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Posted March 2, 2016

Cyanide Danger With Certain Supplements, Health Canada Warns

On February 25, 2016,  Health Canada (the Canadian equivalent of the FDA) warned that a number of products which were available for sale in Canada may contain a potentially toxic compound called amygdalin.  

Amygdalin (also called Laetrile or madelonitrile) is a compound derived from bitter apricot kernels which can release cyanide when ingested by humans. Consuming low or moderate amounts of cyanide can have serious adverse effects, and higher amounts can be fatal. Amygdalin is sometimes promoted for the treatment of cancer.

The sale of amygdalin is not permitted in the U.S., however, bitter apricot kernels, sold as a food, are available for sale in the U.S. and on online retail websites such as Amazon.com.

The products sold in Canada (on websites including Amazon.ca and CDNF.com) were labeled as "B17," "amygdalin," or "bitter apricot kernel" and include the following:  

  • Novodalin B17
  • B17 Amygdalin
  • Body Renew 12 in 1 Formula
  • Body Me Organic Bitter Apricot Kernel

Health Canada advised consumers who have used these products and have health concerns to consult with their physician.

See Related Warnings:

Herbal Supplements Linked to Heavy Metal Poisoning

Serious Cardiovascular Risks Associated with Strontium, Health Canada Warns

"Herbal Laxative and "Detox" Kit Containing High Levels of Lead and/or Arsenic Recalled in Canada

Health Canada Suspends Sales of Male Fern Products

To read Health Canada's complete warning, and see pictures of the affected products, use the link below.