B17-- Anti-Cancer Hope or Dangerous Supplement?

Sometimes people get desperate when they're facing a health scare. They're willing to do anything, eat anything, drink anything, and take anything that might make their disease go away. I understand this feeling too well as I face the reality that my breast cancer may come back. 

And yet the traditional physicians I've been seeing through my diagnosis, surgeries, and treatment processes, don't have much to give me in terms of dietary, fitness, or lifestyle tips. There are plenty of pharmaceuticals I can take to manage my cancer, but what can I do on my own, at very little cost and effort, to make my body as strong as it can be to do its part to fight off the disease? 

B17, Laetrile, or bitter apricot kernels, are one way many people (with cancer or pre-cancer) are taking matters into their own hands. I personally have chosen to take 14 kernels a day for my cancer treatment/prevention, but I realize it is a controversial choice with heated opinions in both camps. Read on for info from both sides of the debate.

I first heard about B17 in alternative cancer treatment circles. It is widely accepted and used by just about everyone I've spoken to and read about who are treating their cancers holistically or naturally. It's recommended that the kernels be organic, raw, and bitter rather than sweet. Generally, daily dosages start from 2 for every 10 lbs of body weight. A more aggressive protocol calls for between 24 to 40 kernels a day, spread throughout the day. 

According to the website cancertutor.com, the theory is that "Laetrile works by targeting and killing cancer cells and building the immune system to fend off future outbreaks of cancer." It's important to stay on the protocol consistently once you start, because the build-up of B17 in the system is crucial to the destruction of the cancer cells.

Many cancer patients cross the border South to Mexico to get aggressive IV treatments. Others take laetrile/B17 pills. The bitter apricot kernels I use (Optimally Organic Bitter Apricot Kernels) are deemed "food" and so are considered more "pure" by many proponents. 

Laetrile, or B17 therapy is NOT approved by the FDA. In fact, the levels of cyanide (the most active ingredient in laetrile) worry most traditional health care practitioners. Cyanide is a potent chemical compound that is toxic to the body, and poisoning is the biggest concern. Studies on the potency of B17 and cancer are old and incomplete. No new large-scale studies have been conducted. With this in mind, most traditional docs will recommend you stay away from this alternative treatment.

It's tough when there's not scientific proof a treatment is effective. It's also tough when the only option to treat a disease is to take a pharmaceutical, whether in pill form or through chemotherapy. After consulting with a traditional doctor and a naturopathic doctor, (who will have opposing views about this and other treatments), it is ultimately up to YOU do decide what's best for YOU.  This goes with EVERY health care decision you make. 

Check out my "Ten Tips for Optimal Health" for list of less controversial things you can do to be proactive with your health.

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Oh, and here's a video I made about the B17 topic.

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