Nutritional supplements like Lavender 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 Lavender 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 Lavender supplements can benefit Cancer patients with Rhabdomyosarcoma undergoing Radiation treatment. But avoid Lavender supplements if on Tamoxifen treatment for ER PR Positive HER2 Negative Breast Carcinoma . Similarly, taking nutritional supplement Lavender can benefit healthy individuals who are at genetic risk of cancer due to mutation of gene MAX. But avoid taking nutritional supplement Lavender when at genetic risk of cancer due to mutation of gene TERT.
The takeaway being – your individual context will influence your decision if nutritional supplement Lavender 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 Lavender based on individual context and conditions.
So the question is should you take the supplement Lavender? Should you take it when at genetic risk of cancer for mutation of gene TERT? Should you take it when at genetic risk of cancer for mutation of gene MAX? Should you take it when diagnosed with ER PR Positive HER2 Negative Breast Carcinoma ? Should you take Lavender supplement when diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma? Should you take it when on Tamoxifen treatment? Should you continue taking it if you change your treatment from Tamoxifen to Radiation? So a general explanation like – it is natural or it increases immunity may not be acceptable and sufficient for choosing Lavender.
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 ER PR Positive HER2 Negative Breast Carcinoma or Rhabdomyosarcoma, 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 Lavender.
So the question is that are all genetic mutation risks and types of cancers to be considered as one when deciding the use of Lavender? Are the biochemical pathway implications of genetic risk for cancer due to mutation of gene TERT the same as due to mutation of gene MAX? Are the implications of taking Lavender supplements for ER PR Positive HER2 Negative Breast Carcinoma the same as Rhabdomyosarcoma? Is it one and the same if you are on treatment Tamoxifen or on Radiation?
Lavender – A Nutritional Supplement
Lavender is a plant with purple flowers and great floral scent, native to the Mediterranean regions, the Middle East, and India. It is widely used for aromatherapy and in a variety of beauty products, as well as in foods and beverages as a flavoring agent. The purple buds of the lavender plant is brewed in hot water to make Lavender tea. Lavender extracts and tea may have the potential to boost mood, and reduce fatigue, anxiety and depression especially in new mothers. (Shu-Lan Chen et al, Worldviews Evid Based Nurs., 2015) Intake of Lavender supplement/capsules are also shown to have anti-anxiety effects. (Wuan Shuen Yap et al, Sci Rep., 2019)
Lavender supplements contain many active ingredients including Linalool at different concentration levels. The molecular pathways which are regulated by Lavender include Estrogen Signaling, Oxidative Stress, MYC Signaling, Cell Cycle 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 Lavender individually or in combination is an important decision to be made. When making decisions on the use of supplement Lavender for cancer – do consider all these factors and explanations. Because just as true for cancer treatments – Lavender use cannot be a one-size-fits-all decision for all types of cancers.
Choosing Lavender Supplements for Your Cancer
The reason there is no easy way to answer the question “When should I avoid Lavender for Cancer” is because “It Depends!”. Just like the same treatment does not work for every cancer patient, based on your individual context the Lavender 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 Lavender should be avoided or not and why.
1. Will Lavender Supplements benefit ER PR Positive HER2 Negative Breast Carcinoma Patients undergoing Tamoxifen Cancer treatment?
ER PR Positive HER2 Negative Breast Carcinoma is characterized and driven by specific genetic mutations like ESR1 and NR3C3 leading to biochemical pathway changes in Estrogen Signaling, PI3K-AKT-MTOR Signaling and Inositol Phosphate Signaling. A cancer treatment like Tamoxifen 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, Lavender should be avoided for ER PR Positive HER2 Negative Breast Carcinoma along with treatment Tamoxifen. Lavender impacts pathways/processes like Estrogen Signaling which either promote drivers of the disease and/or nullify the treatment effect. Additionally, Lavender Supplements contain active ingredients like Linalool which has CYP2B6 (drug metabolizing enzyme) interactions with Tamoxifen treatment and hence should be avoided by patients undergoing this treatment. (Yejin Lee et al, Chem Biol Interact., 2018; Madhu S Singh et al, Breast., 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 Lavender Supplements benefit Cancer Patients with Rhabdomyosarcoma undergoing Radiation Treatment?
Rhabdomyosarcoma is characterized and driven by specific genetic mutations like NRAS and FGFR4 leading to biochemical pathway changes in Oxidative Stress, RAS-RAF Signaling, MAPK Signaling and PI3K-AKT-MTOR Signaling. A cancer treatment like Radiation 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, Lavender supplements should be considered for Rhabdomyosarcoma along with treatment Radiation. Lavender supplement impacts pathways/processes like Oxidative Stress and RAS-RAF Signaling which either obstruct drivers of Rhabdomyosarcoma 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 Lavender Supplements Safe for Healthy Individuals with TERT 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.
TERT is one of the genes generally available in panels for cancer risk testing. TERT mutation causes biochemical pathways/processes like MYC Signaling, MAPK Signaling, Nucleotide metabolism, Stem Cell Signaling and Hypoxia to get impacted. These pathways are direct or indirect drivers of cancer molecular endpoints. Lavender should be avoided when the genetic panel identifies mutation of TERT for Hematological Cancer. Lavender impacts pathways/processes like MYC Signaling and MAPK Signaling and creates adverse effects with TERT and related conditions.
4. Are Lavender 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 Cell Cycle, Angiogenesis, Stem Cell Signaling, MAPK Signaling and MYC Signaling to get impacted. These pathways are direct or indirect drivers of cancer molecular endpoints. Consider taking Lavender supplements when the genetic panel identifies mutation in MAX for Neuroendocrine Cancer. Lavender impacts pathways/processes like Cell Cycle and Angiogenesis and creates a supportive effect in those with MAX mutation and related conditions.
* Other Factors are also included like BMI, Treatments, Lifestyle Habits
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 Lavender, 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.