B17, otherwise known as amygdalin and laetrile, has numerous potential benefits that range from treating and preventing cancer all the way to boosting the immune system, reducing pain, and lowering blood pressure. Because purchasing B17 supplements aren't really an option, you'll have to look at alternative ways of getting this nutrient into your system. Here's what you need to know about where to find it, how to get it, and how much you can safely take.
Which foods contain B17?
The two sources that tend to have the highest concentration of this nutrient are bitter almonds and apricot seeds. But these aren't the only sources. Absorbable forms of B17 are also found in the following foods:
- Lima beans
- Fava beans
- Macadamia nuts
- Bamboo shoots
There are many other foods that contain B17, and they range in concentration from low to high. The exact amount of B17 you can expect to get is unknown, and it can vary depending on the climate, where the food is grown, and how rich the soil is.
How much should you be getting each day?
According to a study done in the early '80s—when research was at its peak—a total of six cancer patients received daily injections of 4.5 grams of amygdalin followed by oral doses of 0.5 grams, three times daily. These patients experienced no clinical side effects whatsoever.
Taking large doses of laetrile, a form of B17, has also neglected to show any adverse side effects, but a lot of it depends on how you take it and for how long. Most practitioners will recommend daily intravenous injections for a short period of time, followed by oral supplements of B17 in smaller doses. This type of treatment usually goes hand-in-hand with a special diet that also gives the patient high doses of other vitamins.
There currently aren't any guidelines established by the USDA that provide a recommended daily dose in grams or milligrams. This is largely due to the fact that studies are no longer being conducted, and therefore, measurements cannot be taken. For this reason, it's important to work closely with a practitioner that can monitor your health as you take B17.
What's the best way to get B17 naturally?
If you prefer to avoid injections, one of the more popular methods of getting B17 is by eating apricot kernels. If you cut open an apricot, you'll see a large pit. Inside the pit is a small seed about the size of an almond, and this is where B17 is most highly concentrated. You can purchase apricot kernels online or in some health food stores. Just keep in mind that the stores contain seeds that have been roasted or sun dried, destroying most of the beneficial enzymes.
When taking the kernels, there are several recommended doses, depending on what you're trying to achieve. For cancer prevention, you should eat about 5-7 kernels per day. It's probably a good idea to spread them out as too many at once can cause nausea in some people. If you're taking the kernels for the treatment of cancer, double or triple that amount. It's also recommended to avoid consuming sugar while taking the kernels for cancer treatment because cancer cells actually rely on sugar rather than oxygen as an energy source.
Purchasing one pound of apricot seeds should net you about 600-700 kernels, so you can easily calculate how long your bag should last. To make them stay fresher longer, keep them refrigerated, but do not freeze them. If you find that they're a little too bitter, simply crush them up and blend with a smoothie or your favorite salad dressing.
To learn more, check out a company like Vitamin B17 Professional.