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What should I Eat?

is the most common question asked by cancer patients.
Choose food and nutritional supplements which avoids bad interactions with your cancer treatment and is good for you.

is the most common question asked by cancer patients. Choose food and nutritional supplements which avoids bad interactions with your cancer treatment and is good for you.

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For Which Cancer Types Should I Avoid Shiitake Mushroom Supplement?

May 25, 2021

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Highlights

Nutritional supplements like Shiitake 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 Shiitake 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 Shiitake Mushroom supplements can benefit Primary Central Nervous System Lymphoma patients on Epirubicin cancer treatment. But avoid Shiitake Mushroom supplements if on Radiation treatment for Pilocytic Astrocytoma. Similarly, taking nutritional supplement Shiitake Mushroom can benefit healthy individuals who are at genetic risk of cancer due to mutation of gene MAX. But avoid taking nutritional supplement Shiitake Mushroom when at genetic risk of cancer due to mutation of gene LZTR1.

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



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

Shiitake Mushroom Supplements for Cancer Treatment and genetic Risk

So the question is should you take the supplement Shiitake Mushroom? Should you take it when at genetic risk of cancer for mutation of gene LZTR1? Should you take it when at genetic risk of cancer for mutation of gene MAX? Should you take it when diagnosed with Pilocytic Astrocytoma? Should you take it when diagnosed with Primary Central Nervous System Lymphoma? Should you take it when on Radiation treatment? Should you continue taking Shiitake Mushroom supplement if you change your treatment from Radiation to Epirubicin? So a general explanation like – it is natural or it increases immunity may not be acceptable and sufficient for choosing Shiitake Mushroom. 

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 Pilocytic Astrocytoma or Primary Central Nervous System Lymphoma, 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 Shiitake 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 Shiitake Mushroom? Are the biochemical pathway implications of genetic risk for cancer due to mutation of gene LZTR1 the same as due to mutation of gene MAX? Are the implications of Pilocytic Astrocytoma same as Primary Central Nervous System Lymphoma? Is it one and the same if you are on treatment Radiation or on Epirubicin? 

Shiitake Mushroom – A Nutritional Supplement

Shiitake Mushroom, also known as Lentinus edodes, is a popular mushroom with diverse health benefits. It is considered as a medicinal mushroom and is native to East Asia. Shiitake mushrooms have been used as part of Chinese Traditional Medicine for years. It is considered to have anti-oxidative, antifungal and antimicrobial properties and is widely used due to its nutritive and medicinal values. (Mohammad Azizur Rahman et al, Saudi J Biol Sci., 2018) Shiitake Mushrooms have a rich, dense flavor with a meaty taste and texture. Following are some of the purported uses/potential health benefits of Shiitake Mushrooms:

  • May improves heart health
  • May reduce obesity
  • May boost immune system
  • May increase brain functioning
  • May improve skin health
  • May help improve oral health

If taken in excess, Shiitake Mushrooms might lead to certain side effects in some people such as upset stomach, swelling or allergic reactions in the skin, breathing problems, some abnormalities in the blood and increased sensitivity to sun.

Shiitake Mushroom supplements contain many active ingredients including Linoleic Acid, Carvacrol and Folic Acid at different concentration levels. The molecular pathways which are regulated by Shiitake Mushroom include MYC Signaling, Cell Cycle, Nucleotide metabolism, MAPK Signaling and RAS-RAF 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 Shiitake Mushroom individually or in combination is an important decision to be made. When making decisions on the use of supplement Shiitake Mushroom for cancer – do consider all these factors and explanations. Because just as true for cancer treatments – Shiitake Mushroom use cannot be a one-size-fits-all decision for all types of cancers.

Choosing Shiitake Mushroom Supplements for Your Cancer

The reason there is no easy way to answer the question “When should I avoid Shiitake 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 Shiitake 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 Shiitake Mushrooms should be avoided or not and why.

1. Will Shiitake Mushroom Supplements benefit Pilocytic Astrocytoma Cancer Patients undergoing Radiation treatment?

Pilocytic Astrocytoma is characterized and driven by specific genetic mutations like KIAA1549-BRAF and BRAF leading to biochemical pathway changes in MYC Signaling, RAS-RAF Signaling, PI3K-AKT-MTOR Signaling and MAPK Signaling. A cancer treatment like Radiation 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, Shiitake Mushroom should be avoided for Pilocytic Astrocytoma along with treatment Radiation. Shiitake Mushroom impacts pathways/processes like MYC Signaling and RAS-RAF 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 Shiitake Mushroom Supplements benefit Primary Central Nervous System Lymphoma Patients undergoing Epirubicin Cancer Treatment?

Primary Central Nervous System Lymphoma is characterized and driven by specific genetic mutations like MYD88 and CD79B leading to biochemical pathway changes in Cell Cycle, NFKB Signaling, Apoptosis, B Cell Receptor Signaling and RAS-RAF Signaling. A cancer treatment like Epirubicin 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, Shiitake Mushroom should be considered for Primary Central Nervous System Lymphoma along with treatment Epirubicin. Shiitake Mushroom impacts pathways/processes like Cell Cycle and NFKB Signaling which either obstruct drivers of the disease and/or improve Epirubicin treatment effect. 

4 Things to Know About Shiitake Mushroom Supplements for Cancer?

Top 10 Foods and Supplements to Avoid for Cancer

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3. Are Shiitake Mushroom Supplements Safe for Healthy Individuals with LZTR1 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. LZTR1 is one of the genes generally available in panels for cancer risk testing.

LZTR1 mutation causes biochemical pathways Nucleotide metabolism, RAS-RAF Signaling, Stem Cell Signaling, Hypoxia and MAPK Signaling to get impacted. These pathways are direct or indirect drivers of cancer molecular endpoints. Shiitake Mushrooms should be avoided when the genetic panel identifies mutation of LZTR1 for Central Nervous System and Hematological Cancer. Shiitake Mushroom impacts pathways/processes like Nucleotide metabolism and RAS-RAF Signaling and creates adverse effects with LZTR1 and related conditions.

4. Are Shiitake Mushroom 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/processes like MAPK Signaling, Cell Cycle, Stem Cell Signaling, MYC Signaling and Angiogenesis to get impacted. These pathways are direct or indirect drivers of cancer molecular endpoints. Consider taking Shiitake Mushroom supplements when the genetic panel identifies mutations in MAX for Neuroendocrine Cancer. Shiitake Mushroom impacts pathways/processes like MAPK Signaling and Cell Cycle and creates a supportive effect in those with MAX mutation and related conditions. 

Which Cancer Types to Avoid Shiitake Mushroom 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 Shiitake Mushroom, is an effective tool which can be controlled by you, while facing cancer.

“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.