A man from Australia tried to treat his cancer by consuming apricot extract, or in other words kernels, which should have been used for preventing cancer from returning. The man tried to take this extract for five years, according to the BMJ Case Reports.
He consumed 2 teaspoons with 3 Novodalin tablets, which are a herbal fruit supplement.
Therefore, he managed to consume 17.23 milligrams of apricot kernel extract every day. However, doctors don’t usually prescribe this extract for this kind of treatment, but the man took it anyway.
Furthermore, the man believed in alternative medicine and decided to try this apricot regimen in an effort to treat and prevent cancer. After all, some time ago, he had prostate cancer, which made him try to prevent it from ever returning.
Apricot Kernel Extract
This extract contains laetrile, also called amygdalin, which can become cyanide once ingested inside the body. As a result, it can prevent the cells from using oxygen and kill them in the process. This is the reason why the man believed this extract could treat cancerous cells.
But, luckily, the doctors caught the evidence of cyanide on time, before the symptoms could get any worse.
This happened when the man went for a routine procedure to treat his prostate cancer. Doctors recognized the high levels of thiocyanate and the low oxygen saturation, which in turn led them to believe that the man had cyanide poisoning.
As a result, doctors told him to stop taking the extract if he wanted to stop the cyanide poisoning. He listened for only 3 days but continued using the extract afterward.
The Dangers of This Medicine
These unregulated complementary medicines can be very dangerous for patients, especially for people with a weak immune system. According to Dr. Alex Konstantatos, you can never be sure of the safety and efficacy of such treatments.
After all, they lack production control and proper testing. Therefore, you can’t compare them to standard medicines. The lack of scientific evidence makes them a dangerous supplement for treating serious diseases.
But still, a third of people in Britain still use alternative medicines, like apricot kernel for example.
Are Apricot Kernels Safe to Use?
One or two kernels per day, or 0.6 teaspoons, is enough if you want to consume apricot kernels. Therefore, they are safe to consume. This is the first time doctors witnessed such an unusual case. Therefore, the causes are still unknown.
How to Recognize Acute Cyanide Poisoning?
In Canada, U.S. and UK, apricot kernels are common, and many people consume them. Of course, they are not dangerous or life-threatening, but it is still important to know not to consume too much of them.
However, if you consume more than necessary, you might be able to recognize some of the following symptoms of acute cyanide poisoning:
- cardiac arrest
- shortness of breath
- loss of consciousness
- nerve damage
If you experience any of these symptoms, especially after consuming an excessive amount of apricot kernels, make sure to contact your doctor immediately.