Vitamin B17: Cure for Cancer?

Pseudonymous Contributor

Issue LIV- April 4, 2006
A sample image Note from the Editor: While The Rational Argumentator does not agree with the premise of this article that Vitamin B17 offers an effective way to treat or cure cancer (see this Wikipedia entry for more information), the article below by a Pseudonymous Contributor was published in 2006 in accord with The Rational Argumentator's commitment to free expression of intelligently articulated viewpoints, even those with which TRA and/or its Editor-in-Chief would disagree.

1. "The history of science is the history of struggle against entrenched error."

This is the claim of G. Edward Griffin in his book, World Without Cancer, a source which I would like to acknowledge as the chief inspiration for this article. It is not an outlandish claim by any means; from doctors being fired for requiring their staff to wash their hands, to the idea of vaccines being offhandedly rejected, history is replete with examples.

Perhaps most astonishing of all is the story of scurvy. Up until two hundred years ago, scurvy epidemics regularly decimated entire crews of ships. The British Navy recorded over one million sailor deaths due to scurvy between 1600 and 1800 alone. Scurvy is an extraordinarily painful disease causing bleeding from the nostrils, mouth, ears, and even the skin. For hundreds of years, scientists searched in vain for its cause, thinking that it was some sort of virus that lived in the dark holds of ships.

Then, in 1535, a French explorer got his ship stuck in a sheet of frozen ice by the St. Lawrence River. Before long, scurvy began to kill his crew off one by one. Twenty-five died, and many more were on their deathbeds until a friendly Native American showed them the simple cure -- a drink made of tree bark that is rich in vitamin C. When the sailors returned to Europe, they offered their story to the medical establishment, but the leading scientists would have nothing of what they smugly referred to as "simple witchcraft from savages." It wasn't until two hundred years later that a surgeon in the British navy made the same discovery. He noticed that oranges and lemons produced relief from scurvy and recommended that the British Navy include citrus fruits in their food supplies.

But the scientific community still didn't bite! They scoffed at the idea of something as simple as nutrition being able to put an end to one of the most torturous diseases in human history.

It took another half-century before the medical establishment finally advised the navy to stock ships with foods rich in vitamin C, but in the meantime, thousands more perished because of medical arrogance. When the Brits finally wised up, they became a naval power that was unrivaled by all other sea-faring nations. The British became known as "Limeys" because of the limes they once stocked on their ships to prevent scurvy. It is no exaggeration to say that the empire on which the sun never set was largely built as a result of overcoming scientific prejudice against vitamin therapy.

That may be history, but it's not all in the past; pellagra offers a similar story. In 1914, a doctor proved that it was a disease caused by a vitamin B deficiency, but it still took another thirty years for the medical establishment to accept the vitamin theory of pellagra as legitimate medicine! It is an unfortunate fact of history, that science has a strange aversion to nutrition as valid medicine.

2. Cancer is a vitamin deficiency disease like Scurvy and Pellagra.

Many renowned researchers and doctors from all across the world have come to this very conclusion. Consider the following: a chronic disease is one that does not go away on its own. A metabolic disease is one that occurs from within the body and is not transmittable to another person. Cancer is therefore a chronic, metabolic disease. In the entire history of medical science, there has not been a single chronic, metabolic disease that was ever cured or prevented by drugs or surgery. In every case -- whether it be scurvy, pellagra, rickets, or any of the others -- the cure was found only in factors relating to adequate nutrition, usually a very specific vitamin deficiency.

In the same way doctors once dealt with scurvy, virtually all cancer research is dedicated to looking for something which causes cancer instead of the lack of something. Imagine doctors from centuries ago scrambling to care for scurvy patients by trying to stop the profuse bleeding scurvy causes, when all they really needed to do was nourish their patient with a couple of oranges.

This is exactly how modern doctors treat cancer; they attack only the symptoms of cancer, and almost never attempt to research what actually causes the disease within the human body. As one researcher observed, "The tumor is not the disease; it is merely the symptom of the disease. Orthodox medicine…is totally focused on the tumor. To most oncologists, the tumor is the cancer."

3. Vitamin B17 prevents cancer in the same way that vitamin C prevents scurvy.

If cancer is in fact a vitamin deficiency disease, then there must be an essential vitamin that has been edited out of modern man's diet. Further, preventing or controlling cancer would be as simple as restoring this food compound to our daily diet.

Over the past century researchers from a number of fields have discovered such a vitamin; the scientific community calls it amygdalin, or simply vitamin B17, and in its concentrated form, it is called Laetrile.

Vitamin B17 is indeed present in foods that westerners once ate in abundance but have, over time, ceased consuming. For example, while vitamin-B17-rich millet was once the world's largest staple grain, it has been replaced by wheat, which has practically no vitamin B17 at all. Similarly, sorghum cane, also rich in vitamin B17, has been replaced with sugarcane, which has a low nutritional value. Apple seeds also contain the vitamin, and while it was once common for apple cores to be consumed along with the rest of the fruit, people rarely do so at present. It has come to the point that westerners consume almost no vitamin B17 on a regular basis.

How do we know this vitamin works? Well, aside from lab research, researchers from a number of fields have observed vitamin B17 working in nature. If you have a pet, you may have noticed that it will often search for certain grasses to eat even when it is completely full, and if an animal is sick, its instinct to consume these grasses is even greater. A nutritional examination of the grasses they select has revealed that they all contain an especially high concentration of vitamin B17. Zoo keepers have observed a similar phenomenon. When given a fresh peach or apricot, primates dispose of the fruit's soft flesh, crack open the hard pit, and consume the seeds inside of it. These seeds are also extremely rich in vitamin B17.

Similarly, scientists were once baffled when they observed wild bears and other meat-eating predators instinctively consuming their prey's viscera and rumen. Only after the animals finish eating these stomach organs do they move on to consume the muscle portions of their prey that humans regularly eat. This mystery has been solved, since it was discovered that the viscera and rumen contain many grasses consumed by the prey-- grasses high in vitamin B17.

Mammals of every kind, all around the world, instinctively include foods high in vitamin B17 in their regular diets-- which is why a wild animal contracting cancer is rarely, if ever reported. It is only when animals are domesticated or zoo'd, and forced to eat a human prescribed diet, that they regularly contract cancer.

In addition to wild animals, there is a number of human populations throughout the world that have a regular intake of vitamin B-17 in their diet and -- get this -- they never get cancer!

A careful reviewer of the claim that some populations never get cancer might speculate that these same populations have low life expectancy rates, leading other factors to kill them off before cancer can develop. But that's not so with Hunzakuts who live in a remote area of the Himalaya Mountains. Hunzakuts are known for their amazing longevity -- many of them live beyond 100, and some surpass 120 years old and more! In 1922, a doctor from the Journal of The American Medical Association visited Hunza to study just why its people might be living so long. He noted, "The Hunza has no known incidence of cancer. They have an abundant crop of apricots. These they dry in the sun and use very largely in their food."

It is fitting that the author mentioned apricot seeds, since they contain the highest known concentration of vitamin B17 found in nature. One observer noted, "it was not uncommon for them to eat thirty to fifty apricot seeds as an after-lunch snack." He continues, "In addition to the ever-present apricot, the Hunzakuts eat mainly grain and fresh vegetables including buckwheat, millet, alfalfa, peas, broad beans, turnips, lettuce, sprouting pulse or gram, and berries of various sorts. All of these with the exception of lettuce and turnips contain vitamin B17"

That there is no cancer in Hunza still holds true today. Numerous visiting medical teams from the west have done studies, and all of them returned to report not a single case. Yet, studies have also shown that when Hunzakuts leave their remote kingdom, travel to the west, and abandon their vitamin-B17-rich diets, they become as susceptible to cancer as Europeans and Americans.

Missionaries and medical journals have reported other cancer-free populations from every continent in the world -- from natives in Africa and South America to Eskimo tribes in northern Canada and Alaska. In addition, many informed westerners have re-introduced the vitamin back into their diets. And in all cases, the degree to which these populations are free from cancer is in direct proportion to the amount of vitamin B17 found in their natural diets.

The gravity of this information is truly amazing. Think about it -- while more than one in every three Americans will contract cancer in their lifetime, not one in a thousand who regularly ingests vitamin B17 has been recorded to contract the disease.

4. The system is failing us.

Vitamin B17 contains cyanide that is locked inside of a chemical compound, making it completely harmless under normal circumstances. However, when the vitamin compound comes into contact with cancer cells, an unlocking enzyme releases the cyanide, which then works to destroy the cancer cells.

A number of lab tests have proven the destructive effect of vitamin B17 on cancer cells, but this information, along with the actual vitamin therapy, has been suppressed by the government-run medical establishment. In fact, the FDA prohibits doctors from even talking about vitamin therapy with their cancer patients, and if they disobey -- as many have -- they are stripped of their medical licenses. As a result, each year, thousands of Americans travel to Mexico and Germany to receive therapy. Most of them resort to vitamin therapy as a last-ditch effort -- only after they are given up as hopeless by conventional medicine, and yet an astounding number of them go on to live far beyond expectations.

Why, then, is vitamin B17 suppressed? It's complicated, but the simple answer is that the government-run medical system has evolved in such a way as to disallow the prescription and testing of vitamins as preventative or curative agents. Like the doctors who once rejected vitamin C as a cure-all for scurvy, modern-day doctors have been taught to seek only complicated solutions to cancer.

But that's not all vitamin research and therapy is up against. In this day and age, more people are making a living off of cancer than are dying from it. The cartels that dominate the oil, drug, and chemical industries have proven to be an enemy far greater in power than the mere medical arrogance they complement. With their lobbyists and contributions to our politicians and medical schools, these corporations have become the hidden arm that controls our government health agencies and medical school curricula.

One needs only examine the FDA's response to vitamin B17 as a form of cancer therapy to see the fraud that is prevalent. For years, the FDA has said that substances containing vitamin B17 are dangerous because they contain cyanide. Yet, at the same time, the FDA maintains that vitamin B17 is not an effective cancer treatment because there is no way to release the cyanide it contains, making it ineffective against cancer cells. Both of these conflicting theories have absolutely been proven false -- vitamin B17 has been proven to be one thousand times less toxic than a single aspirin tablet and even less toxic than sugar. Research has also conclusively shown that the vitamin releases cyanide and destroys cancer cells when it comes into contact with them.

But, with its decrees, the FDA has shut down any business that attempts to sell vitamin B17, and what's even more outlandish is that the FDA no longer grants licensees to test vitamin B17, because they it deem such testing a waste of valuable resources. As it stands, anyone who performs experiments on cancer cells with vitamin B17 -- no matter where the funding comes from -- can be taken off in handcuffs, all in the name of protecting the people.

If the FDA won't allow vitamin B17 because of its toxicity, then why is it that it approves of experimental drug use on human subjects? Chemotherapy drugs are known to be extremely poisonous, which is why they are administered in the first place. The hope is that they will kill off cancer cells before they end up killing the patient. One FDA-approved experiment using forty children as subjects produced the following official report:

An effort was made to choose the patients who were well enough to withstand the anticipated toxicity… Unexpectedly, early death of two of the first five patients treated caused a reduction to 8.0 mg/kg/day. No significant anti-tumor benefit of any duration was observed…

In this study, six of the eight patients [children] died… No therapeutic effect was observed. Toxic clinical manifestations consisted of vomiting, hypotension, changes in oral mucous membranes, and diarrhea, in that order of frequency. Renal damage and cerebral edema were observed at postmortem examinations in each of the six patients who died while receiving the drug…

The death of two patients was unequivocally caused by drug toxicity…Eight of the fourteen patients who survived their initial courses of therapy showed rapid general deterioration and died within ten weeks after therapy began. It was our opinion that drug toxicity contributed to the rapid demise of these patients…

Because of severe toxicity, which led to the death of a number of the forty patients initially treated with the full five-day "priming doses" used by Wisconsin, investigators in the Eastern group voted to not administer the fifth "priming" doses of each course.

As one doctor noted, "using a Chinese prayer wheel would produce just as good or possibly better results than orthodox treatment." Other research has utilized rat poison, jet fuel, butterfly wings, and sea squirts -- basically everything except the natural foods of man. And so far it's not working. The failure rate of experimental treatments, chemotherapy, radiation treatment, and surgery on cancer patients is a staggering 85%.

One of the last vitamin B17 experiments took place in 1973 at the prestigious cancer research laboratories at the Memorial Sloan and Kettering Cancer center. A world-renowned researcher named Dr. Kanematsu Sugiura conducted a test by injecting a concentrated form of vitamin B17 into cancer cells in mice. The research experiment turned out to be a success beyond anyone's wildest imagination, but Sloan and Kettering decided to do another test without Dr. Sugiura. Instead, they opted for an in-house employee.

This time, vitamin B17 was found to be ineffective, and only these results were released to the public. As is often said in medical research, the easiest thing in the world to accomplish is failure. Some of the researchers working on the original project leaked the full story to the press, prompting Sloan and Kettering to call a press conference to clear their name. Even though Dr. Sugiura was not one of the researchers who had spoken to the press, he was not invited to participate in the conference, only to observe. Sloan and Kettering probably felt that having the renowned Dr. Sugiura present but silent would be a sign to the world that he endorsed their fraudulent findings.

The reporters still spotted him, and to the horror of the panel, one of them shouted a question to him, "Dr Sugiura, do you stick by your belief that Laetrile (the concentrated form of vitamin B17) stops the spread of cancer?

The entire room turned towards Sugiura for his reply as a hush fell over the room. Sugiura hesitated, then looked at the reporter and in a clear voice shouted, "I stick!"

In the aftermath, Sloan and Kettering said that they were, "not enthusiastic about studying amygdalin (vitamin B17) but would like to study cyanide-releasing drugs." This statement alone tells the whole story. As G. Edward Griffin points out,

Vitamin B17 cannot be patented because it is found in nature. Big money can be made only with patented drugs. Therefore, the cancer industry will never be interested in amygdalin, no matter how effective it may be. Instead, they will seek to create a man-made chemical to imitate the mechanism by which it works. Since the mechanism by which amygdalin works is the selective release of cyanide at the cancer site, it is logical that the moguls at Sloan-Kettering were "not enthusiastic about studying amygdalin but would like to study cyanide-releasing drugs instead.

5. Knowledge alone is useless. Only knowledge with action is power.

It would be a reversal of the facts to say that a free market is responsible for this mess. While it is true that the only goal of the drug cartels is profit, it is important to realize that it is government that has used force and fraud to protect the cartels' bottom line. When taken alone, the profit motive harms no one, but when corporations employ government force to do their bidding in the guise of "protecting the people," valuable medical knowledge is suppressed.

In a truly free market, where competition is protected by the government rather than stifled, the medical use and research of vitamin B17 would be available to all Americans. Every American should be allowed analyze the information for himself and make personally informed decisions.

There is absolutely no reason for the FDA to have the absolute power to tell us what medicines and foods we may use. The only legitimate function of government in the field of health should be to police labeling to protect against fraudulent misinformation and to ensure that the public is correctly informed about the products it buys.

Dr. Benjamin Rush, one of America's founding fathers, foresaw the creation of an all-powerful government health organization such as the FDA. He urged his colleagues to include medical liberty in The First Amendment, writing,

Unless we put medical freedom into the Constitution, the time will come when medicine will organize into an undercover dictatorship… To restrict the art of healing to one class of men and deny equal privileges to others will constitute the Bastille of medical science. All such laws are un-American and despotic…and have no place in a republic… The Constitution of this Republic should make a special provision for medical freedom as well as religious freedom.

This year, over a half a million Americans will die of cancer. One in three Americans will contract the disease, and one in five will die from it. It is highly likely that-- if not you-- your spouse, one of your parents, or a good friend of yours will die of cancer. Before long, more human beings will have died of cancer than the sum total of all men who have ever lived on this earth prior to the 21st century, and yet, this colossal tragedy can be averted entirely on the basis of existing scientific knowledge.

But if Dr. Rush's prescription of medical liberty is not heeded, millions will continue to needlessly perish. As always, liberty is the answer.

* Source material and further reading:

World Without Cancer: The Story of Vitamin B17 by G. Edward Griffin

Cancer Wars: How Politics Shapes What We Know and Don't Know About Cancer by Robert N. Proctor

Hunza: Secrets of the World's Healthiest and Oldest Living People by Jay Milton Hoffman Ph.D

Pseudonymous Contributor is a web designer and TRA contributor.

This TRA feature has been edited in accordance with TRA’s Statement of Policy.

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