Nutritional supplements like Fennel 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 Fennel 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 Fennel supplements can benefit cancer patients with Rosai-Dorfman disease on Cladribine treatment. But avoid Fennel supplements if on Temozolomide treatment for Pilocytic astrocytoma. Similarly, taking nutritional supplement Fennel can benefit healthy individuals who are at genetic risk of cancer due to mutation of gene CEBPA. But avoid taking nutritional supplement Fennel when at genetic risk of cancer due to mutation of gene MRE11.
The takeaway being – your individual context will influence your decision if nutritional supplement Fennel 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. 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 Fennel based on individual context and conditions.
So the question is should you take supplement Fennel? Should you take it when at genetic risk of cancer for mutation of gene MRE11? Should you take it when at genetic risk of cancer for mutation of gene CEBPA? Should you take it when diagnosed with Pilocytic astrocytoma? Should you take Fennel supplement when diagnosed with Rosai-Dorfman disease? Should you take it when on Temozolomide treatment? Should you continue taking it if you change your treatment from Temozolomide to Cladribine? So a general explanation like – it is natural or it increases immunity may not be acceptable and sufficient for choosing Fennel.
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 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 Fennel.
So the question is that are all genetic mutation risks and types of cancers to be considered as one when deciding the use of Fennel? Are the biochemical pathway implications of genetic risk for cancer due to mutation of gene MRE11 the same as due to mutation of gene CEBPA? Are the implications of Pilocytic astrocytoma same as Rosai-Dorfman disease? Is it one and the same if you are on treatment with Temozolomide or on Cladribine?
Fennel – A Nutritional Supplement
Fennel is a perennial herb grown in Indian and Mediterranean region. It belongs to the carrot family and has a strong aromatic flavor. From ancient times, fennel has been considered to possess medicinal properties. The health benefits of consuming fennel are:
- Helps fight bad breath.
- Reduces risk of heart disease
- Enhances digestive power
- Reduces respiratory problems including asthma
- Enhances lactation
- Functions as blood purifier
- Helps in weight management
- Has anticancer effect (Kritika Pandit et al, Nutr Cancer., 2020; Eun Jeong Choo et al, Biol Pharm Bull., 2011)
Overuse of fennel can result in rashes, nausea and vomiting.
Fennel supplements contain many active ingredients including Anethole, Folic acid, Quercetin and Caffeic Acid at different concentration levels. The molecular pathways which are regulated by Fennel include MAPK Signaling, MYC Signaling, Stem Cell Signaling, Nucleotide metabolism and PI3K-AKT-MTOR 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 Fennel individually or in combination is an important decision to be made. When making decisions on the use of supplement Fennel for cancer – do consider all these factors and explanations. Because just as true for cancer treatments – Fennel use cannot be a one-size-fits-all decision for all types of cancers.
Choosing Fennel Supplements for Your Cancer
The reason there is no easy way to answer the question “When should I avoid Fennel for Cancer” is because “It Depends!”. Just like the same treatment does not work for every cancer patient, based on your individual context the Fennel 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 Fennel should be avoided or not and why.
1. Will Fennel Supplements benefit Cancer Patients with Pilocytic astrocytoma undergoing Temozolomide treatment?
Pilocytic astrocytoma is characterized and driven by specific genetic mutations like KIAA1549-BRAF and BRAF leading to biochemical pathway changes in MAPK Signaling, MYC Signaling and RAS-RAF Signaling. A cancer treatment like Temozolomide 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, Fennel supplement should be avoided for Pilocytic astrocytoma along with treatment Temozolomide. Fennel supplement impacts pathways/processes like MYC Signaling which either promote drivers of the Pilocytic astrocytoma 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 Fennel 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 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, Fennel supplement should be considered for Rosai-Dorfman disease along with Cladribine treatment. Fennel supplement impacts pathways/processes like RAS-RAF Signaling, PI3K-AKT-MTOR Signaling and MAPK 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 Fennel Supplements Safe for Healthy Individuals with MRE11 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. MRE11 is one of the genes generally available in panels for cancer risk testing.
MRE11 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. Fennel should be avoided when the genetic panel identifies a mutation of MRE11 for Breast Cancer. Fennel supplement impacts pathways/processes like Estrogen Signaling and creates adverse effects with MRE11 and related conditions.
4. Are Fennel Supplements Safe for Healthy Individuals with CEBPA Mutation Associated Genetic Risk?
CEBPA is one of the genes available in panels for cancer risk testing. CEBPA mutation causes biochemical pathways Nucleotide metabolism, Stem Cell Signaling, Hypoxia, MAPK Signaling and Cell Cycle to get impacted. These pathways are direct or indirect drivers of cancer molecular endpoints. Consider taking Fennel supplement when the genetic panel identifies mutation in CEBPA for Hematological Cancer. Fennel supplement impacts pathways/processes like Nucleotide metabolism, Hypoxia, MAPK Signaling and Stem Cell Signaling and creates a supportive effect in those with CEBPA mutations 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 Fennel, 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.