Eating apricots are one of the healthiest options to keep yourself healthy, you may agree. It has long been associated with its ability to cure various ailments. Apricots, scientifically known as Prunus armeniaca, are closely related to the plum family. Its consumption is known to have benefits that include curing indigestion, constipation, anemia, helps further improve your heart health, prevents the deterioration of eyesight and works towards reducing cholesterol levels. Apricot oil is known for treating skin disorders and asthma. It is also believed that the apricot seeds or kernels kill cancer cells. However, there is a raging debate on whether eating apricot seeds can be fatal or not. Read on as we try to get some answers related to apricot seeds.
Apricot Seeds Theory: They Cure Cancer
It is believed that apricot seeds kill cancer cells because they contain a component called laetrile, which is an apparent killer of cancer cells and is not toxic when consumed. The seeds also consist of Amygdalin or vitamin B17 which is found in highest concentration and is considered one of the essential enzymes found in the apricot kernel. It is also considered as the key ingredient to overcoming cancer. Amygdalin or laetrile come in concurrence with the protective enzymes in healthy cells and the enzymes in cancer cells are thus able to destruct the cancer cells without menacing healthy cells. However, there is a completely different angle to this theory, which says that amygdalin has cyanide which is extremely dangerous for human health.
Apricot Seeds Theory: Consuming Them Can Kill You!
Apricot kernels have an active enzyme which is known as amygdalin, also known as vitamin B17 as it is a nitriloside and its structure resembles that of B complex, therefore it is conveniently named as vitamin B17 to label and market it as a healthy substance. It is found in around 1200 edible plants in nature. The concentrated form of amygdalin is known as laetrile which is obtained by extracting it from the kernels. Amygdalin has two components including cyanide and benzaldehyde. As you consume the apricot kernel, this enzyme is converted into cyanide which is poisonous and can lead to some serious harm. This can cause symptoms including nausea, vomiting, headache, dizziness, liver damage, bluish discoloration of the skin due to lack of oxygen, extremely low blood pressure, fever, damaged nerves, mental confusion and in some extreme conditions, it can cause death.
Considering laetrile as a concentrated form of amygdalin, it is still known as a non-toxic component as compared to amygdalin. However, moderation is the key. Eating it in a limit may help in some ways, but this does not make it a cure for cancer.
Are Apricot Seeds Really Dangerous?
When we connected with one of the expert Nutritionist, she explained, “Apricot seed contains a toxic chemical called amygdalin which has cyanide in it that may cause serious harm to health. Also, it hasn’t been scientifically proven by AFSP, European Food Safety Authority or any other trusted food safety authority who qualifies apricot seeds as cures for cancer. I recommend people to be careful of what they are consuming for such serious ailments like cancer. Even if you are consuming it, be very sure of the dosage and see if you are prone to its toxicity. Always refer to a doctor before taking a decision.”
It is imperative to understand that without consulting a doctor, even consuming natural foods for ailments like cancer can be extremely harmful. Just because it is ‘natural’, it clearly does not mean it is safe for your health. Therefore, it is recommended to refer to your doctor before consuming such fruits or vegetables before taking a dietary decision.