Nutritional supplements like Bael 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 Bael 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 Bael supplements can benefit Merkel Cell Carcinoma patients on Hydroxyurea cancer treatment. But avoid Bael supplements if on Sunitinib treatment for Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumor. Similarly, taking nutritional supplement Bael can benefit healthy individuals who are at genetic risk of cancer due to mutation of gene MAX. But avoid taking nutritional supplement Bael when at genetic risk of cancer due to mutation of gene SDHA.
The takeaway being – your individual context will influence your decision if nutritional supplement Bael 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 Bael based on individual context and conditions.
So the question is should you take the supplement Bael? Should you take it when at genetic risk of cancer for mutation of the gene SDHA? Should you take it when at genetic risk of cancer for mutation of gene MAX? Should you take it when diagnosed with Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumor? Should you take it when diagnosed with Merkel Cell Carcinoma? Should you take it when on Sunitinib treatment? Should you continue taking Bael supplement if you change your treatment from Sunitinib to Hydroxyurea? So a general explanation like – it is natural or it increases immunity may not be acceptable and sufficient for choosing Bael.
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 Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumor or Merkel Cell 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 Bael.
So the question is that are all genetic mutation risks and types of cancers to be considered as one when deciding the use of Bael? Are the biochemical pathway implications of genetic risk for cancer due to mutation of gene SDHA the same as due to mutation of gene MAX? Are the implications of Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumor same as Merkel Cell Carcinoma? Is it one and the same if you are on treatment Sunitinib or on Hydroxyurea?
Bael – A Nutritional Supplement
Bael is a plant native to India, Nepal, Malaysia, Thailand, Sri Lanka and Southeast Asian countries. It is also known as Bengal quince, Aegle marmelos, Golden apple, Wood apple, Stone apple and Japanese bitter orange. The raw fruit, root, leaf, and branch of Bael are considered to have medicinal value with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. Following are some of the purported uses/benefits of Bael:
- May be used for constipation and diarrhea
- May help maintaining blood sugar levels
- May help fight skin infections
- May help reduce cholesterol
- May help reduce ulcers
However, excess intake of Bael can lead to an upset stomach.
Bael supplements contain many active ingredients including Linoleic Acid, Linolenic Acid, Vitamin C and Linolenic Acid at different concentration levels. The molecular pathways which are regulated by Bael include Epithelial to Mesenchymal Transition, P53 Signaling, Angiogenesis, Stem Cell Signaling and Oxidative Stress. 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 Bael individually or in combination is an important decision to be made. When making decisions on the use of supplement Bael for cancer – do consider all these factors and explanations. Because just as true for cancer treatments – Bael use cannot be a one-size-fits-all decision for all types of cancers.
Choosing Bael Supplements for Your Cancer
The reason there is no easy way to answer the question “When should I avoid Bael for Cancer” is because “It Depends!”. Just like the same treatment does not work for every cancer patient, based on your individual context the Bael 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 Bael should be avoided or not and why.
1. Will Bael Supplements benefit Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumor Patients undergoing Sunitinib Cancer treatment?
Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumor is characterized and driven by specific genetic mutations like MEN1 and DAXX leading to biochemical pathway changes in Epithelial to Mesenchymal Transition, Oxidative Stress, Cytoskeletal Dynamics, Cancer Epigenetics and Cell Cycle. A cancer treatment like Sunitinib 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, Bael should be avoided for Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumor along with treatment Sunitinib. Bael impacts pathways/processes like Epithelial to Mesenchymal Transition and Oxidative Stress which either promote drivers of the disease and/or nullify the treatment effect. Additionally, Bael supplements contain key active ingredients like Linoleic Acid and Linolenic Acid which have CYP3A4 interactions with Sunitinib treatment, and hence should be avoided by cancer patients undergoing this treatment. (Hsien-Tsung Yao et al, Life Sci., 2006; Gracia M Amaya et al, Chem Res Toxicol., 2018) 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 Bael Supplements benefit Merkel Cell Carcinoma Patients undergoing Hydroxyurea Cancer Treatment?
Merkel Cell Carcinoma is characterized and driven by specific genetic mutations like TP53 and RB1 leading to biochemical pathway changes in P53 Signaling, JAK-STAT Signaling, Apoptosis, PI3K-AKT-MTOR Signaling and Cell Cycle. A cancer treatment like Hydroxyurea 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, Bael supplement should be considered for Merkel Cell Carcinoma along with treatment Hydroxyurea. Bael supplement impacts pathways/processes like P53 Signaling and JAK-STAT Signaling which either obstruct drivers of the disease and/or improve Hydroxyurea 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 Bael Supplements Safe for Healthy Individuals with SDHA 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. SDHA is one of the genes generally available in panels for cancer risk testing.
SDHA mutation causes biochemical pathways Angiogenesis, Cancer Epigenetics, Stem Cell Signaling, Hypoxia and Carbohydrate Metabolism to get impacted. These pathways are direct or indirect drivers of cancer molecular endpoints. Bael should be avoided when the genetic panel identifies mutation of SDHA for Thyroid Cancer and Neuroendocrine Cancer. Bael impacts pathways/processes like Angiogenesis and Cancer Epigenetics and creates adverse effects with SDHA and related conditions.
4. Are Bael 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 Stem Cell Signaling, MAPK Signaling, Cell Cycle, MYC Signaling and Angiogenesis to get impacted. These pathways are direct or indirect drivers of cancer molecular endpoints. Consider taking Bael supplements when the genetic panel identifies mutation in MAX for Neuroendocrine Cancer. Bael impacts pathways/processes like Stem Cell Signaling and MAPK Signaling and creates a supportive effect in those with MAX 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 Bael, 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.