Interesting article on B17 and cancer

Discussion in 'Food and nutrition' started by IanW, Sep 6, 2005.

  1. IanW

    IanW Guest

    http://www.vialls.com/vialls/laetrile1.html

    No idea whether it's true or not but I've often wondered how Eskimos get
    away with eating so much meat and not suffering cancer/heart disease..
    thought it might have been because they eat fresh wild meat, rather than
    processed/preserved/farmed stuff most of the rest of us do.. but didn't
    realise B17 was prominent in their diet (what are salmon berries? is that
    roe?).

    Do you think there's any merit to these claims? I'm always skeptical of any
    article that mentions "conspiracy theories", like those about drug companies
    trying to scaremonger the use of B17 due to the cyanide thing.. also, does
    B12 really contain cyanide in the same way as B17?

    Ian
     
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  2. MMu

    MMu Guest

    "IanW" <[email protected]> schrieb im Newsbeitrag
    news:[email protected]
    > http://www.vialls.com/vialls/laetrile1.html
    >
    > No idea whether it's true or not but I've often wondered how Eskimos get
    > away with eating so much meat and not suffering cancer/heart disease..
    > thought it might have been because they eat fresh wild meat, rather than
    > processed/preserved/farmed stuff most of the rest of us do.. but didn't
    > realise B17 was prominent in their diet (what are salmon berries? is that
    > roe?).
    >
    > Do you think there's any merit to these claims? I'm always skeptical of
    > any article that mentions "conspiracy theories", like those about drug
    > companies trying to scaremonger the use of B17 due to the cyanide thing..
    > also, does B12 really contain cyanide in the same way as B17?
    >

    Two studies:

    Moertel CG, Fleming TR, Rubin J, et al. A clinical trial of amygdalin
    (Laetrile) in the treatment of human cancer. N Engl J Med 1982; 306:
    201-206.

    "One hundred seventy-eight patients with cancer were treated with amygdalin
    (Laetrile) plus a "metabolic therapy" program consisting of diet, enzymes,
    and vitamins. The great majority of these patients were in good general
    condition before treatment. None was totally disabled or in preterminal
    condition. One third had not received any previous chemotherapy. The
    pharmaceutical preparations of amygdalin, the dosage, and the schedule were
    representative of past and present Laetrile practice. No substantive benefit
    was observed in terms of cure, improvement or stabilization of cancer,
    improvement of symptoms related to cancer, or extension of life span. The
    hazards of amygdalin therapy were evidenced in several patients by symptoms
    of cyanide toxicity or by blood cyanide levels approaching the lethal range.
    Patients exposed to this agent should be instructed about the danger of
    cyanide poisoning, and their blood cyanide levels should be carefully
    monitored. Amygdalin (Laetrile) is a toxic drug that is not effective as a
    cancer treatment. "

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ann Pharmacother. 2005 Sep;39(9):1566-9. Epub 2005 Jul 12.

    Life-threatening interaction between complementary medicines: cyanide
    toxicity
    following ingestion of amygdalin and vitamin C.

    Bromley J, Hughes BG, Leong DC, Buckley NA.

    Department of Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology, The Canberra Hospital,
    Garran, Australia.

    OBJECTIVE: To describe a case of severe accidental cyanide poisoning
    following a
    single ingestion of amygdalin with therapeutic intent. CASE SUMMARY: A
    68-year-old patient with cancer presented to the emergency department
    shortly
    after her first dose (3 g) of amygdalin with a reduced Glasgow Coma Score,
    seizures, and severe lactic acidosis requiring intubation and ventilation.
    The
    patient also ingested 4800 mg of vitamin C per day. She responded rapidly to
    hydroxocobalamin treatment. The adverse drug reaction was rated probable on
    the
    Naranjo probability scale. DISCUSSION: Amygdalin and laetrile (a synthetic
    form
    of amygdalin) are commonly used as complementary or alternative medicine
    (CAM)
    for the treatment of cancer. Vitamin C is known to increase the in vitro
    conversion of amygdalin to cyanide and reduce body stores of cysteine, which
    is
    used to detoxify cyanide. Amygdalin has been used for decades by patients
    with
    cancer who are seeking alternative therapies, and severe reactions have not
    been
    reported with this dose. An interaction with vitamin C is a plausible
    explanation for this life-threatening response. CONCLUSIONS: This case
    highlights the fact that CAMs can produce life-threatening toxicity. This
    case
    also adds a further note of caution, namely, the potential for serious
    interactions between CAMs, particularly where there is no tradition of
    concomitant use.
     
  3. IanW

    IanW Guest

    Thanks for the refs.. did you find those articles by general searching on
    the web or is there a good resource or research papers on nutrition out
    there?

    Incidentally, it seems that almost every nutrient that purportedly has
    benefits for some kind of serious disease is contradicted by a subsequent
    study.. like the latest article on the beeb today on b-vits:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/4218186.stm

    It makes it difficult to believe anything really works in the world of
    nutritional medicine!

    Ian

    "MMu" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    >
    > "IanW" <[email protected]> schrieb im Newsbeitrag
    > news:[email protected]
    >> http://www.vialls.com/vialls/laetrile1.html
    >>
    >> No idea whether it's true or not but I've often wondered how Eskimos get
    >> away with eating so much meat and not suffering cancer/heart disease..
    >> thought it might have been because they eat fresh wild meat, rather than
    >> processed/preserved/farmed stuff most of the rest of us do.. but didn't
    >> realise B17 was prominent in their diet (what are salmon berries? is that
    >> roe?).
    >>
    >> Do you think there's any merit to these claims? I'm always skeptical of
    >> any article that mentions "conspiracy theories", like those about drug
    >> companies trying to scaremonger the use of B17 due to the cyanide thing..
    >> also, does B12 really contain cyanide in the same way as B17?
    >>

    > Two studies:
    >
    > Moertel CG, Fleming TR, Rubin J, et al. A clinical trial of amygdalin
    > (Laetrile) in the treatment of human cancer. N Engl J Med 1982; 306:
    > 201-206.
    >
    > "One hundred seventy-eight patients with cancer were treated with
    > amygdalin (Laetrile) plus a "metabolic therapy" program consisting of
    > diet, enzymes, and vitamins. The great majority of these patients were in
    > good general condition before treatment. None was totally disabled or in
    > preterminal condition. One third had not received any previous
    > chemotherapy. The pharmaceutical preparations of amygdalin, the dosage,
    > and the schedule were representative of past and present Laetrile
    > practice. No substantive benefit was observed in terms of cure,
    > improvement or stabilization of cancer, improvement of symptoms related to
    > cancer, or extension of life span. The hazards of amygdalin therapy were
    > evidenced in several patients by symptoms of cyanide toxicity or by blood
    > cyanide levels approaching the lethal range. Patients exposed to this
    > agent should be instructed about the danger of cyanide poisoning, and
    > their blood cyanide levels should be carefully monitored. Amygdalin
    > (Laetrile) is a toxic drug that is not effective as a cancer treatment. "
    >
    > ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    > Ann Pharmacother. 2005 Sep;39(9):1566-9. Epub 2005 Jul 12.
    >
    > Life-threatening interaction between complementary medicines: cyanide
    > toxicity
    > following ingestion of amygdalin and vitamin C.
    >
    > Bromley J, Hughes BG, Leong DC, Buckley NA.
    >
    > Department of Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology, The Canberra Hospital,
    > Garran, Australia.
    >
    > OBJECTIVE: To describe a case of severe accidental cyanide poisoning
    > following a
    > single ingestion of amygdalin with therapeutic intent. CASE SUMMARY: A
    > 68-year-old patient with cancer presented to the emergency department
    > shortly
    > after her first dose (3 g) of amygdalin with a reduced Glasgow Coma Score,
    > seizures, and severe lactic acidosis requiring intubation and ventilation.
    > The
    > patient also ingested 4800 mg of vitamin C per day. She responded rapidly
    > to
    > hydroxocobalamin treatment. The adverse drug reaction was rated probable
    > on the
    > Naranjo probability scale. DISCUSSION: Amygdalin and laetrile (a synthetic
    > form
    > of amygdalin) are commonly used as complementary or alternative medicine
    > (CAM)
    > for the treatment of cancer. Vitamin C is known to increase the in vitro
    > conversion of amygdalin to cyanide and reduce body stores of cysteine,
    > which is
    > used to detoxify cyanide. Amygdalin has been used for decades by patients
    > with
    > cancer who are seeking alternative therapies, and severe reactions have
    > not been
    > reported with this dose. An interaction with vitamin C is a plausible
    > explanation for this life-threatening response. CONCLUSIONS: This case
    > highlights the fact that CAMs can produce life-threatening toxicity. This
    > case
    > also adds a further note of caution, namely, the potential for serious
    > interactions between CAMs, particularly where there is no tradition of
    > concomitant use.
    >
    >
    >
     
  4. MMu

    MMu Guest

    "IanW" <[email protected]> schrieb im Newsbeitrag
    news:[email protected]
    > Thanks for the refs.. did you find those articles by general searching on
    > the web or is there a good resource or research papers on nutrition out
    > there?
    >
    > Incidentally, it seems that almost every nutrient that purportedly has
    > benefits for some kind of serious disease is contradicted by a subsequent
    > study.. like the latest article on the beeb today on b-vits:
    > http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/4218186.stm
    >
    > It makes it difficult to believe anything really works in the world of
    > nutritional medicine!
    >
    > Ian


    Indeed, the reason is: its very easy to claim that substance x helped
    someone or cured someone when there is no control, no placebo, no peers etc.

    There is a lot of money in all this, and if you look at it: as soon as a
    study finds out that .. lets say.. people who eat lots of cashew-nut have a
    lower incidence of getting pimples some company will instantly extract an
    previously ignored substance out of the nut and sell this as
    anti-pimple-pill; ignoring that maybe people who eat a lot of cashew are in
    other ways also different from people who don't.

    A classic example: if you randomly pick 1000 people from the street, measure
    their height and ask them if they use a certain brand of face-cream
    (suspecting something bad might be in there) you will mirculously get the
    result (and a statistically highly significant result that is) that people
    who use face-cream frequently are smaller than people who don't. something
    in the conditioner must obviously hamper growth hormones?!!!

    No!

    Its just that
    1) we had 1000 random people from the street.. that means men and women.
    2) women, in the average, are smaller than men.
    3) women use face-cream more frequently than men do.

    Things like these happen all the time and such wrong conclusions are used by
    many industries (sometimes willingly sometimes not) to sell their latest
    greatest plant extract (or any other thing relevant to nutrition and
    health).

    ---

    Its hard to find good information on a topic; the most reliable source for
    information is www.pubmed.com.
    Its a database of scientific journals where you can actually search and read
    (if you have access to the journal) the studies and results yourself...
    however: this database is aimed for scientists, this means that the language
    will be very hard to read and to understand if you don't know some
    biochemistry.. the best way to start are usually so called "review"
    articles- those are summaries of a bunch of studies to a certain topic.
     
  5. IanW

    IanW Guest

    "MMu" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]

    > Its hard to find good information on a topic; the most reliable source for
    > information is www.pubmed.com.
    > Its a database of scientific journals where you can actually search and
    > read (if you have access to the journal) the studies and results
    > yourself... however: this database is aimed for scientists, this means
    > that the language will be very hard to read and to understand if you don't
    > know some biochemistry.. the best way to start are usually so called
    > "review" articles- those are summaries of a bunch of studies to a certain
    > topic.


    that's an excellent resource.. thanks :)

    Ian
     
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