Dr. Ernest Krebs was a biochemist in the early 1950s whose desire to understand what makes cancer cells work led him to discover a possible key to overcoming the disease. Working on a hunch that cancer is ultimately a metabolic reaction to a poor diet, Krebs began studying the lifestyle habits of the Hunzas whose remote country is hidden near Northern Pakistan.
The Hunzas and Apricot Kernels
Major Sir Robert McCarrison wrote about the Hunzas back in the 1930s when he had a post with the Indian Medical Service. According to McCarrison, the Hunzas enjoyed near-perfect physical and mental health and some of them lived to be over 135 years old. There seemed to be no evidence of diabetes, obesity, or heart attacks among them as well. There was also no evidence of cancer.
What made the Hunzas so resilient? Their vitality had a lot to do with what they ate and their overall lifestyle. Their diet was simple. According to McCarrison, it consisted of raw milk, the occasional meat and bone broth, fresh grains and veggies. They ate very little sugar and their lifestyles as nomads and herders meant they got plenty of vigorous exercise. The other characteristic was that the group ate large quantities of apricot seed kernels. Intrigued by this peculiarity, Krebs researched until he found what he thought was the secret weapon for tumor eradication – amygdalin.
What is Amygdalin?
Amygdalin is a compound that is found in over 1200 edible plants in nature (and, not surprisingly, is also missing in large part from the Standard American Diet). It is found in the highest concentrations and with the most effective accompanying enzymes in apricot seed kernels.
The substance laetrile was created by Dr. Krebs as a concentrated form of amygdalin that is obtained by extracting it from apricot kernels. Amygdalin is a nitriloside and its structure most resembles that of a B complex vitamin, so Krebs named it B17.
What Makes Apricot Kernels a Cancer Killer?
Amygdalin found in apricot kernels and laetrile contains four potent substances: two of which are benzaldehyde and cyanide. You heard that right! Cyanide is one of the substances that makes apricot kernels a force to be reckoned with when it comes to beating cancer, including breast cancer.
Many healthy foods, such as bitter almonds, millet, sprouts, lima beans, spinach and bamboo shoots, actually have quantities of cyanide in them, yet they are still safe to eat. This is because the cyanide remains “locked” within the substance and is therefore harmless when bound within other molecular formations. In addition, rhodanese is an enzyme in the body whose job is to “catch” any free cyanide molecules that may have escaped and render them harmless.
Cancer cells are not normal cells, however; they contain beta-glucosidase, which healthy cells do not. Beta-glucosidase is also the “unlocking enzyme” for the cyanide and benzaldehyde in amygdalin molecules. When the beta-glucosidase in a cancer cell unlocks an amygdalin molecule, a toxic synergy is created that specifically targets cancer cells. With the help of rhodanese and other protective enzymes, healthy cells are not jeopardized by this process.
Laetrile: A Potentially Powerful Cancer Therapy
Laetrile was readily obtainable prior to 1971 when the FDA banned it in the US. Although it is not impossible to obtain laetrile, these days apricot kernels are the easiest way to ingest amygdalin. They are easy to obtain at health food stores or online and are also fairly inexpensive.
Clinics exist outside of the US where B17 or laetrile therapy is still administered.Laetrile is often used in addition to other therapies such as sodium bicarbonate.4
If you feel that B17 therapy is the way to go for you, be sure to get the facts about dosage and possible side effects. Talk to your integrated medical practitioner about your particular situation.
While the mystery may remain as to the main cause for the Hunza’s amazing vitality, one thing is for certain: their simple and stress-free way of eating, working, interacting and moving their bodies have made them examples of the health that YOU are capable of having when you take proactive steps to heal your body naturally.