Amygdalin – a nitriloside present in large quantities in fruit kernels (mainly apricot kernels), responsible for their bitter taste. It is also called vitamin B17, however this name is systematically incorrect – it is not necessary for the proper functioning of the body system. One of the amygdalin metabolites, hydrogen cyanide, is produced under the influence of beta glycosidase. The reaction is used as a mechanism against cancer cells.
Some sources indicate that the therapy with amygdalin is effective in case of cancer treatment. However, there is no existing evidence proving this hypothesis. The preventive, anticancer properties of amygdalin seem to be more possible, however the only indication for that is the analysis of people who traditionally consume large amounts of vitamin B17.
We cannot forget about the potential harmfulness of amygdalin. Consumed in excessive quantities, it can be toxic, which results from the poisoning with hydrogen cyanide. Because of that, its consumption should be consulted with a doctor, especially when it shall complement cancer treatment.