All About Nutrition

Nutrition Questions and Answers

Vital Health Zone is proud to announce Lesa Rusher, who is our resident naturopathic expert and who is available to answer questions about nutrition and health.

Lesa Rusher is a qualified naturopath with a thriving business in Canberra, Australia and has a wealth of experience treating clients on a variety of health issues. Lesa Rusher's full credentials can be found in our experts area.

Lesa Rusher will answer your nutrition-related questions.

Q: Could you please let me know about vitamin B17? I know it assists in cancer prevention.


A: Vitamin B17 is also known as laetrile or amygdalin. It is not actually officially known as a vitamin as it is not vitally necessary for health. Laetrile and amygdalin both belong to a family of compounds called cyanogenic glycosides and even though both terms are used interchangeably they are chemically different substances.

Laetrile and amygdalin are both found in the kernels of apricots, peaches, plums, cherries, nectarines, apples and almonds

In 1980, the National Cancer Institute began a clinical study of laetrile in terminal cancer patients. "Conducted in collaboration with four major U.S. medical centers, the clinical tests showed that laetrile failed on four counts: it did not make cancer regress; it did not extend the life span of cancer patients; it did not improve cancer patients' symptoms; and it did not help cancer patients to gain weight or otherwise become more physically active. Laetrile and natural products containing it, such as apricot pits were thus found to be 'ineffective as a treatment for cancer.

In addition to this, there is concern about cyanide poisoning from the high cyanide content in the kernel of the food. Laetrile has been banned by the FDA because of the risk of poisoning from its cyanide content.

Please note that the information provided is for educational purposes only and is not meant to diagnose or treat medical conditions. Consult with your medical physician regarding appropriateness of using supplements in your healing process.


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