Vitamin B17

Physical and chemical properties

Amygdalin is obtained by extraction of almonds or apricots nuclei in boiling ethanol by evaporation and addition of diethyl ether. Amygdalin is precipitated in the form of white crystals. Liebig and Woehler found that amygdalin molecules are composed of glucose (D-glucose), benzaldehyde, and hydrogen cyanide.

Amygdalin is often identified as laevo mandelonitrile (abbreviated laetrile) although they are two different molecules. Laetrile has been patented in the U.S. as a semi-synthetic molecule that has a similar structure with amygdalin.