Ask the Diva: Can Apricot Pits Prevent Cancer?

Nutrition Diva discusses whether apricot pits are a natural cancer therapy.

Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS
1-minute read

Ask the Diva: Can Apricot Pits Prevent Cancer?


Q. I've heard that eating apricot kernels and apple seeds could help prevent cancer. But other sources say that they are poisonous. Could you clear up the confusion?

A. Although apricot kernels have been promoted as a natural cancer therapy, there is little more than anecdotal evidence to support their efficacy.  What’s more, apricot pits (as well as apple seeds and cherry pits) contain small amounts of cyanide. Your body can handle small amounts of this toxin but larger amounts could cause headaches and vomiting. In sufficient amounts, cyanide can cause coma or even death.  Because there’s no real benefit and some potential for harm, I suggest steering clear of apricot pits. 

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Apricots photo from Shutterstock

About the Author

Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS

Monica Reinagel is a board-certified licensed nutritionist, author, and the creator of one of iTunes' most highly ranked health and fitness podcasts. Her advice is regularly featured on the TODAY show, Dr. Oz, NPR, and in the nation's leading newspapers, magazines, and websites. Do you have a nutrition question? Call the Nutrition Diva listener line at 443-961-6206. Your question could be featured on the show.