Nutritional supplements like Angelica have many health benefits and are being widely used by cancer patients and those at-genetic-risk of cancer. But, is it safe to take Angelica supplements for all types of cancer and without considering any ongoing treatments and other lifestyle conditions? A common belief but only a myth is that anything natural can only benefit me or do no harm. As one example, the use of grapefruit with certain medications is not recommended. Another example, the use of spinach with some blood thinning medications can cause adverse interactions and should be avoided. For cancer, nutrition which includes the food and natural supplements has been shown to influence outcomes. Hence a frequently asked question by cancer patients to dieticians and doctors is “What Should I eat and What Should I Avoid?”.
Taking nutritional Angelica supplements can benefit ALK +ve Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer patients on Alectinib treatment. But avoid Angelica supplements if on Cytarabine treatment for Myeloproliferative Neoplasms. Similarly, taking nutritional supplement Angelica can benefit healthy individuals who are at genetic risk of cancer due to mutation of gene KIT. But avoid taking nutritional supplement Angelica when at genetic risk of cancer due to mutation of gene BAP1.
The takeaway being – your individual context will influence your decision if nutritional supplement Angelica is safe or not, and also that this decision needs to be constantly revisited as conditions change. Conditions like cancer type, current ongoing treatments and supplements, age, gender, weight, height, lifestyle and any genetic mutations identified matter. So a legitimate question for you to ask for any recommendation of food and natural supplement is how it is related to your individual context.
Nutritional supplements – vitamins, herbs, minerals, probiotics, and other specialty categories are increasing. Supplements are high concentrations of active ingredients which are also found in different foods. Difference being foods contain more than one active ingredient at lower diffused concentrations. Remember that each of these ingredients has its own science and biological mechanism at molecular level – hence choose the right combination of supplements like Angelica based on individual context and conditions.
So the question is should you take supplement Angelica? Should you take it when at genetic risk of cancer for mutation of gene BAP1? Should you take it when at genetic risk of cancer for mutation of gene KIT? Should you take it when diagnosed with Myeloproliferative Neoplasms? Should you take it when diagnosed with ALK +ve Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer? Should you take it when on Cytarabine treatment? Should you continue taking it if you change your treatment from Cytarabine to Alectinib? So a general explanation like – it is natural or it increases immunity may not be acceptable and sufficient for choosing Angelica.
Cancer remains an unsolved problem statement. The improved availability of personalized treatments and monitoring of cancer via blood and saliva have been significant factors to improve outcomes. The earlier the intervention – the better the influence on outcome. Genetic testing has the potential to assess cancer risk and susceptibility early. But besides regular monitoring in most cases there are no therapeutic intervention options available. After diagnosis with cancer such as Myeloproliferative Neoplasms or ALK +ve Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, the treatments get personalized to tumor genomics and factors like staging of disease, age and gender. During cancer remission (after treatment cycle is complete) – monitoring is used for assessment of any relapse and accordingly decide next steps. A large majority of cancer patients and those at-risk do take nutritional supplements like Angelica.
So the question is that are all genetic mutation risks and types of cancers to be considered as one when deciding the use of Angelica? Are the biochemical pathway implications of genetic risk for cancer due to mutation of gene BAP1 the same as due to mutation of gene KIT? Are the implications of Myeloproliferative Neoplasms the same as ALK +ve Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer? Is it one and the same if you are on treatment with Cytarabine or Alectinib?
Angelica – A Nutritional Supplement
Angelica is a genus of plants and herbs with their roots, seeds, leaves, and fruits considered to have medicinal properties. It is commonly used in traditional herbal medicine, especially in Asian and European countries. Some of the purported uses/benefits of Angelica include its use for relieving :
- Menstrual cramps
- Digestive problems
- Respiratory problems
- Anxiety problems
Some of the side effects of angelica supplements are skin irritation, sun sensitivity, bruising, and bleeding. Pregnant women should avoid taking angelica as it may cause uterine contractions.
Angelica supplements contain many active ingredients including Angelicin, Luteolin and Quercetin at different concentration levels. The molecular pathways which are regulated by Angelica include MYC Signaling, RAS-RAF Signaling, DNA Repair, NFKB Signaling and Extracellular Matrix Remodelling. These cellular pathways directly or indirectly regulate specific cancer molecular endpoints like growth, spread and death. Because of this biological regulation – for cancer nutrition, the right choice of supplements like Angelica individually or in combination is an important decision to be made. When making decisions on the use of supplement Angelica for cancer – do consider all these factors and explanations. Because just as true for cancer treatments – Angelica use cannot be a one-size-fits-all decision for all types of cancers.
Choosing Angelica Supplements for Your Cancer
The reason there is no easy way to answer the question “When should I avoid Angelica for Cancer” is because “It Depends!”. Just like the same treatment does not work for every cancer patient, based on your individual context the Angelica may be harmful or safe. Along with which cancer and associated genetics – the ongoing treatments, supplements, lifestyle habits, BMI and allergies are all factors deciding if Angelica should be avoided or not and why.
1. Will Angelica Supplements benefit Cancer Patients with Myeloproliferative Neoplasms undergoing Cytarabine treatment?
Myeloproliferative Neoplasms is characterized and driven by specific genetic mutations like JAK2 and CALR leading to biochemical pathway changes in MYC Signaling, JAK-STAT Signaling, Cytokine Signaling and Hematopoiesis. A cancer treatment like Cytarabine works through a specific pathway mechanism of action. The goal is to have a good overlap between the treatment and cancer driving pathways for a personalized approach which is effective. In such a condition any food or nutritional supplement which has a contrary effect to the treatment or reduces the overlap should be avoided. As an example, Angelica supplement should be avoided for Myeloproliferative Neoplasms along with treatment Cytarabine. Angelica supplement impacts the biochemical pathway called MYC Signaling which either promote drivers of the disease (Myeloproliferative Neoplasms) and/or nullify the treatment effect. Additionally, Angelica supplements have key active ingredients like luteolin which have CYP3A4 (drug metabolizing enzymes) interactions with Cytarabine treatment, and hence should not be used by cancer patients with Myeloproliferative Neoplasms undergoing this treatment. (Serge H Boyer et al, J Med Chem., 2006; Luigi Quintieri et al, Biochem Pharmacol., 2008) Some of the factors which should be considered when choosing nutrition are type of cancer, treatments and supplements being taken currently (if any), age, gender, BMI, lifestyle and any genetic mutation information (if available).
2. Will Angelica Supplements benefit ALK +ve Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Patients undergoing Alectinib Treatment?
ALK +ve Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer is characterized and driven by specific genetic mutations like ALK and TP53 leading to biochemical pathway changes in RAS-RAF Signaling, Extracellular Matrix Remodelling, G-protein-coupled Receptor Signaling, Small Molecule Transport and PI3K-AKT-MTOR Signaling. A cancer treatment like Alectinib works through specific pathway mechanisms. The goal is to have a good overlap between the treatment and cancer driving pathways for a personalized approach. In such a condition any food or nutritional supplement which has a compatible effect to the treatment or reduces the overlap should be considered. As an example, Angelica should be considered for ALK +ve Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer along with treatment Alectinib. Angelica impacts pathways RAS-RAF Signaling and Extracellular Matrix Remodelling which either obstruct drivers of the disease and/or improve the treatment effect.
Foods to Eat After Cancer Diagnosis!
No two cancers are the same. Go beyond the common nutrition guidelines for everyone and make personalized decisions about food and supplements with confidence.
3. Are Angelica Supplements Safe for Healthy Individuals with BAP1 Mutation Associated Genetic Risk?
Different companies offer panels of genes to be tested for assessing genetic risk to different cancers. These panels cover genes associated with cancers of the breast, ovary, uterus, prostate, and gastrointestinal system and others. Genetic testing of these genes may confirm a diagnosis and help guide treatment and management decisions. Identification of a disease-causing variant may also guide testing and diagnosis of at-risk relatives. BAP1 is one of the genes generally available in panels for cancer risk testing.
BAP1 mutation causes biochemical pathways DNA Repair, Stem Cell Signaling, MAPK Signaling and Angiogenesis to get impacted. These pathways are direct or indirect drivers of cancer molecular endpoints. Angelica should be avoided when the genetic panel identifies mutation of BAP1 for Skin Cancer and Cholangiocarcinoma. Angelica impacts pathways DNA Repair and Stem Cell Signaling and creates adverse effects with BAP1 and related conditions.
4. Are Angelica Supplements Safe for Healthy Individuals with KIT Mutation Associated Genetic Risk?
KIT is one of the genes available in panels for cancer risk testing. KIT mutation causes biochemical pathways RAS-RAF Signaling, Hypoxia, Cancer Epigenetics, PI3K-AKT-MTOR Signaling and Stem Cell Signaling to get impacted. These pathways are direct or indirect drivers of cancer molecular endpoints. Consider taking Angelica supplements when the genetic panel identifies mutation in KIT for Gastric Cancer and Hematological Cancer. Angelica impacts pathways like RAS-RAF Signaling and Hypoxia and creates a supportive effect in those with KIT and related conditions.
*Other Factors are also included like BMI, Lifestyle Habits, Treatments
The two most important things to remember are that cancer treatments and nutrition are never the same for everyone. Nutrition which includes food and nutritional supplements like Angelica, is an effective tool which can be controlled by you, while facing cancer.
What food you eat and which supplements you take is a decision you make. Your decision should include consideration of the cancer gene mutations, which cancer, ongoing treatments and supplements, any allergies, lifestyle information, weight, height and habits.
The nutrition planning for cancer from addon is not based on internet searches. It automates the decision making for you based on molecular science implemented by our scientists and software engineers. Irrespective of whether you care to understand the underlying biochemical molecular pathways or not - for nutrition planning for cancer that understanding is needed.
Get started NOW with your nutrition planning by answering questions on the name of cancer, genetic mutations, ongoing treatments and supplements, any allergies, habits, lifestyle, age group and gender.
Personalized Nutrition for Cancer!
Cancer changes with time. Customize and modify your nutrition based on cancer indication, treatments, lifestyle, food preferences, allergies and other factors.
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.