June 20, 1980

Amygdalin (Laetrile) Toxicity in Rodents

Author Affiliations

Evanston Hospital Evanston, Ill

JAMA. 1980;243(23):2396. doi:10.1001/jama.1980.03300490014008

To the Editor.—  I appreciate the comments made by Dr Stock (242:2287, 1979) concerning our article published in The Journal (242:169, 1979). I am, of course, well aware of the detailed, painstaking studies performed by Dr Stock and his colleagues, and their work was cited in our article. I began the studies in 1977 in response to legalization of the use of amygdalin in the State of Illinois and newspaper accounts of the results of studies performed by Dr Sugiura of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Our experiments on the interactions between amygdalin and chemotherapeutic agents were terminated when results of Stock and his colleagues appeared in the literature. Our findings merely confirmed the results of other workers.Dr Stock suggests that, in our experiments, faulty intraperitoneal (IP) injections may have caused damage to the intestine by releasing the enzyme β-glucosidase from the bacteria flora, which quickly liberated cyanide from