Nutritional supplements like Han Fang Ji 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 Han Fang Ji 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 Han Fang Ji supplements can benefit cancer patients with Stomach Adenocarcinoma on Fluorouracil treatment. But avoid Han Fang Ji supplements if on Imatinib treatment for Chronic Myeloid Leukemia. Similarly, taking nutritional supplement Han Fang Ji can benefit healthy individuals who are at genetic risk of cancer due to mutation of gene TP53. But avoid taking nutritional supplement Han Fang Ji 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 Han Fang Ji 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 Han Fang Ji based on individual context and conditions.
So the question is should you take the supplement Han Fang Ji? 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 TP53? Should you take it when diagnosed with Chronic Myeloid Leukemia? Should you take Han Fang Ji supplement when diagnosed with Stomach Adenocarcinoma? Should you take it when on Imatinib treatment? Should you continue taking Han Fang Ji supplement if you change your treatment from Imatinib to Fluorouracil? So a general explanation like – it is natural or it increases immunity may not be acceptable and sufficient for choosing Han Fang Ji.
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 Chronic Myeloid Leukemia or Stomach Adenocarcinoma, 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 Han Fang Ji.
So the question is that are all genetic mutation risks and types of cancers to be considered as one when deciding the use of Han Fang Ji? Are the biochemical pathway implications of genetic risk for cancer due to mutation of gene RAD50 the same as due to mutation of gene TP53? Are the implications of Chronic Myeloid Leukemia same as Stomach Adenocarcinoma? Is it one and the same if you are on treatment Imatinib or on Fluorouracil?
Han Fang Ji – A Nutritional Supplement
Han Fang Ji or Stephania tetrandra is a herb commonly found in tropical and subtropical regions of Asia and Africa, and used in the Chinese Traditional Medicine. It is known to have antiinflammatory properties. Following are some of the purported uses/potential health benefits of Han Fang Ji: (Yueping Jiang et al, Phytochem Rev., 2020)
- May act as a diuretic (promote the production of urine)
- May help reduce arthralgia caused by rheumatism
- May be beneficial for wet beriberi
- May help reduce eczema
- May help treat inflamed sores
Han Fang Ji supplements contain many active ingredients including Tetrandrine, Beta-sitosterol and Stigmasterol at different concentration levels. The molecular pathways which are regulated by Han Fang Ji include Oxidative Stress, Adherens junction, DNA Repair, P53 Signaling and Angiogenesis. 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 Han Fang Ji individually or in combination is an important decision to be made. When making decisions on the use of supplement Han Fang Ji for cancer – do consider all these factors and explanations. Because just as true for cancer treatments – Han Fang Ji use cannot be a one-size-fits-all decision for all types of cancers.
Choosing Han Fang Ji Supplements for Your Cancer
The reason there is no easy way to answer the question “When should I avoid Han Fang Ji for Cancer” is because “It Depends!”. Just like the same treatment does not work for every cancer patient, based on your individual context the Han Fang Ji may be harmful or safe. Along with cancer and associated genetics – the ongoing treatments, supplements, lifestyle habits, BMI and allergies are all factors deciding if Han Fang Ji should be avoided or not and why.
1. Will Han Fang Ji Supplements benefit Cancer Patients with Chronic Myeloid Leukemia undergoing Imatinib treatment?
Chronic Myeloid Leukemia is characterized and driven by specific genetic mutations like BCR-ABL1 and RUNX1 leading to biochemical pathway changes in Oxidative Stress, Growth Factor Signaling, Cancer Epigenetics and RUNX Signaling. A cancer treatment like Imatinib 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, Han Fang Ji should be avoided for Chronic Myeloid Leukemia along with treatment Imatinib. Han Fang Ji impacts pathways/processes like Oxidative Stress which either promote drivers of the disease and/or nullify the treatment effect. Additionally, Han Fang Ji supplements contain active ingredients like Stigmasterol which has CYP3A4 and CYP2D6 interactions with Imatinib treatment, and hence should be avoided by patients undergoing this treatment. (Thangavel Mahalingam Vijayakumar et al, J Food Sci Technol., 2015; A M Filppula et al, Br J Pharmacol., 2012; Nielka P van Erp et al, Clin Cancer Res., 2007) 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 Han Fang Ji Supplements benefit Cancer Patients with Stomach Adenocarcinoma undergoing Fluorouracil Treatment?
Stomach Adenocarcinoma is characterized and driven by specific genetic mutations like TP53 and MUC16 leading to biochemical pathway changes in Adherens junction, Oxidative Stress, Hypoxia, Small Molecule Transport and PI3K-AKT-MTOR Signaling. A cancer treatment like Fluorouracil 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, Han Fang Ji supplements should be considered for Stomach Adenocarcinoma along with treatment Fluorouracil. Han Fang Ji supplement impacts pathways/processes like Adherens junction and Oxidative Stress which either obstruct drivers of Stomach Adenocarcinoma and/or improve Fluorouracil 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 Han Fang Ji 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/processes like DNA Repair, Stem Cell Signaling, Estrogen Signaling, Angiogenesis and Growth Factor Signaling to get impacted. These pathways are direct or indirect drivers of cancer molecular endpoints. Han Fang Ji should be avoided when the genetic panel identifies mutation of RAD50 for Breast Cancer. Han Fang Ji impacts pathways/processes like DNA Repair and Stem Cell Signaling and creates adverse effects with RAD50 and related conditions.
4. Are Han Fang Ji Supplements Safe for Healthy Individuals with TP53 Mutation Associated Genetic Risk?
TP53 is one of the genes available in panels for cancer risk testing. TP53 mutation causes biochemical pathways/processes like P53 Signaling, Estrogen Signaling, Stem Cell Signaling, Autophagy and MAPK Signaling to get impacted. These pathways are direct or indirect drivers of cancer molecular endpoints. Consider taking Han Fang Ji supplements when the genetic panel identifies mutation in TP53 for Breast Cancer and Lung Cancer. Han Fang Ji impacts pathways/processes like P53 Signaling and Estrogen Signaling and creates a supportive effect in those with TP53 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 Han Fang Ji, 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.