Advocates of laetrile, also known as vitamin B17, suggested that it possessed anti-cancer properties and claimed it could be used for cancer prevention and treatment. Some of the specific claims made in the past regarding vitamin B17 and laetrile include:
- Anti-cancer effects: It was suggested that laetrile could selectively target and destroy cancer cells while leaving healthy cells unharmed.
- Cancer prevention: Proponents argued that consuming foods rich in amygdalin (such as apricot kernels) or using laetrile supplements could prevent the development of cancer.
- Boosting the immune system: It was claimed that vitamin B17 could enhance the immune system, leading to improved cancer resistance.
- Pain relief: Some proponents believed that laetrile had pain-relieving properties and could alleviate cancer-related pain.
It’s important to note that these claims have been widely disputed and heavily criticized by the scientific and medical communities. Moreover, it’s crucial to highlight that the use of laetrile as a cancer treatment has been banned or heavily restricted in many countries.
The main component of vitamin B17, amygdalin, is found in certain foods such as apricot kernels, apple seeds, and bitter almonds.