Miraculous Cure or Deadly Poison?
Apricot kernels, or the seed of the apricot, contain a substance known as Amygdalin. This substance is actually found in many other foods such as apple and grape seeds, bitter almonds, most berries, beans and grains unless they have been hybridised.
There is a huge controversy over these little seeds. One camp says they are a cure for cancer – the other says they are, indeed, a deadly poison. I want to take a look at these strongly opposite viewpoints so that you can make an informed decision.
What Is The Reason For The Controversy?
The chemical, amygdalin, was first extracted over 100 years ago. It is listed in pharmacological dictionaries as not toxic. However, it does have cyanide as one of its constituents. This is the main reason for the big controversy.
- The “Pro” camp says it’s much like salt, which has chlorine in it. If you ingested large amounts of salt it would make you very sick. They say that it is only released inside the cancer cells which have an enzyme in them that normal cells do not have. The “Pro’s” also cite actual studies of ill-effects giving specific information on exactly what happened in each case.
- The “Cons” say that it is potentially fatal to consume apricot kernels. They say there are “reports” of poisonings from eating apricot kernels, although specifics are not given for any of these “reports”. They argue that studies don’t show any real positive effects from taking apricot kernels and that the dangers far outweigh any potential benefit.
So…. what a dilema! Well, I’ve found some additional information that might help you make a decision:
- Sloan-Kettering Laetrile Cover up
In the 1970’s Sloan-Kettering’s Dr. Kanematu Sugiura found that Laetrile, a drug made from amygdalin, significantly reduced the spread of lung cancer in mice. As the Board of Directors began to study these reports it became apparent that, if the public was to become knowledgeable about where this drug came from, it would no longer be profitable. Soon after, they began to give the work to other doctors, taking the research away from Dr. Sugiura. After that, the research was buried and, eventually, the topic of Laetrile disappeared. More recent studies show positive results but Sloan-Kettering will not acknowledge the benefits of Laetrile even today.
- The Hunza
The Hunza are a people of a remote Himalayan region near West Pakistan. They are traditionally apricot farmers. It is known that they eat an average of 30 to 50 apricot kernels per day. The Hunza have very low levels of cancer and very high rates of long life. They are considered to be proof beyond reproach of the benefits of consuming apricot kernels.
- Uses in Other Countries
Apricot kernels have been used in Chinese Medicine for respiratory ailments as well as arthritis, indigestion and to lower blood pressure. They’ve been used by the Russians since around 1845 as a cancer medication. They’ve also been used here in the United States since sometime in the 1920’s.
There are some things to be cautious about if you do decide to use apricot kernels.
1. Apricot kernels are known to reduce blood pressure.
2. It is recommended that you not consume more than about 5-7 kernels within a period of one hour. Dizziness and palpitations can occur otherwise.
3. Apricot kernels should be used with great caution if given to children.
As always, I would suggest that you discuss this with your healthcare professional before embarking on treatment with apricot kernels. I would also suggest that you start very slowly and work up to what is considered a recommended amount.
Please leave a comment or question related to this topic. I would be interested to know what your thoughts are about this controversy.