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Amygdalin: Toxicity, Anticancer Activity and Analytical Procedures for Its Determination in Plant Seeds.

  • Author(s): Jaszczak-Wilke, Ewa
  • Polkowska, Żaneta
  • Koprowski, Marek
  • Owsianik, Krzysztof
  • Mitchell, Alyson E
  • Bałczewski, Piotr
  • et al.

Amygdalin (d-Mandelonitrile 6-O-β-d-glucosido-β-d-glucoside) is a natural cyanogenic glycoside occurring in the seeds of some edible plants, such as bitter almonds and peaches. It is a medically interesting but controversial compound as it has anticancer activity on one hand and can be toxic via enzymatic degradation and production of hydrogen cyanide on the other hand. Despite numerous contributions on cancer cell lines, the clinical evidence for the anticancer activity of amygdalin is not fully confirmed. Moreover, high dose exposures to amygdalin can produce cyanide toxicity. The aim of this review is to present the current state of knowledge on the sources, toxicity and anticancer properties of amygdalin, and analytical methods for its determination in plant seeds.

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