Apricot Seeds: Are Apricot Seeds a Natural Alternative Cancer Treatment?

My best friend and life partner, Colleen, is a cancer survivor. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2000. Doctors used traditional cancer treatments on her, including radiation, multiple surgeries, and drug therapy, which lasted several years. She didn’t enjoy any of this. In 2005 she was diagnosed terminal. This time, she decided to research more of her options. She landed on an alternative cancer treatment program which included a heavy focus on cancer nutrition. She is alive today because of this decision. She has devoted her life to helping others with their cancer treatment journey. My goal is to help Colleen help others. I truly do believe that cancer is preventable in most cases.

Cancer is on the increase and cancer survival rates have improved slightly, only because cancer symptoms are recognized and diagnosed sooner. And many people diagnosed or who have loved ones diagnosed with cancer are choosing to become more informed about alternatives to traditional cancer treatments. Many are realizing that treating cancer traditionally through the practice of burning with radiation, poisoning with chemotherapy, or removing with surgery may not be what is right for them. However, one thing that is common to both the traditional cancer treatment and alternative cancer treatment worlds is that a healthy diet is essential.

In the world of alternative cancer treatments, one of the best cancer fighting foods that stands out as having some of the strongest anti-cancer properties is the apricot seed, or apricot kernel as it is also called. The apricot seeds are actually the soft almond shaped, bitter tasting kernels from inside the pits. Apricot seeds contain something called amygdalin.

In 1952, a biochemist from San Francisco named Dr. Ernst Krebs, Jr. suggested that cancer was a metabolic reaction to a poor diet, and that a missing nutrient from the modern day human diet could be the key to cancer prevention and treatment. He believed that poor diets based on unnatural or processed food products were a primary cause behind compromised human immune systems. His research led to a compound called amygdalin that is found in over 1200 edible plants throughout nature. It is also commonly called vitamin B-17 and its extract is known as laetrile.

Amygdalin is found with the highest concentration and necessary enzymes in apricot seeds. A primitive tribe, the Hunzas in the mountains of Pakistan, were known to consume large amounts of apricot seeds and those who lived on their natural diets containing apricot seeds as well as several other organically grown foods had no recorded incidents of cancer and they lived long, healthy life spans. Many other groups with similar diets containing apricot seeds also have low or no cancer rates.

Apricot seeds are more available to consumers now than laetrile because in 1971 the US government’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banned laetrile. Many believe that this ban was put in place because the laetrile was from a natural food source that couldn’t be patented or controlled by the large pharmaceutical companies for profit like they do for cancer drugs and traditional cancer treatments. There has been much misinformation published about apricot seeds.

The most common belief promoted by the pharmaceutical companies and medical profession is that apricot seeds are poison. That is true to a point. Apricot seeds contain organic cyanide and benzaldyhide but then so do many other foods such as almonds, lima beans, soy, spinach and bamboo shoots to name a few. Many foods containing organic cyanide are safe because the cyanide remains bound and locked as part of another molecule and therefore cannot cause harm.

There is an enzyme called rhodanese which is found in normal healthy human cells but not in cancer cells. It basically catches any free cyanide molecules and renders them harmless by combining them with sulfur naturally. They are converted to a cyanate which is a neutral substance and easily passed through the urine with no harm to the normal cells.

But there is an enzyme called beta-glucosidase that is found only in cancer cells, and is considered the “unlocking enzyme” for amygdalin molecules. It releases both the benzaldyhide and the organic cyanide to work with the protective enzymes in healthy cells to attack and destroy cancer cells. The healthy non-cancerous cells are not destroyed in this natural process.

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