by Phillip Day

Like can­cer, scurvy was believed to be incur­able, then in 1747 it was dis­cov­ered that it was sim­ply caused by a lack of fresh food. Today, many peo­ple believe that eat­ing apri­cot ker­nels, a food source rich in a vit­a­min called Vit­a­min B17, can pro­tect against, and maybe even help to cure, can­cer. ‘Add Lib’ inves­ti­gates the con­tro­ver­sial claims behind B17 and asks, is it pos­si­ble that it may be to can­cer what vit­a­min C was to scurvy?” – Ad Lib magazine

 So begins one of many arti­cles about apri­cot ker­nels and what they can do for you. In over twenty-five years of inves­ti­ga­tion into what works with can­cer and what doesn’t, I have found dietary changes, vit­a­min B17 and a less stress­ful lifestyle come to the fore in successes.

So what’s the deal? Apri­cot ker­nels are a favourite of a num­ber of agrar­ian peo­ples such as the Hun­zas, Abkhasians and Karako­rum who have no record of can­cer in their iso­lated states and are famous for long lifes­pans. Other peo­ples around the world con­sume dif­fer­ent sources of a nutri­ent that has come to be known as Vit­a­min B17 and have sim­i­lar suc­cess.1 Accord­ing to sci­en­tists who have stud­ied and pub­lished, B17 must work in con­junc­tion with enzymes, vit­a­mins C, D, A & E to achieve a tar­geted anti-cancer effect in the body. B17 can­not, and does not work alone.2

Vit­a­min B17 is a sta­ble, chem­i­cally inert and non-toxic mol­e­cule when taken as food or as a refined phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal in appro­pri­ate quan­ti­ties (Laetrile and amyg­dalin are two exam­ples). Sci­en­tists dis­cov­ered the com­pound reacts to the enzyme beta-glucosidase, located in abnor­mal amounts at the site of can­cer­ous tumours. In this reac­tion, beta-glucosidase man­u­fac­tures two potent poi­sons, hydro­gen cyanide and ben­zalde­hyde (a painkiller), sta­bilised with two mol­e­cules of glu­cose. These two poi­sons, pro­duced in minute quan­ti­ties at the can­cer cell site, com­bine syn­er­gis­ti­cally to kill the cell as part of Vit­a­min B17’s unique and selec­tive action.

So state sci­en­tists study­ing B17, who were aware that indige­nous peo­ples con­sum­ing nitrilo­sidic foods were not expe­ri­enc­ing any harm­ful side-effects from this reac­tion. On the con­trary, their lives were char­ac­terised by abun­dant good health and longevity. Later they found healthy tis­sue broke down excess lev­els of B17 into two nutri­tious by-products, one of which, sodium thio­cyanate, reacts with the pre­cur­sor hydrox­y­cobal­amin in the liver to form another nutri­ent with the cyanide rad­i­cal: Vit­a­min B12 (cyanocobalamin).

Bio­chemist Ernst T Krebs Jr pop­u­larised the use of B17 in the six­ties and remarked: ‘We hear a great deal about its use in ter­mi­nal can­cer, but the time to start with Vit­a­min B17 is now before the dis­ease becomes clin­i­cal. The time to start is the same with any mat­ter of ade­quate nutri­tion and that is right now. You may start now by com­menc­ing to eat the seeds of all com­mon fruits that you eat. Apri­cot and peach seeds con­tain almost 2 per­cent of Vit­a­min B17 by weight. The apple seed, although very small, is equally rich in Vit­a­min B17 — so are the seeds of prunes, plums, cher­ries, and nec­tarines. The only com­mon fruits on the hemi­sphere that lack nitrilo­sidic seeds are the cit­rus fruits. This lack has come about by arti­fi­cial cul­ti­va­tion, by breed­ing and hybridiza­tion, since the seeds of cit­rus fruits on the African con­ti­nent still con­tain Vit­a­min B17.’ 3


  • Increase the quan­tity of nitrilo­sidic (B17) foods in your diet (see Can­cer: Why We’re Still Dying to Know the Truth)
  • Offi­cially, by order of UK’s Food Stan­dards Agency, you’re not sup­posed to con­sume more than 2–3 seeds a day or you might die of cyanide poi­son­ing! Unof­fi­cially, I have to report the Hun­zas don’t do that; they some­times eat dozens a day, har­vest­ing the fruit grow­ing wild in the Himalayan foothills and crack­ing the pits for their seeds. Nothing’s hap­pened to them yet
  • I’ve been con­sum­ing ker­nels for years as part of my diet with noth­ing but ben­e­fits. I started with one or two a day and worked up to 20 – 25 of the small ‘Shalkur’ ker­nels over a week and a half (if you have larger ker­nels (Aus­tralian, etc), reduce to 10–15 a day). These days I sprin­kle them on my sal­ads and grind them into my veg­gie juices. Peo­ple with can­cer some­times take more – 20/40 a day depend­ing on body­weight — in addi­tion to clean­ing up their diets, stress and EXERCISING!! 4
  • Not all apri­cot seeds are effec­tive. There are many ‘sweet’ hybrids on the mar­ket and oth­ers have been found to con­tain mucho pes­ti­cides. Seeds must have the char­ac­ter­is­tic bit­ter taste, indi­cat­ing the active ingre­di­ents are present
  • Don’t eat apri­cot seeds whole. May be pulped, grated or crushed and put into veg­gie juices
  • Con­sump­tion should be spread through­out the day. Do not take a whole lot in one go if you are not used to them
  • Can­cer suf­fer­ers should refer to my book, Can­cer: Why We’re Still Dying to Know the Truth for physi­cians’ reports on treat­ing their con­di­tion nutritionally
  • In a minor­ity of cases, nau­sea may be expe­ri­enced when tak­ing apri­cot ker­nels. In this event, con­sump­tion should be reduced or discontinued
  • Do not con­sume ker­nels if you have poor liver func­tion, jaun­dice, etc. Intra­venous Vit­a­min B17 drips, admin­is­tered by a qual­i­fied physi­cian, can be used to bypass this prob­lem (
  • Please note: Some can­cer suf­fer­ers believe that apri­cot ker­nels alone are all that is required to fight can­cer. Con­sul­ta­tion with a qual­i­fied health prac­ti­tioner famil­iar with meta­bolic ther­apy is advised for fur­ther infor­ma­tion. Apri­cot ker­nels are usu­ally part of the nutri­tional sup­port for those exer­cis­ing can­cer pre­ven­tion for life as well as patients under­go­ing a full meta­bolic pro­gram for the disease.


Can­cer: Why We’re Still Dying to Know the Truth by Phillip Day

Shalkur apri­cot ker­nels, 1 kg bag

1 Day, Phillip Health Wars, Cre­dence, 2011.

2 Day, Phillip B17 Meta­bolic Ther­apy, A Tech­ni­cal Man­ual, Cre­dence, 2004

3 Sec­ond Annual Can­cer Con­ven­tion, Ambas­sador Hotel, Los Ange­les, 1974

4 Day, Phillip Can­cer: Why We’re Still Dying to Know the Truth, Cre­dence 2005