Nutritional supplements like Cinchona 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 Cinchona 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 Cinchona supplements can benefit Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma/Cancer patients on Gemcitabine treatment. But avoid Cinchona supplements if on Prednisone cancer treatment for Rosai-Dorfman disease. Similarly, taking nutritional supplement Cinchona can benefit healthy individuals who are at genetic risk of cancer due to mutation of the gene CDKN1B. But avoid taking nutritional supplement Cinchona when at genetic risk of cancer due to mutation of the gene SDHAF2.
The takeaway being – your individual context will influence your decision if nutritional supplement Cinchona 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. The 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 the molecular level – hence choose the right combination of supplements like Cinchona based on individual context and conditions.
So the question is should you take the supplement Cinchona? Should you take it when at genetic risk of cancer for mutation of the gene SDHAF2? Should you take it when at genetic risk of cancer for mutation of gene CDKN1B? Should you take it when diagnosed with Rosai-Dorfman disease? Should you take Cinchona supplement when diagnosed with Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma? Should you take it when on Prednisone treatment? Should you continue taking it if you change your treatment from Prednisone to Gemcitabine? So a general explanation like – it is natural or it increases immunity may not be acceptable and sufficient for choosing Cinchona.
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 Rosai-Dorfman disease or Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma, 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 Cinchona.
So the question is that are all genetic mutation risks and types of cancers to be considered as one when deciding the use of Cinchona? Are the biochemical pathway implications of genetic risk for cancer due to mutation of gene SDHAF2 the same as due to mutation of gene CDKN1B? Are the implications of Rosai-Dorfman disease the same as Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma? Is it one and the same if you are on treatment Prednisone or Gemcitabine?
Cinchona – A Nutritional Supplement
Cinchona is a tree which is known for its medicinal properties. The bark of cinchona yields quinine and other alkaloids which were used for treating malaria. (Sara Eyal, Toxins (Basel)., 2018) It is also used as a bitter flavoring agent in tonic water. Due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, cinchona bark has been used for a variety of health conditions. Some of the purported uses/benefits of cinchona are listed below:
- Loss of appetite
- Mouth and throat diseases
- Enlarged spleen
- Bloating in stomach
- Leg cramp
Cinchona supplements contain many active ingredients including Quinidine, Cinchonine and Quinine Sulfate at different concentration levels. The molecular pathways which are regulated by Cinchona include MAPK Signaling, Oxidative Stress, Carbohydrate Metabolism, Cell Cycle and MYC Signaling. 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 Cinchona individually or in combination is an important decision to be made. When making decisions on the use of supplement Cinchona for cancer – do consider all these factors and explanations. Because just as true for cancer treatments – Cinchona use cannot be a one-size-fits-all decision for all types of cancers.
Choosing Cinchona Supplements for Your Cancer
The reason there is no easy way to answer the question “When should I avoid Cinchona for Cancer” is because “It Depends!”. Just like the same treatment does not work for every cancer patient, based on your individual context the Cinchona 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 Cinchona should be avoided or not and why.
1. Will Cinchona Supplements benefit Rosai-Dorfman disease Patients undergoing Prednisone Cancer treatment?
Rosai-Dorfman disease is characterized and driven by specific genetic mutations like KRAS and MAP2K1 leading to biochemical pathway changes in MAPK Signaling, MYC Signaling, PI3K-AKT-MTOR Signaling and RAS-RAF Signaling. A cancer treatment like Prednisone 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, Cinchona should be avoided for Rosai-Dorfman disease along with treatment Prednisone. Cinchona impacts pathways/processes like MAPK Signaling and MYC Signaling which either promote drivers of the disease and/or nullify the treatment effect. 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 Cinchona Supplements benefit Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma/Cancer Patients undergoing Gemcitabine Treatment?
Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma is characterized and driven by specific genetic mutations like NFIB and MYB leading to biochemical pathway changes in Oxidative Stress, PI3K-AKT-MTOR Signaling, Notch Signaling and Cholesterol Metabolism. A cancer treatment like Gemcitabine 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, Cinchona should be considered for Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma along with treatment Gemcitabine. Cinchona impacts pathways/processes like Oxidative Stress and PI3K-AKT-MTOR Signaling which either obstruct drivers of the disease (Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma) and/or improve the treatment effect.
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3. Are Cinchona Supplements Safe for Healthy Individuals with SDHAF2 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. SDHAF2 is one of the genes generally available in panels for cancer risk testing.
SDHAF2 mutation causes biochemical pathways Carbohydrate Metabolism, MAPK Signaling, Hypoxia, Stem Cell Signaling and Cancer Epigenetics to get impacted. These pathways are direct or indirect drivers of cancer molecular endpoints. Cinchona should be avoided when the genetic panel identifies mutation of SDHAF2 for Thyroid Cancer and Neuroendocrine Cancer. Cinchona impacts pathways/processes like Carbohydrate Metabolism and MAPK Signaling and creates adverse effects with SDHAF2 and related conditions.
4. Are Cinchona Supplements Safe for Healthy Individuals with CDKN1B Mutation Associated Genetic Risk?
CDKN1B is one of the genes available in panels for cancer risk testing. CDKN1B mutation causes biochemical pathways Cell Cycle, PI3K-AKT-MTOR Signaling, Growth Factor Signaling, Cell Cycle Checkpoints and FOXO Signaling to get impacted. These pathways are direct or indirect drivers of cancer molecular endpoints. Consider taking Cinchona supplements when the genetic panel identifies mutation in CDKN1B for Neuroendocrine Cancer. Cinchona impacts the pathways like Cell Cycle and PI3K-AKT-MTOR Signaling and creates a supportive effect in those with CDKN1B 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 Cinchona, 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.