How poisonous are peach seeds?

This post was triggered by someone reaching here with the search “What is inside peach seeds that’s poison”. I almost decided to laugh about it like on all other silly search phrases leading here, but then figured I should at least check if maybe it’s not silly.

And it turns out that peach seeds actually contain Cyanide, in the form of Amygdalin.

Is that a problem? Well, theoretically yes, but not really.

The amounts aren’t very big, with “One hundred grams of moist peach seed contains 88 mg of cyanide,
while an equivalent amount of apricot seed holds 217 mg.”

A single peach fruit of course doesn’t have nearly as much as a hundred grams of seed. But how dangerous is that amount, as a high level reference?

If they’re not talking about pure cyanide, but about the Amygdalin, not at all. The thing is used in anti-cancer medications (doesn’t work, BTW) in higher amounts, and studies found no side-effects in taking 500mg three times a day. Which would be about 1.7Kg of just the peach’s seeds per day. Not realistic.

If they’re talking about the pure cyanide extracted from it, that’s more dangerous. But still not that big a deal. Research shows 10.8mg per Kg of body weight per day is NOAEL (i.e. known to be safe). So for a petite person weighing 50Kg this would be about 610g of peach seeds, per day. And that’s before any adverse effects of long-time usage appear, and still very far from chocking and instant death.

People rarely eat a peach seed by mistake, usually the pit/stone is too tough to open and expose the seeds. And it’s too large to be swallowed whole by a person. So a seed will only be eaten when the stone is cracked, and one accidentally slips out, and accidentally swallowed.

Compared with the massive amount of seeds a person will have to eat to get to the critical level, I’d say it’s not that big a concern. Heck, eating 600g of whole peaches a day would be a hard task. So that amount of just the seeds? The boredom and frustration, not to mention the horrible taste, will kill a person first.

Or am I missing something?

230 Responses to “How poisonous are peach seeds?”

  1. Dan Ditts says:

    Is their any nutrition in mango seeds like in almond seeds.

  2. Dan Ditts says:

    Is their any nutrition in mango seeds, like in almond seeds

  3. Post author comments:

    Hello Dan,

    I don’t really know about the nutritional value of mango seeds, if any. I believe they don’t have any significant nutritional value, but that’s nothing more than an uneducated guess.

  4. James says:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_depth/sci_tech/2000/festival_of_science/913463.stm

    The Peach seed contains the vitamin B-17, cancer cells attack the B-17 molecule and release the cyanide
    atom which will kill the cancer cell.
    Not all of the cancercells at once of course but you get the idea..

    Proven fact is that cancer cells attack B-17.
    B-17 is broken down en releases the cyanide.
    When this happens the cyanide will kill the cancer cell…

    Dont believe me? This is not some cheap joke.
    Find out yourself: http://search.msn.com/results.aspx?FORM=TOOLBR&q=cancer+cyanide+peach

  5. Post author comments:

    Hello, James.

    As far as I could see there was never any study which shown Amygdalin/Laetrile (what tired to pass as “Vitamin B-17″) to be helpful for cancer treatment, or which showed it to be a necessary vitamin for humans. There were, however, a few studies showing that it wasn’t helpful, and that it has problematical side-effects.

    And cancer cells do not in any way “attack” Amygdalin/Laetrile/B-17 molecules. Even the claims that support using it for cancer treatment only go as far as to say that it works on accidental contact.

    It doesn’t sound like a cheap joke, but like a rather expensive publicity work, combined with the understandable desire of cancer patients to try anything at all, however unlikely, because they have nothing to lose.

    See http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/cam/laetrile/Patient/page2 and, well, any search like the one you specified, but screening for official sources.

  6. Amanda says:

    I’ve come across your site with a similar search, for peach seeds cyanide.

    In my gluttony today I ate a nectarine and didn’t go to the trouble of cutting out the pit, preferring to simply eat around it. The pit was cracked and I ended up accidentally eating part of one of the seeds. When I did a google search for peach seeds, I found out they have cyanide in them, and proceeded to freak out and call the poison control center. Now that I have calmed down considerably, I’ve come to your site with a new google search to confirm all the information the very nice lady on the phone gave me to allay my fears of cyanide poisoning.

    It seems the seeds are also used as an herbal remedy: http://www.acupuncturetoday.com/herbcentral/peachseed.html

    I can’t say I intend to intentionally eat any more of them though.

  7. Post author comments:

    Hi Amanda,

    Yes, accidentally eating a pit should be perfectly safe. And I would like to believe that if eating a pit of one accidentally would have been dangerous, they’d have been much harder to get on the supermarket.

    I’m curious, though, how did it taste like? I sometime find cracked pits, but the content seems unsavoury enough that I never bothered tasting…

  8. Amanda says:

    It was just part of one of the seeds that are usually inside the pit that I ate (the seed was sticking out of the pit). The texture is pretty similar to an almond and the taste is similar as well, only a bit more bitter.

  9. Post author comments:

    Doesn’t sound too bad then, apart from the, erm, “nutritional” scare.
    Thanks.

  10. Matthew says:

    Well I just came upon this site after sampling the peach kernel and because of the the bitter aftertaste chose to google to learn more. The initial first glance of the word “cyanide” was comforting – not! But after reading more I am now quite relieved! As for the taste & smell? It looked like an almond which piqued my interest having just consumed some of those prior to the peach. The kernel meat was soft and had a strong initial taste and smell of marzipan (which I love) but the aftertaste screams “don’t eat any more – yuck”! You won’t see this nut featured in any candy bar!

  11. Post author comments:

    Oh, well. There goes my dream of obtaining glory and riches by starting a caramelized peach seeds industry…

  12. Dean says:

    “Hello, James.

    As far as I could see there was never any study which shown Amygdalin/Laetrile (what tired to pass as “Vitamin B-17″) to be helpful for cancer treatment, or which showed it to be a necessary vitamin for humans. There were, however, a few studies showing that it wasn’t helpful, and that it has problematical side-effects.

    And cancer cells do not in any way “attack” Amygdalin/Laetrile/B-17 molecules. Even the claims that support using it for cancer treatment only go as far as to say that it works on accidental contact.

    It doesn’t sound like a cheap joke, but like a rather expensive publicity work, combined with the understandable desire of cancer patients to try anything at all, however unlikely, because they have nothing to lose.

    See http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/cam/laetrile/Patient/page2 and, well, any search like the one you specified, but screening for official sources.”

    It might be true that, the reaction between B17 and cancer cells is unknown, but there are solated tribes and peoples around the world who do not have cancer and their diet is rich in B17. Also I would find hard to believe an official source that is driven primarily by the pharmaceutical lobby.

  13. Post author comments:

    That “isolated tribes around the world” claim is very problematical. These claims are usually based on nothing beyond a general assumption that there are strange isolated tribes all over the place and that some different things happen there.
    I’ll be happy to see any solid report of a tribe with a diet rich in B17 and that shows after a long study that they do not suffer from cancer. There usually aren’t any such studies.
    Even if there were, isolated tribes aren’t helpful, because there are so many different things involved. They entire diet is often different, containing many things most other people don’t eat, and lacking others most people eat. There is no way to isolate something like a single nutrient. So all you can show is a correlation, but no causation. And it’s even a weak correlation at that, since that tribe is probably rather small.

    I absolutely agree that the funding behind research is important. This is why on most studies these days researchers list possible mixed interests.
    But in this particular case most of the studies seem not to be directed by the pharmaceutical companies. And they also show that this is not an effective treatment. It seems that the only research actually showing reaction between “B17″ and cancer is the one funded by the companies selling the compound as a cure, so there’s certainly a basis for scrutiny there.
    Unless you are trying to say that the US National Institute of Health, or the US Government, are driven primarily by the pharmaceutical lobby? If that is your claim, well, it puts you in a problem since you’d be hard pressed to find many unrelated, yet serious and official, research. But companies without a different cure for cancer don’t have an interest to lie about one that works. If they would, they would twist the research to show that it does work, and will sell it themselves. No?

  14. Charlotte says:

    I used to eat peach seeds when I was a child because I liked them. They have an almond-like flavor. I think I was about ten when my uncle told me they were poison and I should leave them alone. Since I’ still around 40+ yrs later, I don’t think they harmed me in any way, however I did listen to my uncle and quit eating them.

  15. Wil Welsh says:

    I ate a nectarine seed today. The outer shell was cracked in half when I got to it so I figured new food. It had a white core & a brown textured skin. It tasted kinda like almond oil used in baking cakes. It had a strange chemicaly aftertaste & I figured I’d look up if it was safe to eat or not….. Lead me to a toxic plants page & then here. Oh no :(

  16. Post author comments:

    They’re mildly toxic, but apparently not too dangerous if you don’t constantly eat huge amounts.

    But, Wil, given the bad aftertaste why the sad face?

  17. Mike says:

    I really like the flavor of Peach seeds. They taste very much like Amaretto. When I eat peaches, I always hope for a cracked-open pit. I was telling a friend about how good they taste, and he told me that they were poison. I initiated a web search to check it out. I found several sites that listed peach pits as poison, but none with much explanation — except this one. This makes sense. Thank you.

  18. Post author comments:

    You’re welcome, of course, if I helped any.
    Do you not feel the aftertaste which everyone else mentioned, or is it that it simply doesn’t bother you?

  19. Debi says:

    I inherited an old cookbook, “Favorite Recipes of America” My book is Volume I, and is the Desserts volume. It has a blue and yellow plaid cover, and has a picture of a strawberry shortcake on the front. Some pages are missing, so my book begins with page 113, sans the publisers info. On page 123 there is actually a recipe for Peach Seed Nut Cookies. I always wondered what these nuts were, since I had never seen one. Being curious I decided to do a Google search and found your site. Just for a curiousity, here is the recipe. Obviously, I can’t reccomend it due to potential toxicity. Although, I might yet try it made with almonds instead.

    “Peach Seed Nut Cookies
    1 1/2 c. sugar
    1/2 c. shortening
    2 eggs
    3 c. flour
    1/2 tsp. soda mixed with 3 tbsp. flour
    1/2 c. sour milk or buttermilk
    Dash of nutmeg
    1/4 to 1/2 c. peach seed nuts, chopped fine
    1/8 tsp. salt
    Cream sugar and shortening; beat in eggs. Add flour and soda mixture alternatley with milk; mix until light and fluffy. Add remaining ingredients; drop from teaspoon onto cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees 12 to 15 mintues, until light in color. Let cookies mellow in tightly covered can for 1 week. Yield 4-5 dozen cookies.
    Eva B. King, York Pa., York Inter-State Fair ”
    *A blue ribbon appearing above this recipe indicates that it won a ribbon at the above mentioned fair.

    BTW- This old book has some interesting recipes from assorted Home Economics Teachers, Fair competition winners, and even a recipe for Cherry Coke Dessert by Governor Lurleen Wallace, Montgomery, Alabama, who was the wife of George Wallace.

  20. Nick Genovese says:

    Hi,

    I’ve always been interested in the nutritional value of fruit and vegetable seeds, such as the seeds in bell peppers, the seeds in peaches, etc. Is there a website that discusses these matters in general?
    Nick Genovese

  21. Karl says:

    Some animals even break open the stone to eat the seed inside. I have been eating them for many years. Apple seeds, apricot seeds, peach seeds, etc. I have had no problems. I tend to worry more about the chemicals in toothpaste (do a search on flouride), chlorine in our water drinking (however it’s necessary), pesticides (it kills insects but does us no harm?) accidentaly breathing in the gas vapors at the pumps, air fresheners, you get the idea. The fact is we are surrounded by chemicals everywhere. I What about seeds on the strawberry? Cucumber? Watermelon? Sunflower? I have cancer that runs on both sides of my family. So far I haven’t gotten it, at least the doctors tests say I haven’t. Coincidence? Maybe.

  22. Janice&Bruce says:

    We ate a nectarine seed today and thought it was yummy, are we going to DIE

  23. Post author comments:

    @Debie – An actual recipe, that’s surprising. It seems potentially good, I may try it with almonds myself. Thanks!

    I wonder how old that books is…

    @Nick – Sorry, I really don’t know that. The few locations I’m familiar with who publish nutritional values don’t go into most seeds. I expect there aren’t many attempts to determine the nutritional values of things most people don’t eat, or eat in very small quantities.

    @Karl – Yes, there is no shortage of poisons and damaging chemicals around us.

    The other seeds you specify, since they actually are eaten a lot, probably don’t contain anything which is known (at least now) to be dangerous. Or at least not something which is considered by the public to be scary, like cyanide is.

    As for your lack of cancer, it’s hard to determine the relevancy one way or the other. But hopefully, whether it’s just chance or some specific reason, you’ll keep on being free of it.

    @Janice&Bruce – Yes, you are going to die.
    But it very probably won’t be today, won’t be for a long long time, and will almost certainly not be related to that seed.

    I do like your sense of humor, though.

  24. Matt says:

    Actually, I am more inclined to believe that the effects of the peach that are believed to prevent cancer are real, but the effects are lost in an attempt to “synthesize”, or turn it into a drug. Not everything can be helped by a pill. How many of these substances that show promise in their natural form, are distributed as “medicine” with undue side effects?

    I believe that the intial speculation for this phenonmena (B17 fighting cancer) came from studies of real people in cultures who regularly eat the seeds of fruit, and were found to have zero (or near zero) cases of cancer – even as opposed to their non-seed-eating contemporaries in the same general region. The idea has been around for quite a while. It’s not new.

  25. Post author comments:

    Hi Matt,

    I don’t recall seeing any such serious studies. I don’t even recall seeing any such non-serious studies, though these are easier to do even while they mean a lot less. Granted, I haven’t exactly looked too hard. But simply believing that such studies were made, and that there were made properly and are valid, without any proof to it, doesn’t work for me. I want to see a few, or even one, and to see that they were made properly.

    As for how long the idea has been around, that doesn’t give it any validity. There are, to take one of the extreme examples, quite a few religions around. Most of them has been around for a lot more than this one idea. And they can’t all be true. The world is full of old ideas who are not true, or have no basis in fact.

    It is true that many helpful compounds use their effects during the current processes of attempting to synthesize them. It happens with quite a lot of things which are healthy in the natural form, and do nothing in pills. Sometimes the synthesis process isn’t right, and sometimes the effect comes from more than the single compound. But I’d like to see some proof that this so called B17 actually does something in its natural form, before jumping to conclusions on why it doesn’t do so in pills…

  26. Rebecca W says:

    I am a student of Oriental Medicine and have recently had to do research on the toxicity of Peach and Apricot kernels. Of course I must also take the view of Western Medicine and the chemical composition into consideration, but I will share with you what I’ve learned about Peach kernels if any of you should find it useful.

    Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) commonly uses Tao Ren (peach kernels) to break up blood stasis (think blood mover) and it also moistens the intestines to unblock the bowels for constipation due to dry intestines. As far as it being used for cancer, I’ve never heard talk of that at school or in any Oriental Medicine books, must be a Western concept.

    TOXICITY: Peach kernels are contraindicated (not to be used) by pregnant women. Because of its amygdalin contect, this herb is toxic. When digested, cyanide is created. The human body can process small amounts of cyanide over a latent period (2-2.5 hours). The toxicity depends on the species, the processing (peeled kernels and cooked kernels are less toxic), and the method of administration (decoctions are less toxic than ingestion of unprepared kernels), as well as the length of time that it is chewed and the pH of the gastric juice. For children under five years of age, 5-10 kernels are sufficient to cause side effects; 20 kernels can be lethal. The TCM dosage used for treatment of disease is 4.5-9g, over a 1-2 day period depending on the individual’s constitution and disease pattern.

    Like most things, when used in moderation it will be beneficial, and when too much is used it will not. Anyone taking a bottle of tylenol can expect to not feel well, same concept applies to peach kernels. They are considered medicinal which means they are not meant to be used casually in our daily diet, they are used to treat certain patterns and conditions and are not meant for everyone.

    Dosages are from Dan Bensky’s Materia Medica.

  27. Benjamin says:

    I also have consumed peach and apricot pits since childhood,I’m age 68 now. I have seen information that apple seeds contain a quantity of arsenic. I mash those to facilitate digestion,the taste and odor are much the same as peach pits. It is my understanding that we humans require trace amounts of some of these “toxics”, but I would not advise anyone to consume them without some forethought. Respectfully, Ben

  28. Post author comments:

    @Rebecca: Thanks for the information.
    Though 20 kernels should really not come even remotely close to being lethal.

  29. Susan says:

    I was doing a sort of sensory experiment of eating an apple very “consciously” ( I was bored on a long train trip ) I went so far as to eat the seeds on purpose. They tasted pleasantly of almond. It makes me wonder whether apples are obscurely related to pit fruit like peaches and plums. The leaves and flowere are similar after all. Any family connection beyond the flavor of cyanide? Why do the plants put cyanide in their seeds anyway? Botanists out there anywhere?

  30. Piet Van Allen says:

    “Blood Stasis”? Hardly a real condition, except in the heart-stilled dead.

    Laetrile, fake B vitamin, whatever the hell you call it, is a SCAM. Or, would you like to fund my recovery of Nigereian bank millions due to me through my Chinese/Aborigine ancestors who died in a boat sinking tragedy in East Jerusalem last Tuesday?

    Peach pits, etc., are all related to almonds, so the taste of almond, or bitter almond (Mrs. Marple says, “Cyanide, Inspector!”) is what you ought to expect.

    Could bitter cyanide keep birds, etc., from digesting seeds? Could it keep seeds safe from some mold or other rotting before it manages to sprout and develop an immune system? Anyway, the cyanide in apple seeds ought to taste like other cyanide, I guess. Or was it arsenic? A bit of everything? YUM! Apples are supposed to be related to roses – imagine a rose hip as a crappy crabapple, and it will make sense. You can make rosehip tea, too. I think it has vitamin C in it. Apple juice doesn’t unless it is un-heated, or it is added in again later. Check your label, it’s mostly sugarwater, like that old Gerber’s scam.

  31. Post author comments:

    Any family connection beyond the flavor of cyanide?
    Family connection is exactly right. They’re both of the family “Rosaceae”.
    On the other hand, it’s a huge family. Peaches, Plums, and Almonds are closer, and share a sub family “Amygdaloideae”. Which I suppose relates to the Amygdalin, the form of Cyanide in the pits.

    Why do the plants put cyanide in their seeds anyway?

    I’m not a botanist, but a first guess would be for protection. Plants want the fruit eaten, and the seeds left alone. A hard shell is one solution, but making them less edible should also help. I expect most small insects or rodents could take a lot less cyanide than a much more massive human.

    “Blood Stasis”? Hardly a real condition, except in the heart-stilled dead.

    Well, she was speaking about Chinese medicine. So not knowing much about it (besides being pretty certain, like you are, that it mostly doesn’t work) I can’t say what exactly the term refers to.

    Laetrile, fake B vitamin, whatever the hell you call it, is a SCAM.

    Yep.

  32. the dude says:

    Stone fruits of the genus Prunus typically contain poisonous hydrocyanic (prussic) acid (HCN) in the pits and foliage. Since the poisonous cyanide is combined with one or more sugars, these molecules are referred to as cyanogenetic glucosides. If you crush the leaves of a stone fruit tree, such as a cherry or apricot, you can smell the faint, almond-like odor of cyanide. The effects of hydrocyanic acid (cyanide) on the human body is disastrous because it inhibits the action of the vital enzyme cytochrome oxidase during cellular respiration. Without the oxidation of glucose, ATP production ceases. Therefore, HCN poisoning is essentially asphyxiation at the cellular level, because oxygen is not utilized at key steps in the Kreb’s (citric acid) cycle. The cells thus die from lack of oxygen even though oxygen is plentiful in the blood. As little as 0.06 gram has caused death in some people. This is why it is considered unwise to dine on the seeds inside the pits of stone fruits. The exception appears to be almonds; however, some people feel that almonds should be consumed in moderation. The cyanogenetic glucoside found in the seeds of apricots, bitter almonds, cherries and plums is called amygdalin. It is used in the preparation of Laetrile, a highly controversial, alternative treatment for certain cancers.

    And in order for you to get the lethal cyanide from the peach stone or seed you would have to crush it and extract it. Also you would only need 6 grams of peach seed to extract the supposed lethal amount for some people.

  33. Yahya says:

    My Grandma was a champion jam maker, and passed the tradition on to all her seven children. She insisted that apricot jam without the pits (cracked and shelled kernels) was just not good enough; and the same for peaches and nectarines, but not for all stone fruit: she never added plum pits. My Mum hated the taste, though, and she would only add a half-dozen or so apricot pits to a big boiler of jam (6 to 8 pounds of fruit) to oblige us. On the other hand, Grandma would use *every* pit in the fruit. And I still like it like that. If I ever buy a commercial apricot jam, it tastes insipid. Yes, I like almonds, and quite often eat a couple of dozen at once for a snack.

  34. Post author comments:

    @the dude – Thank you for the information.
    The only bit I have a problem with is the lethal amounts you specify. It doesn’t seem to fit what documentation I did see, as well as with personal experience by many people. A single pit of a peach is usually more massive than 6 grams…

    @Yahya – Doesn’t it require filtering the jam afterwards to make sure no parts of the kernel shell remain? Most home-made jams leave the fruit pulp inside, but that is no problem since it’s soft. But I expect the pits aren’t really softened by the cooking, so there’s a risk of biting a hard bit of pit. No?

  35. Shelah says:

    My dogs really enjoy digging up peach pits and fallen peaches from under the tree in my yard. I have found quite a few broken pits and chewed pieces around the yard and in their mouths. Should I be concerned about the peach pit, or more so the rotten flesh on some of the fallen peaches? My dogs are only three months old now, and seem to have some tummy trouble. I’m not sure if the poison in them would have the same affect as on humans.

  36. Paula says:

    I possess a ‘Home Management’ book of my mother’s (printed early 1950s in England) which includes recipes for jams, jellies etc.. Its recipe for Apricot jam says to “crack a few stones, blanch the kernels. Put fruit, water, lemon juice and kernels into the pan and bring to the boil etc..” It doesn’t say to strain the jam. The recipe for Peach jam says to include all the kernels (blanched). Another recipe for Dried Apricot Jam includes 2oz almonds to 3lb dried apricots.

    I have made the apricot jam and don’t recall the kernels being hard to chew (think I may have chopped them finely first anyway).

    A relative of my husband was diagnosed with prostate cancer six years ago – he ate seven to ten apricot kernels per day and is now well; also dramatically changed his diet etc.. (I’m not recommending this therapy – just relaying the information). If I had Ca myself, I think I’d be more inclined to err on the side of caution and consume lots of berries, whole grain breads, in addition to say a couple of apricot kernels per day – or just eat the above-mentioned jam on my toast every morning!

  37. Alex T. says:

    This is a very interesting topic. Wish I had something constructive to add, but all I got to say is this.

    Peach Seeds = NASTY!

    I have this bad habit of putting things in my mouth to see what they taste like. Acorns are also atrocious. I was eating a peach before and I eat it with a knife, cut off slices cause I don’t like the red part that’s real close to the seed. I took the pit out and cracked it open with the knife. Lo an behold, an almond hidden in the peach! Or not. Blech. I don’t understand how you all say you eat them, they’re like, worst than some medicines I’ve taken. I decided to do a search to see if there was a way to make them taste good; roasting them, maybe leeching out the bitter taste with lye like they do with olives. Poisonous you say? Thanks, you’ve cured my desire to want to eat them. ~Laughs~

  38. Ashley O says:

    I have been eating an apple a day including the seeds. I usually chew and crush up the seeds then swallow them. Now I have been reading about how they are poisonous, and I am worried. Will eating an apple a day including the seeds be fatal? Would I have signs of cyanide poisoning already? I have been having some abdominal cramping and this is why I am worried.

  39. Post author comments:

    Ashley, an apple a day, seeds included, should be entirely harmless. Well, there is all that sugar and calories, if you want something to worry about. But don’t worry about cyanide poisoning from that. Whatever is causing your abdominal cramping, that isn’t it.

    But if you have a problem, you really should go see a doctor. There are many things that can cause abdominal pain, and it wouldn’t hurt to get checked.

  40. Jose D says:

    i just had two peach seeds and a nectarine one… yum!! (stone fruit is in season in Sydney, and i had another two peach seeds yesterday!)

    then when i told my wife what i had been doing with the nutcracker, i said ‘matter of factly’ : “i heard that it might be poisonous”

    i didn’t believe it, but then i thought i would google it… and came upon this great website..

    oh well… i think i’ll survive (although i prob won’t eat quite so many in future)

    i must be a glutton for cyanide – i also swallow apple cores whole, cause i can’t be bothered not eating them… and just found out that the seeds also have cyanide…

  41. Carrie says:

    piet van allen,
    I doubt that the seeds/kernals are to keep birds from eating them, one of the best ways to keep squirrels from your bird food in the feeder is to add cayenne pepper, birds do not taste it but the squirrels do and leave your food for the birds.

  42. Me says:

    OMG, I remember when I was at school, I had a peach, and I was eating it, and the seed thing was like split open, so I tried it cause it looked like an almond, and it tasted horibble! I Googled it and I read that it was poisonous, so I freaked out and called my mom and started crying, cause I thought I was gonna die. I was just researching for my science homework, and I’m studying plants, and I remembered the peach seed I ate, and I came here. Yeah, that’s what happened. Bye!

  43. Ron Rhoades says:

    I need to set you guys straight on Apricot and Peach seeds and how they help fight cancer. I have been fighting cancer for over 1.5 years now. Apricot pits are a major part of my arsenal. The way they work…for those of you who think you know, dont know or are simply ignorant… The cyanide releasing components in the pits are actually in the form of sugars. Basically the cyanide is in the form of a Carb which cancer consumes as part of glycolysis or the process of converting sugars into energy to survive and reproduce. If you fill your body with these cyanide sugars the cancer will consume it and die. It does work but you have to consume about 40 seeds per day without other sugars…it’s hard. Turmeric extract is also very effective in fighting 300 gene mutations leading to tumor and cancer formations… Curcumin and Turmeric extract are the same so dont get them confused.

  44. Post author comments:

    Ron, please cite sources for these… ideas.

    The usual claims that Amygdalin work on cancer assume that there is something that cause the cyanide to be released in higher concentration near cancer cells. But I didn’t see any such theory that suggests the Amygdalin actually goes through Glycolysis.

    Not to mention, well, that no serious clinical trial showed any improvement in cancer condition by taking Amygdalin. And several studies were made. All of which showed no improvement on the cancer.
    There are, however, medical problems associated with consuming too much of it, even if in these amounts people would still be far from risk of dying.

    As for Turmeric… I believe there are some proven health benefits to Turmeric, though without some research I can’t state any specific ones at the moment. But claims like “fighting 300 gene mutations leading to tumor and cancer formations” should be backed up, or not be made at all.
    That 300 feels like a figurative number to say “lots of, but nobody has an exact number now”, and I doubt if anyone actually made trials checking against a specific number even close to 300. And a list of gene mutations that leads to cancer, well, doesn’t quite exist yet. Please don’t state as facts things which are probably at the level of only partially founded belief.

  45. Pecan says:

    Ah, cyanide in apricot/peach pits. the controversy continues.

    i don’t feel the need to fight people on the issue. all i will say is that i have taken apricot pits for fourteen years. my mother is the one who found out about the B17. she had a tumor and heard about laetrile, cured herself of the tumor with apricot pits (never required surgery) and passed the news to the family. my uncle got a tumor years and years later…tried apricot pits, it worked for him as well.

    like i said, i take them daily in small amounts (about 5, depending on size), and i’m perfectly fine.

    but to each his own…should you end up with cancer and want to go the allopatric route..well. good luck.

  46. Post author comments:

    @Pecan – The “allopatric” route? Erm… I don’t think this word means what you think it means.

    I’m curious, where your mother, or uncle, under some medical observation when they ate the apricot seeds? Is there a detailed followup on their progress? Where they taking any other medication, or just living completely regularly aside for the pits? Where did they take the amounts/preparation information they used?

    Your own case, though, isn’t really a relevant statistic, you know. That amount of apricot seeds should be perfectly harmless. But just because you didn’t get cancer doesn’t mean that you would have otherwise, of course. Though I do hope for you that you never will, regardless of why.

  47. Chicky-poo! says:

    hi.. im this many and ive been studyin apricot seeds for 5 years
    and ive learn’d the seeds 100percent do indeed cure cancer!!
    i have family members who once had cancer and becuz of fruit seeds no longer have cancer
    and ive been studyin it with my rats, rats have be given cancer in labs to help discover getting rid
    of it, and so now is in their poor lil genes…. anyway.. when my rats first got cancer i started given
    them seeds, i noticed it stop the cancer growth… in 2 of my rats i was feedin the seeds 2.. the
    other 2 rats i was not feeding any seeds 2 had their cancer grow giagantic and explode
    they died.. they lived 2 – 2 ana half

    the seeds ended up making the cancer in my rats go away… and they’ve been living up to 3 and a half to 4 years and just dieing of old age most rats live 2 to 3 years… the kind i have i mean..
    i heard about the other culture’s which eat these seeds and have no cancer..
    umm a scientist who has a bunch of downloads and somewhere in one of his videos talks about seeds, and it beenin a cure for cancer, he mentions the cyanide in the seed and how or why it doesnt harm
    thats found at http://www.drdino.com he’s the coolest person ever..

    grr… also in the bible which i cant remember which verse.. it talks about eating fruit and how the seed is the treat .. umm all i remeber is it said eat the fruit and the seed! lol
    so thats what i do eat them both there good for u!!
    conclusion – seeds should not be left alone !! eat’em!

  48. Thalia says:

    Ammoretto is made out of Apricot pits and that isn’t poisonous. I’ve started eating a few Apricot pits a day as a preventative measure as a lot of what I have read about this persuades me there is something in it.
    The bottom line is that the powers that be don’t usually get their knickers in a twist over harmless quack remedies to the extent they do about this one which makes me wonder if this one might have something in it.

    I rather like the taste of the pits. They are even better fresh. After eating a plum or something I crack the stone open with a mole wrench. Delish!

  49. dale says:

    to all the people who have eaten apricot pits to cure cancer.. approximately how long did you have to eat them for?

  50. Chris says:

    Go to the ‘You Tube’ website and search/watch the video “Cure Your Cancer – Undisclosed Research”. This is number 1. in the series and there are further videos you can watch on the same page. These will answer just about everything posted here, including the question about why Shelah’s puppies are eating the peach seeds!! Interesting stuff.

  51. Jocelyn says:

    Hi, from reading everything here, it seems I have nothing to worry about but I just want to ask anyway.
    I have a 1 1/2 yr old daughter. She picked a peach pit out of the trash when I wasn’t looking and cracked it open and ate the peach seed. She is 25 lbs, just one pit. Do think there will be any side effects at all?
    Thanks!
    Jocelyn

  52. Post author comments:

    Hi Jocelyn,

    Like I wrote, I am not a medical doctor, and haven’t really put too much resource into this, so don’t take this as solid medical advice.

    That said, your daughter would probably be fine. From the amount per body weight that I did see (for adults, though) a single pit remains very much within the safety limit. I don’t know how much more sensitive would a young kid be, but I can’t believe by that much.

    Plus, the main concern from eating it a single time is the immediate effects, not long term damage. So if she’s well now, there shouldn’t be any problem.

    I’d be more worried about getting a cover for the trash can, because next time she might take something sharp out of it, and that would be dangerous to try and swallow.

  53. Steve says:

    Hello all, I do bio-pharmaceutical research and work with Cancer, HIV, TB, B-virus etc. The thought that pharmaceutical companies are with holding a cure is completely absurd. Do you realize how much money a company could make if they could cure cancer? We are talking Trillions of dollars. Now the claim is that these pits “cure” cancer via cyanide uptake using sugar as a vehicle. The claim states that cancer cells “feed” on the sugar releasing the cyanide and like magic the cancer dies. This has been looked into as a area of interest by science and turned down as a viable “cure” for cancer on one simple ground. The muscle cells in you GI tract as well as throughout the rest of your body will “feed” on the sugar which the cyanide is piggybacking on, translation the probability that a cancer cell will receive the cyanide is very slim the chance that other cells in the muscle groups mentioned above will receive the toxin is far far greater. Basically you would be killing off good cells in the off hand hope that a portion of the toxin will reach the desired destination.

    I know that some of you will view me as the enemy because of the profession I have chosen and that’s fine, I deal with it on a daily basis from people who refuse to believe that persons in pharmaceutical research are actually working on finding a cure for something instead of padding their wallets. On a side note if you saw my bank accounts you would know that I am not in it for the money :)

  54. Rachel says:

    I saw a responce they said B17 is a scam and that a cancer patient dosent have anything to loose, that they would try anything. Then he leaves HIS website, it was blah blah .gov….hhhmmm makes you wonder. All I know is that God has given us seeds and fruit and grain for a reason and we need to take heed to the fact of how obiesity and other poor nutrition is on the increse and cancer and other disease in our body is on the increase! 15 years ago I didnt know anyone with cancer, I didnt even know someone who knew someone with cancer. And today, I know directly 5 people with cancer one of which I will see this afternoon and it will more then likely be the last time I see her. Also a few others that are close to my heart, and I am mad. Please for you and your family study up on these things. And do what you need to do to be healthy.

  55. Post author comments:

    Rachel, I don’t want to get into a religious debate now, but if you assume God has given us all that, then God gave us everything we use to make what we eat today as well.

    As for how many people with cancer you know, there are two big problems with such a personal view:

    1. Diagnostic abilities always improve. It’s possible that there are people 15 years ago who had cancer without knowing it, but these days with the same level of cancer they would.

    2. The more time you live, the more people you encounter. And you may also give more attention to some of these people. It’s perfectly possible, for example, that some parents of kids you had in school with you had cancer, but they didn’t feel they had to tell you that. But today in your office it’s more of a thing that can get mentioned in adult conversation.
    Heck, 20 years ago I personally didn’t know anyone from a foreign country, and wasn’t really aware foreign countries existed. I do not take that as proof that all other countries came into existence over the last 20 years…

    I know it’s corny, but being mad doesn’t help. There are things you can do to help those people you know. Using the alleged “B17″ isn’t one of them. If you really want to be mad, be mad at the people who use other people’s suffering to make money from selling snake oil medicine.

  56. Sam says:

    I enjoy inserting various stone fruit pits in my butt. Is this dangerous?

  57. Post author comments:

    It is dangerous, but I have a feeling that it’s the least of your concerns.

  58. rae says:

    I ate several seeds of apricot and peach and they were intense, yet I really wanted to eat them. My body was saying, go for it!

    my stomache rumbled a little the next day and I felt a slight cramp . . and I am still here.

    I want to learn more about this!

    I can see how a little poison can be good for treating accumulated like toxicity.

    Let’s see some research and more first hand accounts. Please!

    (:

  59. Manuel says:

    I’ve acquired a taste for peach seeds when I was 8 or 9 years old,I really like the taste. I eat them quite often ,I’m about to turn 57 an so far never felt any problems.
    One of these days I’m going to eat a large amount and pay attention to see if I feel any special sensation.

  60. karen says:

    Has anyone ever had Marcona Almonds? They are delicious, but they look exactly like the ‘almond’ inside a peach pit. I recently opened a peach where the stone had split in two, revealing the almond. So I tasted it because it looked exactly like the Marcona Almonds that I have been eating by the handful. It tasted the same only without salt but the texture and size were exactly the same. I can’t seem to find any information about this almond from Spain.

    Why am I so suspicious of this new expensive treat?

  61. Post author comments:

    I never ate a Marcona almond, and have no experience with them.

    On a general level I wouldn’t be too concerned about similarities, since a lot of nuts and seeds share a lot of characteristics. But on the other hand a similarity in both shape, texture, and taste, does sound a bit suspicious. Hard to say without more information…

  62. karen says:

    There is no information on Google either. I think that’s very odd.

  63. Post author comments:

    Was the taste really similar?
    The pits are supposed to be bitter, and the very little information I see on Marcona almonds includes reviews of them as somewhat sweet…

  64. karen says:

    The pit had a bitter aftertaste. If I had treated it somehow by boiling, baking or some other process and then baked or sauteed it in oil and salt, I believe it could be the same item. They are quite tasty and certainly edible but I like to know where things come from.

  65. Post author comments:

    It’s hard to find a lot of information about those Marcona almonds online. Which I admist is a bit strange, given that almost everything gets online these days.
    On the other hand what is there are a lot of different companies selling several different brands of them. And some reviews by people eating them, mostly out of Spain but some in it.

    So if I had to take a bet it would be that they’re the real deal. A real type of almond, anyway.
    This is a big enough industry, with several competitors, that there is a huge temptation to blow the whistle if this is some sort of a concipracy and fraud. It’s too big for the secret to be kept. Not to mention that at least someone in Spain would have noticed a local product that isn’t real…

    I’m also not sure how easy it is to remove a bitter taste/aftertaste from something, without damaging the texture too much. Haven’t tried it, though, so this point is just guesswork.

  66. Loyala Pride says:

    Hello, I recently saw a documentary on peach seeds and cancer, decided to google it and now I’m here. I have read almost every post, and it is like I believe, the peach seeds are a cure to cancer, and as Karl said, there is a scientist/preacher who talks about this subject, and the land of Shangri-la. Shangri-la is a town/village in the Shangrilan valleys near Tibet. This place is first known from a British writer, James Hilton where he used it in his fictional story, Lost Horizon, however, as he later traveled to Northern pakistan by the chinese borders, Hilton found a place in actuality, known as the Peach Garden Valley, where people would live up to a hundred plus years. They were described to have no wrinkles, because they took the secreted oils of nectarines and put it on their face, had no cancer for their habit of eating peach seeds. However, the more they began to interact with the outside world, they forgot their culture of eating peach seeds and began to die much, much sooner. This is not a fight to get people to eat more peach seeds, but a research of everyone’s own experiences and knowledge. As for those who believe they’re going to die from peach seeds…..look around you. Humans are weak..Almost anything can kill us. Like Karl said, the fumes, chemicals and other fruits around us are also deadly to humans, but guess what, you arent dead yet, in fact, your body is changing to accept the poisons around you, fight me all you want about it, but that is my knowledge.

    Thank you post author for this thread, it has enlightened me. As for cancer, I dont have it yet, I ear peaches and the seeds because they looked like almonds, and hell they’ll give you a pucker if you bite into them, and as someone up this post said, “God gave us these seeds and herbs”. If you have a bible, take it out and read Genesis.

    Refrences:

    Dr. Kent Hovind
    http://www.drdino.com

    if you want to watch what he said on peaches here is the link.

    http://tv-links.co.uk/listings/9/6185

  67. Post author comments:

    Loyala, in your story about the “Peach Garden Valley”, if you assume these people actually did live to over 100 years (doubtful, but let’s go with it for a while), then you have two options regarding peach seeds:
    1. That they cure cancer, like some people claim. In this case the longevity of the people there is not related to the peach seeds, since cancer is far from being a main cause of death and short life. But if it’s not really related to the long lifespan, then the long lifespan does not in any way indicate what peach seeds do about cancer. Which makes this an interesting tale, but not relevant to peach seeds.
    2. That peach seeds are a wonderful cure-all food that can increase the lifespan and cure most diseases and ailments. This is something which is obviously not correct, and even you and your other sources don’t claim this.

    So, pretty much, this has nothing to say about peach seeds. Just another story about a small isolated population who somehow becomes more sick and dies earlier after meeting outside cultures.

    As for people in remote secluded tribes living healthily and happily for many years… these stories are usually not convincing, and are never ever well documented.
    In these situations people are sometimes exposed to less dangerous substances, true. Probably less carcinogens as well, which can explain small increases in cancer. But they also live with little to no medicine, and a limited diet.

    Also, if contact with the outside world had such a serious effect, in a single generation, people from these tribes would have noticed, and would have done something about it.
    Yet somehow the ones who notice don’t seem in any personal hurry to do anything, and mostly the “knowledge” is used far away as happy myths for foreigners.

    And again, very long (and undocumented) life is one thing, being free of cancer (or any other specific disease. Diabetes occurs a lot in these stories) is another. Because without good diagnostic medicine it’s possible from someone to die of cancer, without anyone properly diagnosing it as cancer. As a result, nobody knows of deaths from cancer, and it’s easier to jump to the naive conclusion that nobody died from cancer ever, just from other strange ailments.

    As for peach seeds, any and all seriously done tests on peach seeds found no improvement in the condition of cancer patients. Claims otherwise have so far been limited either to those selling these snake-oil medicine based on peach seeds, or to the occasional unsubstantiated personal anecdotes.
    If there was an effect, one of the studies made (and several were made) would have found it, or some indication of it.
    Personally I’d be happy to see a good scientific study proves this point. Cancer cures would be welcome. Yet nobody managed to do that, including the companies selling alleged “B17″ medicine. There’s nothing there that should indicate why this miracle cure would work always, except during double-blind tests.

    The one thing you are right about is that it’s not dangerous to eat peach seeds. As I said, the amount of cyanide in them seems so small that you’ll need to eat a huge amount for it to begin to be a problem. So if you enjoy the taste, go ahead and eat them.

    And be careful of saying that it’s fine to eat the peach seeds because “God gave us these seeds and herbs”. Some seeds and herbs are dangerously poisonous. And if you believe God gave you the former, then you believe God also have you the latter. I do hope you’re not trying to say that it’s perfectly fine to eat any sort of seed, plant, berry, and mushroom. Because that attitude can kill you, or whoever else embraces it.

    And Loyala, the links you sent talk about creationism, not peach seeds. Don’t do that.

  68. Cheryl says:

    I read all of the comments posted with great interest. I came to this site because I was looking for info about “bitter almonds” from which almond extract is made. My family loves this flavor and I wanted to know if it could be made from peach seeds. My mother and I have canned peaches for many years and we always add an intact peach pit to every quart of peaches we process because it makes them delicious. My mother is 82 years old now and unlike her 3 siblings who have diabetes and many other health problems, she is very healthy. She has eaten peach pits every year at harvest time while processing the fruit (she is an enthusiasitc fruit and veggie eater but not at all vegetarian). I eat them, too, because I love the taste (the afertaste is not that bad).
    I think it is interesting that the same people who will gladly consume other bitter foods like chocolate, coffee and tea, can be disgusted by a peach pit. Maybe it has to do with a person’s expectations: you think it should taste like an almond because it looks like one and almonds, in fact, don’t taste at all like almond extract.
    BTW: When you can peaches, there are often fruits with broken pits, so it is easy to collect the seeds with little effort.

  69. Post author comments:

    Hi Cheryl,

    Yes, I suppose expectations have a lot to do with it. When something doesn’t “look” bitter, the taste can be quite an unpleasant shock. Which would then make you try to avoid it in the future.

    But it’s not just that. Good tea, coffee, and chocolate, are not bitter. Even very high-concentration dark/bitter chocolate should not be very bitter. You can find good quality 90%+ chocolates who are quite sweet. I expect most people avoid the tea, coffee, and actually bitter chocolates, just as much as they’d avoid peach seeds.

    Then again, I don’t eat peach seeds, so maybe they’re not really bitter as well, and on this comment I’m just babbling nonsense. ;-)

  70. Red Dirt Girl says:

    Wow, “Post author” just admitted to the possibility of babbling nonsense! A somewhat humble statement for once. :)

    Anyway, I have tasted the highest quality dark chocolate that was 90%+ and without the addition of sugar. Well it was entirely too bitter to be palatable.

    I don’t see anything wrong with consuming the kernels of apricots, peaches, etc. which produce Vit. B17. There actually are several scientific studies about it. In fact, even the National Cancer Institute (whom one would assume would be the quickest to disregard it) has posted this article that does mention, for example, that some people have been helped by Vit. B17 but no long term follow up could reveal the ultimate results. They’re NOT promoting Vit. B17. But the facts are facts. Chemo has horrible short and long term statistics. In my opinion, even this skepticle article makes chemo look like a lousy option (if not far more toxic) in comparison: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/cam/laetrile/Patient/page2

    Also, the following video caught my interest all about Vit. B17 and I am eager to tell others about it who have an open mind:

    “World Without Cancer”

    Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xh2od6q7lD8

    Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YM_VeiZq8PU

  71. Post author comments:

    Hi Red Dirt Girl,

    On the chocolate front, there are some which are too bitter. But there are also ones which taste very very good and sweet. It’s a matter of what type of cocoa beans they were made of, and how they were processed.

    I read the same page in cancer.gov which you did. It does not say people were helped by it. it claims quite explicitly that according to all the studies they are aware of it doesn’t work. They also don’t refer to it as B17, since it’s not a vitamin.
    At least one of us needs some reading comprehension classes… The closest the article came to noting improvement was is in some anecdotal cases that were not backed by the study, or that were statistically insignificant compared with the reported effects of other people in the study (conceptually if you give 100 people something, 99 still get worse, 1 gets temporarily better, it is generally not considered to indicate that the treatment is working).

    Chemo has side-effects which are much worse than Laterile/Amygdalin does. On the other hand, chemo sometimes work, while Laterile/Amygdalin does not. So if you want to avoid the side-effects, you can certainly skip chemo and go with the latter. But by the same token you can just use water as your cancer treatment. It has even less side-effects, and should be just as good a cure.

  72. Post author comments:

    From the Overview section in the Health Professional Version of the same article:

    Laetrile has shown little anticancer activity in animal studies and no anticancer activity in human clinical trials.
    Inappropriate advertisement of laetrile as a cancer treatment has resulted in a US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) investigation that culminated in charges and conviction of one distributor.

    Nobody in the US was charged and convicted for claiming that chemo was a treatment for cancer…

  73. Red Dirt Girl says:

    Yes it does say anecdotally that people were helped by it. The only reason that further studies “proved” it doesn’t work is because researchers used it in such small amounts that it couldn’t have been of real benefit. The tests were designed to fail.

    The cyanide present in “B17″ is biologically designed to kill cancer cells (but not healthy human tissue.) NATURE already made a cure for cancer. Just like Vit C in citrus fruits cured scurvy. There are many factors contributing to cancer nowadays. Pollution, chemicals in our food, the lack of real nutrition from “whole” fruits and vegetables – poor diet, smoking, etc. We have gone away from the natural diet that people at only 100 years ago which heavily contained millet, fruits, veggies, seeds, nuts, and other foods that naturally contained cancer fighting properties. Cancer is so difficult to cure because once it has taken hold the spread of metastases is the REAL threat.

    I would never allow any doctor to inject me with chemo. There is a very tiny percent of cancers that actually are “CURED” by it. One of them is choriocarcinoma. The rest of the cancers are NOT cured with chemo. The cancer almost always, inevitably, comes back. WHY? Because even though chemo kills tumors it also kills healthy human cells, particularly white blood cells from which the immune system depends. How is one supposed to fight off any cancer that may (and usually does) return with a sick immune system? That’s how a person got cancer in the first place! They must BUILD back their immune system. We should be spending MONEY on finding the CAUSE of cancer, not the cure. And promote this material HEAVILY! But too much money is to be made in the fast food, cigarette, and yes CHEMO industry to want to inform the masses that their diets, habits, and lifestyles are the primary causes. Cancer is more something that needs to be prevented. There really isn’t a magic bullet. A hospital in Mexico called “Oasis” has excellent results using not only Laetrile but very TINY doses of chemo (only when needed) injected into the primary site usually, that do not make people sick. They focus on BUILDING back the immune system and treatingg each cancer case specifically instead of the terrible 3 – slash, burn, poison. That hospital has excellent long term survival rates, better than anything seen in the US. There are other options than the American cancer industry.

    Unless I had a specific type of cancer that chemo has been proven to cure, I would never let that poison near me. So yes, I would rather drink water and pray that it miraculously heals me. In the mean time, I would also be taking infusions of vitamin B17, laetrile, and any other formulated therapy from a prestigious clinic (such as the Oasis hospital in Mexico) that is designed to help my body reverse the cancer. And STAY that way. The root cause must be addressed in order to understand how the cancer developed in the first place and how to nourish my immune system so it would not allow cancer to grow again!!

    Chemo doesn’t work long term. Doctors know it. Everyone knows it. Yet they claim that’s the only option besides radiation and surgery. Chemo administration is really a race to see who dies first: cancer or patient. Well the both inevitably do, cancer usually wins, and that’s the end of that. Why is it still be administered to the majority of cancer cases in which it has been proven, beyond a shadow of a doubt, not to cure cancer?

    The ANSWER:

    Oncologists make the most money out of any other doctor, and guess who supports them financially in 60-80% of that salary? DRUG companies. And it’s been several decades since Nixon announced the “war on cancer” but we’ve gone NOWHERE with it, other than made a LOT of doctors and drug companies richer than hell.

    No! (one might say) “They are all looking for a cure, they are all well meaning.” Yes, most doctors are. But they only do what they can with what medical schools teach them. And medical schools are largely backed up by DRUG companies (oh, there they are again.) I don’t blame doctors they all want a cure and want to help people. But we are looking for a “cure” when there ISN’T ONE. There is a CAUSE and we must go back to the ROOT of this epidemic and really re-evaluate the typical American lifestyle.

  74. Red Dirt Girl says:

    From Dr. Mercola writing about studies from leading cancer author Dr. Moss:
    http://www.mercola.com/article/cancer/cancer_options.htm

    Dr. Moss’ work documents the ineffectiveness of chemotherapy on most forms of cancer. However, he is fair in pointing out that there are the following exceptions: Acute Iymphocytic leukemia, Hodgkin’s disease, and nonseminomatous testicular cancer. Also, a few very rare forms of cancer, including choriocarcinoma, Wilm’s tumor, and retinoblastoma. But all of these account for only 2% to 4% of all cancers occurring in the United States. This leaves some 96% to 98% of other cancers, in which chemotherapy doesn’t eliminate the disease. The vast majority of cancers, such as breast, colon, and lung cancer are barely touched by chemotherapy. However, there is another category where chemotherapy has a relatively minor effect — The most “successful” of these is in Stage 3 ovarian cancer, where chemotherapy appears to extend life by perhaps eighteen months, and small-cell lung cancer in which chemotherapy might offer six more months.

    Effective cancer treatment is a matter of definition. The FDA defines an “effective” drug as one which achieves a 50% or more reduction in tumor size for 28 days. In the vast majority of cases there is absolutely no correlation between shrinking tumors for 28 days and the cure of the cancer or extension of life.

    When the cancer patient hears the doctor say “effective,” he or she thinks, and logically so, that “effective” means it cures cancer. But all it means is temporary tumor shrinkage.

    Chemotherapy usually doesn’t cure cancer or extend life, and it really does not improve the quality of the life either. Doctors frequently make this claim though. There are thousands of studies that were reviewed by Dr. Moss as part of the research for his book — and there is not one single good study documenting this claim.

    What patients consider “good quality of life” seems to differ from what the doctors consider. To most it is just common sense that a drug that makes you throw up, and lose your hair, and wrecks your immune system is not improving your quality of life. Chemotherapy can give you life-threatening mouth sores. People can slough the entire lining of the intestines! One longer-term effect is particularly tragic: people who’ve had chemotherapy no longer respond to nutritional or immunologically-based approaches to their cancers. And since chemotherapy doesn’t cure 96% to 98% of all cancers anyway…People who take chemotherapy have sadly lost their chance of finding another sort of cure.

    It’s especially telling that in a number of surveys most chemotherapists have said they would not take chemotherapy themselves or recommend it for their families. Chemotherapy drugs are the most toxic substances ever put deliberately into the human body. They are known poisons, they are designed poisons.

  75. Post author comments:

    OK, let’s go over some of the points.

    First, though, try to avoid capitalizing too many words. Words in capital letters are shouting, and when you put too many of them in a text you just cause people to take you less seriously than they would have otherwise. OK?

    Next, to the actual topic at hand.

    Nobody designs tests to fail. Some tests are badly designed, true, but as the saying goes don’t attribute to malice what can be attributed to incompetence. In any case, you have plenty of studies, and some of them gave high enough amounts of Laetrile/Amygdalin to notice the toxicity side-effects. Though still without any cancer-curing effects. Can’t really say that in these cases they used a very low amount. You know what, if it does kill cancer, but also has to be in high enough a dosage to kill the person to do so, it’s not good enough.
    Heck, you have this on studies from the 80′s, even.

    Cyanide is not biologically “designed” to do anything, including killing cancer cells.
    Scurvy is caused by lack of vitamins, so it’s not really surprising eating enough vitamins cures it. Cancer is not a vitamin deficiency disease. Well, there are many various different kinds of cancers, but none of them are caused by vitamin deficiency.

    And as for the idea that the cyanide in peach pits can target cancerous cells, but no healthy cells, heck, there is a refute for that claims from the 80′s as well. Not even needing any cutting edge modern research for that.

    I also don’t get the repeated claim that the basic nutrition of a 100 years ago (or some undefined time in the past) was so superior to what we have now. Sure, some things we eat now are crap, and the crap is easier to obtain than in the past. But hey, take a look at the life expectancy, compared to all these places and times when people ate natural food. We live much longer, and overall much healthier.

    Smoking/tobacco is a very very strong cause of cancer. And smoking is easier now than ever. People are also exposed more to smoke, and other toxics. But it’s the new things we add, not the things we’re missing.

    Nutrition is an important factor, as is physical activity. Living “healthier” does make you healthier. But it has nothing to do with some pointless nostalgia for the age where medicine was non-existent, people died young, and people mostly lived sick.

    As for chemo, it’s not perfect. Heck, it’s terrible, that’s true. But for the types of cancer it does help, it can help. Which is more than can be said for most of the alternatives.
    And blaming chemo for not treating all kinds of cancer? That doesn’t make sense. They are different diseases of the same family, you can’t fault a treatment for treating some diseases and not treating others. You might as well say that antibiotic shouldn’t be used on infectious diseases because it can’t cure diabetes.

    The immune system claim is also a pretty well established nonsense. First, the immune system recovers after chemo. Second, the immune system wasn’t holding the cancer to begin with, so if you hurt the cancer and the immune system, and the immune system recovers faster, you’re winning. Many types of cancer even hurt the immune system themselves, so after chemo the immune system can recover to a better condition there were before it.

    Building the immune system is good, but it’s not cancer treatment, it’s post-treatment recovery. The cancer itself is not a disease of the immune system.

    The “War on cancer” like the “War on Drugs”, or “War on Terror”, or any such “War on something” is just political nonsense, obviously. These are not things you go to war on. But treatments are improving, and there is more and more research all the time.
    Are you complaining that a magic treatment wasn’t found quickly after deciding to go look for it? It’s a very complex problem, and it will take time. Progress is slow. It can be very frustrating, but it doesn’t mean the whole thing isn’t going anywhere.

    And please, no silly conspiracy theories. There is no cabal trying to stop cancer treatments. The medical drug industry isn’t nearly organized enough to pull something like that off, or for so long. Too many independent, and competing, people involved.

    As for the “Oasis of Hope” hospital, in Tijuana, Mexico… Here’s a nice article about the shoddy alternative cancer treatments business in Tijuana. Seems a bit more substantial and down to earth than the pure-hype site of the hospital itself.

    Dr. Moss seems to be throwing around a lot of unsubstantiated claims and hype. The page you linked to starts, and ends, with offers to sell his own cancer consultation services for money, which is something that should always ring some warning bells.

    The percentages of cure and improvement cited on that page don’t really match any other source I could find, so I’m not entirely sure what he is basing them on beyond a personal agenda.
    Overall cancer deaths in the US seem to be dropping. According to the World Health Organization the amount of cancer cases are rising globally. But if you look at the population increase for the same duration, you’d notice that the percentage of the population is decreasing. And most cases are in the “third-world” and developing countries, so I doubt the cause is The American Lifestyle.

    Oh, here’s another WHO cancer factsheet. Notice the lack of statements about the cause being the immune system, or about cures being materials wrongfully called vitamins by quacks trying to sell them to poor desperate people.

  76. Red Dirt Girl says:

    In October, 1971, Dr. Gordon Zubrod, a leading researcher at the National Cancer Institute, presented a list of the cancer malignancies which were “highly responsive” to chemotherapy. All of these are rare in adults. But, most important, the list has not changed since 1971. Here it is:

    Burkitt’s lymphoma; Choriocarcinoma; Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia; Hodgkin’s Disease; Lymphosarcoma; Embryonal Testicular Cancer; Wilms’ Tumor; Ewing’s Sarcoma; Rhabdomyosarcoma; Retinoblastoma.

    These makes up about 3-4% of cancers. What about the rest that chemo has been proven to be ineffective over the last 36 years?

    Scurvy was due to lack of vitamin C. Once sailors started taking citrus fruits aboard their ships, they eradicated scurvy.

    There is a missing link to the “war on cancer” and I want to know what it is that scientists are too busy not discovering for almost 40 years. It couldn’t possibly be that mich of an enigma. There is a soltion and preventative health care is one of the best things people who are healthy have on their side.

  77. Red Dirt Girl says:

    OK I answered my own question after reading the article from the WHO website you posted. Why aren’t people heeding these warnings?

    So smoking, diet, and physical inactivity are main factors. One can easily deduce from this article alone that for most cases the internal environment biologically has become toxic/stagnant and the result is cancer. Do people really care?

    The site mentions diets which lack fruits and veggies as being an obvious cause. Fruits and veggies contain many cancer fighting antioxidants and free radical scavengers such as Vit. C!

    QUICK CANCER FACTS

    40% of cancer can be prevented (by a healthy diet, physical activity and not using tobacco).
    Tobacco use is the single largest preventable cause of cancer in the world. Tobacco use causes cancer of the lung, throat, mouth, pancreas, bladder, stomach, liver, kidney and other types; Environmental tobacco smoke (passive smoking) causes lung cancer.
    One-fifth of cancers worldwide are due to chronic infections, mainly from hepatitis B viruses HBV (causing liver), human papilloma viruses HPV (causing cervix), Helicobacter pylori (causing stomach), schistosomes (causing bladder), the liver fluke (bile duct) and human immunodeficiency virus HIV (Kaposi sarcoma and lymphomas).

    WHAT CAUSES CANCER?
    Cancer occurs because of changes of the genes responsible for cell growth and repair. These changes are the result of the interaction between genetic host factors and external agents which can be categorized as:

    physical carcinogens such as ultraviolet (UV) and ionizing radiation
    chemical carcinogens such a asbestos and tobacco smoke
    biological carcinogens such as
    infections by virus (Hepatitis B Virus and liver cancer, Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) and cervical cancer) and bacteria (Helicobater pylori and gastric cancer) and parasites (schistosomiasis and bladder cancer)
    contamination of food by mycotoxins such as aflatoxins (products of Aspergillus fungi) causing liver cancer.
    Tobacco use is the single most important risk factor for cancer and causes a large variety of cancer types such as lung, larynx, oesophagus, stomach, bladder, oral cavity and others . Although there are still some open questions, there is sufficient evidence that dietary factors also play an important role in causing cancer. This applies to obesity as a compound risk factor per se as well as to the composition of the diet such as lack of fruit and vegetables and high salt intake. Lack of physical activity has a distinct role as risk factor for cancer. There is solid evidence about alcohol causing several cancer types such as oesophagus, pharynx, larynx, liver, breast, and other cancer types.

  78. Red Dirt Girl says:

    From “Dismantling Cancer”
    Francisco Contreras, MD

    Let ́s start with sensitizing the tumor. Did you know that cancer defends itself against attacks? Tumors can become resistant to chemotherapy, radiation or whatever else you throw at it. It would make sense that if you could dismantle cancer’s defenses, you could then take it out, right? What are the ways that cancer defends itself? One way is that tumors encapsulate themselves with blood vessels that are so restricted that antitumor agents can’t get through. Another way is that tumors amass high concentrations of a substance calledglutathione . Glutathione is the element that makes tumors resistant to treatment. Is there a way to lower the levels of glutathione in tumors so that they would become sensitized to anticancer treatments? The answer is yes. For glutathione to be produced in the cells, it needs another substance calledcysteine. Please continue with me on this trail that it took many years to identify by top researchers. Is there a way to lower the level of cysteine? Yes. Cyanide will deplete the supply of cysteine. But, isn’t cyanide a poison? Cyanide is toxic to our body but it will not make us sick in very low doses derived from a whole food source. You eat cyanide-rich food everyday if you eat apricots, pineapples, apples, or any of the other thousand cyanide-toting foods found in nature. The cyanide in these foods is present in a nutrient calledamygdalin. Amygdalin can release cyanide within malignant cells, depleting the supply of cysteine. As a result, the intracellular concentration of glutathione is diminished. This will sensitize the tumors to antitumor treatments including chemotherapy,
    Ozone therapy, and UV light.

    We also use amygdalin to attack the tumor. The cyanide released by amygdalin is one of the best killers of malignant cells as well. Amygdalin has a double punch. It lowers cancers resistance to treatment and it releases cyanide to kill cancer cells directly. If you wish to read the technical explanation of how these two functions of amygdalin occur, please refer to appendices I and II at the end of the book.

    If amygdalin can be so helpful, why aren’t more cancer treatment centers using it? The first argument is that it can be toxic because it contains cyanide. The second argument is that it doesn’t work.

    Let’s talk about amygdalin’s toxicity first. We have used amygdalin with tens of thousands of patients since the early 1960s. You might say that we know a thing or two about amygdalin which is also known aslaetrile andvitamin B17. The cyanide released by amygdalin does not reach toxic levels that can harm or even discomfort patients. But don’t accept my word as the only proof. A famous researcher named June de Spain conducted a laetrile toxicity study that was published inThe Little Cyanide Cookbook (Am. Media). She took three groups of rats. Group one was fed white bread. Group two was fed whole wheat bread. Group three was fed laetrile. After three months, 75 percent of rats that were eating white bread were dead. The white bread survivors were at death’s door. The rats that were eating whole wheat bread were in good shape. The rats who were eating laetrile were all alive and in the best condition of the three groups. The conclusion of this FDA sponsored trial was that, “white bread is 70 times more toxic than laetrile.” No, laetrile/amygdalin presents no risk of toxicity.

    What about the argument that laetrile is not effective? We have conducted several prospective clinical trials that demonstrated that amygdalin is quite effective in the combined treatment of the most common and deadly cancers including inoperable lung cancer,
    advanced prostate cancer, stage IV breast cancer, and colon cancer with liver metastasis.1 We submitted these studies to several
    medical journals but they were rejected. Some editors cited that our studies did not have control groups. But it is scientifically valid to conduct a study and compare results with similar studies published in medical journals. That is what we did but we were still denied publication. Other editors stated that our study was not designed properly and that the conclusion was not definitive. Others
    were quite candid. They rejected the studies because the use of amygdalin was too controversial. I think the third group was honest
    and I appreciated getting a straight answer from them.

    The only study ever published on the use of laetrile in cancer patients was sponsored by the National Cancer Institute and conducted
    at the Mayo Clinic and three other prominent oncological centers in the USA. The results were published in The New England
    Journal of Medicine(NEJM) in 1982.

    In this article “A clinical trial of amygdalin (laetrile) in the treatment of human cancer,”2Dr. Moertel,the head researcher, reported that of the 178 patients that were accepted in the study “not one patient was cured or even stabilized” by laetrile. Furthermore he said that “several patients experienced symptoms of cyanide toxicity” and that “blood levels of cyanide approaching the lethal range” were reported. “Laetrile has had its day in court…” says Moertel and ends authoritatively, “The evidence, beyond reasonable doubt, is that it [laetrile] doesn’t benefit patients with advanced cancer, and there is no reason to believe that it would be any more effective
    in the earlier stages of the disease.”

    I was astonished at the finality of the verdict, but what disappointed me the most was the editorial bias of theNEJM. Why did the NCI and the Mayo Clinic bypass all scientific protocol? This study had no control group. It was terribly designed and not one of the researchers had any experience with laetrile. TheNEJM, in normal conditions, will not publish studies that are not peer reviewed by experts on the subject. There are very few laetrile experts. I know all of them personally and the researchers consulted not one of us.

    Years later, after a presentation at an oncology congress of our results in advanced breast cancer with amygdalin, a colleague angrily
    confronted me using the microphone placed in the center isle for questions. He was infuriated because I continued to use amygdalin in spite of the fact that Dr. Moertel, hadproven , beyond reasonable doubt, that amygdalin was dangerous and ineffective. The scene was surreal; the room was filled to capacity, and, if a tongue depressor had fallen from a doctor’s gown, all of us would have heard it. His forehead, which reached almost to the back of his head due to an almost complete male-pattern-baldness, was bright red, his jugulars were ingurgitated, and I didn’t know if I wanted to run scared or laugh. But every one was waiting for my rebuttal.

    Obviously he did not believe the results I had just presented which, by the way, were quite impressive. I took a deep breath and calmly asked, would you stop using Taxol (a chemotherapeutic agent used commonly in breast cancer) if I showed youone article that said it was not effective for the treatment of breast cancer? He just turned around and left. I assumed his jugulars were still ingurgitated because his baldhead turned even redder. There were no more questions because everyone in the room knew that there are dozens of studies showing the inefficacy and high toxicity of Taxol in the treatment of breast cancer, yet most oncologists continue to prescribe it.

  79. Red Dirt Girl says:

    contined from above……

    I believe that it is irresponsible to state that amygdalin is a cancer cure. It should be looked at as a therapy that can be combined with conventional treatments or other antitumor agents. This is the appropriate future of amygdalin. At Oasis, we do not use amygdalin as a stand-alone drug. We capitalize on its ability to make tumors more susceptible to other therapies. This is why we have a multi-faceted program including an integrative scheme of drugs, diets, procedures, and medical care. By sensitizing the cancer, we are able to avoid using aggressive therapies that can
    destroy the patient’s quality of life. It is time for physicians to consider how to use amygdalin in combination with conventional therapies at lower, non-aggressive dosages. Amygdalin, combined with vitamin C, can deplete glutathione and cysteine in tumor cells and make it possible to destroy the cancer with very low doses of chemotherapy, phytochemicals, UV light irradiation, and ozone. Though I have spoken out against the aggressive use of chemotherapy,
    it should be considered for use in low non-toxic doses when combined with amygdalin.

  80. karen says:

    Red,
    Why are you so sure of what you are saying? I am a survivor of lung cancer and of a full course of chemo. After 4+ years of survivorship and lots of reading about it, I wonder why you are so positive about what you say.

  81. Post author comments:

    Red, please do not copy whole texts into the comments here. It makes it harder to follow the comments for someone who just tries to skim the discussion, and it has copyright issues.
    Copying a few relevant excerpts is fine. But limit the amount and length to the part you think are the most representative and relevant.
    Better, post a link, and just write in the comment what is the link supposed to indicate or verify.

    I don’t see why you think that a treatment which is effective for some diseases is bad because it is only effective for some diseases and not all. Chemotherapy doesn’t work as well on all kinds of cancer, sure. There are many kinds of cancer and they are different diseases. There are no one-cure-fits-all solutions, anywhere. But it does work very well on some kinds, reasonably well on others, and just a little bit on yet others. So it shouldn’t be used on kinds where it is not effective, but certainly can, and should, be used on cancer kinds that it is effective for.

    I also don’t see what is the point you are trying to make regarding Scurvy. It’s a vitamin deficiency problem, and so can be prevented/healed by getting the right vitamins. That seems to be accepted by everyone, you and me included.
    It has no relation to cancer.

    And cancer treatments have improved considerably over the last 40 years. There are more approved types of medications all the time, and existing treatments are improving. Just like in any other field, there is progress, sometimes slow, sometimes fast, but progress.
    Your assertions that there is no progress at all, and that nobody discovers anything regarding cancer, are baffling. There are new drugs approved. There are many studies, and clinical trials, conducted.

    Why people aren’t taking the health and nutrition issues seriously? Who knows? People are… problematic. I know people who have parents with lung cancer, and who still keep smoking cigarettes.
    The way I see it, as long as people are aware of the risks, it’s their responsibility to do the risk analysis and decide what’s worse. People gamble all the time, so no surprise some do it with their health. There is nothing much you can do beyond education, as far as the main risk factors are contained. We find out what the main risk factors are, and we make sure to publish it. If people keep risking themselves after that, well, there is no good solution for that.

    But cancer isn’t caused solely by the obvious factors, even though they account for a large percent of it. I have relatively little sympathy for a chronic smoker getting lung cancer. But there are non-smoking, generally health-concious, people who get lung cancer as well.

    As for your quotes from Francisco Contreras book, would you have taken this seriously if it was not about cancer but some other field?

    All the studies he talks about are ones which were not accepted in any peer-reviews journal. Serious journals do not reject studies because they are “Controversial”. They reject studies because they are done improperly. It’s nice that Mr Contreras claim, in his own book which promotes his own treatment, that it’s all some sort of a conspiracy because his theory offend the establishment. But that’s not the way things work, and you usually only do hear those claims from people that, well, don’t have the science to back up their claims.
    You rather take his word for it, instead of mine? Well, take neither. Is there a scientific field you’re familiar with? Go find the leading scientific peer-journals in the field, and browse the topics for a few years of publication. You’ll see plenty of cutting-edge, new, and controversial stuff. I was subscribed to Nature (one of the leading multi-diciplinal journals) for quite a few years myself, and there was plenty of controversy spread among the slow progression of well established areas.

    Contreras does have some published articles on cancer. But all the ones I saw were in journals like Medical Hypotheses, which pretty clearly state that they are not peer-reviewed, that all the pieces are not study articles but rather editorials, and that all which is needed to get published there is to sound halfway coherent and interesting.
    Is it surprising that sounding like you’re coherent under light scrutiny is a lower bar than, say, actually writing a solid research article that will be reviewed by other professionals familiar with the field?
    It doesn’t make any of the pieces there wrong. It just means that there are also no indications at all that they are right.

    There’s a right way to do science, and a wrong way. Running studies which don’t pass scrutiny, ignoring studies that contradict you, and claiming that it’s all because the rest of the scientists in the worlds are pre-biased against you… that’s the wrong way.

    It’s also nice if you can do the science without having a huge bias yourself because you’re the one who sell something based on your research… It’s a clear conflict of interest. He tries to weave complex ways to show how all the other scientists may be partially funded and pressured by drug companies, which may have an interest in keeping the current line treatments going, and who may be able to pressure all relevant research institutes worldwide? What about the fact that all those who claims to find some cancer-curing ability in Laetrile are actively busy in selling Laetrile based treatments? Which possible conflict of interest do you find more suspicious? The long twisted one, or the very simple and direct ones? Heck, it’s like you’d start seeing studies, all published by the oil companies, claiming that driving cures cancer.

  82. Red Dirt Girl says:

    Good points Post Author. Apologies for the long drawn out quotes. The only reason I might try to “sound” so sure is because I “want” to be sure. That’s about it. I do agree that if chemo works for some cancers it should be used. I am just saying that when doctors use chemo in instances where there is very little evidence to prove that it would work, and yet is used anyway, really angers me. It’s a “last resort” in many cases which only will destroy the immune system. Any chance of recuperation that the person could have had is robbed of them because the chemo has actually killed individuals who were already ill. I find the WHO link very interesting because that’s the most thorough, unbiased article I have read regarding how to try to prevent cancer. To think that up to 30-50% of cancers could be entirely prevented is mind-boggling. If everyone cared enough about their health we could turn cancer around – from an epidemic to something far less threatening. It just makes me really sad to think that people must be “poisoned” in order to supposedly get better first, when in many cases their cancer will only return. Perhaps it’s the stubborn streak in me that wants to think there is some secret to the cancer “cure” and that it’s somehow being withheld from us.

  83. MEGANLANCE says:

    I do research often, and have had skin cancer, not internal (that i’m aware of). I do know for myself that raw bitter apricot seeds crushed between my teeth and placed on my skin, completely eliminated any trace of a skin cancer on my left forearm, radial side, close to wrist, just overnight. I also know that in my state Texas, we had several cancer hospitals that cured people left and right back around the 60 and 70′s, were shut down. They were given Laetrille/Amygdalen treatments, some call B17. So I’m not just a conspiracy theorist but know it works at least external in the raw form.

  84. Marshall says:

    Me and my dad just ate a peach seed and so I googled peach seeds and saw this web page. I freaked out till I read it. IN answer to your comment, what does it taste like. I would like to say, It tastes like a little bit of a peach/ amerita taste. (I only know what amerita tastes like because i’ve had a chocholate amerita fudge.)

  85. Post author comments:

    Meganlance, what do you mean by saying that you “do research often”?

    There were attempts on using Amygdalin / Laetrile in the US up to the 70′s, but no real reports of success. Maybe those hospitals were treating people with it left and right, but they probably weren’t curing them.
    See, for example:

    From the 1950s through the 1970s, Laetrile grew in popularity in the United States as an alternative treatment for cancer. For this reason, and despite the lack of scientific evidence that Laetrile was effective, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) studied it in 1978 through a retrospective case review (a study that looks back at cases from the past). The NCI sent out letters to more than 400,000 doctors and other practitioners, asking them to submit positive results from cases involving Laetrile. While an estimated 75,000 people in the United States had taken Laetrile, only 93 “positive” cases were submitted, and only 6 of these were found to have evidence of major tumor shrinkage.

    Usually when a treatment is being shut down by the government / health institutions, it’s because the treatment doesn’t work as advertised. Sometimes the treatment does work, and the problem is with possible side-effects, but you hear about that, and this is not the case here.

    I don’t know about your personal experience, besides the “single and unreproducible anecdote” response. Even if all the theories of how exactly Amygdalin is supposed to work were correct, and they aren’t, they still wouldn’t explain a complete over-night cure of skin cancer by smearing the extract of apricot seeds on it. So if what you describe is true, it’s beyond what even the strong proponents of this treatment claim it could do.

    I’m curious… When was this? How long did you know you had skin cancer? Do you have records? What treatments did you try before that? What made you try this?

  86. Post author comments:

    Red, wanting there to be a good and simple cure is certainly understandable. I hope there will be one as well. But it’s important not to mix wishes and facts.
    If someone will find a better treatment for cancer, they’ll test it properly, prove that it works, and then will start selling it. They wouldn’t want to bury it, and very probably wouldn’t be able to even if they did…

    Also, notice that almost all treatments are, at some level, doing harm as well as good. Rarely the bad side-effects are as severe as chemotherapy, but antibiotics and steroids are extremely common cures, and they have a whole lot of problems of their own.

    An old joke from hospitals:

    Why do people come to a hospital?
    A third come to get treated by antibiotics. A third come to get treated by steroids. And a third come to get treated for the side-effects of antibiotics and steroids.

    It’s not actually that bad, but there’s a lot of truth to it. Which is why treatments are usually given in moderation, from the weaker to the stronger, and for limited durations.

  87. Daniel says:

    Today, I ate the center-most part of a nectarine pit. It looked like an almond and had the texture of one, although it did not tast like one. I came across this little treasure by accidentally biting part of the pit, which then opened up and revealed the hidden secret. After swallowing the said "treat", I decided to see if there are any poisonous side effects. I came across this site and decided to ask. Am I in mortal danger?

    [nasty caugh beginning]

    I….do….not….want….to….die………… Please….help……… I….must….have….answer….

    [caughing stops as tongue hangs out of mouth and body collapses...the head looks up one last time as hands continue typing]

    I’ll check back for answer!

  88. Beth says:

    Hello!

    I have no idea who you are, but you just answered a very pressing question that my roommate and I needed answering. She came over to me bearing the pit of the peach she had just eaten, when lo and behold it opened and there was a seed inside. Neither of us had actually known there were seeds inside peach pits, and so the pressing curiosity to try one was almost too much to resist. However, we luckily decided to look it up, first, seeing as we’d never heard of people eating peach seeds, and lo and behold there’s cyanide in them.

    After laughing our heads off, we thought we’d say "thank you" for helping to deter our curiosity. Cheers!

  89. Dave says:

    Anyone know or have any idea how poisonous these peach pits are to dogs? I know a lot of websites list them as ‘fatal’, but a lot list them as ‘fatal’ to humans as well: which we know isn’t the case.

    I am really concerned as we just bought a new house with a large peach tree – we also have two dogs that will feast on anything, ESPECIALLY fruit – seeds and all.

    Thanks!

  90. Post author comments:

    Hi Beth. Nice to hear from you. And don’t worry, as I said the amount of cyanide in the seeds is so low that eating a few won’t have any impact on you. On the other hand, well, it shows a lot of common sense that you wouldn’t just eat something you’re not sure about.

    Dave, sorry, but I really have no idea. I’d guess it won’t be dangerous to dogs any more than it is to people. At least not due to the Amygdalin (Cyanide) there. The amounts are tiny.
    Whether they contain anything else dangerous to dogs but not to people (e.g. like chocolate does), I don’t know. Try to ask a veterinarian, though. I’m sure you’re not the first to have dogs who can eat fallen fruits, so it should be common knowledge in the field whether it’s considered risky or not.

  91. Jackson says:

    hey, i am confused. I’ve found websites which says the illuminati or masons conspiracy is to hide the cure of the peach seeds. That they can cure cancer and that eating 7 seeds of peach a day is healthy. So i ate a few seeds and it tastes nasty!! bitter taste

  92. 9anda1f says:

    Interesting site/thread…we have two "peach" trees on our property that have an abundance of green peaches that don’t seem to have filled out (they are not round but elongated and look like photos of almond drupes). When torn open, they are dry and fiberous. The "peach" seed looks like a normal peach pit, maybe a little less ridged. In trying to understand what these trees are, we came across trees advertised as peach-almond hybrids that give almonds and are wondering if that’s what these trees might actually be. The seed inside the pit tastes like an almond and has no bitter aftertaste. Does anyone have any idea of how to actually tell whether these are peaches (very dry, green ones in mid October) or almond hybrids? Thanks for any info you can provide.

  93. Post author comments:

    Hard to say for sure without a picture, but it sounds like regular green almonds.

  94. Scott says:

    I just got my first glimpse of a peach seed while trying to separate the flesh from the pit. I remembered something about peach seeds being poisonous so I found this page when I searched. A photo of the almond-like seduction I saw is at http://www.flickr.com/photos/sbfisher/1820903957/ .

    I understand that some kinds of almonds (bitter almonds?) also contain cyanide. I’m not sure if it’s cyanide in delicious, cancer tickling doses or cyanide in deadly amounts. I seem to remember the article I read also mentioning that almonds were generally more poisonous and have become less poisonous (or poison free?) with domestication and breeding. I read this long ago and can’t find the article.

    For those who like the delicious taste of peach pits and cyanide, "mustache fruit", aka "a horny bulls head" also possibly contains some. Look at this page for exciting photos. It can probably be obtained in your local Chinatown. It seems to be mostly ornamental, and when Chinese people sometimes eat it they apparently boil the inner pod for a while first to reduce it’s possible poison-i-ness.

    All I can say for my indiscretion in eating the forbidden fruit was that it was late at night, I was in grad school, and I was avoiding writing a paper. Becoming a connoisseur of mustache fruit seemed like a much more pleasant activity. One of my co-students was similarly avoiding writing a paper while sampling tiny niblets of mustache fruit flesh and became suspicious of it’s almond-like bitter nuttiness. He arrived at the brilliant conclusion that had escaped me in my paper-writing delirium: it probably wasn’t the best idea to sample unknown plants, even if they were referred to as "fruits" by other hipster students who had left them lying around the student lounge.

    Hilarity ensued as we battled the fear of death while trying to figure out what "mustache fruit" was actually called. Probably there is is no common term for it in English. Googling the term "mustache fruit" only bought up web pages of our fellow students who had coined the term (since it looks like a cute mustache if you put it under your nose in the correct orientation). We got some great advice from them on the phone such as "drink lots of alcohol, it kills everything." We finally found a couple of web pages about people eating the mystery fruit. One indicated that someone had offered the author some in the back car of a BART subway train during an impromptu flash-mob party (so it wasn’t completely inedible). The other indicated that it was poisonous and the white fleshy pod inside should be boiled for 10 minutes before eating to reduce or eliminate the poison-i-ness.

    Despite some strange feelings in my stomach (very possibly psychosomatic), I lived to tell the tale and emerge, so far, cancer-free.

    I suspect that mustache fruit may soon become the fruit of choice for including in jellies, jams, cookies and all kinds of fun-to-eat and gourmet treats. No one asks, "do I dare to eat a peach [pit]?" anymore. That is SO last century. If you really want to "disturb the universe" you must eat mustache fruit instead.

  95. Greg Oakes says:

    Laetrile Vitamin B17
    http://www.laetrile.com.au/

    >What is Vitamin B17-Laetrile?
    >How does B17 kill cancer?
    >Good & Bad Cyanide?
    >Has B17 been tested by Modern Medicine?
    >Then WHY is B17 illegal?
    >Enzymes, Enzymes, Enzymes
    >B17 in Australia & Treatment

    >These people don’t get Cancer
    >Drs Research with B17
    >Foods Containing B17
    >Treating The Cause Not the Symptom

    >Your pH – How Healthy are you?
    >Importance of Calcium & Cancer
    >WHAT I WOULD DO IF I HAD CANCER


    G. Edward Griffin – A World Without Cancer – The Story Of Vitamin B17
    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=4312930190281243507

  96. Post author comments:

    Greg, if you have something to say, or you want to link to something, please either provide your own description of what it is you’re linking to, or at least a relevant quote from the original.
    Simply copying the text of a links sidebar, that’s really not the way to go.
    All of which to say, I’m going to edit your comment a little, to remove the really not relevant bits, but will leave it otherwise intact. But in the future, do try to phrase your comments better. Or even just to phrase them.

  97. Post author comments:

    And, on the content angle, the site you link to seems like the usual front for someone selling snake-oil medicine. A lot of claims about research, with no actual scientific research data. Conspiracy theories blaming pretty much everyone else in the world on a massive-scale impossible coverup. Claiming everyone else is doing it for the money, when in fact the one trying to cheat their way into money is the one operating this site and making these claims.
    Blah.

  98. M.Buddish says:

    Millions of Peach seeds, Peach seeds for me, Millions of Peach seeds, Peach seeds for free!

    Heck, they cure cancer, and they taste like almonds…I’m eatin all I can!

    Hurry and tell all your buddies, and don’t forget to test how lethal the doses are on them first!

  99. Kenneth Dobyns says:

    Somewhat earlier, the book "Favorite Recipes of America" was referenced. The Library of Congress has a complete copy, according to the catalog entry, which says:

    Favorite recipes of America.
    LC Control No.: 68025331
    Type of Material: Book (Print, Microform, Electronic, etc.)
    Main Title: Favorite recipes of America.
    Published/Created: Louisville, Ky., Favorite Recipes Press [1968]
    Description: 5 v. illus. (part col.) 24 cm.
    Contents: v. 1. Desserts, including party beverages.–v. 2. Meats, including seafood and poultry.–v. 3. Salads, including appetizers.–v. 4. Casseroles, including breads.–v. 5. Vegetables, including fruits.
    Subjects: Cookery, American.
    LC Classification: TX715 .F2768
    Dewey Class No.: 641.5973

    CALL NUMBER: TX715 .F2768
    Copy 1
    – Request in: Jefferson or Adams Bldg General or Area Studies Reading Rms

    – Status: Not Charged

  100. George says:

    When I was a young boy of 4 to 6 yrs., I used to get a lot of ear aches. My father used peach seeds to help ease them. I asked my family members how he used the peach pits to make medicine for my ears but no one knew. Just wanted to know if any research or folk remedies were done with peach pits and ear aches.

  101. kman says:

    Gen 1:29 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.

    Gen 1:30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.

  102. Post author comments:

    kman, I fail to see how these two quotes are relevant to the discussion.

    For people who aren’t Jewish or Christian, the quotes are meaningless. For people who are, the quotes say that their God made the plants and animals, which has no bearing whatsoever on cancer or on any specific content and effects of peach seeds.

  103. thomas says:

    very interesting post, thanks.

  104. amelia says:

    I find it neat (and kind of creepy) that out of all these comments no one describes feeling any numbness in their lips/mouth. After cracking a peach pit I noticed that it looked and smelled like an almond. I was intrigued so I ate it. It had an overwhelming bitter almond taste followed by a very chemical after taste. Along with the aftertaste my lips tingled then went numb. Being stupid, I immediately broke open another pit to try it again. My lips went numb the second time as well. The numbness only lasted a few minutes. I never suffered any other ill effects.

  105. Johanna says:

    I’m in Turkey now meeting my fiance’s family, and have just discovered that dried peach and apricot seeds are an ordinary treat (not even medicinal, just a nut for eating like any other). That’s why I started to google around to reconcile this with what I was told about peach pits containing poison. Glancing at the comments, it seems likely that although the seeds contain something that turns to cyanide, eating non-ridiculous ammounts is safe. This is comparable to conventional wisdom that you shouldn’t eat a truckload of poppyseed bagels before a drug test, but in general, with poppy seeds, you’re going to be fine.

  106. Johanna says:

    Oh, update. After more googling around I find that almonds are related to peaches, which explains the amaretto flavor in all these related things. Source says (http://www.wisegeek.com/what-are-almonds.htm) that raw ‘bitter almonds’ can be poisonous, and need to be processed before becoming food product. So just to clarify: people here aren’t popping raw soft peach or apricot pits into their mouths (people report that tastes bad anyway). They’re dried, and they look and taste like little almonds, which makes sense as apparently they’re related.

  107. Johanna says:

    OK, after this I promise to go away. But just thought I’d share the below:

    http://www.ch.ic.ac.uk/rzepa/mim/environmental/html/hcn_text.htm

    Cyanide is commonly thought of as a gas, but you also can be poisoned by it if you ingest wild cherry syrup, prussic acid, bitter almond oil, or large amounts of apricot pits. Cherry seeds, peach and plum pits, corn, chickpeas, cashews, and some other fruits and vegetables contain cyanogenic (i.e., cyanide-forming) glycosides (such as amygdalin) that release hydrogen cyanide when chewed or digested. As a result, some cyanide can also be found in fruit jams that contain these pit and pip extracts, such as quince. However, since the concentration of cyanide in these compounds is small, accidental cyanide poisoning from a food source is rare. But, if the correct materials are deliberately concentrated it can make an effective poison, as the Romans and Egyptians knew. They used to grind up peach kernels to make poisons.

    - – -
    This is consistent with someone’s early post on the quantity of cyanide a person can process (like our processing alcohol, it depends on ammount and time interval). With the internet it’s amazing how quickly one goes from uninformed to half-informed… no guarantee we aren’t ill-informed and likely we’re not fully informed, but over all it’s most likely an improvement.

  108. Erin says:

    Post Author:
    I find it fascinating that you are so strongly against a simple food choice that is neither harmful nor costly, assuming a person is already buying the fruit anyway. It sounds to me like you are part of ‘the conspiracy’.

  109. Post author comments:

    Hi Johanna,
    No need to promise going away. More information, or reports, are always welcome.

    Erin,

    What exactly are you talking about?
    The post says that these seeds and pits are not problematical to eat. Personally I don’t like the taste, but some people here do, and they can feel free to eat. I agree, and stated explicitly, that it’s not harmful. How is that against any food choice? Where do you get the idea I’m strongly against eating those seeds?

    The only thing here that I’m "strongly against" is the claim that there’s something here that can cure cancer, and the whole B-17 nonsense. Eating these seeds doesn’t cure cancer, or help cure cancer in any way.
    But that’s obviously not a reason to avoid eating them. I eat quite a lot of things that don’t cure cancer, and so do everyone.

    Notice that saying they don’t cure cancer is not against any "simple food choice". Steak, milk, pasta, etc, don’t cure cancer. But I eat them a lot, and think others usually should as well.

    The fact that these seeds and pits are harmless, and cheap, is not a reason to consider them a cure for cancer, though. That’s the only thing I object to. Water is not harmful, and is quite cheap (most places). And if anyone would start recommending it as a cure for cancer, I’d be strongly against that as well.

    So, simple food choice – for. Snake oil – against. I hope we’re clear.

  110. joe says:

    Well if you check out the resources from edward g griffin’s book "A World Without Cancer" you can see the studies of the tribes and cases of b17 power to cure cancer. I find it disturbing that the supreme court denied people with terminal cancer the right to use laetrile in October 21, 1980, which assumes the individuals body belongs to the state.People belong to the state in facist and communist countries. So you can have your say, but the facts show that there is to much profit to be made off the deaths of those who have cancer. Such an industry would have huge losses if cancer patients were allowed to use B17.

  111. Calvin says:

    I’ve eaten peach seeds all my life, but just a couple at a time. I’m 56 now and seem to be very healthy. I’ve always let the pit dry a few days before cracking it, then the fruit does not have a bitter taste. Even a pecan is bitter if eaten green.

  112. Post author comments:

    Joe,
    There are no studies (or at least, ones done properly, according to all the scientific standards that serious studies are expected to adhere to) that shows any relation between the "B17" and cancer. There are various anecdotes, and there are some badly done (and non-duplicable ones) studies, but that’s about it. On any large scale serious study that was done (and a few were), no relation to cancer, and no improvement in the condition of cancer, was found.
    Not only that, but the theory doesn’t show why Amygdalin/Laetrile should have any beneficial affects on cancer, as well. The few theories suggested by the ones who try to claim this is a good treatment (all of which are selling it, and try make money from it, if you like to look for financial reasons for dishonesty) were all debunked long ago.

    If I remember the court case correctly, the court didn’t deny people the right to take whatever nonsense they want. It just denied companies the right to sell a clear no-cure as if it was a cure merely in order to cynically take advantage of sick desperate people. That’s a good thing, not a bad thing.
    Good to know that you believe the law doesn’t have a place to prevent people from taking dangerous drugs or poisons if they so wish. That’s a valid opinion, but generally speaking an attitude of preventing citizens from hurting themselves is not always an indication that people are considered property of the state.
    You should also try to read a little about communism, where it also doesn’t say people are property of the state. The implementations of communism so far have been all pretty bad, but don’t take implementation details and say that the theory requires an extreme versions of them.

    The many, many, different drug companies and medical institutions throughout the world are not capable of holding a conspiracy in the size you want to believe in. They’re not nearly that talented. And they’re definitely not that centrally organized. If any serious examination would have shown Amygdalin/Laetrile to have any positive affects on some kinds of cancer (you do know that cancer is a generic name for a very large number of different types of problems, right?) than there would have been a good reason for many drug companies to sell drugs based on it (they make money by selling drugs. You do know that, I hope). And for many doctors to try and treat patients with it (most doctors are in it to treat patient, or to earn a salary, not in order to help drug companies make money).

  113. Angus Martin says:

    You either believe in the logic of nature and human evolution within nature or you believe in the ‘logic’ of pharmaceutical-patent-money capitalism. I choose to believe that our creator inbued creation with sensible (though sometimes seemingly strange) and freely given solutions to possible illnesses, many of which modern illnesses are actually creations of another illogical (to my mind) FDA mandated and upheld nutritional system in which corn, soy, milk, beef and denatured wheat and rice, preservatives and addatives etc hold us hostage to disease, and hence to the mercy of a pharmaceutical and medical complex which has its head so far up its ass its tongue is coming out its left nostril. Drugs kill, haven’t you read the bumper sticker? Just say no. Whole, real foods, enzymes intact, and the many wonderful herbs which make up the ‘real world’ (yes, there is such a thing as the world, one which we have inherited and are responsible for) are what keep us or bring us back to a state of health.

    There are many vegetable products which the mainstream establishment has gotten wrong, because of incomplete information, bad science and economic politics. For ex. the saturated fat in coconut oil is good, not bad, but people persist in thinking that it is bad. The proof is in the pudding: indigenous people who ate large amounts of coconuts did not suffer from all of the health problems which typify our backwards/benighted modern western culture (heart disease, heart attacks, obesity, etc), until they switched to our way of doing things. When I was a child, my mother gave us margerine, because it was being sold as a health alternative to butter. Now we know that nothing could be farther from the truth. American food culture has been profoundly ignorant, and this ignorance continues with the subsidizing of corn and soy.

    If you want to find the truth about health, you DO have to start listening to the ‘marginalized’ doctors and researchers who seek inexpensive and simple answers for health, as well as looking at the isolated but healthy tribes (like the Hunza in the Himalayas who consume copious amounts of apricot seeds in thier regular diet). Of course, there are some twisted wacky ideas out there too, but most, if they are based in natural products and moderation, are harmless. The truth is that the orthodox medical establishment kills more people (though they are protected by copious doses of insurance) than all of the ‘alternative’ health people combined.

  114. Post author comments:

    What, the creator you believe in did not make corn, soy, milk, and beef? Where do you believe they come from, then?

    And this is quite besides the point. Even if there is a creator, and it’s the creator you believe in, and that creator hidden many various cures in many plants and animals, it still doesn’t say that peach pits hold anything that cures cancer.
    Hey, some, even many, foods are healthy. Natural ones definitely included. No argument there. But just because some people claim some things have amazing healing properties, and then fail to show it consistently happen in any serious study, doesn’t say it’s true. Heck, maybe the creator made parsimon peels cure cancer, and not peach seeds, but nobody noticed so far?

  115. Post author comments:

    And, as I already stated in a previous comment here, All the various “indigenous people” and “tiny tribes” anecdotes don’t really prove anything.

    1. You have too many differences. If a lot of what people eat, drink, or are otherwise exposed to, is different, then you can’t pick any one item and claim that it has an effect.

    2. They keep lousy records. You have fold tales. Stories that pass between generations by people who may, or may not, remember some of the details. Nothing written that cannot change over time, or get embellished with the telling.

    3. When they can’t diagnose many diseases, then by definition they don’t claim that anyone dies from those diseases. I’m quite sure that in industrial civilizations you have a lot less cases of death by curses, or mysterious unknown evil spirits.

  116. Sunny says:

    Hi, Thank you everyone for sharing. I believe in the power of Jesus Christ to save lifes. Jesus Christ is God the Son. When we believe what God the Son, Jesus Christ says that Joh 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
    Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. We enter into a real loving intimate relationship with God the Father through believing in Jesus Christ.

    God’s ways are far beyond our ability to comprehend Him completely or know what and why He does things. God allows things in our lives to test our faith (belief) in Him.

    Our God is able. God can do anything He wants like heal people of cancers, deliver from drugs, alcohol, wrathful personality, God saves lives eternally. God’s will, God’s ways are always perfect. We just pray daily, "LORD let our heart be completely in alignment with Your will. In Jesus’ name i pray. Amen."

    God has me praying for people believers and non believers. Some have cancer. God has me praying if it be God’s will to heal them, I agree with Him that He would be glorified. All our prayers are conditioned upon if it is God’s plan.

    I believe in the power of prayer, believing our God is able to do anything He wants. So I trust God and pray that He uses the prayers of faith, giving thanks and asking God to bless the foods, doctors, medicines and various provisions He has provided for us to believe in Him our soul provider to bless His Holy name in and through all He gives us in Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

  117. Post author comments:

    Hello Sunny,

    Thank you for contributing to this post, but the large majority of what you wrote is generic talks about God and your belief in Christ. You can, of course, hold and share those views. But it is almost entirely off-topic to this post (peach pits, cyanide, Amygdalin, etc). So I edited your comment, and removed most of it, leaving a few parts for context, and the parts that are relevant and on-topic.

    If you want to spread your belief in God, that is certainly fine, but please try to do it in the right places, instead of shoving it in people’s faces where it’s mostly out of the context of the discussion. OK?

  118. Robert Bailey says:

    My wife and I just finished processing 500 apricots we picked from our four-year old tree. It is a variety offered by Stark Brothers Nursery of Louisiana, Missouri which has an edible seed. (All the other varieties of apricot offered by Stark Bros. have "inedible" kernals.) The shelled nuts have an almond flavor with no bitter aftertaste. (Perhaps they have no cyaide precursors) If you have the room, this variety grows into a beautiful tree which does double duty providing both fruit and nuts!

  119. Bucky says:

    Well Yaron, I am amazed. Your original post for this thread was almost two years ago, and you are still responding to the comments people are leaving. I am also impressed with the patience you have shown for some of the uninformed arguments and off-topic rantings of some of the posters. I am glad I found your blog, and will check back occasionally. (A quick review of some other posts shows that we have shared at least a few similar frustrations with waiters and surveys.)

    I was directed to this page by a google search, after discovering the almond shaped seed in a peach, and remembering a little something about poison, and cancer, but not any details. I have decided not to eat the seed, as I am not fond of bitter almond flavor, but see no other reason not to. As for the topic of cancer and laetrile, I am always surprised that people who are so willing to see conspiracy and bias in the health care industry, seem unable to question the motives of some individuals who stand to profit from promoting that very idea.

    An interesting thread and blog.

  120. Gene Foley says:

    I have recently taken an Laetrile treatment in Mexico. http://www.alivizatos.com will give you an overview of this treatment and it has been curing cancer since it’s beginning in 1972 in Greece by Dr Alivizatos. There are many volumes of documentation on this particular treatment by both doctors and patients.
    If you would like some real documentation and information on Laetrile look up a book called "The World Without Cancer". This will give you some insight as to the benefits and reasons for using Laetrile that the other countries in the world recognize as their medical system is not controlled by Washington Politics.. Looking forward to your comments after you have looked at this book……

    [Slightly edited to fix the original URL, and a few typos]

  121. Gene Foley says:

    http://www.1cure4allcancer.com/world_without_cancer_video.html

    Address for book on laetrile… Gene Foley

  122. J9 says:

    This past weekend while driving home on a road trip my boyfriend brought up the question: "Why don’t people eat the nut inside the peach pit?" He explained to me that it was much like an almond, and we could make millions selling peach nuts. I asked him if he had ever eaten a peach-pit-nut, and he said, "Yes!" So I asked him what it tasted like. He replied, "It tasted pretty nasty." My response was "Well that’s the reason people don’t eat ‘em!" and we both laughed.

    Doing a Google search I found this page – Thanks for all the information!

    Also my dog has eaten whole plums before (sneaking into my fruit bowl), she is a 60lb lab/pit bull mix with an iron stomach. She didn’t seemed to be bothered by it, she was more upset that I was mad at her for eating my delicious ripe plums! I have since moved the fruit bowl beyond her reach.
    Poison Control is on speed dial – When in doubt it doesn’t hurt to call.

  123. Post author comments:

    @Robert –
    It grows so many fruits, after just four years? I’m impressed. Most of the fruit trees I have took a lot longer to yield a lot less…

    @Bucky –
    Getting mad, or insulting, may be fun, but doesn’t really help anyone beside that. And it’s a clear indication to people that they shouldn’t bother to pay attention. It doesn’t cost me anything to be calm sometimes. Especially on this particular post, which does draw people looking for information on this issue. Better try to be clear and informative, rather than abrasive and entertaining, in this case.

    That attitude you mention is not really surprising. Large scale conspiracies are interesting. A small amount of people pushing snake oil to get money, that’s a lot less interesting. Besides, people do like to believe that there are easy magic answers, so when there aren’t any, they want to believe in them anyway.

    @Gene –
    I took a quick look at the site you pointed to, but had to stop when the first paragraph contained an outrageous sentence like “Some patients –actually most patients- will tell you that the side effects from chemotherapy treatments are far worse than the symptoms of the cancer”.

    Most kinds of cancers gets people dead, maimed, and sick. Chemotherapy cures some people, lengthens the life of others (that the cancer is killing), and does in many cases have some unpleasant side effects. I can’t think of any chemotherapy side-effect which is worse than dying. And I can’t think of any cancer that heals people, improves their quality of life, or lengthen the life that they have left.
    I have a very hard time imagining any cancer patient saying that if they had to choose they would have gone with the cancer without chemotherapy, rather than chemotherapy without cancer.
    If they can’t get even the first paragraph on their website homepage to make sense, how seriously can whatever else they have there be taken?

    Again, there are no huge world-wide medical conspiracies trying to hide simple and easy cures for cancer. Nobody could pull off such a conspiracy even if they wanted to.

    A lot of the medical research in the field is done by government institutes, hospitals, and medical faculties in universities. And in more countries than just the US.
    All the various kinds of cancer are not the result of food deficiencies. Anyone who tries to claim cancers can be cured with vitamins, and is similar to scurvy, is either very very wrong, or is lying to you.

    A book, or video, by someone selling a treatment, is not really an objective source.
    Heck, that site you linked to, with the videos for “world without cancer”? The video starts by saying “we’re not selling anything”, but right bellow the videos you have a big fat link to the store…

    What could be convincing will be:
    1. A theory that explains why these supposed treatments work, and how.
    2. A properly done double-blind test to measure the effects of the treatment.

    All the theories suggest so far make no sense, don’t match parts of biological science that we can otherwise verify, and some of them have been proven wrong in monitored experiments.
    And all the properly done experiments so far have shown these treatments to be ineffective, and irrelevant. All.

    Don’t show may a salesman rambling about his product. Show me well done medical research that supports the product. So far there just isn’t any.

    @J9 -
    Amusing story. Though it does make the boyfriend seem a bit… not sharp. ;-)

    And no, it doesn’t hurt to call, better be safe than sorry. Just as long as you only do it when you genuinely have a reason to be concerned.

  124. C. Curtis says:

    Just a few points:

    1. I don’t see how anyone can make money selling seeds which can be purchased just about anywhere, and the "World Without Cancer" video is free, on the internet. The Chemo suppliers are, by far, more motivated by selling something than are the B-17 proponents.

    2. The claim that there can be no conspiracy has not been adequately backed-up in the posts here. One poster assumed there is no centralization, but that is an assumption. Most everything that is passed off as knowledge in the institutions of higher learning has a genesis in what has been passed off before, and they are funded (and awards based) in large part by large endowements from organizations such as Carnegie-Mellon. I think there is more centralization of knowledge than one may assume.

    A very careful consideration of the manmade CO2 global warming pitch shows that although there are much published studies supporting the pitch, there is serious evidence putting it into doubt that is, in fact, intentionally supressed with evidence to prove it being supressed. Call it a conspiracy, or not.

    3. The FDA, for years, claimed that mercury amalgams are harmless. A recent lawsuit has forced the FDA to post on its website that, indeed, there is valid evidence they are harmful. So much for the sanctity of peer reviewed studies. This does not strengthen the claims about B-17, but it does put into doubt the motives of "approved" sources and studies.

    4. Why is there only one mainstream study (National Cancer Institute?) on B-17 that is the be-all-that-ends-all when there continues to be much controversy on the subject and numerous anectdotal success storys? Is there some fear of studing it further? It deserves another look, I think, especially considering examples of previous studes in other areas found to be lacking, or possibly outright deceptive.

  125. Post author comments:

    Hi Curtis,

    Let me respond to your points:

    1. Vitamin supplements are a business. Legitimate companies sell actual vitamins, even though people can usually get all of them by just eating properly.
    So if someone convinces a cancer patient that some mythical B17 exists, they could certainly sell them pills with B17 when the option is consuming hundreds of peach pits.

    Not to mention all the “intensive” cancer treatment offered by various “clinics” that deal with it, mostly from less medically regulated areas, such a Mexico. Two of these were already mentioned in comments here. I assure you that they take money for their “treatments”.

    And in addition to taking money for desperate people, they prevent them from getting real treatment that may (depending on the circumstances and type of cancer) actually help them.

    2. Medical research is done all over the world. And a lot of that research is done in academia, or hospitals, where most, or at the very least some, of the doctors care of the research more than about the funding. Even if it was funding oriented, you’ll need an agreement between very many companies, some of which are in different business, and the agreement of each and every doctor and medical professional that does medical or biochemical studies relating to cancer. You’ll also need this to take place in each hospital where medical research is being done on cancer treatments, of all sorts. And you need this to work internationally.

    I mean, seriously?!

    There are a lot of studies, many of them done correctly, and most of them examined by many professionals in the field. Chemotherapy does work for the cases where it is claimed to work, at the levels at which it is claimed to work. It’s far from perfect, but the research states that clearly.
    And the biological and chemical science is in agreement with the explanation of methods for these treatments. The “alternative” fake treatments don’t have on their side either a theory that make sense, or experiments that make sense. The medical treatments do, on both counts.

    I will not go into the global warming issue here, as it is completely out of scope, off topic, and not relevant. Thanks for trying to muddy the waters, but please stop.

    3. Specifically, I’m not familiar with the mercury amalgams issue. From some quick searching and reading I made now, I get the impression that the issue wasn’t that the FDA declared them safe, and had a lot of research to back it up, but that the FDA simply didn’t bother regulating them, which they are now doing. I am not familiar with the details, but even if you take the worst viewpoint, it’s not nearly the same as the issues with chemotherapy or with amygdalin.

    Also, well, large beurocratic bodies making bad decisions in one area (I’m not saying they did, I’m not familiar with the issue, I don’t know) doesn’t imply they do the same in others. Even if we had just the FDA’s word for it, which is not the case with cancer treatments.
    There are no “approved” studies, there are just studies which are done correctly, according to best practices and scientific principals, and which are reviews by other people who are familiar with the science in the fields. And there are studies which fail on all, or most, of these criteria.

    4. There was more than one study.
    And frankly, the reasons that there aren’t any is fairly simple, and pretty similar to the reasons that there aren’t many studies checking whether ice cubes work as a cure for cancer.
    To run a proper study, which takes money, resources, and manpower, you need a reason. Especially for a study that involves human subjects. Just because someone makes a wild claim isn’t good enough a reason. You need some initial data which shows it is relevant, or you at least need a sound theory as to why.

    There is no theory that explains why, and how, this supposed B-17 works. Or rather, there were some theories like that, and they are all proven and shown to be wrong.

    There are no studies that show the treatments with B-17 actually works. There are various anecdotes, but anecdotes are not data.
    Running such a study properly is not complicated, yet none of the supporters of this alleged treatment bothered to make it. They just claim it is true, sometime loudly, and then tell partial anecdotes. There are some clinics in Mexico, and other areas, that sell “treatment” services for cancel. They are all happy to provide happy quotes by happy customers. None of them provides good data on the treatments and the before, and after, conditions, that can prove whether the treatments work or not. None of them ever bothered to publish a proper double-blind study, but then again they didn’t even bother to publish simpler studies. They can’t even come with a medically sound theory.

    As for the “controversy”, pay attention that the only people raising the controversy are the ones who *sell* the “alternative” fake treatments, and that they themselves raise the issue of controversy. They come along, make unsubstantiated claims which mostly have been proven to be false, and then claim there is a controversy because they themselves made one. Heck, if the other side made such moves you’d be all over them, and rightly so.
    There is no controversy. You can start to yell loudly that ice-cubes cure cancer. When people ignore you, after you yelled long enough and loud enough, you can come and ask why everyone ignores the controversy. This will be about the same. Except that most people would be very skeptical of ice-cubes, while something like “B-17″ which has the advantage of being “natural” sounds much better.

  126. C. Curtis says:

    Point were made, and the points were refuted. I let the reader’s decide.

    As to the Global Warming issue it bears directly on the subject at hand toward establishing a widespread supression of counterarguments and studies in the mainstream information channels.

  127. Post author comments:

    Curtis, I see your point on global warming, but it actually strengthens my position about how problematical such a thing would be.

    The main attempts at publishing false information on global warming, and ignoring good evidence, come from studies which are funded by governments, or get their result altered when published by the government, over the protests of the scientist involved. Which is why you see strong claims that global warming is not a real issue, mostly coming from the direction of the US government, and some others. Bodies which have a very clear and obvious stakes in keeping economic progress, and their industrial voters, over helping solve environmental problems that will occur only long after their terms in office are past.
    So we have a strong source for a conspiracy, and plenty of evidence that they do bad research, and tamper with the results of other research.
    But consider that despite all the noise they are making, there are still a lot of scientists, studies, and theories, which are published and reviewed, that contradict the government propaganda here. And this is despite the fact that this is a much smaller field compared to medical and cancer research, with a lot less independent researchers, a lot less people who understand the material and science well, and a lot less people who are in it in order to help other people.
    Despite all that, all those things that should make it easier to force a false position, the conspiracy isn’t going very well, a lot of it is already exposed, and a lot of solid scientific papers with a counter position are out there (a lot more than those with the politically twisted research).
    So this clearly shows that an attempt to run a conspiracy without all these advantages, and with even less central control, and keep it so successful, well, will be extremely unlikely, no?

  128. Gene Foley says:

    Your imiginary premise that a person would rather do than not do in order to live or not live is a perfect example of why you take the position you take. HAD YOU taken an in depth position of study of both the reason that laetrile works and the politics of not having it in the USA versus many other parts of the world (and it is documented and recognized by leading cancer doctors of the world) instead of trying to find in the First Paragraph a reason to stop reading, leaves you in a position to be pittied. Your education has blinded your common sense.
    I did not go to Mexico to die, but rather to take a treatment that has been in existence since the early 1970′s in Greece and was brought over here to be introcuced into the USA by one of the many people that went to Greece to be treated. It was not rejected by those it helped but by FDA and AMA. All of the proof that it does work is living proof and that does not include blind studies where those that need treatment are given placebos in order to prove that they can die while others get the medicine they need to prove That the medicines work?????????????
    Something wrrong in that secnario,,,,,,,,, wouldn’t you think

  129. Gene Foley says:

    Maybe I should explain that I have not ever been convinced that blind studies have any merit when placed beside results… 100 people given the same Meds and 85% successful is more people helped than 100 Fifty placebos Fifty Meds with 85% success with meds is 42 1/2 people helped, versus 85 the old fashioned way… My mother taught me that the proof was in the pudding, not always the technique.

  130. Gene Foley says:

    In nearly all cases when the B-17 is taken in high doses, the tumors shrink. Now one is faced with the decision of staying on the chemotherapy or stopping the chemo, due to the confusion and question as to which approach shrunk the cancer. Those that continue on with the chemotherapy have a relatively poor outcome. We understand that once an individual is caught in the vacuum cycle of chemotherapy, radiation and operations, it is very difficult to pull away from this higher authority (principalities, prestigious doctors and hospitals) and say "NO" to more chemotherapy.

  131. Post author comments:

    HAD YOU taken an in depth position of study of both the reason that laetrile works and the politics of not having it in the USA versus many other parts of the world

    Laetrile doesn’t work. And there are no reasons for it to work. As I wrote, all the claimed reasons are proved to be false. I have not encountered a single explanation/reason that is scientifically sound and can be proven by tests.

    It is also not recognized in the very large majority of the world, including pretty much all countries that have at least decent healthcare and medical system.

    and it is documented and recognized by leading cancer doctors of the world

    Err… no.

    instead of trying to find in the First Paragraph a reason to stop reading

    I figure that if someone starts spouting obvious nonsense right at the beginning, there is usually little reason to waste the effort of continuing to pay attention.

    blind studies where those that need treatment are given placebos in order to prove that they can die while others get the medicine they need to prove That the medicines work?

    Obviously you believe that it is better to provide “treatment” without any tests to see if it really works, and without any reason to suspect it works other than that a small number of people say so.
    If large pharmaceutical companies started to sell drugs without any studies to show that they worked, and without any theory to suggest why, I have a feeling you’ll be all over them. And rightfully so. So why take the completely different approach when it comes to some other unsubstantiated magic treatment? Laetrile as a cancer cure has about as much going for it as ice cubes, except for a few more salesmen and loud hacks.

    Maybe I should explain that I have not ever been convinced that blind studies have any merit when placed beside results… My mother taught me that the proof was in the pudding, not always the technique.

    The idea is that without a proper study you don’t know why the people were “helped”. The purpose of a study is not mainly to help the participants, but to try and help the rest of the population. For that you need to isolate the medication you are testing, and to see if it really is helping or not. Otherwise you can reach incorrect conclusions, treat many people with non-helpful drugs, and then have many thousands of people get worse, instead of better.

    In nearly all cases when the B-17 is taken in high doses, the tumors shrink.

    Yes, except for the minor fact that there are about zero such documented cases.

    hose that continue on with the chemotherapy have a relatively poor outcome.

    Depends, very much, on the type of cancer, the condition, and the type of chemotherapy, of course. But chemotherapy does help as much as it (e.g. the studies and medical literature based on them) claims to help. A lot in some cases, little in others. But when it is supposed to help, it does help, and you know the chances.

    We understand that once an individual is caught in the vacuum cycle of chemotherapy, radiation and operations, it is very difficult to pull away from this higher authority (principalities, prestigious doctors and hospitals) and say “NO” to more chemotherapy.

    I don’t really find it hard to understand why most sensible people would stick to a known treatment plan, instead of giving it up and losing whatever help they know they can get, all for a fake treatment that wouldn’t help them at all.

  132. Pascual Zapatero says:

    Ignacio Zapatero

    Hello everyone Im going to be 93 years old this year and I and all my family have been eating peaches and its seeds since I was a little boy on my family’s farm. I have read some of the responses here and was suprised that many people are afraid to eat them. You dont know what you are missing out on. My whole family has benefited from the peach and especially its seed to live long and very strong lives. So eat your peach seeds next time and live long.

  133. Sue says:

    Maybe this already came up somewhere, but we ate "persipan" while in Germany, which is apparently made from peach pits. Tastes great, by the way. Here is what Wikipedia says about persipan:

    Persipan (from Persicus (peach) and Marzipan; also known as Parzipan) is a material used in confectionery, mainly in Germany. It is similar to marzipan but apricot or peach kernels are used instead of almonds. Persipan consists of 40% ground kernels and 60% sugar. The kernels have a strong bitter flavour caused by the presence of amygdalin, a toxic cyanogenic glycoside which has to be detoxified before the kernels can be used. The cores are normally not used otherwise, making persipan lower-priced than marzipan. It also has a somewhat different taste, which is sometimes preferred by people who do not like the taste of marzipan.

    Persipan is generally used in confectionery in place of marzipan and as an ingredient of pastry and sweet foods, such as Stollen. It is rarely eaten by itself. In recent years, the use of persipan has increased, and the resulting rise in demand has led to shortages of the kernels.

  134. Ami says:

    Hi! I was eating a necturine (forgive me if i spelled that wrong) and it was very good so I continued to eat it untill i was very close to the core. I think I might have eating a bit of the edge of the core, will I be okay? I started feeling sick and like my throat was closing up about 10-15 minutes afterward was that the effects of the core or my mind playing tricks? I ate the necturine about 30 minutes ago maybe longer. As of right now my stomach feels like there is a stone sitting inside it and i do have the slightest sensation that I might vomit. I’ve looked all over the web and I even resorted to calling posion control! The woman that asnwered the call told me that if I felt sick I should find my "Mommy" and tell her!!! How dare she, I am not a little kid! I’m 13 years old. The moron on the phone didnt even tell me if the cores where posionous! I’m just wondering If I’m going to be okay or If I’m going to have to go to the doctors or something…
    Thanks, Ami

  135. Post author comments:

    @Ami – If there is a problem, it’s not because of the core of the nectarine. These are not posonous unless you eat enormous amounts of them.
    But if you do feel bad, it’s possible you have some other problem. Allergies? Maybe it was spoiled? Maybe you ate something else that was bad? I don’t know.
    If you keep feeling bad, going to a doctor will be a good idea, as in general. But you don’t have to worry about poison from the nectarine’s core.

    @Sue – Thanks for the info, I didn’t know that. Now I wonder if sometimes maybe I ate persipan while thinking it is a slightly different marzipan.

    @Zapatero – I am very glad to hear that you, and your family, have long and healthy lives. The peach pits are probably not the cause, but since they’re pretty harmelss than you can certainly continue to eat them. I agree that there is no reason to be worried or concerned about them, since they are completely harmless when eaten in any practical amount.

  136. Joe says:

    I have consistently found that plum seed nuts are tasty, not bitter like ones from peaches. I always eat the inside of cracked plum stones now.

  137. Paul H. says:

    I used to eat peach seeds, and I love the crisp, bitter flavor. I would probably still eat them except that I just haven’t had much of a taste for peaches for a while. Most of the ones I find in the stores lately are hard and sour.

  138. stags krakow says:

    "Vitamin supplements are a business. Legitimate companies sell actual vitamins, even though people can usually get all of them by just eating properly."

    Business is everywhere. You don’t need to call for help,if your TV is broken – You can repair it by yourself, you don’t need car mechanic – just surf the web and repair your car in garage…you don’t many services, products etc. But people like simplicity, don’t think about properly diet – buy vitamins. And companies are making a use of that.

  139. valerie says:

    Hey Post Author, Thank you for all your dedication. You work hard to make sure people hold on to fact and not fantasy. I really appreciate that. I just wanted to comment quickly, that Although I am a Christian and believe strongly in the Bible and in my faith in God, you are spot on when you say (when the people post biblical quotes for eating seeds) that just because in God’s word it says to eat the seeds it does not mean that "these particular seeds" hold a cure for cancer. Maybe they do. I am not claiming to know either way. I also want to say to my Christian brothers and sisters on this post, the Lord said to "season our words with salt" and I don’t think that posting random biblical quotes to people who are discussing other issues important to them, is helpful at all,seeing as how they are not seeking the info you are providing.
    Although we may disagree on some things "post author", you are doing a great job on this site keeping things clear, as I too am very curious about these dang fascinating seeds!!

  140. Post author comments:

    @"Stags Krakow" – Pretty much anything which someone is willing to buy, someone else will be willing to sell them. As long as they’re a price both sides will be happy with.

    A bit off-topic, but I do think your implied criticism here deserves a response:
    The fact that people can buy things, or pay for services, instead of doing things themselves, is not necessarily bad.
    Sure, you can do a lot of stuff by yourself. In some cases it’s worth it. In some, why bother? If something is difficult, painful, time consuming, or have any other "cost" to it, it’s a legitimate idea to exchange that cost for a monetary one.
    You can spend hours, or days, learning about electronics and TV repair (or mechanics and car repair, or…) . Spend more hours opening it up, and examining. Try to diagnose what is wrong. Spend some more time any money to order replacement parts. And spend more time to fix it. And, since you have no practice and experience in it, you may do it right, or you may ruin it even more.
    So if you like it, have aptitude to it, have a lot of free time, or are very bored, go ahead and do it yourself.
    Otherwise, pay someone to do it, in which case your investment is equivalent to the effort you spent in earning that money (doing a job you’re maybe more experienced in, or that you like more), or whatever it is you would have bought if you hadn’t paid for this. In many cases it’s a fair trade.
    I don’t raise cows and chickens, though I can. I don’t mine and smelt ores and metals (though potentially I can). I don’t have an electronics lab at home. I don’t weave wool and other clothes. And I don’t have a problem with it.

    @Valerie – Thank you for the comment.
    And yes, that is a very good point. Even if we disagree on the religious aspects, the issue here isn’t really religious and doesn’t touch anything explicit in any religion I can think of. We shouldn’t muddy the waters by mixing things which aren’t related, or aren’t directly relevant to each other or the topic at hand.

  141. Joe says:

    I just bought two 5 pound bags of peaches for $1.50 a bag. I found my new pair of locking pliers to extract the seeds from the stones. Peach nuts don’t seem to bother me, and even seem to help some.

    I have been cracking out seeds from plums and nectarines as well.

    It is interesting how variable the flavor can be. Many even taste like cherry.

  142. fogey says:

    Interesting blog. I googled "eat peach pit" because a young woman from Russia told me her mother made peach preserves with the pits as well. She liked them. I have an abundance of peaches from my tree and hate to waste things. I gather from reading your long and interesting discussion that the safest thing to do with them is boil and peel before eating, possibly drying first to make it possible to crack the darned things open.

    Your patience with the more fanatical folks is appreciated. Wish more people had your tact.
    Thanks!

  143. Garrett says:

    Hello Author,
    I looked the title "peach pits poison" only because I happened to be sitting in front of my computer, and hence I could do so. I had heard the story maybe 40 years ago in some book how they used to poison people with cyanide made from peach seeds. I have probably had the seeds 10 or 12 times a year. Generally I have peaches a half a dozen times a month, and every once in a while, the two sides are loose enough to spin away from each other and you can eat the seed, without going through much trouble to obtain it.
    I googled the article, and my chewing slowed down, and slowed a little more, and then sped up again as I came across the amount it would take to do oneself in. In amy case, i probably masticated that one seed for a good five minutes. A little bit sour, but nothing really spectacular, other than it is a little less sweet and less nutty (crunchy) than almonds; although I suspect that is because it was just green, and not dried.
    In any case, I have not spent such a good hour since, reading all the stuff on a given blog in a long time. It started out simply just as a comment on toxicity, and then bounced back and forth as a medical arguement over cancer killing, quack medicine, religious belief, and good interspertions of family history and culinary customs.
    I rather enjoyed how it bounced back and forth, was pleasant and bitter, well defended and poorly attacked. I too would like to give kudos to you for your dedication to the site.
    As an aside, reading about some associated fruits, and animals that would digest them, and then the fear that they would digest enough to cause them harm, made me think of something I always do; I can easily eat a pound of fresh cherries, and I am sure I have done more than that during some harvest seasons alongside the orchards at lake Okanogan in British Colombia. I never quit the pits. I always laughed and said, "Gotta be good roughage"! And I don’t bother with watermelon seeds, nor apples or any other regular fruit either.
    Not looking for any assurances, although I expect I will look back to see your or anybody else’s comments. In any case, have a great day, and keep up the good work!

  144. Gene Foley says:

    Well here I am back again!! Was reading and catching up on recent responses. @Garrett, I was also raised in the interior of BC and ate the cherries by the pound, but was glad that I did not eat the pits, as after toooo,,,, many they came back up, and for many years after that memorial summer I could not look a cherry in the eye!!!!!!!!
    And I am back again with a little practical documentation and a question? In April of this year I was diagnosed with a very agressive cancer of the bladder that had effected my right kidney, and when taking out the tumor from the bladdder, they could not get to the outlet of the right kidney and could not find any function of the right kidney. They ( the people with all the answers) wanted me to enter the Hospital in May this year to have my bladder removed, right kidney removed, possible prostrate and all lymph nodes they could get to in that area removed and then follow with Chemo and /or radiation/ or both. I have the documentation of their findings and reccomendations. We will never know if their solution would have taken care of the cancer or not.
    I went to Mexico. I am still here ( they told me I would not be here if I did not take their treatment). Six months was mentioned as a long time in our discussion of my going to Mexico or not. I HAVE ALL MY MOVING PARTS. If they are all moving around in a cancerous environment, I have still come out a winner as I have felt better and am able to go to work every day, no pain and no more outward appearance of cancer. No more blood in urine.

    I have always understood that in all sientific study’s it was the results that was looked for and when I went to school in the forty’s and early fifty’s that is the way sience worked. All experiments do not come out with the results we have assumed, and sometimes we have to restudy the things that we know in order to verify the things that we have learned so as to understand the things we have found out. The Water(Laetrile in your words) has worked and I have the documentation for this paticular treatment cycle and there are many like me that have their own doccumentation which if compiled becomes data, If ignored becomes ignorence.

  145. Post author comments:

    @Joe,Fogey,Garrett – Thanks for the comments.
    Garrett, while I’m not sure about the… mechanical/physical aspects of having the seeds and pits go through the digestive system, I wouldn’t worry too much about possible toxins. Most of them are pretty harmless in any realistic amount, and in any case when you swallow whole seeds they’ll usually pass through you intact and not be wholly digested.

    @Gene – First, and regardless of anything else in the discussion, I’m glad to hear that you are feeling well for now, and hope you will continue to be well.

    I am, obviously, not familiar with the details of your specific case, and haven’t seen your medical files. In any case it is, while very important and relevant to you on the personal level, not really relevant to the general discussion.

    Laetrile doesn’t help with cancer. With any of the many various types of things we call cancer. It fails on the basic science front, since the claimed theories on why and how it would work are all false. And if fails on tests, since all the “success” stories are individual anecdotes, while properly done studies only had failures.

    I don’t know what is your condition. I accept that you were diagnosed with cancer, and that now you feel better (Though, if I understand correctly, still with the cancer). It’s likely not due to Laetrile.

    Yes, you did get Laetrile “treatment”, and yes, you feel better. Correlation does not require causation. The Laetrile/water didn’t work, it was just incidental on the same time. You did many other things on the same time, none of which has worse claim that Laetrile on any possible improvement.
    By the same token you can say to have proof that going on a plane to Mexico, and then flying back to the US, helped you, and other people should now take seriously the “Airline Cure” for cancer.

    There’s a well-known, and accurate, phrase- The plural of “anecdote” is not “data”, it’s “anecdotes”.
    Collecting many individual statements like yours do not add up, and do not become “data” if compiled.
    For it to become data you need to try and control for external variables, which clearly isn’t the case here. You need to provide similar regiments of treatments, which probably also isn’t the case. You need to compare many cases of similar initial conditions (there are many many different things called cancer), going through the few different treatment plans, and see the variations of the outcomes (regardless of the treatments, some would get better, some worse, and in different rates. Some people would improve under bad treatment, some would keep deteriorating under good one. You need the overall statistics, not individual cases). You need to count in the cases of people who got better with the other treatments, and you need to count those who got your treatment but didn’t get better.

    Treatments that work do so also under properly done studies, they don’t fail on studies but work well in the real world. Treatments that work also have a tendency to be theoretically possible.

    Your understanding of scientific studies is on the right track, but somewhat lacking on the details. Schools tend to gloss over many of the details, since schoolkids tend to get bored very easily.
    There are reasons why studies with people are done as blind, and double-blind, studies. Collecting post-facto personal anecdotes also inserts a very large “selection bias” that would make any compilation of stories practically meaningless. And these cases are not controlled for anything.

    The placebo effects are very real. In some cases they’re small, in some they can be very large. There are actually studies showing this. Give people the same treatment, but tell them it’s something else, and the effects can be different.

    People who are desperate, go for “alternative” treatments, and somehow get better, will tend to associate this with the treatment. There’s no way of knowing if this is really the cause, unless you take a group of people with the same problem (there are a lot of totally different kinds of cancers), give some of them this treatment, don’t give it to others, and see how it goes.
    Even with no treatments, you have chances of remissions. And in many kinds of cancers the felt effects and go back and forth normally. If you feel better without doing anything, you’re not going to assume that the ideal cure is not to do anything. But if you feel better after doing something, even if it isn’t really relevant, you’d tend to attribute the effect to what you did.

    And, well, people who are desperate, go for “alternative” treatments, and then don’t get better, tend not to spread the word so much. They feel silly, they’re ashamed, or maybe they’re just still feel very sick and don’t see the need to let everyone know that they tried a long-shot that didn’t work. So if you try to collect personal stories, all these people are out there but won’t give you theirs. You probably won’t even know about most of them. You’ll only get the stories of the people who feel they have a story to tell, and that selection will be extremely skewed.

  146. Gene Foley says:

    As usual it is you that has assumed to have the facts, and so we have ( Airline Cure)???????????

    My Son the preacher drove me down there , with my wife and our youngest son. We stayed at the hospital in an appartment complex at the hospital. Car was under lock and key and at the end of twenty days we drove home, back to Iowa after stopping to see the son , the preacher…

    When he left us in San Diego, He was convinced that he would have to come back and get the wife and his brother…….. He was as skeptical as you are.

    He no longer is skeptical. The reason that a lot of people do not tell their stories is the fact that we do not have listeners but attackers. You base all your answers on a skewed test taken in the 1980′s and ignore reams of documentation to the contrary, even in your own blog. There are many Cancer Doctors in the world using Laetrile because it works and that to is well documented but not by the Pharmacutical Companies. A survey taken amongst Cancer Doctors in the USA……..60% would not take the treatments they prescribe, but would take alternate treatments in Europe or Mexico…….. Told to me by a local doctor after I returned.

    I would hope that someone would take a good look at alternative treatments, and be helped as I have.. It took several exposures to this type treatment to have me take a good look. Take control of your own treatment. Twenty Days,Twenty Days. Might be the best twenty days in your life and many time can be done before your next appointment to a specialist…. You can have an (Airline Cure) and never get off the ground!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  147. Post author comments:

    Gene, there are no “reams”, or even tiny piles, of documentation to the contrary, sorry.

    There are a few claims that laetrile can help cancer, pushed by people making money by selling this snake oil to desperate people. They can’t show a theoretical mechanism, and they can’t so it work in any properly done test trials.

    You wrote yourself that you still have cancer, but are just feeling better. Feeling better is good, and extremely important, and I don’t try to downplay it. But the claims of the clinics offering laetrile treatments are that it fights cancer, not that it improves general feeling while leaving the cancer there. So your own story doesn’t quite match the false claims made by the clinics.

    Actually, the front page of the Alivizatos clinic in Mexico, where you say were, starts by saying that the main problem with many cancer treatments and surgeries is that they leave some cancer cells inside the body, and so cannot be a good long term solution to the problem. Regardless of how much this is true, or relevant for some kinds of treatments, it is a major claim that they made. And yet they released you, felling well but still with cancer. Sounds a bit inconsistent to me.

    And no, there are not many Cancer Doctors (the term is Oncologists) in the world that use laetrile. There are very very few. Because it’s not a treatment, doesn’t help cancer, and isn’t legally allowed to use as a cancer medicine in most of the world. It is also not well documented. There are a few clinics and “doctors” saying it works, but they have zero studies, and zero legitimate theoretical papers. That’s not well documented.

    As for this survey you mentioned, I haven’t heard of it, but that doesn’t necessarily mean anything, and I probably wouldn’t have even if it happened. But 60% of oncologists saying that they prefer other non-medical “treatments” over what they know, study, and provide to their patients? Not bloody likely.

  148. Jean says:

    I have a Lemon Tree and it was doing very well. I desided to plant a Peach pit in the soil to see if I could start a tree. Will this pit, because it is poisonous, have an effect on the Lemon Tree that is in the same pot. Will the peach pit give of cyanide and kill the Lemon Tree. The Lemon Tree leaves are turning dry and dropping off.
    Jean

  149. Post author comments:

    Cyanide can be dangerous to some plants, even in relatively small amounts. And if it’s not a full tree, but a small sapling (I assume that it’s small since you say it’s in a pot and not in the ground), then potentially even a very small amount could interfere with its growth.

    But the pits don’t just leak the stuff out into the soil. Your small lemon sapling would have had to send roots that will break the peach pit, get to the seeds inside, break those seeds to borrow into them, and then somehow suck everything from inside them. That’s… not likely at all.
    Also, the pits contain Amygdalin, which is not as dangerous as the extract cyanide.

    Whatever is wrong with your tree, it’s probably something else. It’s also usually not a good idea to try and grow two trees in the same pot anyway, since the roots can get entwined, and they’ll basically compete for the same water and nourishment.

  150. Gene Foley says:

    You should check out the list of new treatments test from Mayo Clinic…. 20 day treatment Intraveineous with material not accepted by FDA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  151. Post author comments:

    Gene, I’m not sure what you are talking about. I don’t see on their site any page for new “treatment tests” that matches what you describe.

    If you’re talking about any sort of clinical trial that they are running, then these are by definition trials so usually don’t involve anything already known as working. And the people joining the trials are supposed to know that.
    If they’re actually treating people with medicine that is not FDA approved, and are doing so in the US, then they’re in a big problem.

    I can’t really comment any more without details. I’m also not sure what is the point that you are trying to make, though the abundance of quotation marks is a clear indication that you are trying to make one.

  152. Jane says:

    Dear "Post Author" (who, apparently, has no name):

    You are a very ignorant & gullable person. The "snake oil" you speak of is a far more apt description for the garbage that the FDA peddles to the masses of American sheeple (like yourself) than *any* potentual natural cure could ever possibly be. A conspiracy theory isn’t exactly far-fetched, if you use a little thing called "logic". I don’t know if any fruit pit will cure cancer, but I’m betting that, if it did, the powers-that-be would do everything possible to bury this information. Why? M-O-N-E-Y. If something as cheap & readily available as peach pits cured cancer, how could the FDA possibly benefit from it? They….. couldn’t. Right now, those witch doctors are in their labs, cooking up another batch of *real* snake oil; yet another supposed remedy for some illness…. with about 43 different problematic and/or lethal side-effects. Wow… smell the progress? They do… CA-CHING!

    Like so many trusting Americans, you put all your eggs in Big Daddy Government’s basket. So long as *they* say it works, you’re on-board, eh? They know this, and that is why their deception is so effective; suckers never question their motives. Both the pharmaceutical companies & physicians make their living off of other peoples’ illnesses; no sick people = no money. Think about it. They are certainly not in a hurry to cure anyone; there is no profit to be gained from a healthy person. And if you are healthy, they’ll find a way to *make* you sick; hence the fabrication of all these new-fangled "disorders" that require "treatment"… like ADD, for example. Yes, gone are the days when a child is simply dubbed as hyperactive; now there is something terribly wrong with them if they exhibit any type of *off-color* behavior. It is clear that the FDA’s sole mission is to transform everyone into obedient drug addicts. But, of course, the really bad stuff, like marijuana, will still be off-limits, though. [/sarc]

    Lastly, if your comments regarding alternative medicine was not proof enough that you’re as clueless as a certain Pink Panther gumshoe, the "apples are high in sugar & calories" brainfart sealed the verdict. Apples are, first & foremost, one of the healthiest foods a person can consume. They are around 45 calories a piece… and the "sugar" you were griping about is *naturally occuring sugar*. Free clue: REFINED sugar is the problem, not the natural sugar in fruits. But, since Velveeta & Dunkin Doughnuts are probably the foundation of *your* food pyramid, I’m not surprised by the lack of knowledge.

    Big Macs & Prozac: The average American diet. LOLz

  153. Post author comments:

    @Jane – There’s so much here that I’m not quite sure where to start. Let’s go:

    First, “Post Author”, as in the person who wrote (i.e. the author) the original post (There’s a reason my comments also get a different colour from anyone else). If you want a name, it’s right there in the “About me” page listed on the side. I’m not quite sure how I can be less anonymous than by putting a dedicated page that contains my real name and some other information about me.
    I am also not an American.

    Beyond that, Jane, what you write could carry far more weight if you’d try to base it on facts, and some research, and not just on personal beliefs. Personal beliefs are good for you, but facts help when you talk with other people. Regardless of what sounds nicer, there’s a difference between something that sounds good and has nothing else to back it up, and something that may sound less good but can be proven and tested.

    Check the nutritional value of apples. That “Carbohydrates” item you see there? Those are sugars, and stuff that is converted to sugar in your body once you eat it (with the exception of things like fibers, that in apples are around, what, 15% of total carbohydrates?). About 14 grams per 100 grams of apple. Yes, much less than in a doughnut. But still a lot. And not only that, but beyond some trace amounts of minerals and vitamins (which are good, sure, but they’re just surrounded by tons of sugar), it’s practically all the apple has. Get a cucumber, stuff it full of sugar, grind 5-10% of a vitamin pill on it (depends on the kind), and you’d get something very close to an apple.
    I’ve looked at various different reports on the nutritional facts about apples, and none showed as little as 45 grams per apple (an average apple weighs more than 100 gram. And each gram of carbohydrates usually means about 4 kilo-calories)

    As for the refined/non-refined sugar issue, I think you should really learn at least a little bit biology, or biochemistry. Refined sugar, and natural sugar that you eat, are both converted by your body (any body, it’s not personal) into the exact same thing. There is no difference. As a matter of fact, fructose (the form of sugar mostly found in fruits, such as apples) is a very close form to pure refined glucose.

    And regretfully they don’t have Dunkin’ Donuts here. It’s no more healthy than an apple, true, but for a once-in-a-while thing they can taste very good. I don’t know what Velveeta is but, since they probably don’t have them here either, I don’t feel the need to go find out.

    As for the “cheap and readily available” bit , even the people who claim that Amygdalin can cure cancer don’t tell you to eat peach seeds. The stuff need to be extracted from the seeds, and then further refined. Things that cannot be done in an average home. So those people sell treatments based on it. There’s money there. The drug companies could sell these pills/potions just like they sell any others, if they wanted to and were allowed to, it’s the exact same business model. You are actually claiming that they suppress a “cure” that can be soled for money, and is sold for money, because… it can’t be sold for money?
    There are people making money from Amygdalin. And this group has a very very very strong correlation to the group of people who claim that it works. The money trail is obvious.
    The drug companies would have loved to sell you that as well. They don’t, since it’s illegal, and since it’s known to not work. They’re concerned about the fines, the huge lawsuits, and the possible prison sentences. If the FDA (or equivalent elsewhere) wouldn’t have prevented them from selling junk and calling it a cure, then they would sell it, and you would have had a very good reason to claim the greedy bastards are doing a terrible wrong for money. But they don’t, you’re protected. You only have lonely con-man selling you this snake oil from abroad. Be happy.

    The FDA does not sell drugs and medicine, just so you’d know. The pharmacological/drug companies do have an interest in selling you medicine. The FDA doesn’t. It doesn’t make sense to blame them for it.
    You can try and claim that the drug companies bribe people in the FDA, and that this is the money link. But the FDA stops a lot of what those same drug companies try to sell. If they control the FDA it would make more economical sense for them to get approval for junk they can sell at a high price, instead of for suppressing a few individual medicines for rare conditions.

    Any medicine that has a solid model for how an why it works, and that has been shown to work in properly done studies, is superior to any “potential natural cure” (especially with this “potential” there). Notice that if the “natural cure” had a way in which it could work, and could be shown to actually work when tested, then it would become a part of mainstream medicine. This happens. A lot. A large amount of the “herbal remedies” area is based on stuff that works, and the advantage of the pharmacological versions (based on the same stuff, but processed) is that you have exact control over the amounts and quality instead of having it vary based on thing like who watered the plant and in what condition are the leaves.
    But somehow Amygdalin, unlike many other “natural” cures, didn’t find itself co-opted by the medical industry. Why? Because unlike some of the other stuff, it doesn’t work.

    I also find it completely rude, uncalled for, and objectionable, for you to say that the majority of doctors do their jobs only in order to take advantage of sick people. Some do it as a career, yes, but even that is no different than practically any other profession. And a lot of them do so because they want to help people, and to cure people. A lot of them are very serious about it. Saying that all these people are only in it for the money, and actually want more people to be sick, is, frankly, disgusting of you.

    And, oh, BTW, there is no obvious relation between “natural” and “good” or “healthy”. Think about it. Notice that, for example, cyanide is natural (actually, this Amygdalin is a cyanide version). Would you take some cyanide to feel better? Notice that most germs and viruses are also totally and completely 100% natural. If you really feel like getting yourself some, and then avoiding the evil murdering doctors and hospitals, well, go right ahead.

  154. Post author comments:

    There is one thing we do agree on, most people should cut the Prozac. Except for the few cases where it’s needed medically, the large usage is as a “happy pill”. And I recall seeing some decent studies that found it does it about as well as a placebo.

  155. Joanna Abdoh Lonon England says:

    I like peach seeds. They are very useful in decoctions for teas. This is what Wiki says about it: "The peach (桃 in Chinese) (Prunus persica) is known as a species of Prunus native to China that bears an edible juicy fruit also called a peach. It is a deciduous tree growing to 5–10 m tall, belonging to the subfamily Prunoideae of the family Rosaceae. It is classified with the almond in the subgenus Amygdalus within the genus Prunus, distinguished from the other subgenera by the corrugated seed shell."

  156. Payday Loans says:

    Its hard to belive that a peach tree seed could have poison. Nevertheless, I glad that you did your research and found out that the amounts could possible hurt someone.

  157. Post author comments:

    Err… It seams that you kind of completely misread the post. The amount is one that couldn’t possibly hurt someone. Someone would have to eat a few kilos of seeds (just seeds, not considering the fruit) per day in order to start feeling the effects.

  158. Leah says:

    this post may be a bit off-track, but it’s regarding "Blood Stasis" — a topic mentioned in late 2006 by

    Rebecca W says:
    November 21st, 2006 at 20:05
    I am a student of Oriental Medicine

    and by
    Piet Van Allen says:
    December 18th, 2006 at 11:22
    “Blood Stasis”? Hardly a real condition


    The tenth-century AD Sung Dynasty physician Chang Tsung-cheng wrote extensively on the therapeutic benefits of cleansing the colon of accumulated debris and poisons, and he recommended this therapy for all sorts of seemingly unrelated ailments, including indigestion and constipation, breathing problems, headaches and fever, stiff and painful joints, mental and emotional abnormalities, and so forth. He wrote:

    All physicians know that the unobstructed circulation of fresh blood and vital energy
    are the most important factors in health. But, if the stomach and bowels are blocked,
    then blood and energy stagnate.

    The traditional Taoist method of cleansing the colon involved therapeutic fasts combined with powerful herbal purgatives that dissolved mucus and dredged debris from the colon.

    These methods are mentioned as far back as the third century BC, in the Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine.

    Source: http://www.thenazareneway.com/diet/fasting.htm

    peach kernels, they’re delicious and healthful for humans to eat them. the Bible says that seeds are edible:

    Genesis 1:29 (New Living Translation)

    Then God said, "Look! I have given you every seed-bearing plant throughout the earth
    and all the fruit trees for your food.

    Source: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis%201:29;&version=51;

    eating peach kernels (i prefer to call them seeds or nuts) makes wonderful sense to me. daily diets worldwide include nuts, and many common spices/foods are seeds (cumin, anise, coriander, etc.). also, medicines are made from the parts of trees (roots, bark, leaves, fruit, seeds).

    thanks!

  159. Post author comments:

    @Leah -

    1. People thousands of years ago believed in great many things. Some of which were true, but a lot of which weren’t.
    Emperors in china of the time were believed to be direct descendent from gods, if not gods themselves. I assume that you agree this was in fact wrong? So why take their word for anything else, without any more facts to support it?
    Blood, in a living person, does not “stagnate”. There is no “vital energy”.
    The unobstructed circulation of fresh blood is indeed important, because if you stop blood to a limb then it will very quickly die. It does not, however, relate to all those other illnesses and health issues. People at the time believed in those things, because they didn’t know any better. Or just didn’t know. They made assumptions, decided they’re true even though they didn’t have any good methodology to test them, and kept on using those assumptions. We know better today. When someone make such statements and assumptions, we don’t believe them automatically, but ask them to prove it. To explain why and how, and to show how it can be tested. Myths and false believes of the past are interesting, but are not medically relevant.

    2. Yes, peach kernels are edible. As was mentioned here, numerous times, you’d need to eat a very large amount for it to cause problems.
    On the other hand, the bible quote you provide is… amusing, and not really convincing by itself. There are numerous fruit trees that have highly poisonous fruits, and there are many seed-bearing plants whose seeds are poisonous. Some are edible, some aren’t, and for some it’s a matter of amount.
    The fact that many spices are seeds doesn’t mean that all seeds are edible. That logic goes the wrong way. Exactly like the fact that some plants have parts with medical properties doesn’t imply that all plant parts are edible and healthy.

  160. Kari says:

    I know someone who likes peach seeds. They eat them and say they taste kind of like and almond.

  161. payday loans says:

    WOW! This is a very interesting blog. I had no clue that peach seeds were poisonous. However I do love to eat apricot seeds when I bottle fruit. Is that bad?

  162. Laurie says:

    I never knew peach seeds were poisonous. My dogs love eating them. Every summer they love finding them, playing with them and eventually cracking them open and eating them. They have never been sick after eating them. Now am not sure what to do to keep them off the ground. I have two trees and my neighbor has one that drops peaches in my yard too. How toxic are they? Do you need to ingest alot of them to be dangerous?

  163. Post author comments:

    @Laurie,
    No, they are not very poisonous. As for how much do you need to ingest for them to become dangerous, that is written explicitly in the post. A person with a weight of 50Kg will need to eat about 600gr of seeds before reaching dangerous levels. That’s a lot. And if you’re not that small and skinny, you can eat even more. About dogs, I’m really not sure, since their metabolism is different, but I’d assume that a random pit now and again would be meaningless.

  164. CherrySeedBiter says:

    I was eating some cherries this morning and happened to bite into a couple of seeds, which caused them to break. Just out of curiousity, I bit harder into one and extracted the pulp inside. It looked harmless enough, so I chewed it up. It didn’t taste very good and I nearly spit it out. After a while I had a bitter sensation, which concerned me. Google brought me here, as it did most of us, I suppose. Reading all (most) of this was quite informative and entertaining. I don’t plan on eating any other poisonous seeds if they taste anything like cherry seeds. I seem to remember trying a peach seed as a kid, but obviously it didn’t agree with me. Frankly, I think you people who like them have a "sick" sense of taste. It’s hours later now and I can still taste something bitter! Maybe cooking them changes the "flavor" somewhat, but I can’t see why anyone would like it. But I find coffee bitter also and have never consumed a full cup of it. All in all, pits are the pits!

  165. Post author comments:

    I don’t like the taste either. But, well, different people have different tastes. As long as nobody forces me to eat the things I don’t like, I don’t mind if other people want to and eat them.

  166. Zapurdead says:

    I would like to contradict the "Jesus Christ and his magical healing remedies, Western medication is evil" statement with a quote that I hold in high regard.
    "I don’t understand. I prayed for three years for Jesus to cure my syphillis, but then I took antibiotics for three days and it dissappeared."

    Not trying to bash Christianity, just those who claim that Western medication is a hoax to make us sick, and folk/prayer/herbal medication is the only way to go.

  167. Deanna says:

    Being a 19th century living history cook, I know that peach kernals (and other stone fruit kernals) were used for centuries to flavor foods like we use almond extract to do so today. Peach leaves too. I have never tried them, and I always tell visitors that they are supposed to have cyanide in them because that is what I have heard for years. Now I am thinking I might give them a shot in some recipes. Do you have any info on how much of this Amygdalin is in the peach leaves? I am coming up with not much info except the Laetrile stuff.

  168. Emery says:

    Have there been any studies on developing resistances to cyanide or similar poisons through small doses of it, like in peach or nectarine pits?

  169. Post author comments:

    Hi Emery,

    I’m not sure about Cyanide. For most poisons this technique, while popular in stories, actually doesn’t work. It is effective for some, though, mostly kinds of metal poisons (arsenic, etc).
    Even when it does work, there are no guarantees, and you are basically filling yourself with a poison on a regular basis. Side effects can certainly be present, and cause various kinds of damage.
    I’d guess that Cyanide is not something that you can develop resistance to, since there’s nothing in the operating mechanism that involves a reaction that would become weaker with familiarity and exposure. Then again, I’m really not a biochemist, so that’s just a guess.

    All that said, with the amounts of cyanide you’d get from eating the Amygdalin in peach pits, you’d probably not get any damaging side effects, but also won’t get any resistance or other effects.

  170. bathroom suites says:

    one minute people tell you you shouldnt eat that then next tell you it helps prevent cancer!! what do you believe.

    if you cared about everything you heard you wouldnt eat anything

    jen x

  171. quick payday loans says:

    didnt know the peach seeds where posions thanks for the information and i will make sure not to eat the alot of time the seed of fruit dont taste so good so i dont think this will be a problem for me

  172. Post author comments:

    You can eat them, the amount of poison is so small that you are physically incapable of eating enough to get poisoned from it, and there’s nothing there that cures cancer. It’s very simple.

  173. Dave says:

    I came across a cracked stone and ate the peach pit beacuase as you say it looks just like an Almond. I thought it was delicious, kind of a coconut flavor. I have to admit tho when I first read the headline about it being poisonous I got concerned.

  174. Janda says:

    I love peaches, especially after putting them in the cooler. I basically stumbled upon a cracked stone, and I was curious about the seed. I ate it, and I agree with a previous poster that it tastes like amaretto. A good breath neutralizer.

    I was assuming that if the seed was dangerous it would not be in super-markets for consumption. But, are there any significant benefits to be had from eating the seeds? I don’t want to be spending the energy to acquire them for the placebo effect.

  175. elizabeth says:

    Author, I was wondering if you could relay some of the information you recieved while talking to actual doctors and patients who have used the laetrile/B17/apricot seed "treatment" for cancer. Evidence becomes solid when it is backed up by both "studies" and individuals.

  176. Post author comments:

    @Janda – there are no benefits, other than that if you enjoy the flavour then you can get to enjoy the flavour.

    @elizabeth – Evidence becomes solid when it is backed up by, or is made of, facts. You get these from theory (our biological, biochemical, and anatomical knowledge is growing all the time, and in many areas is very solid, including the ones needed to know that all the supposed explanations so far about how laetrile could treat cancer are completely false). And you get these from properly done, and repeated, studies. Individuals are the ones taking parts in those studies. You want the data, not the anecdotes. The better done studies, with information from all the individuals taking parts on those studies, failed to find any sort of improvement from laetrile.

    If you can’t explain how or why it would work, and you can’t show that it works under controlled conditions, the sane thing to do is understand that it doesn’t work. It’s not a complicated concept.

  177. Zoe Holstay says:

    My friend loretta ate peach seeds when she was younger and she did not die or go to the hostpital she was okay.(her grandma let her eat them because it was a reward for helping her grandma make peach jam).

  178. elizabeth says:

    If I can’t explain how or why it would work, and I can’t show that it works under controlled conditions, then it is a possibility that I’m not smart enough to figure it out. Truth exists beyond our understanding. That’s not a complicated concept either.

  179. Post author comments:

    Elizabeth, you’re mixing two issues here, and you’re basically reaching wrong conclusions on both.

    1. Negative tests vs no tests.

    Just because you don’t know how or why something works doesn’t mean it’s wrong, that’s true.

    But when you make the tests and experiments, and none of them show that it works, that does give a good indication that it’s wrong, or at the very least it gives a very strong indication that it doesn’t work under the conditions it was tested with.

    If there’s a claim that nobody tested, you can choose to give it the benefit of the doubt. You don’t know that it works. But you also don’t know that it doesn’t work.
    Once it was tested, and the claimed results didn’t happen, it’s a whole different issue. You know have information showing the claim is probably wrong, and no information supporting it.

    In this case you should assume that it doesn’t work. Because it was tested, and in these tests it… didn’t work. Not working is an excellent indication of not working.

    2. Interpreting the unknown.
    You are right, of course, that there are things we don’t understand yet, and things that we don’t know. Many of them, even.

    But when someone makes a claim that we don’t know about, the correct response is to not take it as a given. Many people claim a great many things which they have no explanations for, and cannot prove or demonstrate in any way. So how do you rationally pick which baseless claims you want to embrace, and which not? You can’t take everything. Lack of any explanation and proof is not positive proof. And most things that appear baseless actually are baseless. What you should do is avoid accepting something until you have a good reason to accept it.

    An explanation, that matches things you already know are probably true, is a good reason to consider accepting something.
    Demonstrations that something happens and works, is also a good reason to accept it. You just need to know how certain can you be that the demonstration actually demonstrates what it claims to, and not something else.

    Lack of explanation, coupled with lack of demonstrations, is not good enough.
    "Truth exists beyond our understanding" does not mean that anything we don’t understand must be the truth.

  180. elizabeth says:

    The tests "gave a good indication that it’s wrong, or at the very least it gives a very strong indication that it doesn’t work under the conditions it was tested with."

    That isn’t the same as "laetrile doesn’t work."

    I suppose where we are disagreeing is how trustworthy the tests were. You said earlier in this thread that no tests are designed to fail, which isn’t necessarily true. If the testers didn’t know their tests and what they were testing, there is a good chance the results would not reflect the truth.
    I don’t just take things as a given, which is why I question the results of a test such as this one, for several different reasons.
    And of course, laetrile could be entirely useless, but I think "entirely" is a poor conclusion for almost anything.

  181. Post author comments:

    Nothing is the same as "doesn’t work". You cannot create a test that will prove that water doesn’t cure cancer. You can, however, create tests that check if water cures cancer, and fail to show that it does.

    Several tests were performed with Laetrile, even though they shouldn’t have bothered (again, the issue of theory. The amount of potential cures and treatments for testing is so high that we can’t test all of them, so basic plausibility, and not going against all existing knowledge, are good first level filtering criteria) .
    Some of them were indeed methodically bad, but the larger ones were mostly solid. No test, that wasn’t atrociously bad at methodology, found laetrile to work, or found any indication that it might work.

    Based on this information you can either decide that Laetrile doesn’t work (because you tested, and it didn’t), or decide that it can work (because you can never rule anything out by entirely 100%). The problem with the second way is that according to it you should believe that water, cottage cheese, classical music, and seeing brown cats, all cure cancer too, since the evidence to support it is exactly identical.

  182. elizabeth says:

    They are not exactly identical in any way! there isn’t any anectdotal evidence or case study evidence that seeing brown cats cures cancer, and there aren’t any clinics in Mexico that use that method. Nobody says that classical music makes spots on thier skin dissapear, and I don’t hear any 90 year old men claiming that cottage cheese keeps them healthy and cancer-free. Also, the tests themselves didn’t have as miserable of an outcome as you are claiming. for instance:

    “Some patients had a complete response (the disappearance of all signs and symptoms of cancer).”
    (http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/cam/laetrile/Patient/page2)

    All of that doesn’t lead me to conclude that laetrile works. It simply doesn’t allow me to rule it out – yet.

  183. EDRN says:

    Interesting blog… what I find amazing is looking on your ‘About Me’ page, and seeing that you are ‘twenty-something’ and have the definitive answer that laetrile does not work: period. Also, that you ‘are over-cynical about life in general’, [is that how you worded it? I admit, I may not have quoted it correctly]. Is there the remote possibility of other doctors in other countries besides 1st world countries having a better answer than that? By what authority do you make your sweeping statement in the negative? Are you a research scientist or in the medical profession? I saw nothing relating to it on your ‘about me’ page. Perhaps there is a time-warp factor here and because of time lapse, you are much older or somewhat older and have more experience/knowledge by which you make these statements? Just curious. Perhaps laetrile DOES work, but no one has learned the exact method by which it does. Maybe some of the research/medical people are on the right track? The medical doctor’s report written/pasted in by Red Dirt Girl long ago, scientifically makes the most sense, more than what came out of Mayo Clinic. I am a nurse; it was fairly well written, considering the person’s first language was NOT English. I, too, do not wish to see people in desperate need of help and hope bamboozled nor scammed; it is a crying shame and robs people of their trust in any profession, but I do recall seeing a movie, based on fact, called ‘Lorenzo’s Oil’ in which the parents of a small boy saw him being debilitated by a disease about which the medical profession knew nothing [they only had a name along with the signs and symptoms for it], so they gave them no hope, no help and, basically told them to go home and let him die. Of course, they [his parents] loved him more than their own lives, so they went to work discovering just what the disease was, what caused it, and what could cure it. They worked tirelessly, diligently, and fiercely, in hope they would discover all three answers before he was so far gone into the disease that they would lose him either to death or total paralysis. In the process, they helped MANY other young boys afflicted with the disease, before the disease caused the total debilitation in them which it had in their own son. So, could we all, please, not be so hard-nosed in either direction? I have seen both the cases where laetrile did help and those where it did not. I have worked with cancer patients, felt their pain that their lives might end before they did all they wanted to in life or that they would leave behind small children who needed them. If it [laetrile] can give them hope, don’t tell them ‘NO’, because there is something to having hope which helps a person w/ cancer live longer than they would without it. This does not scientifically plead the cause for laetrile; it DOES plead the cause to allow people to have hope related to certain treatments and to have the right to choose without someone being sarcastic or cynical toward them and their choices or to totally turn them off, tune them out because of their choices and hopes. On a lighter note, does it not stand to reason that something which tastes so bitter just HAS to be good for us??? smile, chortle and laugh

  184. EDRN says:

    To add on a little more after reading some former bloggers and post author’s comments: chemotherapy ‘drugs’, per se, ARE poison, even if they are highly touted by the medical industry/profession… so, if I understand correctly, why the protest that peach pit kernels and/or leaves are poison or contain poison and ‘you’d be putting poison into your body on a regular basis’? As I read and glean from other sites besides this one, the amount of cyanide poison found in the kernels is in very small amounts so it would take very many kernels, very many times per day, on a steady, day-by-day, month-by-month basis to do any harm. Granted, not enough research has been done wherein to set the levels of what is safe and what is not, so it’s not something to be messed with without supervision or more research. When chemotherapy is administered, the doses of nitrogen mustard [one of the poison drugs usually administered] is so high, it kills even the good cells; the fastest growing cells are the quickest to die. The reason for this is that cancer cells most commonly are very rapidly growing and dividing cells also, so it targets them, but is not discriminating enough to target ONLY them. Consequently, the entire mucosal lining of the digestive tract can slough off and leave a very painful, irritating inflammation, called stomatitis, behind. This predisposes the patient to infections, takes away their appetite, and needs must create the need for drastic changes in diet so they do not further rip up their digestive tract: a radically soft diet is needed to prevent further injury to the GI tract. This is also the reason hair falls out in large quantities: hair follicle cells are rapidly growing cells, so it stops, temporarily, their growth processes. Even practitioners of medicine in the field of oncology state they would NEVER allow any of their loved ones to undergo treatment with accepted chemotherapy drugs because of how much sicker it makes an already very ill person. I truly believe we need to be focusing on beefing up [pardon the reference to the meat industry] the immune system and enhancing it’s ability to fight off the diseases which can be so devastating to the human body. [Please also note: any capitalized letters in my responses are merely for emphasis and not intended to be shouting/yelling at anyone.]

  185. QUICK PAYDAY LOANS says:

    this is some thing i dont have to worry about because i dont think i be eating any peach seeds but thanks for sharing

  186. Post author comments:

    @elizabeth –

    Anecdotal evidence is not data, technically it’s not evidence. This is why it doesn’t contribute anything when you try to estimate the reliability of treatments.

    People are very good at seeing patterns. So good that we see patterns even when they’re not there, or when they’re not real patterns.

    Say that you went to a checkup, and was found to have early signs of some of some kind of cancer. There are cancer types that, at early detection, have around 20% chance of a spontaneous remission. The doctor may still recommend treatment, since it leaves you with 80% chance of the cancer remaining, and getting worse, requiring more aggressive treatment later and possibly becoming incurable.
    At this point you can decide to avoid the treatment, and go home. If your cancer disappear, you either chalk it up to the 20% remission, or go around telling your friends that you were misdiagnosed because you don’t have cancer.
    But what if instead of going home and resting, you go home and start treatment with laetrile in Mexico? Well, you have 20% chance of this cancer going into remission. So 1 out of 5 people in this case will go and tell all their friends that they had cancer, took laetrile treatments, and it cured them.
    Which is not true. They had cancer, true. They took laetrile, true. Their cancer disappeared, true. But it wasn’t the laetrile. This is the difference between anecdotes and properly researched data. The anecdotes now show plenty of people "cured" by laetrile. Data would have shown that from the people who took laetrile about 20% were cured, while people who didn’t take laetrile… also had 20% "cured", with the conclusion that laetrile wasn’t shown to work…

    And about not having anecdotal evidence, or believers, in the curing power of water… What about an old cure, for all / many diseases, the "Snake Oil" ? There were plenty of con men who travelled around selling the magical cure. And plenty of people who thought it helped them, for reasons similar to the one described about, or due to the placebo effect. And, well, snake oil doesn’t work. It so doesn’t work that snake oil is the term used today to describe something sold as if it possesses certain useful qualities while in fact it doesn’t do anything and all those qualities don’t exist. Laetrile, in the cancer curing regard, is pure snake oil. People who will try to sell snake oil today will find themselves severely fined, or thrown in jail. Since beyond the anecdotal suggestions, it doesn’t work and is a pure scam. It’s the same for laetrile. Unlike with water, the evidence is exactly the same

    As for your quote from the research, please try to read the actual full text, instead of quote-mining. Even if you don’t go to the actual research, and just read the relevant synopsis paragraph, you will see "Almost all of the patients had been treated previously with chemotherapy or radiation therapy, but it is not known how soon treatment with benzaldehyde began after the other treatment ended".
    What this means is that the patients received the standard treatment. Then, an unspecified time afterwards, they were given something else, and were found to have had their cancer regressed.
    So, major the problems here (there are a few more, if you care to look) :
    1. The percentage of people "cured" vs. "uncured" isn’t listed in the abstract. Neither is the exact type of cancer, or the stage it was discovered in. So it’s not possible to know if the benzaldehyde treatment helped or not (e.g. that 20% laetrile cure rate from the example above).
    2. This was given after another known treatment. So the "cure" rate to indicate effectiveness should have been not only above the spontenanous one, but above the one expected from the regular treatment. A higher bar. Which we are not told was hit. If it was, why not?
    3. Why does the experiment not list how long after regular treatment was the experiment performed? This is crucial, and very relevant, data. It’s not something that a researcher could have missed, or thought is too trivial to include. It certainly doesn’t prove that something was wrong, but it provides a very strong indication to it.

    Short version, imagine that one of the large pharmaceutical companies would start selling a new drug to cure something. And they will tell you that they did a lot of research to test the effectiveness of a drug, and none of the properly done tests found it to be of any use, while a few potentially biased and badly made ones found some minor advantages. They’ll also tell you that their drug work in a way that contradicts anything we now know about biology, biochemistry, and the behaviour of the diseases it treats against, but beyond selling the drug they don’t see a need to try and claim their nobel prices or to perform the science to explain how it works and what is wrong with the current knowledge.
    Will you be happy to go to a pharmacy and pay good money for this drug? Or will you claim that they’re full of crap, demand that the FDA investigate this and shut the company down, and yell at them for being lying s.o.bs who want to kill people by selling them ineffective drugs only so they could fill their pockets with money?

    @EDRN –

    First, well, whatever I wrote above to Elizabeth.

    Second, please use the "enter" key to enter some paragraph breaks. When you write a large text, all in a single block, it makes it very hard to read, and very hard to go back to when trying to respond. This, BTW, applies everywhere, not just here. People will treat what you write a lot better if they don’t have to work hard in order to be able to read it.

    Now, about me. The "about" page is indeed a bit out of date, I’m not in my early thirties. I am, unfortunately, both very busy, and somewhat lazy, which is also the reason I mostly neglect this blog.
    This does not, however, impact what I write here in any way. The claims are true regardless of who is saying them. I’m not telling you that laetrile doesn’t work because "I" say so. I’m saying that laetrile doesn’t work because it fails all and any proper criteria needed in order to claim that something is working.
    If you do insist that you won’t take any argument unless it’s an argument from authority, made by experts in the field, well, that’s fine. What I’m saying is exactly what is said by the experts who ran the experiments, by the experts who checked the theoretical science behind the claim, and by the experts working for the regulatory agencies.
    I don’t need more experience to claim that cigarettes cure cancer, that water cures thirst, and that seeing a brown cat doesn’t cure heart diseases (Though in the latter case I have less cause, since it only contradicts the science but AFAIK no actual experiments were done).

    I’m not familiar with your story about the boy, but I don’t see it as directly relevant. If I understand you correctly, in this story the disease was one which was not understood, and the parents pushed research to try and find cause and cure. In the case of cancer, there is still a lot not properly understood (of course depending on the kind of cancer, there are very many different cancers), but also a lot that is understood. We know enough about the mechanism to see that there is not way for laetrile to work (which is different from not knowing enough to know if it can work or not). We ran the tests, and found it not working. And we do have working treatments, that we’re working on and improving all the time. It’s a completely different scenario, type of problem, and type of solution and handling.

    As for seeing laetrile help people, again notice that you didn’t. You saw people who took laetrile, and who had their condition improved. That doesn’t mean that laetrile was the cause. They did a lot of things during the time.
    To make even a stronger point, there are many types of cancer which are mainly treated surgically, and which are then followed by chemotherapy and radiation mostly in order to prevent recurrence, and not mainly in order to cure the cancer. In those cases patients often have 70-90% chance of cure simply by having the surgery. If they decide to avoid chemotherapy and radiation at this point, they get a chance for a repeat, but still keep a very good chance of remaining healthy. Personally I would prefer chemo to even 10% chance of getting cancer back, but some people prefer otherwise. And some of those seek, at this point, after doing the surgery, alternate treatments. Such as laetrile. And then they go and announce to the world that the alternate treatment cured them of cancer, because they took it instead of chemotherapy, and they’re now health. This isn’t a theoretical example, there are a few of those who reached the papers (not specifically for laetrile, in the cases I remember, but for other types of snake oil). So if you saw any of those, why, it will be very easy to get the impression that laetrile works, even though it doesn’t.
    This is, again, why in order to judge a treatment we need data, not anecdotes. Personal experience is known, for a fact, to be unreliable, due to many factors. Otherwise nobody would have bothered to develop the complex methodology for doing tests, controlling tests, and statistically evaluating tests.

    And you know something? If there is a thing that can give people hope, but does not actually help them, I strongly believe that it would be extremely unethical to tell them it works and have them try it.
    This is why you don’t prescribe sugar pills, or other types of placebo, to people with any disease. It can often work, the placebo effect is very well known. But it’s also a lie, since the treatment itself doesn’t work, merely the fact that the person thinks they are getting treated. Better to give them an actual medicine, and try to have them believe it works. That way you’d get both the placebo effect, and actual health effects.

    About the beginning of your second comment, I fail to believe that you both read the post, which states that peach pits are in fact not poisonous in any practical amount, and the other following comments, where I kept iterating the same thing, and got from it that I wrote they are poisonous.

    Chemotherapy, like many other drugs, does involve chemical that cause damage to the body, and can be certainly labelled as poison. Nobody says (I hope) that you should do a weekly chemo round for fun all your life, as a way to improve health.
    But while chemotherapy is bad, cancer is much worse. The chemo won’t kill you, just maybe temporarily make you wish you were dead. The cancer can kill you, or cripple you.
    As in all cures, it’s a trade off. Most medicine has side effects. You still want to take it when the cure isn’t worse from the disease. If chemotherapy would have cured a headache, I’d strongly object to having someone with a headache go through a round of chemo. But we’re not prescribing it for headaches, we’re prescribing it for cancer. In this case it’s worth it.

    And as long as research continues, it gets much better. Both in the effects and cure rates, and in the reduction of side effects.

    Same as Elizabeth, you need to learn to read the actual research you quote. The questionnaire you mentioned, with oncologists saying they don’t allow their loved ones to get chemotherapy? I would be extremely wary of trying to make any sort of a solid statement based on it.
    Some facts, which you can find out easily by doing some research:
    * It was made 23 years ago, and the drugs today are much better. In this field, it’s a long time.
    * It wasn’t published in any proper journal, which may not say much by itself, but as usual it’s an indication that maybe serious publications didn’t think it was serious, and that the publishers thought it won’t stand up to actual scrutiny so decided to go for the news factor instead of facts and science.
    * This survey focused on a particular type of chemotherapy, not on chemotherapy in general. And a type that was known to be among the more "nasty" types at the time. That type has been superseded by ones which are both much more effective, and much less toxic.
    * They also asked about a specific type of cancer, not any cancer in general.
    * And the highlight? That particular type of cancer… it wasn’t really curable with the chemotherapy they asked about. So naturally any sane oncologist wouldn’t have wanted his or hers loved ones receiving this nasty chemotherapy for this cancer it will not be effective in curing.

    I am in full support of finding more ways to fight diseases, improve general health, and strengthen the immune system. We have no argument here.
    What I’m also saying is just that:
    * We should use the best cures we have now, instead of the best cures that we hope we may have in the future but can’t physically give to any sick people right now.
    * We should not give people treatments which are much worse than the best we have right now, and which we know to be ineffective.

    I hope none of the above two statements is something that you disagree with.

  187. Brian says:

    I wish i knew of a way to germinate a peach seed.

  188. elizabeth says:

    Anecdotal evidence doesn’t contribute anything SCIENTIFICALLY to the reliability of the treatments. and yes, "technically" it isn’t "data". However, just say hypothetically that laetrile helps get rid of cancer, then in fact the old men telling you how apricot seeds keep them healthy would, in fact, be true, whether or not it is recorded in a study as fact.

    I read the full text, and the quote I used was still relevant. It wasn’t meant to prove anything, rather I quoted it to challenge your comment that "laetrile doesn’t work." Again, I think that a statement like that is a poor conclusion for almost anything, especially an issue in the scientific realm. And, as you quoted,
    "Almost all of the patients had been treated previously with chemotherapy or radiation therapy."
    The fact that "almost" all of the patients had been previously treated with something else leads us to no further conclusions about the usefulness of laetrile, since we don’t know if any of the patients with a complete response were in fact one of the few that had not been previously treated.

    The studies were poorly done. If they were poorly done, they would not be the proper sources to lead someone to conclude that laetrile doesn’t work. So I agree with you: as of now, "it’s not possible to know if the benzaldehyde treatment helped or not."

  189. Bill s says:

    In 1982, a phase II study with 175 patients looked at which types of cancer might benefit from treatment with amygdalin. Most of the patients in this study had breast, colon, or lung cancer. Amygdalin was given by injection for 21 days, followed by oral maintenance therapy using doses and procedures similar to those in the phase I study. Vitamins and pancreatic enzymes were also given as part of a metabolic therapy program that also included dietary changes. One stomach cancer patient showed a decrease in tumor size, which was maintained for 10 weeks while the patient was on amygdalin therapy. In about half of the patients, cancer had grown at the end of the treatment. Cancer had grown in all patients 7 months after completing treatment. Some patients reported an improvement in their ability to work or do other activities, and other patients said their symptoms improved. These improvements, however, did not last after treatment ended.

    This is frm the article you posted

    http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/cam/laetrile/Patient/page2

  190. Bill s says:

    Me again. No studies performed on laetrille confirming or unconforming its ability to fight cancer would hold up today. They are very inconclusive, and no more proof of anythign than this sentence I’m writing currently.

    That said, WE DON’T KNOW SHIT.

    So. It is still POSSIBLE that laetrille could be a cure for cancer. But I would lean towards no. But I think it is impossible to deny that it might reduce the risk of cancer – as a treatment for cancer, it is not worth risking your life on it.

    As part of a diet, seeing as it has no or little risk, and potentially a lot to gain, why not. It is highly possible that it could aid in reducing cancer’s resistance, and the exceprt i posted above said that they had improvements but it was not cured.

    I think this is what can be confirmed as the TRUTH – The peach seed, (and relatives seeds) can, in some cases, aid in varying intensities against cancer. It poses little risk, except for in high doses, which is dumb. :D

  191. Post author comments:

    Bill, you know yourself better than anyone else does, so it will be rude to disagree with you if you believe that you don’t know shit. That said, most of the rest of us do know some things, and we’re striving, rather successfully, to know more.

    Elizabeth, the scientific method is a part of how we’re doing it. Science is a code word or a religion. The scientific method is a way to try and make sure, to the best of our abilities, that when we reach any conclusions they will be based on reality, and that we will have a good chance of reaching those conclusions when reality have something consistent for us to notice.
    Ignoring this, is, well, saying that you prefer to just go with whatever you feel like instead of with what is real and actually happening. Sure, the best methods that we have are far from perfect. But they’re the best we have, and getting better. Anything less than going with the best is, well, inferior.

    Specifically in the Laetrile case, these studies when looked at with the same rigour we should apply on any medical study, clearly indicate that Laetrile doesn’t do anything for/against cancer, and should not be used as a treatment. If it was any other treatment that any pharmaceutical company would have researched, it would have been shelved. A very large amount of drugs, for a very large amount of diseases, are researched all the time. Most of them aren’t good enough, or aren’t good at all, and are dropped. There are drugs that show even better results than the abysmal failure Laetrile has, and are rightfully dropped as being junk.

    Elizabeth, we know that this study, and the previous chemotherapy, show that Laetrile doesn’t work, because this is what proper scientific procedure for medical experiments tells us should be the correct interpretation. There are methods on how to do a study in order to test X to show that X can work. When the best studies on X are ones that are so badly done that they can’t show anything in favour of X, and all better-done studies show worse/bad results for X, we can, and should, assume that X doesn’t work. Otherwise we’d be busy chasing various snake oil treatments for ever and ever, and will never be able to get to the things that do work. This methodology was developed exactly so that we could improve medicine, instead of being stuck with hundreds and thousands of things that we don’t know anything about, and nothing that we know helps. And it works, we do have many medications that help people, and that we can prove and verify help people.
    You can stick to the methodology and best practices when you like the result, and ignore them when you don’t. Well, you obviously can, but the medical community as a whole shouldn’t.

    Bill, the study you site is another clear example of something that was so badly done as to be completely meaningless. So we have highly substantiated theory that shows Laetrile can’t work, we have some relatively well done old studies that don’t show Laetrile helping, and we have a few that claim to show Laetrile working but are in fact so badly done that they can’t show anything. All in all that means ignore Laetrile and go look for a solution that we haven’t ruled out yet.
    Read what you wrote on this study. They didn’t control for the type of cancer, and included many different kinds. They didn’t control for the treatment and did multiple changes together with Laetrile. They didn’t find any improvement beyond what is expected from untreated people, though it’s hard to be sure with such a small group, but definitely no improvement that was statistically significant. And the only significant noticeable benefit was subjective reports from people, which in these amounts fall well within the range of the placebo effect and can be seen to be just as strong when treating people with sugar pills, though of course they didn’t bother to control for treatment so you don’t see that by looking only at this study.
    When someone makes a study this bad, there’s usually a reason. 1982 is old, they were worse at it than we are now, but not that much worse. When someone makes a serious study, to actually check something, they try to do it better. This level of shoddiness is intentional. And even with it it takes spin, a lack of understanding of statistics, a lack of understanding and knowledge of cancer behaviour, and a lack of understanding of proper medical study procedure, in order to get from it that Laetrile works in any way.

    Finally, look, if you have any substantial comments, please feel free to add them. But if what you have to say is that you don’t care what the studies, experiments, and the science says, since you know what’s true and won’t let the facts confuse you, well… please don’t bother. It’s getting repetitive, and it’s getting boring.

  192. Post author comments:

    I’ll even be nice and add another comment regarding why not knowing anything for 100% doesn’t mean that we should keep everything open, and keep re-testing the tested.

    1. The fact that we don’t know something for 100% doesn’t mean that we should disregard the 99.99…% that we do have.
    If a master marksman holds a load and calibrated gun in good condition 1m from my face, aims, and presses the trigger, there is a greater than 0% chance that I won’t end up dead. Many things can happen. The gun can still jam, a fly can distract the marksman, the bullet may be defective, the bullet may take a path through my brain that won’t stop any vital system, etc. But still I’ll feel pretty good in stating that in this situation I’m going to die. And I won’t expect any contradictions.
    When someone with cancer is going to get treated with Laetrile, I can feel safe in saying that his cancer isn’t going to get better, in much of the same way. I can even go as far as to tell him that his chances of dying from his cancer by taking Laetrile are equal to his chances of dying from cancer if he didn’t take the Laetrile but also didn’t replace it with another treatment with a known efficacy.

    2. All of this medical research is, and has to be, based on statistics, and cost effectiveness. We have limited resources, limited funds, limited time, limited medical and research professionals. We physically cannot test all supposed cures for all supposed diseases. So we must triage. We can’t test everything, so we much have a way to choose what to test, and what not to test. Because, again, some things we will not test. So when we have supposed treatments that fit the rather large comprehensive knowledge on how our body, the diseases, and possible treatments, can work, it’s a plus. And when we have a supposed treatment that contradicts a lot of what we know, and it will in fact be impossible for it to work unless many different parts, all of which were verified in many situations, are false, then this is something that we will not test. Sure, it will be nice to test anyway. But if we test this one, we’ll have to give up on testing something else. So we’ll test what has the most chances of being worth it. Also, once we tested something and have positive but uncertain results (usually all positive tests will be uncertain, and so require more testing in different situations), we’ll want to retest, because there’s a chance it can work, and we need to explore that. When we test have have bad or negative results, we’ll tend not to retest, because it’s better to test something that seems viable than something that seems not to work. If we tested something multiple time, and didn’t find any indication it’s working, we’ll certainly prefer to test something else, with a chance, to testing the same thing again and again and again.
    Without any limits, we could test anything forever. Resources aren’t limitless.

  193. elizabeth says:

    I’m not sure who you were directing your last comment in the first post to…if it’s me, you obviously haven’t been reading my posts.

    If people can make a study designed to prove something (as you claim with the studies that laetrile-exulters cite) then they can also make a study designed to fail (as you claimed nobody ever does earlier on this thread)
    There are many motives for doing a shoddy study, when you want to prove it works, or if you want to rule it out. either way.

    I read somewhere (at the risk of telling you- I don’t remember where) that the people administering laetrile to the patients in the study had no idea how much or how often laetrile was supposed to be effective, so they guessed. That, plus the fact that drug companies would have a very strong motive for not wanting laetrile to work, disallow me from trusting the studies completely. Studies are constantly being disproved and replaced. (two examples: Studies have showed for years that a high-fiber diet helps prevent colon cancer, now studies are showing it doesn’t. Some studies say that soy helps prevent breast cancer, others say it helps to encourage it.)

    These two articles point out the possibility of scientific studies reaching the wrong conclusions, and reaching them often:
    http://www.economist.com/sciencetechnology/displaystory.cfm?story_id=12376658
    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn7915
    I didn’t write either of them, so don’t bother to point out what you found wrong with them. The overall point they are trying to make is what I wish to direct you to.

    Those are some of the reasons that the studies haven’t convinced me. It has nothing to do with me not believing in the scientific method, or not understanding that if something isn’t proven 100% we should keep trying even if that’s not a logical course of action.

    You are spending a lot of time refuting what you think I am trying to say. You are either misunderstanding me or pouncing on the chance to refute me on any point you can.

    Bill, can you post some additional info or links about the peach seed or apricot seed, as opposed to laetrile?

    I am very sorry in advance if I didn’t use enough paragraph breaks, used too many examples, cited the wrong articles, made spelling errors, or bored you.

  194. steve says:

    Nice thread. Here’s my two cents.

    I think such seeds need to be eaten regimently for months and years to see any amount of positive effect. I feed them to my hamsters whenever I think of it and they love them, but they all eventually get some form of digestive condition (disease?) (cancer?) and die within two years – like most other hamsters. Hamsters can easily live for three years so these seeds don’t appear to be even close to being "miracle seeds" – at least with hamsters. I still try to eat apricot & peach seeds daily since everything I’ve read about them either points towards health or is neutral (I’ve yet to find anyone post any negatives other than taste).

    As for the cancer patients in the study, maybe in many cases, the cancer was already too advanced for the seeds to be practical. Also I read patients were injected – undoubtedly not as good as ingesting fresh seeds directly. Also was the exposed group exposed to cancerous carcinogens/environment while doing the study? These are very serious unknowns.

    The best way to do such a study would be to have one CANCER-FREE group eat a regiment of RAW, FRESH seeds daily for at least FIVE years and the other CANCER-FREE group OF CIBLINGS LIVING TOGETHER THE ENTIRE TIME WITH THE SAME DIET UNDER THE SAME CONDITIONS eath no seeds .. and ONLY AFTER FIVE YEARS test for any differences. I bet you’d see differences, but they wouldn’t be too dramatic.

  195. Karlos says:

    Hi

    Firstly I love this debate its fantastic. I have joined the ranks in hunting down the truth about the apricot "kernel"/"seed".

    During my research I encountered a brilliant responde to another blogg, of mamouth proportions, which indicated that the reason that they may have a positive effect of fighting cancer was because of the way the cells metabolised the sugars. It suggested that Cancerous cells produce or have present an amino acid that breaks down the sugars into cyanide and another component whereas our other cells break it down into two separate parts neither of which is harmful.

    Now the problem I have is that I can’t for the life of me remember what search I put into google to find it, however I will keep hunting and copy the guys response because it seemed the most informative of all the comments I have read.

    If as I suspect my comments get added to the bottom of an infinately increasing page then, hey if you’re reading this, hope it helps and if you’ve read the one I mean whack it on here.

    My comments regarding chowing down on them are, don’t be a moron and eat your body weight because your body still has to process this stuff and too much of even a proven good thing are pretty bad for you, ask Peter Ondre who nearly killed him self of patassium poisening from a Banana diet! + always drink lots of water.

    Hometime! Be well and be happy ;¬D

  196. pablo says:

    i find it pretty funny that so many people are so worked up about these seeds and how they are going to die from eating them, lol. do you really think that a couple of seeds contain an amount of poison that can kill you? from what i understand anyway cyanide isnt even in these seeds. its a form of cyanide not lethal to humans because its bonded at an elemental level with other elements. lots of people believe in the treating of cancers with this method and from my research i’ve discovered a lot of good feedback from people who have tried it. the fact that their has been studies done with this is really irelavent anyway if you look at the factors surrounding the surpession that this kind of idea or treatment will attract. some people also believe that this whole thing is just a scam. you have to be the judge on that. the bottom line is the seed is a natural created food, and its nurtrients are believed to be the missing link for some people in their diet resulting in cancer manifesting. which could seem like a completely plausible cause and effect if you look at other diseases like scurvy for example. a simple vitamin C deficiency. so dont believe that drugs can cure anything, they can treat lots thats for sure. dont be steered away from alternative methods either because i for one am convinced that they can work for people and they do.

  197. Post author comments:

    Elizabeth, it’s really very simple, and I think that either my tendency to be overly verbose makes what I say be unclear, or that you try to avoid understanding. So let me try to make it in simple short sentences:

    The current method for researching cures isn’t perfect. It is, however, the best one that we have in order to ensure that we will usually decide that effective cures work, and ineffective cures don’t work.

    If in order to support a cure you need to do something other than the best we currently can, then you’re (not personal, a general "you") doing something wrong, and your cure shouldn’t be considered.

    The current method misses, in both direction. But it is geared towards minimizing those misses. If you focus on what’s missed, and try to get these to be more accurate, you go from a system that gets most of the things right, to a system that gets the occasional things right but misses the most. It’s not an improvement. It’s counter to all what we have been trying to do by improving the method.

    All possible cures should be treated the same. A process that would have eliminated one cure from consideration should also eliminate another from consideration.

    We must be able to eliminate potential cures. Specifically the ones that we know can’t work, don’t work, or can’t be shown to work where others can.

    Any other researched drug that had the "success" rate of laetrile wouldn’t have been developed.

    If research can’t show a drug to work, we should assume it doesn’t work, and move on. At least as long as we do have things that similar research does support. The priorities are clear, we should get more and better cures, not keep everything in place while chasing wild leads.

    Anything that clearly can’t work according to known biochemistry, and which requires a large percentage of our current scientific knowledge in order to be correct, should require even more clear demonstration of operativeness than things which at least have some plausibility of working.

    If a suggested cure can’t theoretically work, and isn’t demonstrated to work (according to the usual minimum acceptable standards) on repeated and numerous attempts, then it isn’t working, and we should move on.

    Studies do come out that contradict other studies. And if the new studies are done right, they’re taken seriously. If they’re not done right, they’re not taken seriously. This is actually a clear example of constantly trying to improve, and of being completely open to being proven wrong. As long as you can correctly demonstrate being proven wrong.
    Support for various magical cures like Laetrile, though, is based on the idea that it’s working, and that as long as the science and studies show that it doesn’t work then it means the science and studies are wrong. That’s… a completely different way of thinking. Any proper scientist and medical professional will change their mind if shown facts to support the new view. Anyone who strongly supports snake oil will usually just claim that the facts exist but aren’t discovered by anyone yet. Spot the differences.

    Beyond that, a few general things, both for you, and for the other commenters:

    The conspiracy theories around this are silly. Sure, big corporations can cheat and lie in order to make money. In this case the money trail is very clear, though. The money goes to whoever pretends to give the treatment. Anyone who cheats in a study does so in order to be able to sell something that they otherwise shouldn’t. There’s money in any cure you can convince people to buy. "Big Pharma" could have made a fortune from Laetrile if it had worked. They can’t make money from it if it doesn’t.

    Pablo, cancer (any and all the many different types of cancer) isn’t a vitamin/mineral deficiency, and as such it is not treated by vitamins. Relation to scurvy is non-existent.

    Also, the fact that something is "natural" isn’t relevant. Flu is natural. Abola is natural. Quite a lot of deadly poisons are natural. Poison Ivy is natural. Etc, etc.

    Many of the drugs used today are indeed based on natural ingredients and chemicals found in plants. When it works, the medical world is happy to embrace it. What you get from eating the pills rather than the leaves/bark/seeds is that you get the relevant chemicals without all the side effects of the extra stuff in the plant, and that you get exact amounts of the cures instead of something unreliable that depends on the exact condition of the plant, rain, other food sources nearby, etc.
    There’s nothing against natural cures in medical science. All that they ask is that the suggested cure will actually work. If it doesn’t nobody takes it seriously, natural or not.

    Eating peach seeds is indeed harmless, and nobody will die from eating them.

  198. shower screen says:

    OMG I am never going to eat a peach again!!!!! maybe that is a little bit of an over reaction.

    Jen x

  199. will says:

    has anyone done a study on apricot seeds? or just laetrile?

  200. Post author comments:

    A study on apricot seeds regarding what? Cancer curing ability? The only claims about it involved Laetrile, so testing the seeds beyond that is completely random. You might as well pick any seed, leaf, fruit, root, etc, at all, and test them for any one of many thousands of conditions. That’s… pointless and extremely impractical.

  201. Zeke says:

    No one who has eaten peach pits seems to have noticed, as I did as a child, that the initial amaretto flavor of the peach pit, before the bitter taste overwhelms, is precisely the flavor of Dr. Pepper. I have read that Dr. Pepper was originally a snake oil cure for all sorts of ailments. Of course, at that time it probably contained cocaine and possibly other ingredients no longer possible.

    Post Author – you are the most patient moderator I believe I have ever encountered on such a thread. The same questions and arguments, over and over, for years now, and still you coherently and patiently respond with intellect and understanding. I can only imagine you are one heck of nice person with more than a fair share of intelligence. Is there an award, akin to the Oscar, for best internet discussion moderator? Maybe there should be as you should be first in line for the prize.

  202. no credit personal loans says:

    they did taste nasty to me when i tasted one of those seeds

  203. elizabeth says:

    lol what is your definition of simple?

    People claim that apricot seeds cure cancer, so it woudn’t be random. And leaves, roots, seeds and fruits are tested all the time! A great many of them are actually quite practical and good for you-unless you’re counting calories.

  204. Post author comments:

    @Zeke – If I remember correctly Dr. Pepper did not contain cocaine, though Coca Cola did. About the taste, well, I never tried it, so I’ll take your word for it.

    @elizabeth – People claim a lot of things. Most of which is wrong.
    Many leaves, roots, seeds, and fruits, are indeed tested all the time. A great many of them were, and are, good for some things. These all go into medicine, once it is determined that they actually have any efficacy in fact and not just in folklore, that the active ingredients are safe to use relative to what they help with, and what are the proper dosages. Others are discarded, since they have no efficacy, and do nothing.
    Once something may and can work, it should be investigated further, and usually does.
    Once something doesn’t work, and cannot work, it isn’t investigated further. Or at least it shouldn’t be, but sometimes does get a lot more money and time spent on it due to medically irrelevant considerations.

    Laetrile can’t be shown to work. Even better, it can’t work.
    Any sort of considered potential cure, for anything, with the same plausibility, or the same ‘success’ in trials, is dropped.

    You really should have a more open mind. Even by a little bit. You stick to the idea of Laetrile working, even though it’s based on nothing (sorry, it’s based on people trying to cheat and con sick desperate people out of their money, and spreading fanciful false stories about it), and ignore any and all evidence and solid and heavily supported theory to the contrary. It’s a shame, but apparently nothing I can help with.
    If you can’t see why something that doesn’t work, and can’t work, shouldn’t be used as a treatment, then I’m afraid there’s really no point in continuing this discussion.

    Thankfully you can still enjoy the fruits of the medicine and other sciences whose basic principals you hold in so little regard. Things that work in the real world tend to work regardless of what you think of them. The only people who really are in a problem are those who gets sucked by their desperation into all sorts of snake oil treatments for serious diseases, and often end up much worse then they could have been had they received proper care.

  205. elizabeth says:

    Sir, what do you mean by “an open mind”?

  206. Post author comments:

    The ability to change your opinion when presented with a substantial amount and quality of solid contradictory evidence and/or point of view.

  207. elizabeth says:

    Sweet. That’s good, because I am very willing to change my opinion about laetrile (which right now happens to be exactly what you said earlier – its not possible to know at this point) and even more willing to change my opinion regarding apricot seeds, since apparently no one knows anything at all. However, if you think that the fact that you think it is “pointless and extremely impractical” is a substantial amount and quality of solid contradictory evidence, you are mistaken.

    As it happens, I dare say (without meaning to sound accusatory, my apologies) that you are the one failing to have an open mind, because you seem to have the more limited “ability to change your opinion” on this topic.
    you stated earlier:
    “Elizabeth, we know that this study, and the previous chemotherapy, show that Laetrile doesn’t work, *because this is what proper scientific procedure for medical experiments tells us should be the correct interpretation.*”
    Proper scientific procedure is not absolute truth. It is a TOOL to finding truth, but it is fallible. Therefore I will not believe something abandondedly just because proper scientific procedure tells me I should. It takes more convincing than that.

    Again, I do NOT think that we should be using apricot seeds as treatment, as you assumed. Nor do I have little regard for the basic principles of science. I know the fact that I don’t rule it out, as you do, bothers you, but I think in this case it is a simple difference of degree of trust in a certain system of discerning truth.

  208. Post author comments:

    Elizabeth, the problem is that in the way you present it, there is no way whatsoever to convince you that Laetrile doesn’t work, or that anything else doesn’t work for any other condition, since the best possible evidence isn’t good enough for you. “I’ll change my mind based on good enough evidence, but no evidence whatsoever is good enough” doesn’t quite cut it.

  209. elizabeth says:

    “best possible evidence” /= “no evidence whatsoever”.

  210. Post author comments:

    I do appreciate your sense of humor. So you’re saying that what currently constitutes the best standards of evidence and knowledge that humanity has, and can produce, isn’t good enough for you, but you can still be convinced by evidence? Funny.

  211. elizabeth says:

    Oh the sarcasm! :P
    If the best standard of evidence and knowledge that humanity has and can produce isn’t used to its full potential in a particular case, then it isn’t the best standard of evidence – in that case.

  212. Kathy says:

    I have eaten 2 nectarine seeds, 1 yesterday & 1 today. They looked and tasted like an almond, only the taste was milder. I didn’t notice any objectionable aftertaste. I wouldn’t purposely break open the pit to obtain the seed, but if the pit split open on it’s own as these 2 did I would again eat the seed. I’m still alive! :)

  213. Post author comments:

    @elizabeth – What you’re apparently insisting on ignoring is that these are the same best standards we have for all medicine and medical sciences, as well as several other sciences. There’s nothing conceptually different about Laetrile than any other “Compound X” out there. They’re all should be treated the same. Ergo, you’re essentially not accepting anything that comes out of medicine, biology, chemistry, etc. You won’t expect anything other than complete perfection, nothing is completely perfect, ergo you won’t accept anything and insist on living in a world full of total uncertainty and confusion, where nothing can be learned, instead of getting something, even a lot.
    I don’t see a point in continuing the discussion further, since with this point of view you’re really not living in the real world, and I don’t see a point in trying to reason with someone who is immune to reason or reality.

    @Kathy – Yes, the only ways for a couple of nectarine seeds to kill you are either if you’re extremely allergic, or if you manage to choke on one. Thank you for sharing, but if you tried to make some point then I’m not sure what it is.

  214. elizabeth says:

    so you’re saying that since the scientific methods haven’t deemed it necessary so far to study apricot seeds, then we should assume they are entirely useless. solid logic!
    fact is, they haven’t all been treated the same, even if they should be.
    if complete perfection is actually conducting a study (as in the case of apricot seeds, which you said they have not) or a solid study (as in the case of laetrile, since YOU SAID the results were not solid enough for any certainty) then…I guess that’s what I’m asking for?

    I also have to say that the way you think I view reality is false. If you are going to make assumptions about my beliefs, it would be wise to actually find out what they are. As it happens, your conclusions are exactly opposite of much of what and how I believe. You made me sound like an agnostic, or an existentialist! Which is pretty funny, actually.
    especially since my conclusion was a direct quote of something you stated, so in that case I suppose we are both living in a world of chaos and confusion, “immune to reason or reality.”

  215. Post author comments:

    The logic is indeed solid, once you stop misunderstanding it.

    I think I got the center of the issue of our mutual misunderstandings. You’re not familiar with the methodology of medical studies, they whys, and what things mean.
    So I’m saying “A” and you’re hearing “B”, or not getting what I’m trying to say.
    Instead of trying to repeat myself, I’ll give you some links that I hope may explain things clearer than I do. Certainly someone with more experience in writing about these things, and who writes differently, has a better chance, since obviously I do fail to pass my points across to you:
    Testimonies, anecdotes, etc.
    Scientific plausibility when researching.
    Peer review, and providing data that others can examine.
    Placebos.
    More on placebo and why getting placebo effect isn’t treatment.
    On trying to check too many hypotheses, and some things to reduce mistakes.

    I hope that will help clarify things. And yes, most of these are from the same general source, since it’s a pretty good place for these things, and I recalled seeing them cover laymen-level discussions on these. You can find the same opinions supported, well, pretty much anywhere serious medical professionals or scientists write.

    And no, I don’t think you’re an existentialist.
    I wrote that actually no study is perfect, and we’re dealing with statistics, but that in this case we already have extremely high probabilities, and very very strong indications, that Laetrile doesn’t work for cancer.
    You replied by stating that since we don’t know anything for sure (perfect) we shouldn’t assume anything, and maybe it’s still true.
    This means, the way I see it, that you say that for anything that isn’t perfectly known with perfect certainty we should just assume whatever we want since we don’t know anyway, and the very-close-to-100% isn’t good to assume anything is more likely than things which are very-close-to-0% . Ergo, you can’t know anything about reality, and whatever you think you like as just as likely as anything else, all is just magic anyway with no way to chose, guess, or know anything.
    I prefer thinking that while close-to-100% indeed isn’t 100%, it’s at least usually much closer to reality than anything with lower probability.

  216. Post author comments:

    To the persons who keeps trying to post a comment here promoting their “colon cleansing” – Please stop!

    The reason that your comments keeps disappearing is not due to a technical error on the site. It’s because I’m deleting them. Don’t keep writing that same comment.

    It is completely unrelated to this post in any way, and so it shouldn’t be here. Clear? There is no relation between any sort of colon cleansing nonsense and the amount of cyanide-related substances in peach pits.

    Just because other people here keep bringing up a somewhat on-topic medical scam, that has thankfully mostly died off way back in the 70′s, doesn’t mean that any other medical scams and hoaxes are fit to be mentioned here.

    Thanks, and goodbye. If you have to keep trying to scam people for bogus treatments, do it elsewhere.

  217. Martin says:

    Hi, What a great thead! However it’s getting a bit big/long now. Would you consider splitting it or just editing it to give the salient points – lots of repeats etc? It would help not to have to sift through all the information.

    Poor dear Elizabeth: you tried valiantly – give it up. :-)
    Our author has his views and is sticking to them. Leave him be.

    Off topic yet relevant I believe. Each of us will spout from his/her own frame of reference and will hardly ever shift to another’s paradigm.

    You can only show the way to those that are ready to accept the information. Or my rather long winded maxim:

    Never teach for you will never be thanked for it,
    Either the person had the knowledge and did not need the information repeated
    Or he has no need for the knowledge
    Or he is the post author and is BLOCKED to seeing other points of view :-)
    Alternatively in the slim chance he was ready to be taught and you were the conduit – your student will say they were “self taught”.

    How’s that for my worse than cynical slant on things.

    Personally I am now completely convinced to go out and dry peach pits crack them open and eat them. Never done it before will let you know how it turns out.

    Unless of course….. Since the early bird gets the worm and the early worm gets eaten (due to being left outside of the worm hole in a case of peach pit cyanide poisoning) :-)

    All the best guys I have not bee so entertained in a while! Pass me the acid – no not that halucogenic one the Prussic one dammit :-)

  218. elizabeth says:

    dear Martin,

    I posted and argued to learn, which I did, and I am satisfied.
    Thank you,

    elizabeth

  219. Erik says:

    I just went into a store last week here in Taiwan and found some very cheap “almonds.” Well, since I don’t read Chinese, and these were in roasted form in the bulk bins, I did not really know for sure what they were. They looked slightly smaller and more triangular than almonds do, which aroused my suspicions enough to cause me to sample one or two before deciding to buy them. They tasted very similar to almonds–so much so that I began wondering if they might be an Asian variety of them, or something. Almonds usually cost a pretty penny around here, so to find such a price on them!…I bought a few pounds.

    Now that I am back home with them and munching away, I find that they have a bit of an aftertaste, and do remind me of peaches (which are also not common here, and are usually high-priced). I remembered something about peach pits being poisonous, so…I found this site. In this dry-roasted form, it would certainly be possible to get a higher dose of whatever’s in them. I’m quite sure these must be peach seeds. I think they were roasted in a mild glaze of something sweet, probably to help counter the aftertaste. The aftertaste is not strong, so it may be that roasting them has helped to mitigate it.

    I think I will limit my daily consumption of them, but I will continue to eat them, a little at a time. :)

  220. Jackson Kim Sey says:

    So there’s no risk from accidentally getting cyanide poisoning… but is there a way to extract the cyanide from the pit so you can use it? Like, cracking it open and treating it with chemicals?

  221. Art says:

    Emperical data is hard to obtain. Science is a lot of work, takes a lot of money to do, and in no way is garaunteed to give you the knowledge or tools you were hoping to find. Superstition, supposition, and rationalization are easy and will lead to exactly the answer you were looking for. Superstition, pseudo-science, and pure BS are FAR easier to sell to someone than hard facts that often deny someone’s desire to find a simple and sure answer to their problems. “The modern world is full of harmful chemicals, but I’m gonna eat cyanic peach pits to cure my cancer”….??? Refined acetylsalicylic acid works better for aleviating a hang-over than straight aspen bark tea, but refined cyanide and b17 don’t cure cancer but peach pits do because of some undiscoverable magical effect of the act of eating peach pits? Like all magic, this is something that for some reason cannot be witnessed in the presence of an objective observer, probably because the peach god has detected someone morally unworthy in the area.
    We don’t like drug companies do we? Of course not! They are damn pirates, just like any other self-interested entity in the world. They are competing, and they play hard-ball. They employ some caring people, but they are here to make a buck. To make that buck, they have to jump through a few regulatory hurdles that (hopefully) keep them from harming people, and they must offer RESULTS. To do this, they spend lots and lots of dough. If peach pits cured cancer, we would have seen the drug companies aquire every peach orchard on the planet, used lobbyists to get peaches growing regulated in such a way that only pharmacuetical companies could afford to grow them, and then corner the market on them as they cured the cancer. Hasn’t happened, and those folks are POWERFUL and SMART. They would hardly have passed up the opportunity.
    Who does say peach pitts cure cancer? Well, to stretch the definition…Drug companies do. Not “real” drug companies, but “Herbal suppliment” companies. Why do they pitch pitts? Because they can sell them to you with little to no investment, must offer no emperical proof of their effectiveness, and they can ALWAYS find someone to buy them. Look at the web-sites that preach “peach pitts cure cancer”. You will certainly find a link to somewhere you can buy them. You can also buy devices consisting of a car battery and alligator clips to cure your obesity or Parkinson’s disease.

  222. Madison says:

    Hey would a dog die if He/she swallowed a plum seed???? Cause my dog Gia ate one today? Do we need to do something about it or what? :( Im just very scared and so is my whole family… :’(

  223. Warren says:

    Interesting thread. Lot’s of views. Two more…
    1) Everybody knows many examples of how “processing” ruins many good foods, if not all foods that are processed. “Laetrile” is processed and likely has fallen to the same fate. We now know there are tens of thousands of “food factors”, sometimes called “associated food factors”, whose absence (through processing) renders the nutrient ineffective (not absorbed).
    Side note…a septic tank pumper said to me once he was amazed at all the pills that are at the bottom of tanks that did no one any good, except the drug companies who synthesized them in their labs.
    2) Could it be certain seeds work as a preventive, not a cure? The bodies own immune system just needs the right ammunition?
    Personally, I have more trust in the Bible than in drug companies. There are over a hundred science facts stated in the Bible, written thousands of years before modern science discovered them. None have been shown to have any error. The Bible says to eat herbs (veggies), fruits and seeds.

  224. Rufus P. Chesterton says:

    Wow…. all this babble and b.s. back and forth and no mention of the “natural” purpose of peach/apricot seeds? Consider why the peach tree has evolved to defend its seeds.

  225. Pieter Franciscus says:

    The taste of peach seed is great better than real almonds, more like almond elixer

  226. MaryAnn says:

    Just made a tincture from peach seeds with vodka. It smells wonderful. Then I remembered I heard peach and apricot pits contain poison. This made me hesitate to continue. Reading this has helped dispel the worry, but I still wonder if I haven’t extracted the toxins. One book said that roasting the apricot pits lessened the toxins. This is what they do before they make amaretto. I’d just like a second opinion. I think I’ll make my liqueur and drink it in moderation. I may roast my next batch of peach seeds to see how that tastes and smells.
    Just sign me “Peachy”

  227. JoelB says:

    Hats off to Post Author — though you seem to have tired of it eventually, a real stand-up job of maintaining a civil discourse and poviding outstanding support to your well-considered views. I came here to research the rather yummy peach pit I encountered today (I only tasted it after reading quite a bit here first…) and became engrossed in the discussion.

    One thing that has not come up despite scores of entries: a notion of the possible motivation, other than money, behind undemonstrated/discredited “cures.” There has been a fair amount of invective thrown about regarding the motivations of both medical doctors/researchers and alternative approaches, most focusing on money. Those in either camp tend to claim that the other is greedy and unscrupulous. I’m certain, being human and having encountered other humans over many years, that there are indeed greedy and uncrupulous practitioners on both sides — statistically this is fairly certain. However, I’m equally certain, for the same reason, that many of the alternative cure purveyors are sincere in their belief and hope that their activities are beneficial to their patients. Just as there have been many people posting here to state their scepticism about the medical profession’s motives and tending to discredit Post Author’s careful explanations of his reasoning, there will be many people in the world who are just as convinced that they can do good with an “alternative” treatment, and are not constitutionally able to accept scientific refutations of their intuitive beliefs.

    The notion of a cure for cancer, so elusive as to have become a metaphor for the desirable but unachievable, is so shrouded in emotion and mystery that it is often difficult to see a significant difference between the results of medicine and those of — whatever it should best be called, perhaps “alternative medicine.” Or at least it has been for much of the history of modern medicine. Yet, as one in my 40s, I feel I can detect an improved outcome of cancer treatments over what I expected growing up. There are numerous cancer survivors in my circle of acquaintence, and I take that as a vindication of the progress of treatment in recent decades. (Scientific data? Um, sorry, no. Plausible interpretation of life experience? I hope so…) So, my bias is that I tend to believe that the ever-increasing knowledge and experience treating cancer is, not surprisingly, paying dividends.

    A far cry from the origin of this discussion regarding the culinary and health effects of eating peach pits, but one the discussion seems to have evolved to embrace. I spent an enjoyable hour or so reading and being informed by this thread. Thanks for that.

  228. Teresa says:

    I was just wondering…what if the peach pit is split open when you cut it open?

  229. Dee Ann says:

    Okay, I have read this entire thread. IMHO nobody here has really approached this thread with any authority. Post author has not provided peer reviewed studies he keeps talking about. Pro-Laetrile people have not provided studies from outside the US where such studies are still being done. Would really like to hear how Gene is doing now?

    IMHO studies of anything are only accurate if all the members of the studies are eating exactly the same foods, and drinking exactly the same liquids. In any study, there could be any number of shared foods that could effect the result. Oh, and by the way, 10 subjects in a study does not qualify as a fair test of anything, maybe 1000, but not 10. In addition, concentration is key. If a study of tylenol were done on adults using 1/4 of a tylenol, likely tylenol would not qualify as a pain reliever.

    Me, I tend to trust personal experiences, more than peer reviewed studies. Not to mention, none of the studies actually used the whole seed. Peach seeds, apricot seeds, and any other plant material has more active ingredients that are not related to the amygdalin contained within them. Isolating a principle, does not guarantee that there is not other principles working either synergistically or alone that have an effect. Also any study of cancer where the participants are not eating naturally produced organic food with no pesticides or herbicides on them is suspect to me. The is why the medical system is an entire mess in this country.

    All of us peons down here never get to see the real goods on any of these so called studies, we don’t see how the study was handled, what was fed to the participants, we don’t hear about comparisons of various delivery methods, we certainly don’t hear about side effects until they are pumping them into at least some of our bodies. Currently drug ads are like listening to a list of favorable ways to die or suffer! Does anyone here realize just how huge the financial benefits are to those who produce radiation and chemotherapy??? To tell you the truth, I don’t trust the lot of them.

    I CERTAINLY wouldn’t trust them if I had cancer! I’d rather just eat better, research my own path, and exercize. Gee, I might die, but everyone has to go sometime! I’d rather feel as good as possible for as long as possible, than have some doctor poison me for months just so I die anyway, as so many friends and family have done! I’d rather go out my own way, and if that is sucking down peach pits, and drinking herbal tea, and using chinese medicine which has managed to keep a much larger population alive and kicking than the US has so be it!!!

    Little Bit Farm

  230. Wendy says:

    All of the ‘health business’ aside, in eating a couple of peach seeds today, I was deliriously excited to find that they taste just like Amaretto. Does anyone know if peach seeds were what the original liquor was made from?
    Thanks!

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