Amygdalin, more commonly known as Vitamin B17, is a natural substance found in plants. More specifically, it's found in the fleshy heart inside the pit of drupe fruits like apricots, peaches, cherries, and plums.
Drupe fruits aren't the only source of Amygdalin. We also find it in the seeds of fruit like apples, berries, strawberries, and grapes as well as in raw nuts. Almonds, macadamia nuts, and cashews are all high in Amygdalin. Some grains like flax, buckwheat and millet seeds also yield a good supply.
Today, we know that Amygdalin is found in over 1,200 food types around the world. Of these, apricot kernels are believed to top the list, followed by plums, peaches, cherries and then apple seeds.
Amygdalin has been used for centuries
The source (not the fruit itself, but the kernel), usually has a bitter taste which is why people don't find it particularly pleasant to ingest Amygdalin in its seed form.
Despite the taste, we know the Chinese, Egyptian and Pueblo Indian cultures have all used the bitter almond abundantly in traditional medicines. In Chinese pharmacology, the apricot kernel is called Xing Ren and is still used widely in traditional and modern Chinese medication.
Amygdalin in the body
Although Amygdalin has been consumed in its natural form for centuries, it was first scientifically isolated and studied by chemists in 1830.
Early studies proved our bodies break Amygdalin down into benzaldehyde, glucose and small amounts of hydrogen cyanide. This finding raised concern since hydrogen cyanide can be toxic to our bodies in excessive amounts.
Carefully measure your Amygdalin intake
According to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), three small, raw apricot kernels or even one large one can produce dangerous levels of hydrogen cyanide in an adult. One kernel may prove toxic to a small child.
We need to know exactly how much Amygdalin we're consuming in every dose if we want to reap the health benefits responsibly. It's challenging to do so when we consume the substance in its natural form. The amount of Amygdalin in a seed depends on the type of fruit, the size of the pit, the Amygdalin concentration, and even the tree it's from.
In a processed form as a daily dietary supplement, Amygdalin is measured and packaged in precise doses. You'll know exactly how much you're taking with each capsule which makes your intake more controlled.
Best quality Amygdalin
You'll get the greatest health benefit when you choose a supplement that uses the highest quality Amygdalin. Look for a supplement that doesn't just contain ground up apricot kernels. It should contain pure Amygdalin extracted from the kernel and then purified into a high concentration.
It's important you buy your Vitamin B17 Amygdalin from a health brand you can trust. By doing so, you'll know exactly how much Amygdalin you're consuming in every dose.