My mom sent me a letter to the editor from their local newspaper the other day, a letter in which the claim was made that government was suppressing a known, proven cure for all cancer, ground apricot pits, also known as laetrile.

This writer lumped the FDA, drug makers and all doctors into a conspiracy to overcharge and undertreat people by making the sale of laetrile illegal. Mom is a little sensitive to the issue of doctors and cancer right now as my dad has been fighting bladder cancer for the past year.

I decided to do a little research and see what the world says about apricot pits. I found one rather extensive article that gave an in depth history of the development and use of laetrile. It was a bit lengthy and in the end didn’t have much good to say about the use of pits, but certainly one side of the story. I think it is worth noting that this article follows the history of this treatment back to the early 1800’s.

The other side of the story, the one offered by the writer of the letter my mom read, seems a bit more like a pitch to sell a book and apricot seeds. While they do claim to offer scientific facts, in my research I didn’t find any that led to any reliable source. I take that back. They did quote the Bible in several places and I do consider the Bible to be a reliable source. Having said that, I suspect that God frowns just a bit on the use of his word to sell books and apricot seeds.

My nephew may have hit the nail on the head. He said that apricot seeds will absolutely cure cancer…..if they get stuck in your throat. Then the cause of death isn’t cancer.

Bottom line. From a life insurance standpoint, underwriters will likely not buy into laetrile as a cure for cancer. That may not set well with proponents, but the fact remains that it simply doesn’t have the documented track record it takes to receive favorable underwriting.