapeutic profile of the salicylates as a means of satisfying a dietary deficiency in benzoic acid and the related salicylic acid isomers.

Returning to the non-toxicity of nitriloside; it is no more toxic than dextrose or ascorbic acid--and to the diabetic less toxic than the former.

I have noticed that newspapers are carrying wire dispatches reporting the studies of Professor Roger Williams of the University of Texas. He is quoted on the "toxicity" of commercial white bread as sold in the United States. You will recall that Doctor Williams is the discoverer of vitamin B-1 or thiamine; and the first to synthesize it. Doctor Williams, in effect, showed that commercial white bread as sold in the United States is about 70 times more toxic than vitamin B-17. Doctor Williams fed four strains of white rats (noted for their vigor), nothing but commercial American white bread for three months. Seventy-five per cent of all the experimental animals so fed died of malnutrition before the experiment was complete. Those fed on whole wheat all survived. The commercial white bread was enriched by law with some crystalline vitamins, but not in a sufficient quantity and variety to prevent these rats being killed by the bread. So how about vitamin B-17 toxicity studies? White rats fed 70 times the normal human dose of vitamin B-17 (nitriloside) used in the palliation of human cancer were completely normal and healthy after 90 days. None of them died. There were some "physiological side reactions" to vitamin B-17--greater weight and appetite. After all they were receiving nourishment; a vitamin, not a vitamin-deficient ration or a drug.

The rats that died from eating commercial white bread--all 75 per cent of them--died as a direct result of a deficiency in vitamins found in the whole grain of wheat. There was the deficiency in vitamin E as a result of the missing germ or seed of the wheat, a deficiency of choline, vitamin B-15 (pangamic acid), vitamin B-6, biotin and other factors as a result of the missing bran taken from highly refined bleached white flour. Recall that the natural whole grain of wheat is composed of the starchy endosperm or bulk of the grain as well as the germ or the seed which carries the oils in which are dissolved the tocopherols or vitamin E; and the bran which contains an abundance of the B vitamins.

Those rats died from a vitamin deficiency produced by eating less than the whole grain, the whole food. When civilized man eats less than the whole fruit, for example, by discarding the seed or kernel he experiences a specific and total deficiency not only in oils and proteins but in minerals and such vitamins as vitamin B-17 (nitriloside) which is found only in the seed, not in the flesh of the fruit. By discarding the seed or kernel, man experiences a specific and total deficiency in vitamin B-17 so far as that fruit is concerned. Let me remind you that were man by circumstance limited to no source of food but apricots, peaches, plums, cherries and the like and ate only their fruit without their seeds he would in a short time develop a fatal deficiency in proteins and fats not to mention vitamins. He would die from this deficiency just as the white rats died from the deficiency produced by eating only the starch of wheat without the seed germ and bran. But if he ate the seeds or kernels with the fruit flesh, he would get proteins, fats and other nutrients essential to health.

Vitamin B-17 (nitriloside) is also found in great abundance in a very wide variety of vegetable foods once eaten in great abundance by man, and the natural fodder of animals is similarly rich in the factor. In a paper which I hope to publish soon, I have listed over 62 plant foods eaten by man and over 70 common fodder plants that are very rich in vitamin B-17 (nitriloside). Their concentration of this vitamin compares favorably with that of vitamin C (ascorbic acid) so far as quantity and ubiquity are concerned. As in the case of many other vegetables, sprouts may contain 10 to 30 times as much vitamin B-17 as mature plants. It is not practicable to furnish here the several hundred references of the basic research on nitrilosides nor to list extensive tables showing the occurrence of this new vitamin in a wide range of foods. It would not be germane to explain the reasons why and how "modern diet" has been almost totally stripped of nitrilosides. Suffice it to say that the factors that made commercial white bread lethal to rats and gave the world the empty calories of refined white sugar also have served to produce a fulminating deficiency in vitamin B-17 (nitriloside) in the diet of so called civilized man.

So much for the specific nutritional aspect of vitamin B-17 (nitriloside). How can a compound that is totally non-toxic be relevant to a disease as serious as cancer, a disease perhaps as lethal as pernicious anemia once was? Would we not expect that very powerful cytotoxic compounds would be required to destroy cancer cells? Would these not be compounds like the nitrogen mustards, the antimetabolites, the cyclophosphoramides, methotrexate, 5-fluoruracil, 6-chloropurine, 6-mercaptopurine, azaserine, triethlyenphosphramide, the nitrosoguanidines, and countless other compounds so toxic that some kill almost 25 per cent of the patients treated directly or indirectly through toxicity alone?

It is true that neoplastic cells are destroyed by cytotoxins. The cytotoxins used so far, the ones I have mentioned, are more toxic to body or somatic cells than specifically to cancer cells. This is obvious. Otherwise we would be able to administer these cytotoxins until they killed all cancer cells and left the host alive. But they almost always, if not always, kill the host before killing the neoplastic cells. In the problem of neoplastic therapy we have in drugs an almost insoluble paradox. For an agent to be effective it must be both non-toxic to somatic cells and yet present powerful cytotoxins to neoplastic cells--cytotoxins like the cyanides and benzaldehyde.

Vitamin B-17 (nitriloside) releases a specific and powerful cytotoxin, probably the most powerful one known. This is hydrogen cyanide. Our formulation of Laetrile also releases an equimolar quantity of benzaldehyde which, before oxidation to benzoic acid, is a very powerful cytotoxin. We have here two very powerful cytotoxins. Doctor Dean Burk of the National Cancer Institutue has brilliantly demonstrated, largely through utilization of the technics and manometer of Otto Warburg, that the benzaldehyde released by the hydrolysis of nitriloside or Laetrile is not only in itself a powerful cytotoxin but that it multiplies through a very powerful synergy the cytotoxic effects of both--cyanide and benzaldehyde--to an extent many, many times greater than the arithmetic sum of their separate effects.

These two compounds in synergy are more powerful cytotoxins than any of those that I have already mentioned above.

Why isn't the equimolecular quantity of benzaldehyde oxidized immediately by the cancer cells to harmless benzoic acid as occurs in body or somatic cells, and why isn't the equimolecular quantity of cyanide converted immediately to thiocyanate as it is in body or somatic cells? Recall that Otto Warburg himself received one Nobel Prize for proving the suboxidative activity of cancer cells. They ferment--fermentative metabolism rather than respiratory metabolism plays a large role in cancer. This metabolism utilizes less oxygen (in the free state); therefore, oxidation of benzaldehyde occurs much more slowly. Unoxidized benzaldehyde lags, as it were, in the neoplastic cell. This cell also lacks a very important enzyme possessed by body or somatic cells. This enzyme is rhodanese or thiosulfate transulfurase. It convert cyanide to the harmless thiocyanate. With the selective lag of both undetoxified cyanide as well as unoxidized benzaldehyde in the neoplastic cell, and the multiplication of cytotoxicity that the combination affords, the neoplastic cells suffer a lethal cytotoxicity while the hostal or somatic cells are totally unaffected--except possibly in a beneficial or physiological manner. We are dealing with a vitamin, remember.

Pause again to reflect. Is it possible that this described cytotoxic synergy arising from the hydrolysis product of vitamin B-17 (nitriloside), is a coincidental or fortuitous phenomenon--a synergy totally ungrounded in any other biological experience, a pure accident? Or does this synergy represent the end product of the enduring effects of a process of natural selection between plants and animals through which a specific antineoplastic vitamin, vitamin B-17, has evolved in a natural environment once as abundantly rich in nitrilosides as in ascorbic acid?

There is no controversy, of course, on the fact that equimolecular quantities of benzaldehyde and cyanide resulting from the hydrolysis of vitamin B-17 will selectively kill cancer cells. The cytotoxicity of these chemicals against neoplastic cells is known, but the margin of safety for these raw chemicals is very little greater than the most powerful cytotoxins--except that different from the latter there is no residual, cumulative or chronic toxicity from them. Contrast this to the utter non-toxicity of these same chemicals bound in the white sugary nitriloside molecule.

Wherein, then, is there a controversy over this vitamin in therapy? Though the major and practically sole controversy is and has always been a political one, if we were to try to pin-point a specific scientific criticism it would probably be this: what real or experimental proof is there that the nitriloside molecule is selectively hydrolysed or broken down to free cyanide, benzaldehyde and sugar at and by the neoplastic lesion? It is, of course, a commonplace-now almost a century old--that the nitriloside is split to its 3 major components by the enzyme Beta-glucosidase. It is also known that the malignant lesion contains a high concentration of certain Beta-glycosidases (e.g., Beta glucuronidase). The proponents of vitamin B-17 for the prevention and palliation of cancer have long argued inferentially for the presence of specific Beta-glucosidase activity in the malignant lesion, which would account or its selective lysis here with the release of the admittedly highly cytotoxic HCN and benzaldehyde in synergy.

The opponents of vitamin B-17 in cancer therapy have rather myopically, (I believe), argued that there is no proof that selective hydrolysis of the nitriloside occurs in the neoplastic cell. They reject all existing clinical evidence, however impressive, for this effect. Thus it is an extraordinarily important finding that Doctor Dean Burk reports on his observation of the effect of the incubation of C3H mouse mammary cancer with vitamin B-17 in the Warburg manometer. He reports that the malignant mammary tissue selectively hydrolyzes the added nitriloside to free cyanide, benzaldehyde and sugar with a highly effective cytotoxicity; and that this does not occur in benign or somatic control mammary tissue! This experimental observation means, of course, that the neoplastic tissue carries a specific Beta-glucosidase activity that normal or somatic tissue lacks, which lack here is obvious in view of the total non-toxicity of the material toward normal tissue. This very crucial experiment will, of course, be repeated and checked and rechecked in many laboratories.

Let us in summary simplify all this in terms of vitamin action. When vitamin B-17 enters the body (in foods, for example), it is hydrolyzed only to a very slight degree by body or somatic cells. This is obvious from the non-toxicity shown by B-17. But even if some of the B-17 is hydrolyzed by body or somatic cells, the very high concentration of the enzyme rhodanese in these cells converts the HCN immediately to relatively non-toxic thiocyanate. (This accounts largely for the thiocyanate that you find in blood, urine, saliva, etc., as stated above).

How different it is with the neoplastic cell! It contains great quantities of Beta-glycosidase. Fischman and many others in America have independently shown this in the case of Beta-glucuronidase. Sometimes there is over 1,000 times as much of this Beta-glycosidase as in the contiguous normal or body cell. The neoplastic cell is almost completely deficient in the enzyme rhodanese. Recalll that when B-17 reaches the cancer cell the Beta-glycosidase there hydrolyzes it with the release of extremely large quantities of cyanide (relative to the situation in normal body cells). This selective effect occurs in a cell that is almost totally deficient in the enzyme rhodanese, which in normal body cells is present to detoxify cyanide to thiocyanate. Thus the end result of the presence of one enzyme that causes the selective release of hydrogen cyanide in cancer cells, plus an oxidative deficiency (fermentative metabolism) that causes a lag in benzaldehyde oxidation to benzoic acid, result in the selective persistence of free or undetoxified cyanide plus free or unoxidized benzaldehyde which synergistically exert their selective antineoplastic effect.

A discussion of the clinical details of vitamin B-17, nitriloside in animal and human cancer is best left to our clinical students of the subject. They are faced with the fact that today more people per 100,000 of the population are developing cancer and dying from it at an earlier age than any other time in recorded history of the human race. At least one in three of the population develops clinical cancer and probably all develop subclinical neoplasms in the course of a lifetime. The situation, in our opinion, almost identifies itself in terms of a fulminating deficiency disease a priori. As our veterinary friends tell us, even our cats and dogs are showing an incidence of cancer parallel to that of their "civilized" owners. Observe how quickly these animals when released from an apartment or kennel will single out (and eat) such nitriloside-rich grasses as Johnson grass, Tunis grass or Sudan grass as a supplement to their diet. Some of these grasses contain as much as 17,000 mg of nitriloside per kilogram of dry weight!

In this presentation we have attempted to touch a vast and relatively unexplored area. But before closing let me introduce a little Yankee humor. It may be sick humor: judge for yourselves. We know of the white bread that will kill 75 per cent of hearty rats in 90 days, of calorie-free white sugar, of cola drinks, of fulminating vitamin deficiencies, and the like. But in the United States there is one "school of nutritional thought" that, despite all this, sought to append the following statement to the labels of all bottles of vitamins:
"Vitamins and minerals are supplied in abundant amounts by the foods we eat. The Food and Nutrition Board of the National Research Council recommends that dietary needs be satisfied by foods. Except for persons with special needs, there is no scientific basis for recommending routine use of dietary supplements."
The lethal commercial white bread is by law supplemented, but not supplemented enough not to kill the rats. It is argued, of course, that this won't hurt man too much unless he relies almost solely on this staff of life and is no tougher than the rats!

Lest this new vitamin B-17 or nitriloside still be a less concrete reality in your mind than ascorbic acid, thiamine, niacin or the like, let me leave you with an example of a daily ration or diet remarkably rich in nitriloside or vitamin B-17. For breakfast we start with buckwheat, millet and flax-seed gruel; all three cereals are very rich in nitriloside. On our millet bread toast we put some nitriloside rich elderberry jelly. The stewed apricots we eat carry the nitriloside-rich seeds, which we detect through their delicious almond-like flavor. At lunch we have nitriloside-rich lima beans or possibly a succotash containing nitriloside-rich chick peas. Our millet rolls may be spread with plum jam carrying the nitriloside-rich seeds that add so much to the flavor of the jam. We may choose some nitriloside-rich elderberry wine. For dinner we may have a salad with some nitriloside-rich bean sprouts and nitriloside-rich millet sprouts. Our dinner rolls may be made of nitriloside-rich buckwheat and nitriloside-rich millet and sweetened with nitriloside-rich sorghum molasses extracted from sorghum cane--almost all of the foregoing are very rich in nitrilosides. For our meat course we may have rabbet that fed on nitriloside-rich clover and as a result carries 5 to 10 times more thiocyanate and nitriloside than animals not so fed. If the milk we drink came from cows that ate fodder rich in nitrilosides this milk will contain as much as 7 times more nitriloside than a cow living on nitriloside-deficient fodder. At the end of the dinner we may choose a nitriloside-rich apricot, peach, cherry, or plum brandy originally prepared from crushing the entire or whole fruit. We may also choose a number of wild berries very rich in nitrilosides--all members of the raspberry family. We may nibble on some nitriloside-rich macadamia nuts or chew nitriloside-rich bamboo sprouts.

In such a menu of three meals in the course of a day we should ingest over 300 mg of nitriloside or vitamin B-17 in our foods--every one of which contained nitriloside. The quantities of the vitamin B-17 in the described foods have been very carefully determined by independent workers over the years. Because of our cultural antipathy to cyanide, our food technology has made every conceivable effort through processing, hybridizing, distilling, etc., to remove every trace of derivable cyanide from foods for man and animals. It is good that this irrationality has not to date, at least, completely removed the cyanide-containing vitamin B-12 or cyanocobalamin.

Finally, let me conclude with this. In nitriloside or vitamin B-17 we have a new vitamin in which all of us are severely deficient. This fact is beyond question. As to the clinical application of vitamin B-17 (nitriloside) in human and animal cancer, we feel that every case is morally entitled to whatever vitamin B-17 can offer, just as every being stricken with scurvy, pellagra, or pernicious anemia is morally entitled, respectively, to vitamin C, niacin, vitamin B-12 and folic acid. Indeed, the matter goes far beyond clinical cancer itself. Mankind can not afford any longer a human and animal population deficient in vitamin C, vitamin B-12, vitamin B-15, vitamin B-17 or any other vitamin essential to animal or human nutrition.
However, the capacity of political power for stupidity is truly infinite. We can not predict how long the orderly clinical study of crystalline vitamin B-17 will be delayed. But take some comfort in this. Were vitamin B-12 and folic acid completely proscribed tomorrow, liver would still offer complete salvation in pernicious anemia. Similarly, one gram of defatted apricot seed or kernel carries about 30 milligrams of nitriloside. Six or seven teaspoonful will supply what our clinical investigators consider an adequate oral dose--one gram. It is best that the B-glucosidase enzyme be completely heat inactivated in such material.

So far as other parts of the world may be concerned, I fear no such described obstruction. In Germany I was very happy to find from four to five proprietary and ethical brands of vitamin B-15 (pangamic acid), or its DIPA analogue, and I look forward to seeing a similar distribution of vitamin B-17 (nitriloside) very soon. In visiting the great museum in Hanover I was pleased to find in a display of food-stuffs recovered from Stone Age digging in Europe that of eight food plants shown, three of them are heavy nitriloside-producers. One was Himbeere (Rubus idaeus), another Brombeere (Rubus fruiticosus) and Schwarzer Hollunder (Sambucus niger) or the common elderberry (from which the nitriloside sambunigrin was originally isolated). In the United States the Lovelock Caves in Nevada have yielded petrified animal and human faeces (fecoliths) that through carbon-dating have been found to go back many years. They showed numerous remnants of nitriloside-bearing plants.

Just as the German chemists Huber and Weidel in 1873 first synthesized niacin through the oxidation of nicotine about forty years after Wohler and Liebig in your country first isolated and identified the first nitriloside, amygdalin, and just as niacin was destined half a century later to be identified and defined as the factor that prevents and cures pellagra in man, so we find that the nitriloside isolated and identified over a century ago in Germany likewise is now achieving the status of a vitamin--vitamin B-17. Let us hope that like niacin it has at least left the chemical museum to serve the impelling needs of improved nutrition.

Ernst Theodor Krebs, Jr.
A noted biochemist, Ernst Krebs, Jr. took his student work at Hahnemann Medical College in Philadelphia 1938-41. He received his AB at the University of Illinois in 1942; he did graduate work at the University of California during 1943-45, researching in pharmacology during the periods of 1942-45. He is science director of the John Beard Memorial Foundation, having held this position since 1946. He is the author of "Unitarian or Trophoblastic Thesis of Cancer" (1950); co-discoverer of pangamic acid (1948), the role of pancreatic enzymes in human cancer (1948-50), and the relevance of the nitrilosides (Vitamin B-17) to animal and human nutrition.
This paper is a summary of remarks presented in German before a congress of the International Medical Society for Blood and Tumor Disease, Nov. 7, 1970, in Baden-Baden, West Germany. On this occasion, the author received an award honoring his discovery and research on vitamin B-15 (pangamic acid) and vitamin B-17 (nitriloside).

A partial bibiliography is printed here. A complete listing of references will follow in a subsequent issue.


  • Baker, J.E., Rainey, D.P., Norris, D.M., and Strong, F.N., p-Hydroxybenzaldehyde and other Phenolics as Feeding Stimulants for the Smaller European Bark Bettle, Forest Sci., 14(1):91-95, 1968.

  • IV. Occurrence of Phaseolunatin in Common Flax
    V. Occurrence of Phaseolunatin in Cassava,Proc.Roy.Soc., 1906, 78B, 145-158.
    II. The Great Millet, Sorghum vulgare, Phil.Trans.Roy.Soc.,199A: 399-410, 1902.
    VI. Phaseolunatin and the Associated Enzymes in Flax, Cassava, and the Lima Bean, Proc.Roy.Soc., 79B: 315-322, 1907.
    [Note: this article was transcribed from the original by R.S. Cathey with permission from E.T. Krebs, Jr., as well as all papers by Krebs on this site.  The bibliography was derived from The Nitrilosides in Plants and Animals, as the original lacked a bibliography.  Since the authorites coincide in many places, this was resorted to lacking one offered by the author "upon request". rsc]

  • Blum, M.S., and Woodring, J.P., Secretion of Benzaldehyde and Hydrogen Cyanide by the Millipede Pachydemus crassicutus (Wood), Science, 158: 512-513, 1962.
  • Briese, R.R., and Couch, J.F., Preservation of Cyanogenetic Plants for Chemical Analysis, J.Agr.Research, 57(2): 81-107, 1937.
  • Brown, W.E., Wood, C.D., and Smith, A.N., Sodium Cyanide as a Cancer Chemotherapeutic Agent -- Laboratory and Clinical Studies, Am.J.Obst. & Gynec., 80: 907-918, 1960.
  • Browne, J.G., Progress Report on the Work Done on the Hydrocyanic Acid Content of California Grown Lima Beans, Univ. Calif. Coll. of Agr., Agr. Exptl. Station, Project No. 521, p. 770 et seq., June 17, 1932.
  • Brioux, and Jones, E., The Production of Cyanogenetic Glycosides by Linseed: Measurement of HCN Production, Ann. Agron., 8(4): 468-480, 1932.
  • Chappel, C., Toxicity Studies on Amygdalin, McNaughton Foundation, Montreal, Canada, 1967, p.2.
  • Charlton, J., The Selection of Burma Beans for Low Hydrocyanic Acid Content, Memoirs Dept. Agr. India Chemical Series, 9(1), 1926-1928.
  • Dedolph, R.R., and Hamilton, R.A., The Bitterness Problem in Some Seedling Macadamias (Due to amygdalin -- ed.), Hawaii Farm. Sci., 8(1): 7-8, 1959.
  • Delga, J., Mizoula, J., Veverka, B., and Bon, R., Studies on the Treatment of Cyanide Intoxication by Hydroxycobalamin (Provitamin B-12), Ann. Pharmaceut., 19(12): 740-752, 1961.
  • Dillemann, G., Hydrocyanic Acid in Hybrids of the Pear with the Quince, Bull. Museum Natl. Hist. Nat., 18: 465-467, 1946.
  • Doak, B.W., Cyanoglucosides in White Clover, New Zealand J.Agr., 51: 159-162, 1935.
  • Domingues, J.B., Hydrocyanic Acid in Shoots of Dendrocalamus giganteus (Bamboo), An.Fac.Farm., E. Odontal Univ., Sao Paulo, 13: 169-171, 1955-1956.
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  • Flux, D.S., Butler, G.W., Rae, A.L., and Brougham, R.W., Relationship between Levels of Iodine and Cyanogenetic Glucoside in Pasture and the Performance of Sheep, J.Agric.Soc., 55(2): 191-196, 1960.
  • Golse, J., New Method for the Determination of Hydrocyanic Acid and Benzaldehyde in Cherry Brandy, J.Phar.Chim., 12:44-65, 1915.
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  • Guignard, L., The Development of Cyanogenetic Glucosides During the Germination of Plants, Compt.rend., 147: 1023-1038, 1908.
  • Guignard, L., The Presence of Cyanide-Yielding Compounds in the Elderberry, Compt.rend., 141: 16-20, 1905.
  • Herissey, H., The Cyanogenetic Glycoside Prulsurasin Crystallized from the Leaves of the Cherry Laurel, Compt.rend., 141: 959-961, 1905.
  • James, M.B., Fleming, J.W., and Bailey, L.F., Cyanide as a Growth-Inhibiting Substance in Extracts of Peach Leaves, Proc.Amer.Soc.Hort. Sci., 69: 152-157, 1957.
  • Jones, M.B., Seasonal Trend of Cyanide in Peach Leaves and Flower Buds and Its Possible Relation to the Rest Period.Proc. amer.Soc.Hort.Sci., 77: 117-120, 1961.[nee Jones?, rsc]
  • Liebig, J., and Wohler, F., The Composition of Bitter Almonds,Annalen, 22(1): 1-24, 1837.
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  • Luh, B.S., and Pinochet, M.F., Spectrophotometric Determination of Hydrogen Cyanide in Canned Apricots, Cherries and Prunes, Food Research, 24: 423-427, 1950.
  • Martin, J.H., Couch, J.F., and Briese, R.R., Hydrocyanic Acid Content of Different Parts of the Sorghum Plant, Jour.Amer.Soc.Agron., 30(9): 725-734, 1938.
  • Michajlovski, M., Stukovsky, R., and Nemeth, S., Effects of Feed Composition on the Thiocyanate Content of Cow Milk, Biologica(Broteslavia), 16: 459-468, 1961.
  • Monekosso, G.L., and Wilson, J., Plasma Thyocyanate and Vitamin B-12 in Nigerian Patients with Neurological Disease, Lancet, No. 7446: 1062-1064, 1966.
  • McIlroy, "The Plant Glycosides," Edward Arnold & Co., London, 1951, pp.21-22.
  • Oke, O.L., Chemical Studies of Some Nigerian Vegetables, Exp.Agr., 1(2): 125-129, 1965.
  • Osborne, D., Solving the Riddle of Wetherhill Mesa, Natl.Geo.Mag., 125(2): 155-194, 1964.
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  • Thursday, June 2, 2011

    Apricot Kernels - Organic or Not?

    Are organic apricot kernels better than non-organic?


    This question is one that I'm asked frequently as a religious user of organic produce. If you're not likely to read this whole blog post, the short answer is, no. Now go and buy yourself some non-organic apricot kernels. Just make sure they're very bitter! Or skip ahead within this entry.

    In order to answer this question thoroughly and effectively, we need to look at the primary reason for using the apricot kernels. Are they being used nutritionally or therapeutically? Let's explore.

    I am often accused of being a fanatic about certain things - nutrition has been no exception. In almost all cases of fruit and vegetables, I passionately advise people to go the organic route wherever possible. Very unfortunately for many, cost often presents a barrier that is difficult to overcome, as organic produce can be very expensive relative to non-organic. However - don't be disheartened. If you can't afford organic produce, keep reading. The situation can be much improved without taking the leap.

    There are two very different reasons for choosing organic over non-organic fruit and vegetables. The first reason is mineral content. Conventionally grown produce almost always lacks the trace mineral content of its organic counterpart. The reason for this is that minerals are found in the soil and imparted to the produce grown within it, unlike vitamins which are produced by the plant itself. Organic status has no bearing on vitamin content. The difference lies in the principles used in the farming method.

    Conventional crops (those grown with the use of chemicals) often strip the soil of its mineral content through over-farming. The same crops are often grown year after year after year, each cycle stripping what minerals the soil has to offer. Organic farming principles, on the other hand, generally involve crop rotation with periods of resting and rejuvenation, which allows the ground to recuperate and replenish.

    (This post isn't about trace minerals so I'm not going to go into great detail, but I will say that they are critical to health. You should be educated about them and I urge you to go off and do some research upon completion of this entry.)

    The second reason for choosing organic over non-organic is pesticides and other chemical residues.  In conventional farming, pesticides and other chemicals are used to protect, encourage and preserve crops - and, ultimately, to return a better dollar. The damage caused by crop pests results in massive yield and financial losses. These losses are built into the prices of organic foods, which is why organic produce is often so expensive, relatively speaking. These chemicals, however, can be very detrimental to our health, contributing significantly to countless disease states, such as cancer, and any number of other ailments of severity.

    For those who can't afford organic, all is not lost. Though it's not perfect, the worst of these chemicals can be washed from your food. Very thorough washing should be practiced before consumption, and the benefit will be produce that is largely free of these residues. Though I won't say the two become equals, the situation has improved considerably. As for trace minerals - these can be supplemented 100% effectively. Whether found in your food or in a high quality supplement, your body will be none-the-wiser. There are many trace mineral supplements available. These trace minerals generally come from ancient soil deposits of fulvic acid. Search for organic colloidal minerals or fulvic acid. The health benefits are too numerous to go into here.

    So - why are you using apricot kernels? Most people are using apricot kernels for their amygdalin (vitamin B17) content. If this is the case for you, organic status has no bearing on amygdalin content. Not only that, but apricot stones are a very hard-shelled seed - almost more of a nut in this regard. The kernel is enclosed within its very own fortress. The kernel, being at the center of the fruit and within the protection of this very hard, thick enclosure, is entirely protected from chemical sprays and insect treatments. These chemicals never come into contact with the kernel. Some sellers of "organic" apricot kernels attempt to justify their price by wrongly suggesting that their non-organic counterparts contain concentrations of pesticides. This is a myth.

    Almonds, which are very close cousins of apricot kernels, are different in their whole structure. Where apricot kernels are very well protected from contaminants, almonds are not. Almonds aren't enclosed within a fruit and their shells are very soft and absorbent. The result, unfortunately, is that they take on chemical sprays quite readily. Comparisons can't be made between the two.

    Ultimately, your choice of kernel should be the most bitter (most amygdalin) kernel available to you. If it happens to be organic, fine, but don't look for organic thinking that you're getting a better option. You're simply not. Not only do they not contain more amygdalin, they are often of sweeter varieties of apricot kernel, such as those grown through India and Pakistan.