In 1921, a British doctor discovered that members of a remote native tribe were almost totally cancer-free. But when members of this tribe move away from their native land and change their diet, they get cancer just like anyone else.
This discovery would eventually reveal the amazing truth of a little-known cancer-fighting food. It would also inspire numerous natural health pioneers to use this food to not only prevent cancer, but to treat cancer and heal it for hundreds, if not thousands, of people.
Along the way the medical establishment vilified these health pioneers and deemed the treatment quackery. Here’s the shocking story...
The “Hunzakuts” or “Hunza” people of the Himalayas have a reputation for being one of the longest-lived people in the world, often living from 100 to 120 years with great health and vitality. Cancer was virtually non-existent in the Hunza community before they were introduced to modern civilization and the modern diet.
While it would be a mistake to attribute the Hunza’s healthy lifestyle to just one thing, the fact is that their diet has been historically high in vitamin B17 — possibly the highest in the world — because apricot trees are their main crop.
In fact, the wealth of a Hunzakut man was measured by how many apricot trees he owned! And dried apricot seeds contain one of the highest sources of B17 found in food. It's not uncommon for a Hunzakut to eat 30 to 50 apricot seeds per day as a snack.
American author G. Edward Griffin, who wrote the excellent book World Without Cancer, documents that cultures around the world that eat the most B17 in their diets are the same groups that can boast an extremely low incidence of cancer.
How does B17 fight cancer?
You may have heard vitamin B17 called a number of other names such as nitriloside, apricot kernels, Laetrile (pronounced LAY-eh-tril)—its trade name — or amygdalin.
“Amygdalin” comes from the Greek word for almond. This name is appropriate considering that amygdalin is extracted from almonds or the pits of apricots and peaches.
In 1950, vitamin B17 was “rediscovered” by California physician Ernest Krebs. Two years later, his son Dr. Ernest Krebs, Jr., named it “Laetrile” after the father-son medical team discovered a connection between cancer and nutritional deficiency.
Their studies showed that a sufficient intake of Laetrile (or hydrocyanic acid in its natural form) was selectively toxic to cancer cells. This means that vitamin B17 kills cancer cells without harming normal, healthy cells.
The reason is molecular...
On a molecular level, vitamin B17 has four units — two units of glucose, one unit of benzaldehyde, and one unit of cyanide. The cyanide unit is “locked” together with the other three units so it cannot be released on its own.
When B17 comes into contact with normal cells, a protective enzyme called rhodanase neutralizes the cyanide molecule on contact. On the contrary, cancer cells have no rhodanase. Instead, they have another enzyme, beta-glucosidase, that specifically releases the cyanide, which in turn poisons the cancer cells.
So, only cancer cells possess this key that unlocks the cyanide, in a process known as selective toxicity. In the early 1950s, the father-son medical team first used amygdalin to treat cancer patients.
The work of the Krebs family was the main inspiration for another pioneering doctor, John Richardson, Sr., M.D., to begin using vitamin B17 with cancer patients in the 1970s.
Dr. Richardson was a general practitioner in San Francisco when an office assistant sparked his interest in Laetrile as a cancer cure. After reading the available resources on the subject, he became convinced that Laetrile—along with certain enzymes and a diet free of animal proteins—could form part of a “natural barrier against the growth of cancer.”
Stories of healing date back decades
In Dr. Richardson’s book, Laetrile Case Histories: The Richardson Cancer Clinic Experience, written in 1975 with Patricia Irving Griffin, R.N., B.S., they describe in detail 62 cases of successful recovery from cancer with the help of Laetrile.
The authors updated the book in 2005, with some remarkable new evidence. They tried to locate as many of the original 62 cancer patients as they could, to see if their recoveries were long-term or just a fluke. It is important to note that Patricia Griffin stated recently to Dr. Richardson’s son, John Jr., that each of the cases in the book was first diagnosed at an “orthodox” medical facility and then after treatment the cases were returned to the facility to document the eradication of the disease.
Patricia Griffin was able to find data on 33 of these old cases from the early 1970s, and most of those people lived for years after Laetrile helped clear up their cancer. They were long-term cancer survivors and then some. Here are just a few of the case histories in the book:
- Prostate cancer pulverized—a 61-year-old man was diagnosed with inoperable prostate cancer in October 1973. After beginning Laetrile the same month, he noted health improvements within 10 days! Despite being told he had little time remaining—the patient remained symptom free and lived an additional 13 years!
- Bone cancer banished— in November 1973, doctors said a six-year-old boy with cancer of the right upper arm bone and spinal column had no more than six to nine months to live. Within a month of starting metabolic therapy with Laetrile, he was able to use his arm and remove the sling. During a checkup in January 1977, Dr. Richardson reported “the arm looked so good the radiologist could not believe the child ever had osteosarcoma.” The mother confirmed in 2005 that her child had remained symptom free for 32 years! At the time of writing, this man was a healthy 54-year-old crab fisherman in Alaska.
- Cervical cancer clobbered—a doctor recommended a hysterectomy to a 49-year-old Iowa woman whose Pap smear revealed cervical cancer cells. She opted to ride a bus to California for metabolic therapy in July 1973. After only nine days of treatment, she received cancer-free Pap smear results! As of last contact in June 2005, the woman was still alive and well.
- Chronic leukemia cast out—a 53-year-old male diagnosed with lymphocytic leukemia started metabolic therapy instead of following doctors’ recommendation to watch its progression for six months. Within a week he reported greater energy and more restful sleep. After a year he remained symptom free, and a follow-up revealed that he lived for 29 years after the treatment!
Outlawed but the healing continued
You might think these success stories would motivate medical practitioners to take a second look at Laetrile, along with the other nutritional supplements and dietary changes that Dr. Richardson used.
But remember, Laetrile is a naturally occurring substance that cannot be patented. So, as Laetrile rose in popularity in the alternative cancer treatment world, the FDA, probably on behalf of Big Pharma, worked tirelessly to discredit its success in healing cancer.
In the 1970s, the FDA opposed Laetrile research and testing, unless conducted by those with an agenda to disprove Laetrile’s efficacy.
Then on September 1, 1971, the FDA announced it had found “no acceptable evidence of therapeutic effect to justify clinical trials…” Consequently, Laetrile could no longer be promoted, sold, or even tested in the U.S.
Not everyone listened, especially Dr. Richardson. So, he wasn’t surprised in the least when authorities raided his office and arrested him in June 1972 for violating California's Cancer Law.
Then, in another legal case, Dr. Richardson had to go through a longer and even more expensive trial in Federal Court in San Diego, where he was convicted of “conspiring to smuggle Laetrile” and was fined $30,000 (equal to more than $100,000 today).
Dr. Richardson’s conviction in the first trial was overturned on appeal. And two subsequent trials resulted in hung juries. Ultimately, all three cases against him were dismissed.
The legal establishment failed to stop Dr. Richardson’s medical work with Laetrile, yet the medical community continued harassing him. The California Board of Medical Quality Assurance revoked Dr. Richardson’s California medical license in 1976.
Dr. Richardson subsequently worked in a Mexican clinic and as a homeopathic practitioner in Nevada until his health deteriorated and he passed away in 1988.
But Dr. Richardson wasn’t the only one whose work was vilified. During that same time, the FDA also attacked another highly respected cancer researcher who had taken interest in this amazing natural cancer treatment.
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
researcher proves Laetrile works
There have been many tests on Laetrile over the past 30 to 40 years, but perhaps none more important than a major five-year study at the prestigious Sloan Memorial Kettering Cancer Research (SMKCR) Center in New York.
In 1972, SMKCR asked its senior cancer researcher Dr. Kanematsu Sugiura —who’d been with SMKCR since 1917 and had more than 60 years’ experience in cancer research— to conduct tests on Laetrile.
Dr. Sugiura had already published hundreds of research papers and had an impeccable reputation. In fact, the head of Sloan Kettering’s lab-testing division even wrote:
“Few if any names in cancer research are as widely known as Kanematsu Sugiura’s…. Possibly the highest regard in which his work is held is best characterized by a comment made to me by a visiting investigator in cancer research from Russia. He said, ‘when Sugiura publishes, we know we do not have to repeat the study, for we would obtain the same results he has reported’.”
At the conclusion of the trials, on June 15, 1977, Dr. Sugiura found Laetrile to be highly effective against cancers of all types. However, as over 100 reporters and half a dozen film crews from leading TV stations were assembled to hear the long-awaited official verdict on Laetrile from the world’s most prestigious cancer research center, something shocking happened.
A Dr. Robert Good began to speak, condemning Laetrile and its use. He then passed the microphone to another doctor, who had previously praised Dr. Sugiura’s work but now was droning on about the finer details of testing. It quickly became evident to all in attendance that Dr. Sugiura was not going to be given an opportunity to speak.
Suddenly a journalist shouted from the crowd, “Dr. Kenamatsu Sugiura, do you stick by your belief that Laetrile stops the spread of cancer?”
He replied, “I stick.” Dr. Sugiura explained saying, “The most interesting part is metastases. Secondary cancer growth to another location. When this mammary tumor grows to about two centimeters in diameter or more, about 80 percent develop lung metastases. But with treatment with Laetrile/Amygdalin, it’s cut down to about 20 percent.”
Manufacturing a shocking cover-up
Even more shocking, when journalists obtained meeting minutes of top SMKCR officials through the Freedom of Information Act, they learned that Sloan-Kettering officials knew the effectiveness of Laetrile. The minutes read, “...Sloan-Kettering is not enthusiastic about studying Amygdalin but would like to study cyanide releasing drugs.”
Fortunately, one group of Memorial Sloane-Kettering employees rose up in righteous indignation after discovering that their employer was stifling Dr. Sugiura’s results. They began circulating a series of open letters to the public under the name Second Opinion.
It took attacks against researchers like Dr. Sugiura and practitioners like Dr. Richardson, plus an aggressive campaign of false information, to lead most people to think Laetrile is nothing more than quackery.
But the evidence shows that’s just not true.
In addition to the work of the Laetrile pioneers you’ve just read about, Laetrile has also been studied and used successfully around the world to treat all kinds of cancer.
Long-term recovery rate of 83.3 percent
Hans Nieper, M.D. (Germany), Ernesto Contreras, M.D. (Mexico), and Manuel Navarro, M.D. (Philippines) are three other practitioners and researchers of Laetrile. All three achieved outstanding results in the treatment of cancer.
When the late Philip E. Binzel, Jr., M.D., learned of their work, he was so impressed he began practicing nutritional therapy with his own cancer patients. After 20 years of Laetrile treatments, he also wrote a book about his experiences. Dr. Binzel’s book Alive and Well documents numerous stories of those who went on to survive and thrive after Laetrile treatments.
When, after 18 years, Dr. Binzel analyzed the success of his treatments the results were amazing. He separated his patients into primary cancer and metastatic cancer groups… and then compared their outcomes to the American Cancer Society’s outcomes.
The primary cancer group had 180 patients with 30 types of cancer. After 18 years, 87.3 percent of these did NOT die of their cancer. Even assuming that the seven patients who died of unknown causes may have died from cancer, he still showed an amazing 83.3 percent long-term recovery!
In his group of metastasized cancer patients, after 18 years 70.4 percent did not die, reduced to a (still) whopping 62.1 percent when he conceded those who died of unknown causes.
Dr. Binzel’s results are incredible when compared to American Cancer Society (ACS) statistics, which show a five-year survival rate for metastatic cancer of just 20 percent on average when treated with conventional means. This statistic is taken from an ACS analysis of cancer deaths from 15 leading cancers that had metastasized outside of their original location (distant vs. regional metastasis) between 2010 and 2016.
I think I’d bet on Dr. Binzel’s odds, not those of the ACS!
But let me add that if you’re really serious about getting well, you won’t rely exclusively on Laetrile, but will use it in conjunction with other treatments and lifestyle changes as all of these Laetrile pioneers have done. As with any natural cancer treatment, Laetrile works really well for some people with some cancers.
How to get Laetrile
Here at Cancer Defeated we’ve interviewed many, many doctors and patients who have benefited from Laetrile.
The most powerful way to receive the treatments is by IV, and the easiest place to do that is at the top Mexican clinics we recommend in our Special Report, The Amish Cancer Secret. It’s extremely difficult to get IV Laetrile therapy in the United States to this day.
But if you can’t go to Mexico, you can benefit from eating foods that are rich in Laetrile, such as apricot kernels, also known as the seeds. I’ve seen credible reports of successful cancer outcomes just from eating the foods along with other natural therapies.
Apricot seeds are also a great cancer preventive and are eaten daily by many who want to prevent cancer or its reoccurrence.
What’s more, Dr. Richardson’s son, John Richardson, Jr., has continued with his father’s work to get the word out about the health benefits of Laetrile-rich apricot seeds. You can read more as well as purchase his brand of California apricot seeds from Richardson Nutritional Center on his website. You may also reach him and get a personal response by emailing him at John@RNCstore.com
Press release, HFW/FDA, Sept. 1, 1971.
"A Summary of the Effect of Amygdalin Upon Spontaneous Mammary Tumors in Mice,” Sloan-Kettering report, June 13, 1973.
G. Edward Griffin. World without Cancer: The Story of Vitamin B17, revised edition. Westlake Village, California: American Media, 1997.
Dr. Philip E. Binzel. Alive and Well: One Doctor’s Experience with Nutrition in the Treatment of Cancer Patients. Westlake Village, California: American Media, 1994. p. 111.
N.M Ellison, “Special Report on Laetrile: The NCI Laetrile Review. Results of the National Cancer Institute’s Retrospective Laetrile Analysis.” New England Journal of Medicine 299:549-52, Sept. 7, 1978.
PDQ Integrative, Alternative, and Complementary Therapies Editorial Board. Laetrile/Amygdalin (PDQ®: Health Professional Version. PDQ Cancer Information Summaries [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): National Cancer Institute (US);2002-2016 Dec 21.
Juengel E, Afschar M, Makarevic J, et al. Amygdalin blocks the in vitro adhesion and invasion of renal cell carcinoma cells by an integrin-dependent mechanism. Int J Mol Med. 2016;37:843-850. Doi: 10.3892/ijmm.2016.2454
Lee HM, Moon A. Amygdalin regulates apoptosis and adhesion in Hs578T triple-negative breast cancer cells. Biomol Ther (Seoul). 2016;24:61-66. Doi: 10.4062/biomolther.2015.172
Makarevic J, Rutz J, Juengel E, et al. Amygdalin influences bladder cancer cell adhesion and invasion in vitro. PLoS ONE. 2014;9:e110244. Doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0110244
Makarevic J, Tsaur I, Juengel E, et al. Amygdalin delays cell cycle progression and blocks growth of prostate cancer cells in vitro. Life Sci. 2016;147:137-42.doi:10.1016/j.lfs.2016.01.039
Qian L, Xie B, Wang Y, Qian J. Amygdalin-mediated inhibition of non-small cell lung cancer cell invasion in vitro. Int J Clin Exp Pathol. 2015;8:5363-5670
Editor in Chief: Lee Euler and Susan Clark Contributing Editors: Carl Lowe, Mindy Tyson McHorse, Carol Parks and Michael Sellar