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July 13, 1979

Studies of Amygdalin (Laetrile) Toxicity in Rodents

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Medical Oncology, Evanston (III) Hospital, and the Department of Medicine, Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago.

JAMA. 1979;242(2):169-171. doi:10.1001/jama.1979.03300020039023

Amygdalin (laetrile), given to Fischer 344 rats in doses of 250, 500, and 750 mg/kg intraperitoneally daily for five days, caused mortalities of 30.8%, 44.1%, and 56.8%, respectively. The mode of death and the elevated serum cyanide levels in the dying animals strongly suggested cyanide poisoning as the cause of death. These findings seriously question the use of amygdalin in clinical medicine under any circumstances.

(JAMA 242:169-171, 1979)