Laetrile is commonly wrongly called amygdalin or vitamin B17.

Rather, it's a drug that contains purified amygdalin — a compound found within the seeds or kernels of the many fruits, raw nuts, beans, and other plant foods.

Laetrile is best called a controversial treatment for cancer. However, there's little scientific evidence to support this hefty claim.

This article explains everything you would like to understand about laetrile, backed by science.

What is Laetrile?

Laetrile is a drug that contains purified amygdalin. it's converted by the body into hydrogen cyanide, which is claimed to be the source of its suggested anticancer effects.

How Does it Work?

The body breaks down laetrile into three compounds: compound, benzaldehyde, and prunasin.

Hydrogen cyanide appears to be the most compound responsible for its health benefits. it's also thought to be the first anticancer ingredient in laetrile.

Certain enzymes within the body convert compound into a less toxic molecule called thiocyanate. This molecule was previously used to treat blood pressure, because it may dilate blood vessels.

There are four possible theories on how laetrile may fight cancer, though these theories aren't supported by scientific evidence.

Two theories in the past, state that cancer cells are rich in enzymes that convert the laetrile into cyanide. Since cyanide kills cells, this means that cancer cells may break down laetrile and kill cancer.

However, there's no evidence that cancer cells contain the enzymes that help convert laetrile into cyanide.

On the other hand, the third theory finds that a lack of deficiency in vitamin B17 (amygdalin) caused cancer.

No evidence proves that amygdalin is really a vitamin. it's also not naturally found within the body, and your body can't be deficient in amygdalin.

The last theory proposes that the compound, which is formed by breaking down laetrile, will make cancer cells more acidic and cause them to die.

But hydrogen cyanide doesn't differentiate and may also kill healthy cells also as cancer cells.

Potential Benefits of Laetrile

While most of the research on laetrile focuses on its effects on cancer, some studies have found that amygdalin, the natural sort of laetrile, may have other health benefits.

Here are a couple of possible health benefits of amygdalin:

  • It may lower blood pressure: In one study, amygdalin helped lower systolic vital sign (upper value) by 28.5% and diastolic vital sign (lower value) by 25%. These effects were enhanced when crazy vitamin C.
  • It may relieve pain: Several animal studies show that amygdalin may help relieve pain caused by inflammatory conditions, like arthritis. However, there's a lack of human-based evidence during this area.
  • It may boost immunity: A test-tube study found that amygdalin improved the power of immune cells to adhere to prostate cancer cells.
  • Keep in mind that the benefits above are only supported by weak evidence.
Author's Bio: 

Usman Raza is the co-founder of a Church Marketing Company and marketing strategist working with various brands online. Usman is the content marketing manager at an Email Marketing Agency, PSD to WordPress Theme, and Nano Hearing Aids. He is devoted to helping small businesses bridge success gaps by providing in-depth, actionable advice on digital marketing, SEO, and small business growth. Follow him on Twitter @usmanintrotech.