Can apricot kernels keep cancer at bay?
This is the title of an article published in Australia's The Age newspaper. The article reports on the successes of Paul Reid, an Australian who employed bitter apricot kernels and a nutritional regime to overcome his cancer.
"Paul Reid should be dead. Diagnosed with rare, incurable lymphoma, he was given five years, seven tops, by his oncologist. But having cheated death on Ash Wednesday bushfires, he was not about to surrender his life without a fight.
His weapon of choice? Apricot kernels. Thirty a day. Reid turned down chemotherapy, vowing to eat himself well. Today, 13 years in remission, the 68-year-old believes that “cancer-killing” properties in the kernels he still eats daily, coupled with a strict vegan diet and prayer, have cured him.
“We’re not immortal, but I believe I’ll be healthy from taking this direction,” he says.
Reid is among a growing number of cancer patients who see food as the key to their survival – a trend worrying doctors who fear people may be risking their lives by embarking on extreme, unproven diets. Some patients are forgoing conventional medical treatment and putting their faith in “anti-cancer diets, promoted by alternative health practitioners, or buying untested nutritional supplements on the internet…….
Paul Reid challenged mainstream medicine’s prognosis with a regime of colonic cleansing, a 75 percent raw fruit and vegetable diet, and chewing on apricot kernels – rich in amygdalin, an extract also known as B17, which doctors say is a “phoney” vitamin, but which supporters claim kills cancer cells.
He is convinced that his diet was the cornerstone of his recovery. The fact that no robust research supports his restrictive diet, or that there is evidence high doses of amygdalin can cause cyanide poisoning, and in some cases, death, is of little consequence to the Berwick father of two.Paul Reid has posted comments on his own website to a couple of articles published by The Age. The second article takes on a different tone - one of vilification regarding an Australian business supposedly selling apricot kernels as a "cancer cure despite cyanide warnings". This article was found to be completely inaccurate, taking liberties with reality so common for so many reporters lacking scruples.
“So what if there’s no scientific proof? What has a person to lose by going on an organic diet?” he asks. “I don’t think my journey has been unscientific, it’s just that there’s been no science in a big way applied to it.”
The substances we ingest undoubtedly affect the body’s metabolic processes. Drinking alcohol can lead to slurred speech and loss of balance, while eating too much fat and sugar can cause weight gain. But food’s effect on cancer is less clear. Some practitioners in both the medical and alternative communities point to research that certain foods can either promote or inhibit cancer cell growth. Other say the the disease is caused by a build-up of toxins that must be flushed from the body with nutrient-rich produce, or that cancer feeds on sugar."………………………
Dr Phelps, a GP and president of the Australasian Integrative Medicine Association, says most alternative practitioners operate ethically, and many work collaboratively with mainstream doctors. However she says that there is a pressing need for greater attention to be paid to nutrition in medicine schools and for more funding to research potential links between food and cancer. “Just because we haven’t got the whole picture yet doesn’t mean there isn’t something in it.” she says. “We are gathering information gradually, which is the way you gather evidence.
Commentary on both articles can be read on Paul Reid's website at - http://www.ultimatenutrition.com.au/apricot_kernels.htm