Apricots have long been a fruit that’s been readily available at your local supermarket. Apricots are tasty fresh or dried, and they have many health benefits; they’re high in vitamin A, vitamin C, beta-carotene, and dietary fibre. These combined help protect the heart and eyes, reduce the possibility of heart disease, and prevent constipation and other digestive conditions. While apricots posses all of these health benefits, could apricots contain something even more powerful and beneficial than what we would assume?
The seeds/kernels from apricots have been in the spotlight in the past for their ability to shrink, and even eliminate, cancer tumors. This discovery was made almost a half century ago by a biochemist named Dr. Ernest Krebb, Jr. He found that cancer was a metabolic reaction related to a poor diet, and that a nutrient that was mainly absent from our diets may be the key to battling cancer. The compound that he discovered almost fifty years ago was evident in over 1000 plants found all over the world. This compound is called amagdylin.
The seeds from apricots have the highest concentration of amagdylin among all of nature’s offerings. Essentially, amagdylin is a nitrioloside which is found in many types of plants and seeds. They strongly resemble B complex structures (vitamins), and Dr. Krebb Jr decidedly named this compound vitamin B17.
The oil which is extracted from the apricot seed or kernel which contains vitamin B17 is called laetrile. Dr. Krebb even took the liberty of injecting himself with laetrile to verify there would be no harmful or toxic effects. Further experiments and tests carried out by Dr. Krebb solidified his conclusions that laetrile was in fact an effective cancer treatment option. Unfortunately, the FDA had banned laetrile back in 1971 because they contain small amounts of cyanide and benzaldyhide which, they say could be potentially fatal.
So how is amagdylin effective against cancer cells? Essentially, this compound found in the seeds of apricots is made up of four substances. Two are glucose formed, benzaldyhide, and cyanide. The last two are certainly poisonous when in pure form and free and not bound by other molecules. There are many foods that are safe to eat which contain cyanide because of this fact. The body actually has the ability to contain free cyanide molecules and combining them with sulfur. The enzyme that performs this task is called rhodanese, and is found in normal healthy cells within the body. It has the ability to turn cyanide into cyanate which is neutral and harmless in the body and passed through the urinary tract without any issues.
So, we know that seeds from apricots are harmless to healthy cells. So, what about the cancer cells? Cancer cells have an enzyme that the healthy cells do not posses, and this is beta-glucosidase. This enzyme is contained wholly in cancer cells, and is in fact the enzyme that triggers amagdylin to release both the benzaldyhide and cyanide which essentially causes cancer cells to self destruct.
As you can see, apricots and their seeds are quite the powerful fruit. Not only do they taste great, but they provide a wealth of health benefits!