The evidence: While commercially available cannabis compounds are FDA-approved to reduce cancer treatment–related side effects such as nausea and vomiting and to improve appetite, no clinical trials have shown that cannabis products can treat cancer.
“Natural” cancer therapies should be regarded with great caution because most are unsupported by evidence. Many people offering testimonials to the effectiveness of such treatments may attribute benefits to them simply because their condition improved after using them — when the actual cause for the improvement is unrelated.
Cannabis oil is available in several forms with different potencies. It can be infused into cooking oil that users squirt under the tongue or mix into food. Its vapors can also be inhaled. By federal law, cannabis products are illegal, though several states have enacted laws to legalize their medical use.
The verdict: “There is no evidence that changing your diet to alter pH levels affects cancer growth,” Dr. Yeung says. “The actual science has been misinterpreted. Changing the pH in your saliva doesn’t mean your blood pH changes. Some patients try using chemicals to modify their blood pH, but that can be extremely dangerous.”
The good news is that mainstream cancer therapies are safer and more effective than ever. New chemotherapies work better with fewer side effects, and novel drugs target specific mutations in cancer cells to minimize harm to healthy cells. Highly precise forms of radiation therapy destroy tumors while sparing normal tissue. New approaches harness the body’s own immune powers to destroy cancer cells. And new surgical techniques are making it possible to remove tumors more safely while minimizing both risk of recurrence and recovery times.
Some laetrile proponents also claim that cancer is caused by a deficiency of vitamin B17 (which, again, isn’t even an actual vitamin). They say that consuming laetrile can reverse this deficiency and, in turn, aid in the treatment or prevention of cancer. This claim is unfounded, as the body has no known uses of B17.
Cyanide poisoning is a life-threatening emergency. If you or someone you know is experiencing these symptoms, get immediate medical help.
What the Research Says
If you want to get more amygdalin in your diet naturally, it’s not hard to do so. However, don’t expect a miracle cure, and don’t consume excessive amounts of these foods, as it can lead to cases of cyanide poisoning. Natural sources of amygdalin include:
In the March 2021 issue of the Journal of Biomelecular Structure & Dynamics, researchers say they uncovered the mechanisms by which amygdalin induces apoptosis—increasing one cellular protein and reducing another—as well as other beneficial actions at the cellular level. They state:
While there’s some preliminary lab evidence that it may help stop the spread of certain cancers, the only conclusively proven effect of so-called vitamin B17 on the body is cyanide poisoning. Among people who use it as a cancer treatment, some die of cyanide toxicity.
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