Editor’s Note: This article is Part 1 of a 3-part series on an incredible cancer-fighting compound known as laetrile, and first appeared in the April 2017 edition of TTAC’s Heroes Against Cancer member newsletter.
From the dawn of human civilization, many theories have been proposed to explain cancer. For instance, ancient Egyptians blamed cancers on their gods. Hippocrates of Kos (460 BC-370 BC) – the Greek physician known as the “Father of Modern Medicine” – believed that our bodies had four humors, or body fluids: blood, phlegm, yellow bile, and black bile. When these humors were in balance with each other, good health would result. However, having too much black bile led to cancer. This “humoral” theory of cancer remained unchallenged through the Middle Ages, for over 1,300 years.
In 1838, the German pathologist Johannes Müller was the first to show that cancer is made up of cells. A few years later his student, Rudolph Virchow, proposed that all cells, including cancer cells, are derived from other cells. And in the 1860s, the German surgeon Karl Thiersch proposed that cancers migrate to other parts of the body (known scientifically as metastasis) by the spreading of malignant cells.
Based on their experiences with breast cancer in members of the same household in the mid-1600s, two Dutch physicians claimed that cancer was contagious and proposed that patients should be isolated outside of cities and towns to prevent its spread. Today we know that although cancer is not contagious, certain viruses, bacteria, and parasites can and do increase our risk of getting this dreaded disease.
Cancer is now universally recognized as a global epidemic. As of 2012, there were over 14 million new cancer cases worldwide, including more than 8 million cancer-related deaths and more than 32 million people living with cancer. Of these, it is estimated that 1.7 million new cases of cancer were diagnosed in the U.S. in 2016 and that around 600,000 Americans died from the disease. National expenditures for cancer care in the U.S. were nearly $125 billion in 2010 and is likely to reach a staggering $156 billion in 2020.
What’s going on? Why are we seeing this surge in cancer cases all over the world – a phenomenon unprecedented in human history? Is it our modern sedentary lifestyle? Does it have to do with our move away from natural to processed and refined foods? Or is it because of environmental factors such as pollution and the toxic chemical soup we live in?
Or could the real reason be something else entirely?
The Carcinogen Theory of Cancer
The modern theory of cancer states that it is triggered by changes in the DNA of our body’s cells, our genetic “blueprint” – which leads to uncontrollable cell growth and tumor formation.
We now know that a very small fraction of these changes can be inherited from our parents, while the majority appear to be triggered by other factors, including:
- Poor diet – consuming a nutritionally-deficient diet containing excess sugar, bad fats, as well as genetically modified (GM) foods, colorants, preservatives, and other artificial chemical additives prevalent in the modern food industry
- Lack of physical activity
- Smoking, specifically the chemicals used in making tobacco products
- Alcohol use and abuse
- Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays, radon gas, and infectious agents
- Radiation, chemotherapy, hormone drugs, and drugs that suppress the immune system
- Workplace exposures to asbestos, lead, paint, solvents like benzene, etc.
- Household exposures to chloroform and other chemicals in commercial cleaning products, flame retardants in furniture, non-stick cooking pans, household pesticides, detergents, etc.
- Pollution from vehicle exhaust, burning of coal products, other fuels, etc.
- Hepatitis B and C viruses, human papillomavirus (HPV), and Epstein-Barr virus, as well as certain bacteria and parasites
All such substances, agents, and exposures that can alter DNA and lead to cancer are called carcinogens. All carcinogens do not cause cancer all the time, but they increase cancer risk and have different levels of cancer- causing potential. Our chances of developing cancer depend on the length and intensity of our exposure, the state of our health and immune system, and our genetic makeup.
By combining evidence from laboratory and human epidemiologic studies – in which researchers study human populations to understand which factors might be linked to cancer – scientists can assess a substance’s cancer-causing ability with a high level of confidence. When the evidence is conclusive, the substance is labeled as a carcinogen. When the evidence is compelling but not conclusive, the substance is considered to be a probable carcinogen.
While the carcinogen theory of cancer drives the majority of research into its causes and the search for therapies today, a growing alternative stream of thought is convinced that specific carcinogens do not actually cause cancer, but merely determine where in the body cancer is going to occur.
This theory – which, as we will later see, has been deliberately suppressed by proponents of mainstream medicine – states that cancer happens instead because of the lack of an essential nutrient in our modern diet.
Is Cancer a Deficiency Disease?
A chronic disease is a long-lasting health condition that doesn’t go away on its own. A metabolic disease is one that occurs within the body and is not transmitted from one person to another.
Cancer, then, appears to be a classic example of a chronic metabolic disease.
G. Edward Griffin, TTAC docu-series expert and the author of the book “World without Cancer: The Story of Vitamin B-17,” quotes Ernst Krebs, Jr. (a biochemist from San Francisco) as saying that in the entire history of medical science there hasn’t been a single chronic metabolic disease that has been cured or prevented by drugs. Instead, he said, in every instance, the solution was related to adequate nutrition – and this is exactly where we should also concentrate our efforts to understand the true cause of cancer.
In 1952, Krebs Jr. advanced the groundbreaking theory that cancer is caused by a deficiency of essential nutrients in our diet. He further identified these compounds as nitrilosides, which are found in over 1,200 edible plants found all over the world. Specifically, nitrilosides are present in apricot, plum, and peach pits, apple seeds, bitter almonds, nuts, lima beans, and quince – as well as in grasses, maize, sorghum, millet, cassava, linseed, bitter almonds, and many other foods that are no very longer popular today.
Did you know that millet was once the staple grain of most Americans? Surprising, but true. Today, the main grains consumed in the U.S. are wheat and corn, which have practically no nitriloside content. Even cattle are fed on quick-growing, low-nitriloside grasses, so there are fewer nitrilosides in the meat consumed by Americans today.
Grocery shelves in our supermarkets are typically lined with high-carb foods that have been processed, refined, synthesized, artificially flavored, and loaded with chemical preservatives – and which contain no nitrilosides at all.
In other words, over the past 50 years, natural foods that used to provide us with sufficient quantities of nitrilosides have been replaced by others that are low or completely deficient in these healthful compounds. Is it a coincidence that cancer rates in the U.S. has climbed steadily higher during this exact same period of time?
Lessons From the History of Science
A look back at the history of science reveals that it is the history of struggle against entrenched error. Many of the world’s greatest scientific discoveries were often initially rejected by the mainstream scientific community – and those who pioneered these discoveries were often assailed as quacks and charlatans.
For instance, Columbus was attacked for claiming that the Earth was round. Galileo was imprisoned for stating that the earth moved around the sun. In the field of medicine, the English physician William Harvey was at first ridiculed for proposing that blood was pumped by the heart and moved around the body via arteries, before his ideas were accepted by the mainstream medical community at the time.
Let’s consider the sorry story of scurvy, which we now know is a severe vitamin C deficiency disease. Centuries ago, entire naval expeditions were wiped out by this condition that caused more deaths in the British fleets than battles with the other naval superpowers at the time, Spain and France. It wasn’t until 1747, when the Scottish surgeon James Lind – author of the groundbreaking book “A Treatise of the Scurvy,” based on his own experiments with British sailors – discovered that acids both prevented and cured scurvy, and that the deficiency of an essential nutrient was finally understood to be responsible for this horrific condition.
Similarly, pellagra (a condition characterized by dermatitis, diarrhea, and mental disturbance) had devastated large sections of the American southeast in the early 20th century. Dr. Joseph Goldberger, a physician working for the U.S. government, had shown in 1914 that pellagra was the result of a diet deficient in niacin and could be prevented by consuming either liver or yeast. However, it wasn’t until the 1940s – almost 30 years later – that the medical community fully accepted and began to act upon this solution. Apparently, Dr. Goldberger had dented medical pride when his experiments showed that diet and not germs or a virus was the underlying cause of pellagra.
The Amazing Inhabitants of Hunza Valley
If cancer is indeed a deficiency disease as claimed by Ernst E. Krebs, Jr. and others, the ideal way to test this theory would be to expose hundreds, even thousands of individuals to nitriloside-rich foods over many years and measure their health outcomes – specifically cancer incidence.
According to G. Edward Griffin, such a natural “experiment” has been going on in the remote recesses of the Himalayas for hundreds of years. The tiny Himalayan kingdom of Hunza, situated in the extreme northern part of Pakistan, is a mountainous valley in the Gilgit-Baltistan region. The residents of this valley – known as the Hunzakut – are famous the world over for their longevity, physical and mental stamina, and overall good health.
Apparently, there has never been a known case of cancer in Hunza valley. If this startling fact is indeed true, could the explanation be that the typical Hunza diet is estimated to contain over 200 times the levels of nitrilosides relative to the average American diet? And is it a coincidence that the most prized of all foods in Hunza valley are apricot seeds, which are chockfull of nitrilosides?
It is also noteworthy that when the residents of Hunza valley go out into the world and adopt foreign customs, including eating a different diet, they too succumb to the diseases that afflict us all – including cancer.
Similarly, Eskimos living their natural lifestyles and eating their natural foods are usually completely free of cancer. The traditional diet of Eskimos is also very high in nitrilosides that come from the residue and meat of caribou and other free-grazing animals, as well as from certain Arctic berries. Again, when these people abandon their traditional way of life and begin to consume typical western foods, they become even more cancer-prone than the average American.
There seems to be a clear-cut correlation between a diet rich in nitrilosides and low cancer incidence. To understand how nitrilosides might act in the body to achieve this amazing feat, let’s first consider the trophoblastic thesis of cancer.
The Trophoblastic Thesis of Cancer
Trophoblasts are cells that are formed during the very first stage of pregnancy and make up the outer layer of a structure known as the blastocyst. The inner layers of the blastocyst eventually form the embryo. Trophoblasts provide nutrients to the embryo and eventually develop into the placenta, the connection between the embryo and the mother’s blood supply.
In 1902, Dr. John Beard, Professor of Embryology at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, stated that the early mammalian placenta, derived from trophoblasts, was an ideal model for the study of cancer. He claimed that in its ability to divide rapidly, invade maternal tissues, and generate a blood supply, the trophoblast initially behaves exactly like a growing tumor. This is known as the “Trophoblastic Thesis of Cancer.”
However, the trophoblast differs from cancer in that at some predetermined point it changes from an invasive tissue into the non-aggressive placenta, which is necessary for early embryonic life. Dr. Beard spent years searching for the reason for this remarkable transformation – and discovered that the very day the trophoblast changes character, the embryonic pancreas begins secreting large amounts of enzymes.
Based on his findings, Dr. Beard proposed that since pancreatic enzymes regulate trophoblast growth, they must represent our main defense against cancer. Indeed, in animal experiments and in clinical use with human cancer patients, Dr. Beard showed that pancreatic enzymes could attack and destroy cancerous tumors. Multiple case histories of cancer patients who have been successfully treated with pancreatic enzymes are described in the books “The Enzyme Treatment of Cancer” by Dr. Beard himself and “The Trophoblast and the Origins of Cancer” by the late Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez and Dr. Linda Isaacs. (Both Drs. Gonzalez and Isaacs have also been featured experts in The Truth About Cancer docu-series.)
Despite his careful documentation of his results and his impeccable scientific reputation (Dr. Beard had been nominated for the Nobel Prize in 1905 for his work in embryology), most cancer experts at the time rejected his trophoblast thesis completely. Incidentally, Dr. Beard was also the first to describe stem cells, the focus of substantial research today in the fight against many diseases.
Next week, we’re going to dive into the topic of amygdalin (also known as laetrile or Vitamin B-17), which is a type of purified nitriloside. You’ll discover how Ernest Krebs, Jr. developed amygdalin for cancer treatments, and how the American medical establishment has consistently worked to discredit this viable cancer therapy.
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Cancer is now universally recognized as a global epidemic.
The modern theory of cancer states that it is triggered by changes in the DNA of our body’s cells.
Cancer appears to be a classic example of a chronic metabolic disease.
There seems to be a clear-cut correlation between a diet rich in nitrilosides and low cancer incidence.