Prunus armeniaca – Siberian apricot, a small tree spreading fruits. The fruits are a good source of vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin A and phosphorus. The presence of fruit bioflavonoids promotes absorption of nutrients contained in apricots.
Apricot kernels are also widely used, mainly in form of extracts. They contain large amounts of amygdalin. It is a glycoside commonly called vitamin B17, however this name is rather incorrect, as amygdalin is not essential for the proper functioning of the body system. It is popular because of its potential influence on cancer cells. However, there is no existing evidence for anticancer properties of amygdalin. It can be used as a support for cancer treatment, however because of its toxic metabolite, hydrogen cyanide, its use must be consulted with a doctor.
Apricot kernel extract can be also a part of cancer prevention. The Hunza people provide large amounts of amygdalin in their diets, and hence they rarely suffer from cancers, which can indicate its anticancer potential.