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Story of Vitamin B17/Amygdalin/Laetrile/ and Cancer

Amygdalin is a compound found in seeds of all fruits except those of citrus fruits. It is found in high amounts in Apricot kernels and Almonds.

 Anti-tumor properties of Amygdalin have been discussed and argued over and over through out the cancer research circles. A quick google search of 'Amygdalin' will tell you that it is a 'quack medicine', that it has no action on cancer cells and that it is dangerously poisonous substance. Laetrile is the name of semi-synthetic (drug- tablet and injection) form of amygdalin available in the market.

 Let me present the readers with PubMed articles - published data in prestigious peer reviewed journals, regarding the anti-tumor properties of Amygdalin. Links will be provided with each statement.
  • Amygdalin has anti-tumor tumor properties. It has antitussive and antiasthamatic effects. It has apoptotic effect on Renal Fibroblasts- helpful in chronic kidney disease. It stimulates the immune system and acts as an analgesic. Toxic dose in human is around 4 grams per day for 15 days. Toxicity can be avoided if dose is reduced to 1 gram per day. Source: PubMed-25207888 and Full Article at CancerJournal
  • Amygdalin influences bladder cancer cell migration, adhesion and invasion by modulation beta1 and beta4 integrins. Source: PubMed-25333694
  • Amygdalin mediated Non-small cell lung cancer cell invasion in vitro: "In summary, this study showed that amygdalin inhibited the in vitro proliferation, invasion and migration of NSCLC. The mechanisms may be related to the more extensive regulation of gene expression by regulating integrin and E-cadherin expression, and the downstream key signaling pathways such as Akt-mTOR." Source: PubMed-PMC4503109
  • Chinese medicine amygdalin and β-glucosidase combined with antibody enzymatic prodrug system as a feasible antitumor therapy: "The Chinese medicine amarogentin (amygdalin) and β-glucosidase will become an important treatment for various tumors when an appropriate monoclonal antibody is developed." Source: PubMed-26272547.
  • Amygdalin blocks bladder cancer cell growth in vitro by diminishing cyclin A and cdk2. Source: PubMed-25136960.
  • Amygdalin induces apoptosis through regulation of Bax and Bcl-2 expressions in human DU145 and LNCaP prostate cancer cells. Source: PubMed-16880611.
  • Amygdalin induces apoptosis in human cervical cancer cell line HeLa cells. Source: PubMed-23137229
  • Amygdalin inhibits renal fibrosis in chronic kidney disease. Source: PubMed-23525378
It is quite clear that there is overwhelming data showing some kind of antitumor action of amygdalin.  I have to mention here that Amygdalin is not approved by US FDA as a cancer drug/treatment. More research and control trials are needed to devise a protocol for amygdalin to be used as an anticancer drug. At the same time, outrightly accusing amygdalin as a 'quack medicine' is unfair.

Update: This article was used as a reference by authors at 'Journal of Molecular Pharmaceuticals and Regulatory Affairs.' Click here


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