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Vitamin B17 (Amygdalin)

Vitamin B17 (Amygdalin)

Amygdalin (B17) is a natural nitriloside found in certain plants that is highly and selectively toxic to cancer. It is not actually the amygdalin itself that is toxic to cancer cells but rather the way in which the cancer cells metabolize amygdalin.

Amygdalin works by targeting and killing cancer cells because of the unique enzyme ratios they have that are the opposite in healthy cells.

This is quite different from the way that healthy cells metabolize it; hence different metabolites are released into the healthy, non-cancerous cell rendering amygdalin non-toxic to healthy cells while deadly for cancer cells.

Amygdalin is a molecule that consists of glucose (sugar)-HCN (hydrogen cyanide)-benzaldehyde.

Beta-glucuronidase is an enzyme that breaks off the glucose from the amygdalin molecule and thereby releases HCN (highly toxic) and benzaldehyde (highly toxic & relieves pain).

Cyanide blocks an enzyme, cytochrome c oxidase in the electron transport chain inside the mitochondria. Mitochondria are the little organelles inside each cell that uses oxygen to burn glucose to make energy.  The product produced is ATP, which is the molecule that carries and releases energy in all biological systems.

As a result of cyanide, the cell can no longer use this necessary mechanism to produce energy and the cancerous cell dies.

If rhodamine, another enzyme is present, it adds a small molecule, called a thiol to the cyanide (HCN) turning it into thiocyanate, a relatively non-toxic molecule, which is excreted into the urine.

Thiocyanate is stored for the most part in the thyroid gland. When the thiocyanate level is high, the iodine content of the gland falls, hence the production of thyroid hormone decreases.

This is only one of several reasons that people with cancer have low functioning thyroid glands and therefore have what is known as hypothyroidism. Increasing the intake of iodine, either by supplements or in food, iodine can be kept at desirable levels and thyroid function restored. This explains why iodine is so important in amygdalin cancer therapy.

Benzaldehyde binds cholesterol and other lipids (fats) that make up the cell membrane producing holes and thereby destroys the cancer cell.

Benzaldehyde also inhibits the mitochondrial enzyme ATPase, which blocks the conversion of the ATP into ADP and thereby aerobic glycolysis by decreasing glucose consumption of the tumor cell.  The energy source for anaerobic glycolysis is therefore blocked.

Benzaldehyde additionally produces peroxides in the cancer cell, which is incapable of neutralizing the peroxide due to the deficiency of the enzyme, catalase.

Therefore, not only the cyanide ion but the peroxides produced by the benzaldehyde destroy the cancer cell by causing it to break apart (lysis).

Benzaldehyde produces a change in the permeability to sodium and potassium of the nerve membranes causing a reduction in the influx of sodium hence nerve activity is diminished, resulting in a decrease in pain.

Benzaldehyde also results in the formation of methemoglobin, which has a local anesthetic effect, hence another mechanism contributing to the pain relief associated with amygdalin therapy.

Cancer cells contain relatively high concentrations of beta- glucuronidase (an enzyme) because they need to be able to extract as much glucose (sugar) as possible to maintain their energy levels.

In fact, cancer cells need 19 times more glucose than healthy cells.

Healthy cells do not contain high concentrations of beta- glucuronidase because their glucose needs are adequately satisfied through other normal channels.

Cancer cells have a relatively low concentration of the enzyme rhodanase.

Normal cells have much higher concentrations of rhodanase compared to the amounts of beta- glucuronidase that they contain.


Healthy, non-cancerous cells contain higher levels of rhodanase than beta- glucuronidase, any cyanide that is released is quickly converted into thiocyante and eliminated in the urine.  Cancer cells, on the other hand, having the opposite enzyme ratios, that is high concentrations of beta- glucuronidase and low concentrations of rhodanase and are therefore unable to neutralize most of the cyanide and are killed.

The benzaldehyde that is released during these reactions, results in moderate pain relief, thus decreasing the need for narcotics or other synthetic pain medicine.

Chatchai Sribundit, M.D.

Dr. Chatchai Sribundit is the distinguished founder of Akesis Life. His education, training and community support is highly regarded worldwide. Dr. Chatchai traveled extensively during the past two decades in order to bring the best possible integrative cancer treatments to Thailand. His primary concern is the well-being of his patients through kindness and care.

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