Testimonials Are Not Science

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Just writing about Sir Robert McCarrison and The Hunzas he so famously studied has prompted me to enter a word about the apricot kernels and amygdalin/laetrile scam (read that piece here)

Several promoters are making fortunes by promoting amygdalin, laetrile and so-called “B17” as a cancer treatment. It’s fake; don’t fall for it.

To begin with, there is no B17, it’s not a vitamin (a vitamin, by definition, means something you will quickly die without). Secondly, Amygdalin is NOT laetrile and vice versa. Laetrile is a patented scam by altering the natural molecule. So forget the propaganda it’s somehow natural or “holistic”. It’s so toxic that I can’t see ANY DIFFERENCE between this therapy and chemotherapy: the whole rationale of chemotherapy is to kill the cancer before you kill the patient. It’s a great idea, in principle, but it’s dangerous in practice, because the gap between killing the cancer and killing the patient is very narrow. Too much chemo: patient dies.

It’s exactly the same with Laetrile. It’s extremely toxic and regularly kills patients (I mean, how “holistic” is that?)1

The metabolism of amygdalin produces hydrogen cyanide, a potent toxin. Beta-glucosidase, one of the enzymes that catalyzes the release of cyanide from amygdalin, is present in the human small intestine and in a variety of common foods. This leads to an unpredictable and potentially lethal toxicity when amygdalin or laetrile is taken orally.

Ingestion of purified amygdalin or apricot kernels can cause severe toxicity and death due to cyanide poisoning. Amygdalin was first isolated in 1830. In 1845 it was used as a cancer treatment in Russia and it was tried as an anticancer agent in Germany in 1892, but was discarded as ineffective and too toxic for that purpose. It re-appeared in the 1920s in the United States, but it was considered too poisonous.

That didn’t stop Ernst T. Krebs, Sr., MD, and his seriously underperforming son with a fake “MD”—from promoting it and making money. The deaths started with these two supposed pioneers and they continue to this day, no matter what you may hear from the sleaze peddlers.2

Don’t believe me? Numerous case reports in medical literature describe serious cyanide poisoning in patients who ingested laetrile as a cancer treatment. Of course the scammers say that’s all part of an official conspiracy to discredit their sleazy merchandise. Well, I am not part of a government cover-up and I’m telling you, it’s a very bad idea. And doctors in ER dealing with stiffs who have been killed by Laetrile are not conspirators either.

No recorded studies or survival rates from Laetrile or Amygdalin have ever gone beyond the extremely good placebo recovery rate. Read my book “Cancer Research Secrets” (or if you have got it already, look again on page 8-9) for the true facts on what significant numbers of cancers will simply go away, if left alone.

Some laetrile promoters have claimed that the cyanide generated by laetrile is immediately harmlessly detoxified by the mitochondrial enzyme rhodanese into thiocyanate. However, these claims are false. First, because thiocyanate is also toxic, although to a lesser degree. Second, the body only can use the small amount of rhodanese that is present in the blood, regardless of the stores present in kidneys and liver. Third, the limited factor in this conversion are the stores of cystine, cysteine, and other sulfur compounds, which are rapidly depleted in laetrile poisoning. Fourth, blood analysis show undetoxified cyanide in persons poisoned with laetrile or with apricot kernels.2

Translation: they died of the treatment, just like chemotherapy.

Yes, I’m angry at nonsense which masquerades as “holistic”, though I am not suggesting the therapists out there are all cheats and deliberately misleading the public. Many, I am sure, are very sincere. But the cures they get are due to natural recovery or the other therapeutic interventions (diet, for example). Thing is, I don’t know anybody who is using ONLY Laetrile. So stories about recoveries are not really Laetrile recoveries anyway.

For your own good, just remember testimonials are not science. Whatever the therapy, good or bad, some people will recover and want to hoot about it!

Final Comment: I wouldn’t take it for any reason or allow a member of my family to do so. There are so many totally safe and truly effective alternative approaches to cancer; why risk death for a myth?

Follow the money!

1. Shragg TA, Albertson TE, Fisher CJ (January 1982). “Cyanide poisoning after bitter almond ingestion”. West. J. Med. 136 (1): 65–9.

2. Herbert V (May 1979). “Laetrile: the cult of cyanide. Promoting poison for profit”. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 32 (5): 1121–58.