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What should I Eat?

is the most common question asked by cancer patients.
Choose food and nutritional supplements which reduces adverse interactions with your cancer treatment and support them.

is the most common question asked by cancer patients. Choose food and nutritional supplements which reduces adverse interactions with your cancer treatment and support them.

Get your personalized nutrition plan for cancer at 

Get your personalized nutrition plan for cancer at

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Which 3 Foods to Avoid for Gastrointestinal Neuroendocrine Tumors?

Apr 12, 2021

Home » Blogs » Which 3 Foods to Avoid for Gastrointestinal Neuroendocrine Tumors?

Highlights

No two cancers are the same and neither should your nutrition be. The most commonly asked question to dieticians and oncologists globally is “What Should I Eat?”. The answer is “It Depends”. It depends on the type of cancer, current treatment and supplements being taken, age, gender, BMI, lifestyle and any genetic information available. In short – the answer to “What Should I Eat” for Gastrointestinal Neuroendocrine Tumors needs to be personalized to minimize adverse interactions between nutrition (from foods/diet) and treatment, and to improve symptoms.

Foods like Barley and Blueberry should be eaten when undergoing Vincristine treatment for Gastrointestinal Neuroendocrine Tumors. On the other hand, for this cancer, Aloe Vera and Avocado should be eaten with treatment of Cyclophosphamide. On the same lines, foods like Buttermilk and Cherry should be avoided with treatment of Vincristine for this cancer. If the treatment is Cyclophosphamide, then avoid Amaranth and Beetroot.

Black Seed contains an active ingredient called Thymoquinone. Thymoquinone has CYP (drug metabolizing enzyme) interactions with Vincristine and Cyclophosphamide treatments for this cancer and hence should be avoided.

You get the point – your nutrition needs to be personalized and it needs to be re-evaluated as soon as any of the conditions change. Create and follow a nutrition plan personalized to you to minimize adverse interactions of nutrition for cancers like Gastrointestinal Neuroendocrine Tumors.



What are Gastrointestinal Neuroendocrine Tumors?

Gastrointestinal Neuroendocrine Tumors, also known as the carcinoid tumors of the Gastrointestinal tract, are rare cancers that develop from the neuroendocrine cells which act like nerve cells as well as hormone-making cells. It is a rare cancer where the Neuroendocrine tumors form in the Gastrointestinal tract or the digestive system. The incidence rate of this cancer is only 1.6 per 1 lakh people per year. This cancer is commonly diagnosed in people who are about 61 years of age, however, it can occur in people of any age. It is more commonly found in African Americans as compared to Caucasians.

Gastrointestinal Neuroendocrine Tumors - Symptoms, treatment, diet, foods

Gastrointestinal Neuroendocrine Tumors have prevalence of certain genetic changes. Some of the genes such as ZFHX4, SYNE1, CDH23, and PKD1L2 are known to have genetic abnormalities in this cancer resulting in a change of function. 

The genetic abnormalities found in Gastrointestinal Neuroendocrine Tumors can influence specific biochemical pathways to drive these cancer cells to aggressive growth and survive the ongoing treatment. In addition, lifestyle conditions or habits like smoking, alcohol consumption and BMI (Body Mass Index) can have a big influence on the response to your physician prescribed treatments for Gastrointestinal Neuroendocrine Tumors. Numerous studies have consistently shown that your nutrition/diet – both food and nutritional supplements can adversely affect the treatment or be supportive or play no role. Hence, the triangulation of Gastrointestinal Neuroendocrine Tumor genomics, planned or ongoing therapies and lifestyle need to be thoroughly considered to make decisions on what foods and supplements to consider and avoid while designing diet/nutrition plan. Also, it is important to note that when any of these conditions change, like treatment or lifestyle or cancer diagnosis – it may impact the nutrition and the nutrition/diet plan for this cancer may have to be redesigned.

Why Eating Right Matters for Gastrointestinal Neuroendocrine Tumors?

In Gastrointestinal Neuroendocrine Tumors, activation or inhibition of some of the biochemical pathways including Oxidative Stress, DNA Repair, MAPK Signaling, Hypoxia, P53 Signaling, PI3K-AKT-MTOR Signaling, Cell Cycle and Epithelial To Mesenchymal Transition plays an important role in driving the disease. All foods and nutritional supplements contain active ingredients which have a specific molecular action on different biochemical pathways. Hence, while the intake of certain foods and nutritional supplements as part of the diet may support a specific treatment of Gastrointestinal Neuroendocrine Tumors, eating few other foods and supplements may lead to adverse interactions with the treatment or may increase the cancer progression.

Example Foods to “Not Eat” and Eat with Vincristine treatment for Gastrointestinal Neuroendocrine Tumors

The nutrition for cancer always depends on the type of cancer, treatments and supplements being taken (if any), age, gender, BMI, lifestyle and any genetic information available. Here we show changes in nutrition/diet for Gastrointestinal Neuroendocrine Tumors considering only the treatment changes.

Foods to Avoid

Buttermilk : Buttermilk contains active ingredients such as Lauric Acid, Myristic Acid, Retinol and others. Lauric Acid interferes with the impact of Vincristine in Gastrointestinal Neuroendocrine Tumors by activating a specific biochemical pathway called PI3K-AKT-MTOR Signaling. Hence, do not eat Buttermilk with Vincristine treatment for this cancer. (Joo Y Lee et al, J Biol Chem., 2003; Ronald P Mensink et al, m J Clin Nutr., 2003; D M Rocha et al, Atherosclerosis., 2016; Hao Zhang et al, Cancer Invest., 2010; Grace Shimin Koh et al, American Association for Cancer Research, 2012; Yvette Carter et al, Neuroendocrinology., 2013)

Cherry : Cherry contains active ingredients such as Chrysin, Citric Acid, Salicylic Acid and others. Chrysin interferes with the impact of Vincristine in Gastrointestinal Neuroendocrine Tumors by activating a specific biochemical pathway called PI3K-AKT-MTOR Signaling. Hence, do not eat Cherry with Vincristine treatment for this cancer. (Teng-Fei Li et al, Neurochem Int., 2019; Hao Zhang et al, Cancer Invest., 2010; Grace Shimin Koh et al, American Association for Cancer Research, 2012; Yvette Carter et al, Neuroendocrinology., 2013)

Foods to Eat

Barley :  Barley contains active ingredients like Beta-sitosterol, Linolenic Acid and Folic Acid. Intake of Beta-sitosterol along with Vincristine treatment for Gastrointestinal Neuroendocrine Tumors causes a decrease in a specific biochemical pathway which is called  PI3K-AKT-MTOR Signaling, and this is a very positive effect.  Barley hence should be eaten with Vincristine treatment for this cancer. (Heshan Xu et al, J Agric Food Chem., 2018; Hao Zhang et al, Cancer Invest., 2010; Grace Shimin Koh et al, American Association for Cancer Research, 2012; Yvette Carter et al, Neuroendocrinology., 2013)

Blueberry :  Blueberry contains active ingredients like Hyperoside, Myristicin and Phloroglucinol. Intake of Hyperoside along with Vincristine treatment for Gastrointestinal Neuroendocrine Tumors causes a decrease in a specific biochemical pathway which is called  PI3K-AKT-MTOR Signaling, and this is a very positive effect.  Blueberry hence should be eaten with Vincristine treatment for this cancer. (Ting Fu et al, Acta Pharmacol Sin., 2016; Hao Zhang et al, Cancer Invest., 2010; Grace Shimin Koh et al, American Association for Cancer Research, 2012; Yvette Carter et al, Neuroendocrinology., 2013)

Should I take this Nutritional Supplement for Gastrointestinal Neuroendocrine Tumors?

Black Seed : Black Seed nutritional supplements contain active ingredients such as Thymoquinone which have CYP3A4 interactions with Vincristine treatment, and hence should not be used. Also, Black Seed supplement does not show benefit on other biochemical pathways that could improve the Vincristine treatment efficacy in Gastrointestinal Neuroendocrine Tumors. Hence, avoid taking Black Seed supplements with Vincristine treatment for this cancer. (Ahmed A Albassam et al, Saudi Pharm J., 2018; Pius S Fasinu et al, Front Oncol., 2019)

Example Foods to “Not Eat” and Eat with Cyclophosphamide treatment for Gastrointestinal Neuroendocrine Tumors

Foods to Avoid

Amaranth and Beetroot : Amaranth and Beetroot contain active ingredients such as Citric Acid, Linolenic Acid, Folic Acid and others. Citric Acid interferes with the impact of Cyclophosphamide in Gastrointestinal Neuroendocrine Tumors by blocking a specific biological process called Oxidative Stress. Hence, do not eat Amaranth and Beetroot with Cyclophosphamide treatment for this cancer. (Omar M E Abdel-Salam et al, J Med Food., 2014; Jonathan R Strosberg et al, Gastrointest Cancer Res., 2008)

Foods to Eat

Aloe Vera :  Aloe Vera contains active ingredients like Lupeol, Acemannan and Chrysophanol. Intake of Lupeol along with Cyclophosphamide treatment for Gastrointestinal Neuroendocrine Tumors causes a decrease  in a specific biochemical pathway which is called  DNA Repair, and this is a very positive effect.  Aloe Vera hence should be eaten with Cyclophosphamide treatment for this cancer. (Nupoor Prasad et al, J Biosci., 2018; Gregory A. Kaltsas et al, Endocr Rev., 2004)

Avocado :  Avocado contains active ingredients like Beta-sitosterol, Estragole and Linolenic Acid. Intake of Beta-sitosterol along with Cyclophosphamide treatment for Gastrointestinal Neuroendocrine Tumors causes a decrease  in a specific biochemical pathway which is called  DNA Repair, and this is a very positive effect.  Avocado hence should be eaten with Cyclophosphamide treatment for this cancer. (15246101, 22237395, )

Should I take this Nutritional Supplement for Gastrointestinal Neuroendocrine Tumors?

Black Seed : Black Seed nutritional supplements contain active ingredients such as Thymoquinone which have CYP3A4 and CYP2C9 interactions with Cyclophosphamide treatment, and hence should not be used. Also, Black Seed supplement does not show benefit on other biochemical pathways that could improve the Cyclophosphamide treatment efficacy in Gastrointestinal Neuroendocrine Tumors. Hence, avoid taking Black Seed supplements with Cyclophosphamide treatment for this cancer.(Ahmed A Albassam et al, Saudi Pharm J., 2018; Priya P Gor et al, Breast Cancer Res., 2010)

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Top 10 Foods and Supplements to Avoid for Cancer

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What are the Symptoms of this Cancer?

In the initial stages, most cancers including Gastrointestinal Neuroendocrine Tumors may not cause any signs or symptoms. However, as the disease progresses, Gastrointestinal Neuroendocrine Tumors may start showing symptoms. 

Following are some of the signs and symptoms that may be caused by Gastrointestinal Neuroendocrine Tumors.

  • Stomach pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Rectal pain
  • Jaundice
  • Heartburn/Acidity
  • Change in stool color
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Flushing in the face

Though many of these symptoms may also be caused by various other health conditions, consult your doctor if you experience these symptoms to rule out the possible chances of Gastrointestinal Neuroendocrine Tumors.

What are the Treatment Options for this Cancer?

The treatment for Gastrointestinal Neuroendocrine Tumors may be decided based on different factors including the locations of the cancer, stage and extent of spread of the cancer, cancer characteristics, the types of hormones the tumor secretes, symptoms, patient’s general health and medical history, whether the cancer can be removed completely by surgery and whether the cancer was just diagnosed or had come back. The treatment options for Gastrointestinal Neuroendocrine Tumors include:

  • Surgery
  • Radiotherapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Medications to block hormones secreted by tumor

As part of the diet, avoid including those foods and supplements that may adversely interact with the treatments for Gastrointestinal Neuroendocrine Tumors.

In Conclusion

The two most important things to remember are that cancer treatments and nutrition are never the same for everyone. Nutrition/diet which includes food and nutritional supplements is an effective tool which is controlled by you, while facing cancer such as Gastrointestinal Neuroendocrine Tumors.

“What should I eat?” is the most frequently asked question to cancer dieticians and physicians. The right answer depends upon cancer type, underlying genomics, current treatments, any allergies, lifestyle information, and factors like BMI.

The addon personalized nutrition plan keeps you safe from adverse nutrition interactions.

Get started NOW with answering questions on type of cancer, current treatments, supplements, allergies, age group, gender, and lifestyle information.

Top 10 Foods and Supplements to Avoid for Cancer

Go beyond same nutrition guidelines for everyone and make personalized decisions with confidence.


Cancer patients often have to deal with different chemotherapy side effects which affect their quality of life and look out for alternative therapies for cancer. Taking the right nutrition and supplements based on scientific considerations (avoiding guesswork and random selection) is the best natural remedy for cancer and treatment related side-effects.


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