Vitamin B17, also known as Amygdalin, is basically a glycoside. Initially, it was isolated from the seeds of the tree Prunus dulcis, also known as bitter almonds, by Pierre-Jean Robiquet and A.F. Boutron-Charlard. The extraction took place in the year 1803 and was followed by a thorough investigation of the glycoside, by Liebig and Wöhler, in 1830. Also known as Laetrile or nitrilosides, vitamin B17 is believed to prevent as well as cure cancer and contain anti-cancer properties. However, till date, there has been no conclusive evidence of the same. In the following lines, we have provided information on the sources, functions and deficiency of vitamin B17, along with its health benefits.
Recommended Daily Intake
The recommended daily intake for a person, in context of vitamin B17, is somewhere around 100 mg/day.
- It has been claimed that vitamin B17 has certain medicinal properties that make it useful in the treatment as well as prevention of cancer.
- It helps in reducing the pain associated with arthritis.
- Intake of vitamin B17 has been found to help lower high blood pressure, thereby reducing the risk of certain serious medical conditions, such as hemorrhagic strokes.
- With effective results in reducing inflammation in the body, vitamin B17 largely acts as a useful analgesic; thus, improving the condition of patients suffering from inflammatory diseases, like rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s disease.
- Adequate intake of vitamin B17 is beneficial in maintaining the normal pH level, as abnormal pH levels are known to create a toxic environment for the body’s organs, thereby resulting in organ failure and even death.
- It helps maintain the general health and well being of a person.
- It strengthens the body’s ability to resist infections like colds and flu.
- Vitamin B17 is a good source for boosting and strengthening the immune system of the body.
- The apricot seed is known to be the richest source of vitamin B17. However, there are a large number of other fruits seeds containing vitamin B17 in significant quantities. Some of them include apples, apricots, cherries, nectarines, peaches, grapes, plums, wild crabapples, pears, squash, and prunes.
- Many berry fruits are also packed with vitamin B17. These include currants, gooseberries, quince, cranberries, Swedish cranberries, loganberries, huckleberries, boysenberries, elderberries, mulberries, strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries. Jams, fruit preserves, and other foods that contain seeds can be purchased to ingest vitamin B17 content in the fruit seeds. Wild berries contain the highest amount of this cancer-fighting nutrient.
- Grains and nuts are also excellent sources of vitamin B17. Effective grains include barley, buckwheat, flax, and millets, while essential nuts comprise of bitter almonds, cashew nuts, and macadamia nuts.
- Sprouts and tubers supply a good amount of vitamin B17 to the body. Bamboo sprouts is a rich source of vitamin B17, while alfalfa, garbanzo fava, and mung sprouts contain this nutrient in medium quantities. Sweet potatoes, yams, and cassava are some vitamin B17 rich tubers.
- Leaves and beans, when served in the form of soups or incorporated in side dishes, provide vitamin B17 in high amounts. Leaves that are rich sources of this nutrient include beet greens, spinach, watercress, alfalfa, and eucalyptus. Whereas, black beans, green peas, lima beans, kidney beans, fava beans, garbanzo beans, black-eyed peas, and lentils are popular vitamin B17 providing beans.
- Other food products that contain a high concentration of vitamin B17 are Brewers yeast, brown rice, butter beans, wheat grass, walnuts, cranberries, linseed meat, pecans, and sorghum cane syrup.
- People can be, at large, sensitive to vitamin B17 and hence, they may complain of side effects, like headache or weakness, on consumption of this nutrient. To get rid of these symptoms, one can take lemon, grapefruit, grape or orange juice.
- When taken without proper medical consultation, oral intake of vitamin B17 can result in lethal toxicity, causing cyanide poisoning or even death. Other possible adverse effects include skin irritation, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, coma and low blood pressure.
To extract the maximum benefits of vitamin B17 without the risk of contracting harmful effects, it is best to see a qualified medical practitioner regarding its dosage.