The mystery of the cyanide fruit and a cancer cure revealed

The Good Life Letter

6th December  2009

  • An Egyptian mystery unravelled - just like my 
    unfortunate son!

  • Can this stone from this fruit really kill cancer 

  • The B17 controversy rolls on...

Finally, it's all over.

School half-term and Halloween and Bonfire night rolled into
each other over the course of two weeks... creating a crashing
tidal wave of shrieking mayhem.... (or "fun", as the kids call it).

It may be fun, but it's a nightmare if you're a writer trying to get
on with a new book (yes, there's one in the pipeline right now,
more news about this soon.)

However, I did learn another golden rule of fatherhood:

NEVER let your child insist on dressing up as an Ancient
Egyptian Mummy for a fancy dress party. It takes an hour to
wrap and fix those bandages. And if you're no good at it (like
me) then your son leaves the house unravelling like an Andrex

Despite the mayhem, I found some time to catch up on the
Good Life Letter inbox this week.

One reader sent me a very interesting question... and, weirdly,
the answer is linked to my son's fancy dress costume...

"What are your thoughts on Apricot Kernels and their link to
helping with cancer? I was first put onto these by my brother
who is an Angelic Reiki Master. He has cancer and has been
given months to 2yrs. On talking to my brother he had no
hesitation in recommending the kernels."

Well, I first covered this many years ago, but this is a story
worth repeating...

What the Ancient Egyptians discovered
about apricots  
The ancient Egyptians were the first to discover how to extract
a powerful poison from peach or apricot kernels. There's a
papyrus in Louvre which shows the earliest recording of
preparing cyanide. The text warns: 

'Pronounce not the name of I.A.O [God] under the penalty of
the peach.' 

Under penalty of THE PEACH... how strange... but probably
an effective deterrent when Egyptians found out that cyanide
could kill people stone dead (excuse the pun!) 

However, modern science didn't discover the chemistry
behind this until 1802. In that year, a chemist called Bohn
discovered that when he distilled the water from bitter
almonds, hydrocyanic acid was released. 

This was hydrogen cyanide. The stuff that threatened the lives
of blasphemous Egyptians. 

A few years later, a couple of scientists managed to isolate a
white substance in hydrogen cyanide, known as Vitamin
B17... or, more commonly, 'amygdalin' 

Amygdalin is what's known as a 'cyanide radical'.
In simple terms, this means is that it has some of the
properties of cyanide, but can also change the nature of cells.

While hydrogen cyanide is the lethal stuff that killed Nazi
ogres like Herman Goering... amygdalin is a totally different
kind of substance  Scientists have shown that, in small doses,
amygdalin is safe. 

For instance, this is a substance that you can find in fruits
packed with vitamin B12. You consume it whenever you eat
blackberries, blueberries and strawberries. 

So what has this cyanide radical known as vitamin B17 got to
do with cancer? Read on and I'll reveal all....


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Can this cyanide radical kill cancer cells?  
Cyanide radicals may not harm you in natural amounts... but it
does some terrible things to cancerous cells.
Normal, healthy cells in our bodies contain an enzyme called
Rhodanese. This enzyme neutralises the amygdalin (vitamin
B17) and stops it from releasing hydrogen cyanide.
But for cancer cells, it's another matter.
They DON'T contain the enzyme Rhodanese. Without it, the
amygdalin releases cyanide and begins destroying these
malignant cells.
Wow. Here you have something that potentially kills the bad
cancer cells and spares the good.
This stuff is like Clint Eastwood on a mission.
But the mainstream medical attitude towards B17 has not
been at all positive...

Banned in the USA  
Eighteen years ago, some of the world's top scientists claimed
that vitamin B17 could help in the prevention of cancer - and
perhaps even KILL existing cancer cells.
Great news, surely?
Well no. Because this was just an extract of apricot stones, it
couldn't be patented by pharmaceutical companies to make
tonnes of cash. So the drug barons demanded that more
studies be conducted. They stirred up fear, controversy and
In the US, the Food and Drug Administration has banned the
interstate shipment and sale of Vitamin B17.
They alleged that it's either an 'unlicensed new 'drug' or an
'unsafe or adulterated food or food additive'.
Of course, as you now know, it comes from apricot kernels.
But that hasn't stopped information about vitamin B17 being
brushed under the carpet.
I mean, even if the scientists are wrong, don't you have the
right to know that you could protect yourself with this vitamin?

How to find and take Vitamin B17  
First you need to consult a medical professional if you are
worried about cancer or any serious illness. Always talk to a
doctor about big dietary changes. 

If you wish to get mild doses of B17 through your everyday
diet, you can find the highest amounts of vitamin B17 in bitter
almonds, apple, apricot, cherry, nectarine, peach, pear, plum
and prune.
It's also in beans, chickpeas, cashew nuts, blackberries,
cranberries, elderberries, raspberries and strawberries.
You should eat the above fruits whole.

If you wish to try the kernels, many naturopaths recommend
6-10 apricot kernels per day. However official health bodies
recommend a consumption of no more than 2 Kernels per

In any case, the kernels should not be swallowed whole. They
need to be ground and sprinkled on food or in fruit juice.
Get your seeds at your local health store or type 'buy apricot
kernels UK' into a search engine like and
see what comes up.

I hope this answers my reader's question. I haven't left much
time to talk about my new book, so I'll leave that for another
day. I've got to shut myself away and get it finished!

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