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What should I eat after Cancer Diagnosis?

is a very common question asked.​
Choose food and supplements personalized to your cancer, genes, ongoing treatments and lifestyle.

is a very common question asked. Choose food and supplements personalized to your cancer, genes, ongoing treatments and lifestyle.

Personalized cancer Nutrition Planning for only .

Personalized cancer Nutrition Planning for only​ .

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For Which Cancer Types Should I Avoid Linoleic Acid Supplement?

May 19, 2021

Estimated reading time: 9 minutes
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Highlights

Nutritional supplements like Linoleic Acid 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 Linoleic Acid 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 Linoleic Acid supplements can benefit cancer patients with Richter syndrome on Prednisone treatment. But avoid Linoleic Acid supplements if on Tamoxifen cancer treatment for Paget Disease of the Breast. Similarly, taking nutritional supplement Linoleic Acid can benefit healthy individuals who are at genetic risk of cancer due to mutation of gene MAX. But avoid taking nutritional supplement Linoleic Acid when at genetic risk of cancer due to mutation of gene TSC1.

The takeaway being – your individual context will influence your decision if nutritional supplement Linoleic Acid 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.



Brief Overview

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 molecular level – hence choose  the right combination of supplements like Linoleic Acid based on individual context and conditions. 

Linoleic Acid Supplements for Cancer Treatment and genetic Risk

So the question is should you take supplement Linoleic Acid? Should you take it when at genetic risk of cancer for mutation of gene TSC1? Should you take it when at genetic risk of cancer for mutation of gene MAX? Should you take it when diagnosed with Paget Disease of the Breast? Should you take Linoleic Acid supplement when diagnosed with Richter syndrome? Should you take it when on Tamoxifen treatment? Should you continue taking it if you change your treatment from Tamoxifen to Prednisone? So a general explanation like – it is natural or it increases immunity may not be acceptable and sufficient for choosing Linoleic Acid. 

Cancer

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 Paget Disease of the Breast or Richter syndrome, 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 Linoleic Acid.

So the question is that are all genetic mutation risks and types of cancers to be considered as one when deciding the use of Linoleic Acid? Are the biochemical pathway implications of genetic risk for cancer due to mutation of gene TSC1 the same as due to mutation of gene MAX? Are the implications of Paget Disease of the Breast same as Richter syndrome? Is it one and the same if you are on treatment with Tamoxifen or on Prednisone? 

Linoleic Acid – A Nutritional Supplement

Linoleic acid is an essential polyunsaturated fatty acid (omega-6) required for normal growth and development. Linoleic acid is mostly found in plant oils. It is considered to play a key role in the following :

  • Brain health
  • Energy production
  • Hair growth
  • Reduced risk of coronary heart disease
  • Reproduction 
  • Bone density 

However, excess use of linoleic acid supplements may lead to adverse effects such as heart disease, skin conditions, metabolic disease and joint pain.

Linoleic Acid is an active ingredient found in various food items. Flaxseed, Barley, Buckwheat and Corn contain Linoleic Acid at different concentration levels along with other active ingredients. The molecular pathways which are regulated by Linoleic Acid include Angiogenesis, Cell Cycle, Autophagy, PI3K-AKT-MTOR Signaling 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 Linoleic Acid individually or in combination is an important decision to be made. When making decisions on the use of supplement Linoleic Acid for cancer – do consider all these factors and explanations. Because just as true for cancer treatments – Linoleic Acid use cannot be a one-size-fits-all decision for all types of cancers.

Choosing Linoleic Acid Supplements for Your Cancer

The reason there is no easy way to answer the question “When should I avoid Linoleic Acid for Cancer” is because “It Depends!”. Just like the same treatment does not work for every cancer patient, based on your individual context the Linoleic Acid 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 Linoleic Acid should be avoided or not and why.

1. Will Linoleic Acid Supplements benefit Paget Disease of the Breast Patients undergoing Tamoxifen Cancer treatment?

Paget Disease of the Breast is characterized and driven by specific genetic mutations like TTN and MUC22 leading to biochemical pathway changes in Angiogenesis, PI3K-AKT-MTOR Signaling, Growth Factor Signaling, MAPK Signaling and Cancer Epigenetics. A cancer treatment like Tamoxifen 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, Linoleic Acid should be avoided for Paget Disease of the Breast along with cancer treatment Tamoxifen. Linoleic Acid impacts pathways/processes like Angiogenesis and PI3K-AKT-MTOR Signaling which either promote drivers of the disease and/or nullify the treatment effect. Additionally, Linoleic acid  may have CYP1A2, CYP2C9, CYP2C19, CYP2E1 and CYP3A4 (drug metabolizing enzyme) interactions with Tamoxifen treatment, and hence should be avoided by cancer patients undergoing this treatment. (Hsien-Tsung Yao et al, Life Sci., 2006; Vadlapatla R. et al, Current Pharmaceutical Design, 19(40), 7126–7140, 2013) 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 Linoleic Acid Supplements benefit Cancer patients with Richter syndrome undergoing Prednisone Treatment?

Richter syndrome is characterized and driven by specific genetic mutations like MYC and TRAF3 leading to biochemical pathway changes in Cell Cycle, MYC Signaling, Apoptosis and PI3K-AKT-MTOR Signaling. A cancer treatment like Prednisone 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, Linoleic Acid supplements should be considered for Richter syndrome along with treatment Prednisone. Linoleic Acid supplement impacts pathways/processes like Cell Cycle and MYC Signaling which either obstruct drivers of the disease (Richter syndrome) and/or improve the treatment effect. 

For Which Cancer to Avoid taking Supplement Linoleic Acid

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 Linoleic Acid Supplements Safe for Healthy Individuals with TSC1 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. TSC1 is one of the genes generally available in panels for cancer risk testing.

TSC1 mutation causes biochemical pathways Autophagy, Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress, Stem Cell Signaling, PI3K-AKT-MTOR Signaling and Nutrient sensing to get impacted. These pathways are direct or indirect drivers of cancer molecular endpoints. Linoleic Acid should be avoided when the genetic panel identifies mutation of TSC1 for Kidney Cancer. Linoleic Acid impacts pathways/processes like Autophagy and Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress and creates adverse effects with TSC1 and related conditions.

4. Are Linoleic Acid Supplements Safe for Healthy Individuals with MAX Mutation Associated Genetic Risk?

MAX is one of the genes available in panels for cancer risk testing. MAX mutation causes biochemical pathways Cell Cycle, MYC Signaling, Stem Cell Signaling, MAPK Signaling and Angiogenesis to get impacted. These pathways are direct or indirect drivers of cancer molecular endpoints. Consider taking Linoleic Acid supplements when the genetic panel identifies mutation in MAX for Neuroendocrine Cancer. Linoleic Acid impacts pathways like Cell Cycle and MYC Signaling and creates a supportive effect in those with MAX and related conditions.

Which Cancer Types to Avoid Linoleic Acid Supplement

* Other Factors are also included like BMI, Lifestyle Habits, Treatments

In Conclusion

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 Linoleic Acid, 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.

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.


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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