Beware the smell of bitter almonds: Why do many food plants contain cyanide?

Jul 21, 2010 By Diana Lutz
Beware the smell of bitter almonds: Why do many food plants contain cyanide?
Could lima beans kill you? Probably not. Lima beans commercially grown in the United States are restricted to two varieties with low cyanide levels.

(PhysOrg.com) -- In murder mysteries, the detective usually diagnoses cyanide poisoning by the scent of bitter almonds wafting from the corpse. The detective knows what many of us might find surprising — that the deadly poison cyanide is naturally present in bitter almonds and many other plants used as food, including apples, peaches, apricots, lima beans, barley, sorghum, flaxseed and bamboo shoots.

There's a reason that exists in all these , and it is — to paraphrase Sherlock Holmes — evolutionary, suggests Kenneth M. Olsen, PhD, an assistant professor of biology in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis.

Olsen, who studies white clover, cassava and other plants that produce cyanide, says the plants have an ingenious poison delivery system, one that evolution has designed to discourage herbivores from feasting on them.

Due to proper food processing techniques and strict regulations, cyanide-wielding plants pose little threat to the American food supply. But, in Africa, where cassava root has become a major part of subsistence diets, many poor people suffer from a chronic form of cyanide known as konzo.

How plants make cyanide

The plant stores the cyanide in an inactive form, typically as a cyanogenic glycoside, which is a sugar molecule with an attached cyanide group (carbon triple-bonded to nitrogen).

The cyanogenic glycoside is stored in one compartment of the plant cell and an enzyme that activates it is stored in another compartment. When an insect or other animal chews the plant and crushes the compartments, the two chemicals mix, and the enzyme cleaves the cyanide from the sugar. It’s a bit like breaking a glow stick to mix the chemicals that make the stick fluoresce.

Olsen describes it as “a cyanide booby-trap.”

Apple seeds contain cyanide (not arsenic as people commonly think) but even if you eat the core, the seeds are likely to pass undigested through your system.

What cyanide does to poison you (or the relevant herbivore) is equally ingenious. It prevents cells from using oxygen by binding in its place to the biomachinery that converts food to energy. This causes what is essentially a molecular form of asphyxiation.

And the molecular pathway it blocks is so ancient and universal, cyanide is effective against most life forms, from insects to people.

Why so many food plants contain cyanide

Why do so many food plants contain cyanide? There are two answers, Olsen says. Cyanide acts as a primitive pesticide that discourages insects that feed on plants. The very earliest farmers, selecting plants to bring into cultivation, might have found these “clean” plants particularly attractive. By selecting plants that hadn’t been chewed up by insects, they may have inadvertently selected ones that were cyanogenic.

But the second and perhaps more important reason is that as plant toxins go, cyanide is a manageable one. The cyanide in apples and peaches, for example, is in their seeds and pits, which are usually discarded.

In addition, Olsen says, even if an edible plant part contains the poison, it is easy to get rid of. All you have to do is crush the plant, then wash the mash. Crushing releases the water-soluble cyanide, which is carried off in the water.

Disabling the genes that code for cyanide production is also straightforward. It took only one genetic mutation, for example, to turn the toxic bitter almond to the benign sweet almond.

“You’ll notice that the oak hasn’t been domesticated,” says Olsen, “and this may be because the poison in that case is not a single compound but rather a broad class of compounds (the tannins) whose production is controlled by many different genes.”

“Many mutations would be required to generate a low-tannin oak. Also tannins are not sequestered in one part of the plant, such as the leaves, but instead are found throughout the plant, so it isn’t possible just to remove the offending part.”

“Squirrels have evolved digestive systems that can handle the oak tannins," Olsen says. "But tannins definitely discourage acorn consumption by people.”

The problem with cassava

One plant that can deliver problematic amounts of cyanide is cassava, also called manioc, tapioca or yuca.

Olsen, who has studied the domestication of cassava, says that it is native to South America and was imported to Africa by the Portuguese only 300 or 400 years ago. It remained a minor crop until about 100 years ago, becoming important only when soils became too degraded to grow traditional African crops.

The skins of unprocessed cassava roots actually contain sulfur-containing proteins that would help people who eat cassava metabolize cyanide in the root, but the skins are usually removed when the roots are prepared.

There are sweet as well as bitter strains of cassava, but farmers often prefer the bitter, high-cyanide ones, because they discourage insects (and thieves — who avoid the roots that require laborious processing).

People have the ability to detoxify some cyanide if they ingest it slowly and over a long period of time, and if they have sufficient protein in their diet, particularly sulfur-containing amino acids.

Those who suffer from konzo are often subsisting on little other than cassava and may also not be processing the root properly, since detoxification requires an abundant water supply.

Tacked to Olsen’s office wall is a woven palm-fiber basket that looks like a giant Chinese finger trap. The purpose of this intriguing South American implement, called a tipiti, is to wring the cyanide out of grated cassava. It is also a reminder of the ingeniousness of plants, which are not the patsies animals often think they are, but instead experts in chemical warfare.

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GeToChKn
5 / 5 (2) Jul 21, 2010
There are groups of people who believe that eating apricot seeds, helps prevent cancer, and if you have cancer, it will cure your cancer. When you try and tell them they are eating cyanide, they tell you thats what the evil Zionist overlords want you to think and there isn't any cyanide in them and its the greatest cure to cancer that the medical community is hiding because of the Zionist big pharma control. Then they say, well look, it works, I don't have cancer.

Its like the tiger repelling rock......
yyz
5 / 5 (2) Jul 21, 2010
I thought the "active ingredient" in apricot pits was laetrile: http://en.wikiped...Laetrile

It doesn't cure or prevent cancer either.
TabulaMentis
1 / 5 (4) Jul 21, 2010
Laetrile found in apricots and almonds may be able to stop cancer in its early stage before the body becomes completely infested with the disease.
Small amounts over long periods of time may be beneficial.
Large amounts over a short period of time can cause one to faint!
GeToChKn
not rated yet Jul 22, 2010
Laetrile found in apricots and almonds may be able to stop cancer in its early stage before the body becomes completely infested with the disease.
Small amounts over long periods of time may be beneficial.
Large amounts over a short period of time can cause one to faint!


Source that it can stop any kind of cancer, anywhere, other than some nutjob website link?
yyz
5 / 5 (1) Jul 22, 2010
"Large amounts over a short period of time can cause one to faint!"

Large amounts over a short period of time can cause one to die!

See my previous link, under "Toxicity".
kevinrtrs
1.8 / 5 (12) Jul 22, 2010
one that evolution has designed to discourage herbivores from feasting on them.

I really wish evolutionists would make up their minds about their God. Evolution cannot "design" anything - please!!!!

The theory clearly forbids it from having ANY foreknowledge to design anything with an end-product in mind.

You can't have it both ways - un-intelligent random plodding AND inventive, purposeful design aimed at achieving some superb objective.

Get with it now! Evolution DOES NOT DESIGN anything!
frajo
2 / 5 (4) Jul 22, 2010
Evolution cannot "design" anything - please!!!!

The theory clearly forbids it from having ANY foreknowledge to design anything with an end-product in mind.
You are completely right in this aspect. There are two reasons why some, maybe even many evolutionists use expressions like "designed" when they describe evolutionary patterns.
1) Sloppy/thoughtless language.
2) Not knowing the term "teleology" and its meaning.

Unfortunately, a lot of non-believers think in patterns like "the fly has wings in order to be able to fly" or "in order to gather the most of light many plants turn their leaves to the sun". This is naive thinking and an indicator of school failure.
Djincs
1 / 5 (2) Jul 22, 2010
Dosis sola facid venenum- in other words its up to the dose if the cianide is cure or poison, the best known medicine from centuries is Aqua amygdalarum amararum....
Some fruits has cianide when they arent ripe yet, if they are eaten green their seeds wont sprout, this make perfect sence, the plants want their fruit to be eaten in order for seeds to be dispersed but this can be done by burds and the mammals, not the insects, lots of plants are poisonous but their fruits arent(Taxus baccata), in furst sight for fruts to contain poison it is not very logical but maybe they have just a little bit to discourage the insects and not to harm the big animals a lot, it doesnt meen there is no poisonous fruits but their strategy is mistery to me, maybe for some animals they arent, i dont know.
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (7) Jul 22, 2010
Get with it now! Evolution DOES NOT DESIGN anything!
That's rich: a person who anthropomorphizes the entire universe without batting an eye, is complaining about an anthropomorphism that emerges in an awkward turn of phrase. No, rivers don't /dig/ canyons. Storms don't /bring/ rain. Mountains don't /grow/. Stars don't /wink/. And no, evolution doesn't /design/, nor does natural selection /select/ (in the intentional, deliberate sense of the word...)
Djincs
2 / 5 (4) Jul 22, 2010
"Unfortunately, a lot of non-believers think in patterns like "the fly has wings in order to be able to fly" or "in order to gather the most of light many plants turn their leaves to the sun". This is naive thinking and an indicator of school failure."

I dont think it is that bad it is really bad if you belieave that god has created the wings.
And I cant get what you meen, why to be naive, the side of the petiole which is not expose to light grow faster and this makes the leave to turn to the sun , this is beneficial and the evolution has created it! if not the natural selection who then?
Ethelred
5 / 5 (3) Jul 22, 2010
I thought the "active ingredient" in apricot pits was laetrile:


Laetrile's active ingredient IS cyanide. It is purest bull and people have died from eating too many peach pits.

It has been around for decades and the people using are still dying of cancer. Those that don't kill themselves with the cyanide.

Ethelred
Ethelred
5 / 5 (6) Jul 22, 2010
The theory clearly forbids it from having ANY foreknowledge to design anything with an end-product in mind.
Theories don't forbid things. They explain how things work and YES you got something right.

Evolution is a natural process. It has no goals. Not even survival. It is simply the process whereby mutations are selected OUT by lack of reproduction. Thus those that don't survive fail to reproduce.

Mutation supplies the raw material of evolution. Selection is the result of not reproducing thus removing the mutations that are harmful. There is no intent nor design simply the inevitable result of changes that didn't help but hurt. Changes that help survive and reproduce.

There is no intelligence involved in Evolution nor design. Just survival in an environment that destroys changes that fit.

Evolution is something that cannot NOT happen. So get a clue Kevin. Its real. Your 7,000 year old Earth is a fantasy.

Ethelred
kevinrtrs
1.4 / 5 (9) Jul 22, 2010
@frajo, Ethelred and PinkElephant.
Have you guys seriously set down and pondered how evolution managed to produce the human body?
[I'm just using the human body as case in point here because most people probably have access to much more info on it than any other living species.]
Have you guys seriously asked yourselves how certain things [arteries, nerves, blood cells, bone, skin etc] got to be in their places and how it came to work the way it does?
For that matter have you given thought as to how those apricots, peaches, bananas etc. have come to have the kind of outer skin/layers they have? To enclose their contents in precisely the way that virtually seals them from contamination from the outside? And yet remains so easy to remove and are biodegradable? Have you? See what's involved and you'll be more than amazed at the miraculous powers of evolution required to get there.

Djincs
3 / 5 (4) Jul 22, 2010
@kevinrtrs
you should read a little bit about the genetic deseases, if some concious and intended enginearing have done the job why they exist?And they can affect every single sistem, and aspect of life.
Ethelred
5 / 5 (4) Jul 22, 2010
Have you guys seriously set down and pondered how evolution managed to produce the human body?
Yes. I posted a link for you before. Did you bother to check it.

Here it is again.
http://forums.pro...=21562.1

Log in as guest. I have the second and the last plus many in between out of 6000 posts.

Yes to the second question as well and pretty much all of those kinds of questions. Have you thought about what the world would look like if the Bible wasn't a total crock at least as far Genesis goes? For instance just what would the world look like if Noah's Flood had actually happened 4400 years ago or at all for that matter. It would be obvious and I wouldn't be an Agnostic.
See what's involved and you'll be more than amazed at the miraculous powers of evolution required to get there.
Actually no I am not amazed. It is really fairly simple how evolution works. The details are all that is in question.

Ethelred
iknow
3 / 5 (2) Jul 22, 2010
Evolution and God are not mutually exclusive. Folks just like to be "right" and lean only 1 way or only the other.

Evolution is fine and all .... but who/what started the 1st chain that became life?

Also Ethe ... ppl that read the Bible and take it literary are no better than the priests in the Dark Ages who "know" the Earth is flat and centre of the Universe.
krundoloss
3.7 / 5 (3) Jul 22, 2010
iknow . . . your right. I cant stand when people say "Evolution is just theory, GOD does it all". Truth is, we can't stop pursuing knowledge of the world just because we believe in a GOD. GOD is a force of creation, not some being that thinks like a human (like we try to make him out to be). Truth is, people created religion to answer the unanswerable questions. We can answer questions about evolution, so we should try to. Evolution is indesputable, the existance of GOD is . . .

But anyway, evolution is so cool, and I think Ethelred has it right.

Never use GOD as a reason to stop trying to understand the world.
TabulaMentis
1 / 5 (2) Jul 22, 2010
Actor, Steve McQueen, went to Mexico or some place where he could use Laetrile.
Ethelred
3.4 / 5 (5) Jul 23, 2010
Evolution and God are not mutually exclusive.


That would depend on your concept of god. Jehovah as shown in Genesis simply does not exist as the world we live in is not compatible with the world of Genesis. Vaguer concepts of a god are often compatible with the Universe, except for the miracles and that is the belief part. Rational thinking is not compatible with irrational beliefs. Believing in miracles is, at best, on the very edge of rationality.

ppl that read the Bible and take it literary


Twenty-five percent of Americans take the Bible literally and an even larger percentage believe in the Flood as an actual event and not just a myth. Not as a legend of an ancient local flood but as a world wide flood. Its kind of weird that people can manage to accept the reality of dinosaurs and an ancient world yet still believe in a Great Flood.

Ethelred
Ethelred
5 / 5 (2) Jul 23, 2010
Actor, Steve McQueen, went to Mexico


I have a vague recollection of that. He died of cancer. Often the clinics would ship dying victims off to other clinics so they could continue to claim that none of their patients had died. They died alright just in a different clinic.

The thing about laetrile is that it sounds right. Just like real drugs are supposed to work only with better targeting. Catch is that it wasn't tested until long after were claiming it was a cure. It failed the tests and people still believed it worked.

I wish it did work. Then we wouldn't need all the other drugs that are so dangerous.

Ethelred
TabulaMentis
1 / 5 (5) Jul 25, 2010
Could the old saying be correct that claims eating an apple a day keeps the doctor away?
Maybe in the old days people ate the core of apples that contained the seeds that contained laetrile that attacked cancer cells when the cancer cells were small, in limited quantities and vulnerable to laetrile.
I read a study in the past that stated that laetrile works in preventing cancer when taken in small quantities over a long period of time.
The problem is that most people wait until they have cancer before using laetrile.
I have also heard that the cyanide found in laetrile is not released until it is exposed to the cancer cells at which point the cyanide is released. The problem with laetrile is that it is very dangerous and toxic when taken in large amounts.
frajo
5 / 5 (1) Jul 25, 2010
See what's involved and you'll be more than amazed at the miraculous powers of evolution required to get there.
Yes, I'm always very amazed. Wouldn't use the term "miraculous", though, cause I know its Latin meaning.
And the most amazing of all is that I'm able to understand day by day better how all these amazing objects came into being. And everytime I have learnt something new I'm amazed how many things have been added at the same time to my personal set of not yet understood facts.
Ethelred
4.2 / 5 (5) Jul 26, 2010
I read a study in the past that stated that laetrile works in preventing cancer when taken in small quantities over a long period of time


No evidence exists to support this claim. LOTS of studies show that fruits and vegetables may have some preventative effects.
The problem is that most people wait until they have cancer before using laetrile
The problem is that people try laetrile instead of real medicine and when they die people just forget about the failure.
I have also heard that the cyanide found in laetrile is not released until it is exposed to the cancer cells at which point the cyanide is released
Pure Bovine Fertilizer. People that take laetrile DIE from cancer. Just as often as people that do nothing at all or take sugar pills.
The problem with laetrile is that it is very dangerous and toxic when taken in large amounts
Plus it doesn’t cure cancer. It just empties wallets.

Laetrile helps defraud the dying and those that think they are dying.

Ethelred
TabulaMentis
1 / 5 (5) Jul 26, 2010
Ethelred:
Studies have stated that cancer cells attract laetrile at which point the cyanide inside is released and absorbed by the cancer cells.
If someone already has cancer, then it is too late to be treated with laetrile.
yyz
5 / 5 (2) Jul 26, 2010
TabulaMentis:

"If someone already has cancer, then it is too late to be treated with laetrile."

This is only the latest falsehood in a long string of baseless claims made about laetrile. Oncologist Benjamin Wilson notes:

"Claims for Laetrile effectiveness have also shifted. At first it was claimed to cure cancer. Later it was claimed to "control" cancer. When the "vitamin" theory was developed, it was touted as a cancer preventive. It has also been claimed to be effective in relieving pain associated with cancer and in facilitating treatment with chemotherapy."

Check out the checkered past of this "cure" by Dr. Wilson (The Rise and Fall of Laetrile): http://www.quackw...ile.html .

Considering the 'inventor' of laetrile, Ernst Krebs Jr., had no doctoral degree (attending five different schools), why would you trust his claims?

yyz
5 / 5 (1) Jul 26, 2010
"Maybe in the old days people ate the core of apples that contained the seeds that contained laetrile...."

Laetrile is derived from the naturally occurring glycoside amygdalin, found in apricots, black cherries, and the seed of the bitter almond tree. Apples do not contain amygdalin.

I find it interesting that laetrile's promoter Krebs, Jr. was unable to come up with a consistent formulation of the drug that could be used in laboratory testing. Widely inconsistent versions of the drug offered as 'laetrile' are still with us today.
TabulaMentis
1 / 5 (2) Jul 26, 2010
yyz:
I found places on the Internet that says apple seeds contain glycoside amygdalin.
It has been stated in the past that glycoside amygdalin will help prevent cancer, not cure cancer.
yyz
not rated yet Jul 26, 2010
I offer a clarification, apples do contain small amounts of amygdalin (seeds), but maintain that levels encountered on a daily basis from apples is insufficient to produce acute cyanosis in humans. Still, there is no laetril in apples and neither substance has been found to be effective wrt cancer.
Skeptic_Heretic
not rated yet Jul 26, 2010
I really wish evolutionists would make up their minds about their God. Evolution cannot "design" anything - please!!!!

The theory clearly forbids it from having ANY foreknowledge to design anything with an end-product in mind.


You're confused. Nature can indeed design, and it requires no intelligence within the designer.

A group of 50 plants, same species, give rise to another 100 plants (Generation 1). These plants all have 1 mutation. The majority of these mutations do nothing substantive and are neutral. 10% are harmful and kill the plant before gestation, 10% are beneficial and engender distaste when eaten. Animals eat 50% of the total, avoiding the distasteful ones.

So after the first generation you now have 90 plants, 50 of which are eaten, 30 of which are not and carry no gene, 10 carry the gene.
1:2 reproduction, 80 plants. 10% die, (72 left) 50% eaten, (36 left 20 of which carry the gene).
TBC
Skeptic_Heretic
not rated yet Jul 26, 2010
so now we're at gen 3.
Stats, 72 plants, 10% die, leaving 67 50% of which can't be eaten as more than 50% have the distasteful gene (40) so 27 are eaten.
reproduction 1:2 80 plants, 100% distasteful.

You now, through no intellect, have a designed genetic response to predation, the primary selective pressure. That is evolution, that is design, that doesn't require a god, that is what we've observed in nature, and look at how quickly it happened, 3 short generations.

Now, take your holy book, your literal interpretation, your ignorance of evolution, and troll elsewhere.
yyz
5 / 5 (1) Jul 26, 2010
WRT Steve McQueen & laetrile, from my previous link:

"During 1980, movie star Steve McQueen attracted considerable attention when he was treated with Laetrile at another Mexican clinic under the supervision of William D. Kelley, a dentist who had been delicensed by the State of Texas after several brushes with state and federal law enforcement authorities. Although McQueen gave a glowing report when he began his treatment, he died shortly afterward."

And what was Dr. Kelley's treatment regimen?

"a very non-traditional treatment that used coffee enemas, frequent shampoos, injection of live cells from cows and sheep, massage and laetrile..." (Wiki).

I wonder what his "treatment" cost, besides his life?
TabulaMentis
1 / 5 (2) Jul 26, 2010
I offer a clarification, apples do contain small amounts of amygdalin (seeds), but maintain that levels encountered on a daily basis from apples is insufficient to produce acute cyanosis in humans. Still, there is no laetril in apples and neither substance has been found to be effective wrt cancer.


yyz:
Articles that I have read in the past stated that either glycoside amygdalin or laetrile when taken in small quanities over long periods of time may help to prevent cancer, but not cure cancer.
TabulaMentis
1 / 5 (2) Jul 26, 2010
so now we're at gen 3.
Stats, 72 plants, 10% die, leaving 67 50% of which can't be eaten as more than 50% have the distasteful gene (40) so 27 are eaten.
reproduction 1:2 80 plants, 100% distasteful.

You now, through no intellect, have a designed genetic response to predation, the primary selective pressure. That is evolution, that is design, that doesn't require a god, that is what we've observed in nature, and look at how quickly it happened, 3 short generations.

Now, take your holy book, your literal interpretation, your ignorance of evolution, and troll elsewhere.


Skeptic_Heretic:
I agree with you that evolution is the correct answer for our existence.
However, I disagree with religious texts that claim that a deity has always existed.
My belief allows for deities to be a product of evolution.
frajo
5 / 5 (1) Jul 26, 2010
Considering the 'inventor' of laetrile, Ernst Krebs Jr., had no doctoral degree (attending five different schools), why would you trust his claims?
Some people are not able to accept that there is no cure for their cancer. They might even hope that it is no coincidence that "Krebs" is the German word for cancer.
frajo
not rated yet Jul 26, 2010
Nature can indeed design, and it requires no intelligence within the designer.
You are assigning quite unusual semantics to the term "design".

My Oxford ALD states:
design: verb:
1) draw plans
2) plan sth
3) to make, plan or intend sth for a particular purpose or use.

In any case the semantics comprise an intention. No matter whether with or without "intelligence".

I usually refer to the teleological (the intention of causing an effect) meaning of the term "design" but I've the feeling that the term "teleological" is not well known in the English language.
yyz
5 / 5 (1) Jul 26, 2010
TabulaMentis:

"Articles that I have read in the past stated that either glycoside amygdalin or laetrile when taken in small quanities over long periods of time may help to prevent cancer..."

Do you have any published large-scale studies you can cite? Ironically, laetril/amygdalin is one of the best studied compounds in the treatment of cancer, due in part to the claims made in the 50s, 60s and 70s. But if you want to spend your wages on an unproven 'cancer prevention' treatment, just make sure you know what your buying. Same as Ectsasy or LSD, assayed samples of 'laetrile' have been found to vary widely in their content.

"Some people are not able to accept that there is no cure for their cancer."

And this is where laetrile snake oil salesmen are at their most heinous. Knowingly selling an unproven treatment to the dying.

TabulaMentis
1 / 5 (2) Jul 26, 2010
yyz:

The 'Nutrition Almanac' by John Kirschmann, Second Edition, published by McGraw Hill in 1979
TabulaMentis
1 / 5 (2) Jul 26, 2010
yyz:

Laetril/amygdalin should not be considered a cure.
They should be considered a preventative just like drinking orange juice, tomato paste, etc., etc..
Ethelred
3 / 5 (2) Jul 26, 2010
Studies have stated that cancer cells attract laetrile at which point the cyanide inside is released and absorbed by the cancer cells.
Would you care to give even one link to a single study by REAL scientists. Double blinded study. Or even a lab test by someone that can be trusted.

Fraud is rampant in the Death By Laetrile movement. It is loaded with quacks and completely bereft of honest doctors.

If someone already has cancer, then it is too late to be treated with laetrile.


For decades the quacks claimed otherwise. People died. Now you and others are telling new fairy stories to promote the fantasy.

The 'Nutrition Almanac' by John Kirschmann, Second Edition, published by McGraw Hill in 1979


And how is a book by someone with excessive beliefs about nutrition a STUDY. Almanacs are NEVER studies.

Get a clue. You are being conned. Either that or you are one of the con artists. Or worse yet a believer that is making money of the belief.

Ethelred
Ethelred
3 / 5 (2) Jul 26, 2010
You are assigning quite unusual semantics to the term "design"
It is often difficult to find a better word that has no unfortunate implications. However:

Evolution does NOT design anything. Period.

It is a process that shapes life. There is no plan and no design. But it is often very hard to avoid anthropocentric language.
I usually refer to the teleological (the intention of causing an effect) meaning of the term "design" but I've the feeling that the term "teleological" is not well known in the English language
No it isn’t and if the definition is correct than it too is a very poor choice in discussing evolution. There is no more intent then there is intent when two hydrogen atoms combine with an oxygen atom to form water and release kinetic energy.

If there is any appearance of design in life it is the appearance of a very poor designer stumbling in the dark without a clue, unable to learn from experience that some things just don’t work well and others do.

Ethelred
TabulaMentis
1 / 5 (6) Jul 26, 2010
Ethelred:
I answered your questions and you keep on coming like some kind of mad dog.
At this point you need to do your own research.
Furthermore, your viewpoint on evolution is badly distored.
Perhaps in another fifty years you will see the light.
Ethelred
3.7 / 5 (3) Jul 27, 2010
I answered your questions and you keep on coming like some kind of mad dog.
You made up answers but failed to actually produce any. Even mad dogs don't push quack nostrums. I really don't like people dying so quacks can make money. If you find that mad I am sorry for you.
At this point you need to do your own research.
Did it. Went to a quack convention where they preached the snake oil that is laetrile. Lots of other things that either didn't work or worked differently than they thought.

Not surprisingly the convention was on Wilshire Blvd in Los Angeles. The part still called the Miracle Mile for all the quacks that worked there.
Furthermore, your viewpoint on evolution is badly distored.
Really. Got any evidence. Any at all.

I suspect religious thinking is what is distorting your thinking on both of these things.

And in fifty years I will be 109. I seriously doubt that evolution will be disproved by then. However you might actually have a clue then.

Ethelred
TabulaMentis
1 / 5 (5) Jul 27, 2010
Ethelred:
I think you need to wear glasses. You seem not to be reading what at least I have been saying. You keep on ranting on and on about things people are not talking about. And chlorine will kill AIDs as well.
The part you keep on ignoring is that cyanide is poisonous and so is chlorine. Too much of a good thing is bad for people, don't you know that.
You need to read what people are writing about and not feed in words that people are not talking about as if they said those things or are making claims they are not making. The Nutrition Almanac by John Kirschmann clearly states the danger of laetrile and amygdalin. The Nutrition Almanac says that small amounts over long periods of time may be effective.
Ethelred
3 / 5 (2) Jul 28, 2010
I think you need to wear glasses.
Been wearing them since Ben Hur came out.
You seem not to be reading what at least I have been saying.
You are mistaken. What YOU have been saying isn't backed up by ANY proper tests.
You keep on ranting on and on about things people are not talking about
Nonsense. YOU keep talking about the same things I did. Only without reliable evidence.
And chlorine will kill AIDs as well.
And people as well. Are you planning to start selling chlorine-Laetrile compounds? Or was that just completely irrelevant?
The part you keep on ignoring is that cyanide is poisonous and so is chlorine.
The hell I did. The part YOU keep ignoring is that laetrile does NOTHING to cure cancer. All cancer drugs are dangerous. Most more dangerous than laetrile BUT THEY WORK. Study after study has shown laetrile to be a complete waste of money. Unless you happen to selling the crap.

Moving right along
Ethelred
3 / 5 (2) Jul 28, 2010
Too much of a good thing is bad for people, don't you know that.
Don't teach your grandma to suck eggs. Most cancer drugs work by killing growing cells. They are poisonous and I suspect that I have known this longer than you have been alive.
The Nutrition Almanac by John Kirschmann clearly states the danger of laetrile and amygdalin.
Good. However that is NOT the proof people asked for. YOU need to learn the difference between proof and unsupported claims. Learn to think critically. IF laetrile worked there wouldn't be so many dead users.
The Nutrition Almanac says that small amounts over long periods of time may be effective.
Yes I saw that claim the first time. WHERE IS THE EVIDENCE for the claim? You seem to be completely oblivious to the many requests for actual evidence. Nutritional books are written to make money. They don't have testing. They don't even keep track of the who lives and who dies. At least one quack does that intentionally.

Dealing with reality
Ethelred
5 / 5 (1) Jul 28, 2010
Here get an education:

http://en.wikiped...periment
http://www.cancer...e1.shtml
http://caonline.a.../187.pdf

Now how about YOU do something like that. Show an actual test. Not someone claiming that testing was done or not done properly or done to keep a life saver from the dying, what a sad commentary that anyone would believe that of others, but an actual test that shows that laetrile works. At all.

Your latest post was just as fuzzy minded as the previous. You don't have to keep going on beliefs that are false. Go learn how to think clearly. To spot fantasy and misinformation. Or least learn how to support yourself a little with clear logical reasoning and actual evidence when it is available.

Anytime you want to discuss your misinformation about evolution I will be happy to assist you in learning about reality.

It is not only fun but I learn things. If nothing else I improve my technique.

Ethelred
TabulaMentis
1 / 5 (6) Jul 28, 2010
Ethelred:

The reality is that you look for people to fight with. You hear only what you want to hear.

That is the reality!
Djincs
3 / 5 (4) Jul 28, 2010
Ethelred:

The reality is that you look for people to fight with. You hear only what you want to hear.

That is the reality!

No that is just your reality ,for what i see you are the annoying one!
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (2) Jul 28, 2010
The reality is that you look for people to fight with. You hear only what you want to hear.
That is the reality!

The reality is you have asserted something that is observationally and empirically false. There are two potential reasons for this:
Ignorance of fact, which Ethelred has cleared up for you
Profit motive, either you're taking the supplements now and don't want to look stupid (self image profit), or you somehow profit from propagation of the lie.

As ethel accurately repaired any accidental ignorance you may have had, and you still assert the lie, that leaves us with reason two.

So are you taking these poison pills or are you profiting from their sale? Be honest now. If it's the former, none of us will judge, everyone makes mistakes. Seeing as the screen name you've chosen implies that you're a magician, or an admirer of magicians, I think the answer is rather clear.
Javinator
5 / 5 (3) Jul 28, 2010
Tab,

You're asking questions and making claims. Ethelred is responding to your claims and questions from what I've seen. Then when ER responds to your claims you attack with stuff like "wear glasses" "learn to read" "do some research".

It appears you're the one looking for a fight and hears only what you want to hear.

The irony of your above post is pretty thick.
TabulaMentis
1 / 5 (2) Jul 28, 2010
What I keep on saying, but get no reasonable response is that laetrile (amygdalin/nitrilosides) is suggested in the Nutrition Almanac as a preventive, not a cure.
People keep on ranting about it being a cure, which it is not.
I do not sell or take those drugs, but I do believe a natural approach can be beneficial in many cases, but not as a cure.
However, if someone has a urinary tract infection, most doctors will prescribe antibiotics such as ciprofloxacin, instead of using a natural approach.
As a matter of fact, most doctors are unaware that cranberries or cranberry juice will clear up the infection more effectively than Cipro without the side effects.
I think it is reasonable to consider laetrile as a preventive, just like one would consider orange juice, cooked tomatoes, dark red wine, dark chocolate, broccoli, etc., etc. as preventatives.
So if you people would like to continue this conversation with me, then you will need to stop talking about prescription drugs.
Javinator
not rated yet Jul 28, 2010
Generally accepted preventatives are accepted because studies have provided evidence suggesting that they are preventatives. Take red wine for example:

http://www.cancer.../redwine

It has nothing to do with the fact that laetrile is natural. It has to do with the fact that properly conducted studies have not conclusively shown that it does anything to cure or prevent cancer.

http://www.cancer...nt/page2
Skeptic_Heretic
not rated yet Jul 28, 2010
However, if someone has a urinary tract infection, most doctors will prescribe antibiotics such as ciprofloxacin, instead of using a natural approach.
As a matter of fact, most doctors are unaware that cranberries or cranberry juice will clear up the infection more effectively than Cipro without the side effects.
Any evidence to this effect?
So if you people would like to continue this conversation with me, then you will need to stop talking about prescription drugs.
Soliciting coversation, then setting boundaries, in a public forum, is laughable Mr. William Lane Craig.
TabulaMentis
1 / 5 (3) Jul 28, 2010
Javinator had a reasonable response, Thank You.

Skeptic Heretic: You can check around on the Internet about the cranberry treatment. From personal experience I can say it works. Other people have tried it and it worked for them. If it does not work, then a person may need surgery.
A prescription drug made from cranberries and then given a fancy name may be what is needed for doctors to start prescribing it.
TabulaMentis
1 / 5 (3) Jul 28, 2010
Skeptic Heretic:
I should add that cranberries can be toxic when excessive amounts are consumed.
A lot of people who find cranberries successful in treating a urinary tract infection may be likely to start over consuming the product, which is a bad idea.
Cranberries are very acidic, so problems could arise from consuming too much.
Javinator
5 / 5 (1) Jul 28, 2010
Skeptic Heretic:
I should add that cranberries can be toxic when excessive amounts are consumed.


To be fair everything is toxic when consumed in excess.

http://en.wikiped...xication
TabulaMentis
1 / 5 (2) Jul 28, 2010
Skeptic Heretic:
I should add that cranberries can be toxic when excessive amounts are consumed.


To be fair everything is toxic when consumed in excess.

http://en.wikiped...xication

Javinator:
Amen!
Skeptic_Heretic
not rated yet Jul 28, 2010
Skeptic Heretic: You can check around on the Internet about the cranberry treatment. From personal experience I can say it works. Other people have tried it and it worked for them. If it does not work, then a person may need surgery.
A prescription drug made from cranberries and then given a fancy name may be what is needed for doctors to start prescribing it.

Anyone familiar with the standards of evidence know that uncontrolled personal observation is about the lowest form of evidence possible, only exceeded by relayed uncontrolled personal observation.

Link a study for us, or if you have the ability to take good notes under controlled settings, run a study and publish it.
Skeptic_Heretic
not rated yet Jul 28, 2010
Actually, I found the info myself. Had to push through a lot of pseudoscience pages to get to it.

http://findarticl...7724151/

There is no conclusive evidence that cranberryjuice effectively treats UTI


So that's 2 for 2.
TabulaMentis
1 / 5 (3) Jul 28, 2010
It works for me and it has worked for others.
Obviously, you are doing your research in the wrong places.
Maybe pharmaceutical companies are behind the research reports you have been researching?
dtxx
3.7 / 5 (6) Jul 28, 2010
It works for me and it has worked for others.
Obviously, you are doing your research in the wrong places.
Maybe pharmaceutical companies are behind the research reports you have been researching?


Even if you took cranberry juice and got better that doesn't PROVE anything. Said another way, how can you rule out other possible causes of your cure?
Ethelred
5 / 5 (3) Jul 28, 2010
What I keep on saying, but get no reasonable response is that laetrile (amygdalin/nitrilosides) is suggested in the Nutrition Almanac as a preventive, not a cure.
And what I asked is WHY do you believe that. What evidence is there to support it. The links I posted show that laetrile does NOT home in on cancer cells by any of the methods claimed. At no time have any of those claims been backed by experiment. They are just bald assertions.

Why believe such claims?

Why do you think I didn't read what I clearly responded to point by point?

People keep on ranting about it being a cure, which it is not.


True about the not a cure part. False on the claim of ranting.

However, if someone has a urinary tract infection, most doctors will prescribe antibiotics such as ciprofloxacin, instead of using a natural approach.


Yes there is more coming.
Ethelred
5 / 5 (2) Jul 28, 2010
The natural approach only works occasionally and in fact is rarely natural.

However I do have a silly response to the Natural is Best concept.

Hemlock(TM) the all natural supplement. Guaranteed to end all your health worries.*

*not to taken in conjunction with strychnine or belladonna. Consult your doctor before engaging in any diet. Peanuts are sometimes processed on the same equipment.

Snark by Ethelred
I think it is reasonable to consider laetrile as a preventive, just like one would consider orange juice, cooked tomatoes, dark red wine, dark chocolate, broccoli, etc., etc. as preventatives.
IF it worked it would be reasonable, since it doesn't, then it isn't. All those others you mention are primarily anti-oxidants. Laetril is a untargeted cyanide carrier based on a chemical which evolved to kill insects. Cyanide is NOT an anti-oxidant.

The Return of the Yet More Coming
Ethelred
5 / 5 (2) Jul 28, 2010
So if you people would like to continue this conversation with me, then you will need to stop talking about prescription drugs.
So where did I talk about prescription drug and what is your real problem with them anyway? Cranberry juice tastes nasty. Does have a lot of vitamin c though.

I once cured a throat infection with Listerine. But if things had not improved I would have gone to a doctor, who probably would have prescribed an anti-biotic. Those things work. Then again I haven't gone to a doctor since oh around 1974.

I don't want to think about how one applies cranberry juice to the urinary tract. That is right up there with self dentistry.

Even snarkier question REDACTED.

I love the smell of Bitter Almonds in the morning. That cyanide smell ... it smells like...like... Victory.

Ethelred
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (2) Jul 28, 2010
It works for me and it has worked for others.
Obviously, you are doing your research in the wrong places.
Maybe pharmaceutical companies are behind the research reports you have been researching?

I had a UTI once. I smoked a lot of tobacco and marijuana and it got better.

I'm not advocating marijuana or tobacco as a UTI cure, because they're not, and my anecdotal experience isn't proof. If I were braindead and didn't recognize that I had an immune system well honed to defeating infections, I may think that tobacco and marijuana fixed the problem.
frajo
5 / 5 (2) Jul 29, 2010
Actually, I found the info myself. Had to push through a lot of pseudoscience pages to get to it.

http://findarticl...7724151/
There is no conclusive evidence that cranberryjuice effectively treats UTI
Two more links:
http://www.physor...526.html ("Taking the pee? Cranberry juice fails to cut it")
http://www.physor...017.html ("Standardized testing method for cranberry products will reveal effectiveness of UTI treatments")
My urologist: "It won't help you, it won't harm you. It will harm your purse."
The pharmacies here in EU sell it for 1 Euro per bag (for one cup).
TabulaMentis
1 / 5 (3) Aug 04, 2010
It would be difficult to conduct a study over ten, twenty, thirty years to prove if laetrile (amygdalin/nitrilosides) actually kill individual cancer cells before they are able to multiply out of control.
I like the idea behind the laetrile story in how they supposedly attack individual cancerous cells.
Research in nano technology will most likely provide a more accurate way of doing the job than using laetrile.
As for the score keepers, your math does not add up.
I provided a source in which laetrile was touted. Maybe the source was not to your liking, but it was a source.
So as far as I am concerned, that is 1 for 1.

It is interesting how those articles about cranberry juice help support my claims. I never said it worked for everyone, only that it has worked for me and others that I have talked to.
My math now shows 2 for 2.
TabulaMentis
1 / 5 (2) Aug 04, 2010
One thing I must add is since I had surgery six years ago, I have not needed cranberry juice since.
Several times before the surgery I used cranberry juice and it stopped the pain. Cipro was too toxic for me and I had to discontinue using it. Then I did some research or talked to someone, and tried cranberry juice. I got rid of the pain and the problems went away.
But what I think was going on was there was something causing the pain that went away after the surgery.
Cranberries as a cure, maybe not. As a treatment, yes for me.
Ethelred
5 / 5 (3) Aug 05, 2010
I like the idea behind the laetrile story in how they supposedly attack individual cancerous cells.
So would I IF it wasn't just a fairy story. Unfortunately there is NO EVIDENCE at all to support the claim. Indeed it has been checked and found to be false.
Research in nano technology will most likely provide a more accurate way of doing the job than using laetrile.
Bound to since laetrile does NOT do the job. It is NOT targeted.
I provided a source in which laetrile was touted.
Touted is the operative word. Not proven nor even had a hint of evidence. Simply obdurately refusing to comprehend that there is no difference between a bald unsupported claim by and a bald unsupported claim by another person is not going to make an almanac a reliable source.

More reality to come
TabulaMentis
1 / 5 (3) Aug 05, 2010
You should be more positive about research.
I have heard that cancer cells attract laetrile and once absorbed by the cell the laetrile releases the cyanide.
That is the story I read about. I do not endorse laetrile, but the idea behind laetrile and how it is attracted by cancer cells I find very compelling.
Nanotech is where the cure for cancer will most likely come from. Laetrile is the first thing I have heard of that at least tries to put up a fight against cancer. If it works or not, it is still a compelling story, a place to start from, a stepping stone to better things to come.

Those are the realities.
TabulaMentis
1 / 5 (3) Aug 05, 2010
Research in nano technology will most likely provide a more accurate way of doing the job than using laetrile.
Bound to since laetrile does NOT do the job. It is NOT targeted.


This is what I am interested in. When you say NOT targeted, are you talking about laetrile or nanotechnology attacking cancer cells?

The ideal solution would be for nanotech to be able to target cancer cells individually in theory like laetrile is said to work.
Skeptic_Heretic
not rated yet Aug 05, 2010
You should be more positive about research.
You should learn what research actually is.
TabulaMentis
1 / 5 (2) Aug 05, 2010
Research is:
An organized study: methodical investigation into a subject in order to discover facts, to establish or revise a theory, or to develop a plan of action based on the facts discovered.
Ethelred
5 / 5 (1) Aug 06, 2010
You should be more positive about research.
First What research? You never posted any.

Second I am positive that a quack nostrum that has been proven ineffective in EVERY test and proven not to act as claimed is positively CRAP.
I have heard that cancer cells attract laetrile and once absorbed by the cell the laetrile releases the cyanide.
Yes, you made that unsupported claim before. I linked to stuff that showed the claim was bogus.
I do not endorse laetrile,
That is a strange claim as you have done nothing here but endorse it.
how it is attracted by cancer cells I find very compelling.
Only problem is that it is disproven.
Nanotech is where the cure for cancer will most likely come from.
Certainly for some cancers. Except that there won't be A cure for cancer as there are MANY types of cancer. And some already have fairly effective cures for many people.

Oh no the return of the multi-part post
Ethelred
5 / 5 (1) Aug 06, 2010
. Laetrile is the first thing I have heard of that at least tries to put up a fight against cancer.
You need to get out more. Laetrile is a quack nostrum that does not work. At all. By any means claimed so far. It is a nostrum in search of a way to do what is claimed and when the ways are shown false another bit of bull is produced to con the marks.
Those are the realities.
Those are fantasies. Real medicine works at least some of the time. Laetrile NEVER works. All it does is poison EVERY cell of the body. Except maybe the brain cells and based on the thinking of the users I have my doubts there as well.
When you say NOT targeted, are you talking about laetrile or nanotechnology attacking cancer cells?
Laetrile. There are no real nanotech based anti-cancer tools yet.

Two part down One part feathers
Ethelred
5 / 5 (2) Aug 06, 2010
The ideal solution would be for nanotech to be able to target cancer cells individually in theory like laetrile is said to work.
There are such things. Only neither laetrile nor nanotech, as the term is normally used, do the job. There have been experiments with targeted antibodies. However each individual usually needs a specific targeted antibody tailored to that individual.

http://www.mayocl.../CA00082

http://en.wikiped...tibodies
Research is:
An organized study: methodical investigation into a subject in order to discover facts, to establish or revise a theory, or to develop a plan of action based on the facts discovered.
And that has been done with laetrile and it has found it wanting.

Ethelred
frajo
5 / 5 (1) Aug 06, 2010
The ideal solution would be for nanotech to be able to target cancer cells individually in theory like laetrile is said to work.
There are such things. Only neither laetrile nor nanotech, as the term is normally used, do the job. There have been experiments with targeted antibodies. However each individual usually needs a specific targeted antibody tailored to that individual.
In Europe they are already using octreotide therapies which target individual tumor cells in certain cases without individually tailored monoclonal antibodies.
There are two types of therapy. One is peptide receptor radionuclide therapy, where a radioactive substance (yttrium 90 or lutetium 177) is coupled to certain receptors of the target tissue. (See wiki page "GEP-NET".)
The second type works without radioactive nuclides by - AFAIK - blocking hormone production in GEP-NET tissue. (There seems to be no wiki page on that subject.)
TabulaMentis
1 / 5 (3) Aug 06, 2010
Nanotech, octreotide therapies and viruses should all be looked at for targeted treatments and cures.
With cancer deaths at a rate of 22.8% in the U.S. during the year of 2002, only second to heart disease, I think there is a lot of money to be made by investors in the short future.
What are people waiting for or have they not heard the news?
TabulaMentis
1 / 5 (2) Aug 18, 2010
Ehtelred:

I stand in amazement that people and companies can get away with making claims without proving them. Why does the government not create tighter regulations?
This is a rhetorical question!
TabulaMentis
3 / 5 (4) Aug 23, 2010
Remember what I said above about cranberry juice?
Well, here is the proof!
Please see the attached Physorg.com link titled "New evidence on how cranberry juice fights bacteria that cause urinary tract infections":

http://www.physor...865.html

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