Nutritional supplements like Blueberry 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 Blueberry 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 Blueberry supplements can benefit cancer patients with Rosai-Dorfman disease on Cladribine treatment. But avoid Blueberry supplements if on Ifosfamide treatment for Seminoma. Similarly, taking nutritional supplement Blueberry can benefit healthy individuals who are at genetic risk of cancer due to mutation of gene KIT. But avoid taking nutritional supplement Blueberry when at genetic risk of cancer due to mutation of gene RAD50.
The takeaway being – your individual context will influence your decision if nutritional supplement Blueberry 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 Blueberry based on individual context and conditions
So the question is should you take supplement Blueberry? Should you take it when at genetic risk of cancer for mutation of gene RAD50? Should you take it when at genetic risk of cancer for mutation of gene KIT? Should you take it when diagnosed with Seminoma? Should you take it when diagnosed with Rosai-Dorfman disease? Should you take it when on Ifosfamide treatment? Should you continue taking it if you change your treatment from Ifosfamide to Cladribine? So a general explanation like – it is natural or it increases immunity may not be acceptable and sufficient for choosing Blueberry.
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 Seminoma or Rosai-Dorfman disease, 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 Blueberry.
So the question is that are all genetic mutation risks and types of cancers to be considered as one when deciding the use of Blueberry? Are the biochemical pathway implications of genetic risk for cancer due to mutation of gene RAD50 the same as due to mutation of gene KIT? Are the implications of Seminoma same as Rosai-Dorfman disease? Is it one and the same if you are on treatment with Ifosfamide or on Cladribine?
Blueberry – A Nutritional Supplement
Blueberry is a fruit-bearing shrub. Blueberries are rich in anthocyanins which have immense health benefits. Some of the purported/potential benefits of consuming blueberries are :
- Rich in antioxidants
- Reduces risk of heart disease
- Improves bone health.
- Regulate blood sugar
- Enhances functioning of brain and boost memory
- Control cholesterol level.
- Help in maintaining blood pressure.
Individuals on blood thinner should be careful regarding increasing the consumption of blueberries as it may interfere with blood clotting.
Blueberry supplements contain many active ingredients including Caffeic Acid, Chlorogenic Acid and Cianidanol at different concentration levels. The molecular pathways which are regulated by Blueberry include Oxidative Stress, MYC Signaling, Stem Cell Signaling, Nucleotide metabolism and P53 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 Blueberry individually or in combination is an important decision to be made. When making decisions on the use of supplement Blueberry for cancer – do consider all these factors and explanations. Because just as true for cancer treatments – Blueberry use cannot be a one-size-fits-all decision for all types of cancers.
Choosing Blueberry Supplements for Your Cancer
The reason there is no easy way to answer the question “When should I avoid Blueberry for Cancer” is because “It Depends!”. Just like the same treatment does not work for every cancer patient, based on your individual context the Blueberry 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 Blueberry should be avoided or not and why.
1. Will Blueberry Supplements benefit Cancer Patients with Seminoma undergoing Ifosfamide treatment?
Seminoma is characterized and driven by specific genetic mutations like KIT and KRAS leading to biochemical pathway changes in Oxidative Stress, P53 Signaling, Hippo Signaling, PI3K-AKT-MTOR Signaling and RAS-RAF Signaling. A cancer treatment like Ifosfamide 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, Blueberry supplement should be avoided for Seminoma along with Ifosfamide treatment. Blueberry supplement impacts pathways/processes like Oxidative Stress and P53 Signaling which either promote drivers of the Seminoma and/or nullify the treatment effect. Additionally, Blueberry supplements contain active ingredients like Caffeic Acid which has CYP3A4 interaction with the Ifosfamide treatment, and hence should be avoided. (Pius S. Fasinu et al, Front Oncol., 2019; Churdsak Jaikang et al, J. Med. Plants Res., 2011) 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 Blueberry Supplements benefit Cancer Patients with Rosai-Dorfman disease undergoing Cladribine Treatment?
Rosai-Dorfman disease is characterized and driven by specific genetic mutations like KRAS and MAP2K1 leading to biochemical pathway changes in MYC Signaling, RAS-RAF Signaling, PI3K-AKT-MTOR Signaling and MAPK Signaling. A cancer treatment like Cladribine 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, Blueberry supplements should be considered for Rosai-Dorfman disease along with treatment Cladribine. Blueberry Supplement impacts pathways/processes like MYC Signaling and PI3K-AKT-MTOR Signaling which either obstruct drivers of the Rosai-Dorfman disease 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 Blueberry Supplements Safe for Healthy Individuals with RAD50 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. RAD50 is one of the genes generally available in panels for cancer risk testing.
RAD50 mutation causes biochemical pathways Stem Cell Signaling, Estrogen Signaling, DNA Repair, Angiogenesis and Growth Factor Signaling to get impacted. These pathways are direct or indirect drivers of cancer molecular endpoints. Blueberry should be avoided when the genetic panel identifies mutation of RAD50 for Breast Cancer. Blueberry impacts pathways/processes like DNA Repair and Estrogen Signaling and creates adverse effects with RAD50 and related conditions.
4. Are Blueberry Supplements Safe for Healthy Individuals with KIT Mutation Associated Genetic Risk?
KIT is one of the genes available in panels for cancer risk testing. KIT mutation causes biochemical pathways Nucleotide metabolism, Stem Cell Signaling, Hypoxia, RAS-RAF Signaling and MAPK Signaling to get impacted. These pathways are direct or indirect drivers of cancer molecular endpoints. Consider taking Blueberry supplement when the genetic panel identifies mutation in KIT for Gastric Cancer and Hematological Cancer. Blueberry impacts pathways/processes like Nucleotide metabolism and Stem Cell Signaling and creates a supportive effect in those with KIT 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 Blueberry, 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.