While most of World Without Cancer and Alive And Well touch only briefly on the body’s first line of defense against cancer, both describe the body’s second line of defense against cancer, nitrilosides or vitamin B-17, in detail. The vitamin deficiency theory of cancer was developed in the early 1950s by Dr. Ernest T. Krebs Jr., and his father of the same name, with a concentrated pill or injectable form of vitamin B-17.
The vitamin deficiency theory of cancer, as described by Edward Griffin and Dr. Binzel, states that there is a nutritional component to the cancer puzzle that serves as a backup to the pancreatic enzymes that make up the body’s first line of defense against cancer. This theory is based on a compound in certain foods that contain cyanide and benzaldehyde bonded together in a manner that makes it harmless to the body under normal conditions but which is deadly to cancer. And the reason it is so deadly is because cancer contains an “unlocking” mechanism that causes the compound of cyanide and benzaldehyde to separate and become toxic, killing the cancer cell which “unlocked” the poison in the process. Dr. Binzel described the body’s second line of defense against cancer in Alive and Well:
Dr. Krebs et al. found that the body has a second line of defense against this disease. This second line of defense is formed by a group of substances known as nitrilosides. The cancer cell has an enzyme, beta-glucosidase, which, when it comes in contact with nitrilosides, converts those nitrilosides into two molecules of glucose, one molecule of benzaldehyde and one molecule of hydrogen cyanide. Originally, it was thought that only the hydrogen cyanide was toxic to the cancer cell. Recent evidence has shown that, while the hydrogen cyanide may exert some toxic effect, it is the benzaldehyde that is extremely toxic to the cancer cell.
What is so significant about this is that this is a target-specific reaction. Within the body, the cancer cell and only the cancer cell contains the enzyme beta-glucosidase. Thus, the benzaldehyde and the hydrogen cyanide can be formed in the presence of the cancer cell, and only the cancer cell. Thus, they are toxic to the cancer cell and only the cancer cell. The normal cell contains the enzyme, rhodanese, which converts the nitrilosides into food.
This deficiency view of cancer maintains that many staple foods for Americans once contained fair amounts of nitrilosides but that these were eliminated as the diet changed to foods which had virtually no nitrilosides. For example, millet, which contains a medium amount of nitrilosides, was once the main grain used in bread, but was replaced by wheat, which contains no nitriolosides. Also, crossbreeding and domestication of plants reduces the amount of nitrilosides in the them. For example, domestic blackberries are a low source of nitrilosides but wild blackberries are a high source of nitrilosides or vitamin B-17. As mentioned earlier, some foods that still contain medium to high amounts of vitamin B-17 are wild blackberries, elderberries, macadamia nuts, apricot seeds, apple seeds, and mung sprouts, and this is certainly not an exhaustive list, as there are many more foods that contain nitrilosides, even though modern farming techniques have greatly reduced the amount of nitrilosides in the American diet as a whole.
Occasionally, an alarming warning is given that apple or apricot seeds contain cyanide and are toxic, but rest assured, while having a higher quantity of nitrilosides, they are as harmless as blackberries and macadamia nuts, which contains the exact same cyanide-containing compound that apple or apricot seeds contain. Remember, the cyanide is only released at the cancer cell, and as pointed out by Dr. Binzel, at any other point in the body, the enzyme rhodanese converts the nitrilosides into food.
Remember from the chapter “Understanding Sickness,” one of the causes of problems in the body is nutritional deficiencies and the only way deficiency diseases — scurvy or pellagra, for example — are corrected is to improve the diet to the point where all the body’s nutritional requirements are met, which allows the body to heal. Approaching cancer from a deficiency standpoint is logical, since there is a successful medical history of curing major diseases by bringing diet up to meet the body’s nutritional requirements (as well as a history of science denying that nutritional connection right up until it became painfully obvious).
While concentrated vitamin B-17 in its pill or injectable form, also known as Laetrile, is an isolated, purified, skeletonized food nutrient, it is a vitamin which does appear to concentrate well and maintain both its health benefits and its safety, probably in part because it is an actual derivative of apricots seeds, versus being a synthetic vitamin like many of today’s cheap vitamins. In general, any nutrient obtained in its natural state will be safer and better utilized by the body. However, Laetrile may certainly be an acceptable, safe approach in advanced cancer situations, when time is of the essence.
Dr. Binzel, who treated his patients with a combination of a cooked-food vegetarian diet and supplemental vitamin B-17, described an 87.3% two- to four-year-plus survival rate for those who suffered from primary cancer and an 70.4% two- to four-year-plus survival rate for those patients whose cancer had metastasized. As Dr. Binzel put it, “If you consider only those patients who have survived five years or more, this means that my results were 287% better than those reported by the American Cancer Society for the treatment of metastatic cancer by “orthodox” methods alone. Metastatic means that the cancer has spread from its location of origin to other areas of the body.