laetrile

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

laetrile

laetrile (lā´ətrĬl´), name given to the chemical amygdalin, a substance derived from an extract of the kernels of many fruits, notably apricots, bitter almonds, and peaches. The idea that laetrile might selectively destroy cancer cells was developed by Dr. Ernst T. Krebs, Sr., a German immigrant to the United States, in the 1920s and was later refined by his son Ernst T. Krebs, Jr., who used the name "vitamin B17" for amygdalin and the derivatives of amygdalin that he developed. The Krebses had hypothesized that an enzyme that was more abundant in tumor cells than normal cells acted on laetrile to produce cytotoxic cyanide. (Cyanide is naturally produced in the intestines when laetrile is acted upon by intestinal bacteria.) This hypothesis and several refinements of it were proved to be untrue, as was the younger Krebs's later classification of the substance as a vitamin.

The subject of controversy for many years, laetrile was subjected to much scientific scrutiny in the 1970s. Investigations showed that anecdotal reports of improvement with laetrile were insufficient proof of effectiveness. Clinical trials showed no effectiveness in shrinking tumors, prolonging survival, or improving the quality of the patient's life. Toxicity from cyanide poisoning in some patients, coupled with the drug's ineffectiveness, led the Food and Drug Administration to label laetrile a fraud. Interstate shipment and shipment from other countries are illegal, but it is still legal in some states and in Mexico.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

laetrile
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.