Nutritional supplements like Lion’s Mane Mushroom 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 Lion’s Mane Mushroom 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 Lion’s Mane Mushroom supplements can benefit Angiosarcoma patients on Vincristine cancer treatment. But avoid Lion’s Mane Mushroom supplements if on Paclitaxel treatment for Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma/Cancer. Similarly, taking nutritional supplement Lion’s Mane Mushroom can benefit healthy individuals who are at genetic risk of cancer due to mutation of gene TP53. But avoid taking nutritional supplement Lion’s Mane Mushroom when at genetic risk of cancer due to mutation of gene CDC73.
The takeaway being – your individual context will influence your decision if nutritional supplement Lion’s Mane Mushroom 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 molecular level – hence choose the right combination of supplements like Lion’s Mane Mushroom based on individual context and conditions.
So the question is should you take the supplement Lion’s Mane Mushroom? Should you take it when at genetic risk of cancer for mutation of gene CDC73? Should you take it when at genetic risk of cancer for mutation of gene TP53? Should you take it when diagnosed with Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma? Should you take Lion’s Mane Mushroom supplement when diagnosed with Angiosarcoma? Should you take it when on Paclitaxel treatment? Should you continue taking it if you change your treatment from Paclitaxel to Vincristine? So a general explanation like – it is natural or it increases immunity may not be acceptable and sufficient for choosing Lion’s Mane Mushroom.
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 Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma or Angiosarcoma, 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 Lion’s Mane Mushroom.
So the question is that are all genetic mutation risks and types of cancers to be considered as one when deciding the use of Lion’s Mane Mushroom? Are the biochemical pathway implications of genetic risk for cancer due to mutation of gene CDC73 the same as due to mutation of gene TP53? Are the implications of Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma same as Angiosarcoma? Is it one and the same if you are on treatment with Paclitaxel or on Vincristine?
Lion’s Mane Mushroom – A Nutritional Supplement
Lion’s Mane Mushroom (Hericium erinaceus) is an edible mushroom native to North America, Europe and Asia and has been very popular in traditional Chinese medicine. It is a white colored fungus with long, dangling spines like the hair of a lion’s mane. It is also known as Bearded Tooth Fungus, Monkey Head Mushroom, Satyr’s Beard, Bearded Hedgehog Mushroom and Pom Pom Mushroom. Due to its anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and antioxidant properties, Lion’s Mane Mushroom is considered to have many health benefits. Following are some of the purported uses/benefits of Lion’s Mane Mushrooms:
- May improve brain function
- May improve cognitive functioning
- May improve heart health
- May improve digestive health
- May improve immune function
- May reduce inflammation
- May reduce depression (Pit Shan Chong et al, Int J Mol Sci., 2019)
People with allergies and asthma should avoid taking Lion’s mane mushroom supplements.
Lion’s Mane Mushroom supplements contain many active ingredients including HEP, Erinacerin, Erinacine and Erinacine A at different concentration levels. The molecular pathways which are regulated by Lion’s Mane Mushroom include Focal Adhesion, Epithelial to Mesenchymal Transition, WNT Beta-catenin Signaling, P53 Signaling and Adherens junction. 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 Lion’s Mane Mushroom individually or in combination is an important decision to be made. When making decisions on the use of supplement Lion’s Mane Mushroom for cancer – do consider all these factors and explanations. Because just as true for cancer treatments – Lion’s Mane Mushroom use cannot be a one-size-fits-all decision for all types of cancers.
Choosing Lion’s Mane Mushroom Supplements for Your Cancer
The reason there is no easy way to answer the question “When should I avoid Lion’s Mane Mushroom for Cancer” is because “It Depends!”. Just like the same treatment does not work for every cancer patient, based on your individual context the Lion’s Mane Mushroom 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 Lion’s Mane Mushroom should be avoided or not and why.
1. Will Lion’s Mane Mushroom Supplements benefit Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma/Cancer Patients undergoing Paclitaxel treatment?
Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma is characterized and driven by specific genetic mutations like NFIB and MYB leading to biochemical pathway changes in Focal Adhesion, PI3K-AKT-MTOR Signaling, Notch Signaling and Cholesterol Metabolism. A cancer treatment like Paclitaxel 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, Lion’s Mane Mushroom should be avoided for Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma along with treatment Paclitaxel. Lion’s Mane Mushroom impacts pathways/processes like Focal Adhesion 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 Lion’s Mane Mushroom Supplements benefit Angiosarcoma Cancer Patients undergoing Vincristine Treatment?
Angiosarcoma is characterized and driven by specific genetic mutations like TP53 and MAP3K9 leading to biochemical pathway changes in Epithelial to Mesenchymal Transition, Adherens junction, NFKB Signaling, PI3K-AKT-MTOR Signaling and MAPK Signaling. A cancer treatment like Vincristine 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, Lion’s Mane Mushroom should be considered for Angiosarcoma along with treatment Vincristine. Lion’s Mane Mushroom impacts pathways/processes like Epithelial to Mesenchymal Transition and Adherens junction which either obstruct drivers of the disease (Angiosarcoma) 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 Lion’s Mane Mushroom Supplements Safe for Healthy Individuals with CDC73 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. CDC73 is one of the genes generally available in panels for cancer risk testing.
CDC73 mutation causes biochemical pathways WNT Beta-catenin Signaling, Stem Cell Signaling and Angiogenesis to get impacted. These pathways are direct or indirect drivers of cancer molecular endpoints. Lion’s Mane Mushroom should be avoided when the genetic panel identifies mutation of CDC73 for Neuroendocrine Cancer. Lion’s Mane Mushroom impacts pathways like WNT Betacatenin Signaling and Stem Cell Signaling and creates adverse effects with CDC73 and related conditions.
4. Are Lion’s Mane Mushroom Supplements Safe for Healthy Individuals with TP53 Mutation Associated Genetic Risk?
TP53 is one of the genes available in panels for cancer risk testing. TP53 mutation causes biochemical pathways P53 Signaling, MAPK Signaling, Stem Cell Signaling, Estrogen Signaling and Autophagy to get impacted. These pathways are direct or indirect drivers of cancer molecular endpoints. Consider taking Lion’s Mane Mushroom supplements when the genetic panel identifies mutation in TP53 for Breast Cancer and Lung Cancer. Lion’s Mane Mushroom impacts pathways like P53 Signaling and MAPK Signaling and creates a supportive effect in those with TP53 mutation 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 Lion’s Mane Mushroom, 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.