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is the most common question asked by cancer patients.
Choose food and nutritional supplements which avoids bad interactions with your cancer treatment and is good for you.

is the most common question asked by cancer patients. Choose food and nutritional supplements which avoids bad interactions with your cancer treatment and is good for you.

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For Which Cancer Types Should I Avoid Resveratrol Supplement?

Jun 25, 2021

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Highlights

Nutritional supplements like Resveratrol 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 Resveratrol 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 Resveratrol supplements can benefit cancer patients with Cervical Squamous Cell Carcinoma on Bevacizumab treatment. But avoid Resveratrol supplements if on Ifosfamide treatment for Aggressive Natural Killer Cell Leukemia. Similarly, taking nutritional supplement Resveratrol can benefit healthy individuals who are at genetic risk of cancer due to mutation of gene STK11. But avoid taking nutritional supplement Resveratrol when at genetic risk of cancer due to mutation of gene CHEK2.

The takeaway being – your individual context will influence your decision if nutritional supplement Resveratrol 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. 



Brief Overview

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 Resveratrol based on individual context and conditions. 

Resveratrol Supplements for Cancer Treatment and Genetic Risk

So the question is should you take the supplement Resveratrol? Should you take it when at genetic risk of cancer for mutation of gene CHEK2? Should you take it when at genetic risk of cancer for mutation of gene STK11? Should you take it when diagnosed with Aggressive Natural Killer Cell Leukemia? Should you take Resveratrol supplement when diagnosed with Cervical Squamous Cell Carcinoma? Should you take it when on Ifosfamide treatment? Should you continue taking Resveratrol supplement if you change your treatment from Ifosfamide to Bevacizumab? So a general explanation like – it is natural or it increases immunity may not be acceptable and sufficient for choosing Resveratrol. 

Cancer

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 Aggressive Natural Killer Cell Leukemia or Cervical Squamous 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 Resveratrol.

So the question is that are all genetic mutation risks and types of cancers to be considered as one when deciding the use of Resveratrol? Are the biochemical pathway implications of genetic risk for cancer due to mutation of gene CHEK2 the same as due to mutation of gene STK11? Are the implications of taking Resveratrol supplement in Aggressive Natural Killer Cell Leukemia the same as Cervical Squamous Cell Carcinoma? Is it one and the same if you are on treatment with Ifosfamide or on Bevacizumab? 

Resveratrol – A Nutritional Supplement

Resveratrol is a polyphenol compound with strong antioxidant properties, naturally found in red wine, grapes and other foods. Resveratrol also has anti-inflammatory, anticancer, antimicrobial, anti-neurodegenerative, and estrogenic properties. Following are some of the potential health benefits of Resveratrol.

As mentioned before, Resveratrol is an active ingredient found in various food items. Foods like Bilberry, Blueberry and Cranberry also contain Resveratrol at different concentration levels along with other active ingredients. The molecular pathways which are regulated by Resveratrol include P53 Signaling, Oxidative Stress, Nucleotide metabolism, DNA Repair and Hypoxia. 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 Resveratrol individually or in combination is an important decision to be made. When making decisions on the use of supplement Resveratrol for cancer – do consider all these factors and explanations. Because just as true for cancer treatments – Resveratrol use cannot be a one-size-fits-all decision for all types of cancers.

Choosing Resveratrol Supplements for Your Cancer

The reason there is no easy way to answer the question “When should I avoid Resveratrol for Cancer” is because “It Depends!”. Just like the same treatment does not work for every cancer patient, based on your individual context the Resveratrol 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 Resveratrol should be avoided or not and why.

1. Will Resveratrol Supplements benefit Cancer Patients with Aggressive Natural Killer Cell Leukemia undergoing Ifosfamide treatment?

Aggressive Natural Killer Cell Leukemia is characterized and driven by specific genetic mutations like DDX3X and STAT3 leading to biochemical pathway changes in P53 Signaling, DNA Repair, Interferon Signaling, JAK-STAT Signaling and MAPK 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, Resveratrol should be avoided for Aggressive Natural Killer Cell Leukemia along with treatment of Ifosfamide. Resveratrol impacts pathways P53 Signaling and DNA Repair which either promote drivers of the disease and/or nullify the treatment effect. Additionally, Resveratrol supplements have CYP2C9, CYP2C19 and CYP3A4 interactions with Ifosfamide treatment and hence should be avoided by cancer patients undergoing this treatment (Chongwoo Yu et al, Rapid Commun., Mass Spectrom., 2003; H-H Sherry Chow et al, Cancer Prev Res (Phila)., 2010; Rongrong Deng et al, J Pharmacol Sci., 2014; Pius S Fasinu et al, Front Oncol., 2019) 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 Resveratrol Supplements benefit Cancer Patients with Cervical Squamous Cell Carcinoma undergoing Bevacizumab Treatment?

Cervical Squamous Cell Carcinoma is characterized and driven by specific genetic mutations like PIK3CA and MUC4 leading to biochemical pathway changes in Oxidative Stress, Hypoxia, Angiogenesis, PI3K-AKT-MTOR Signaling and Small Molecule Transport. A cancer treatment like Bevacizumab 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, Resveratrol supplements should be considered for Cervical Squamous Cell Carcinoma along with treatment Bevacizumab. Resveratrol supplement impacts pathways/processes like Oxidative Stress and Hypoxia which either obstruct drivers of Cervical Squamous Cell Carcinoma and/or improve Bevacizumab treatment effect. 

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Top 10 Foods and Supplements to Avoid for Cancer

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3. Are Resveratrol Supplements Safe for Healthy Individuals with CHEK2 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. 

CHEK2 is one of the genes generally available in panels for cancer risk testing. CHEK2 mutation causes biochemical pathways/processes like P53 Signaling, Estrogen Signaling, Stem Cell Signaling, Cell Cycle and Cell Cycle Checkpoints to get impacted. These pathways are direct or indirect drivers of cancer molecular endpoints. Resveratrol should be avoided when the genetic panel identifies mutation of CHEK2 for Breast Cancer. Resveratrol impacts pathways/processes like P53 Signaling and Estrogen Signaling and creates adverse effects with CHEK2 and related conditions.

4. Are Resveratrol Supplements Safe for Healthy Individuals with STK11 Mutation Associated Genetic Risk?

STK11 is one of the genes available in panels for cancer risk testing. STK11 mutation causes biochemical pathways/processes like Nucleotide metabolism, Insulin Signaling, Oxidative Stress, Autophagy and Estrogen Signaling to get impacted. These pathways are direct or indirect drivers of cancer molecular endpoints. Consider taking Resveratrol supplements when the genetic panel identifies mutation in STK11 for Breast Cancer and Colon Cancer. Resveratrol impacts pathways/processes like Nucleotide metabolism and Insulin Signaling and creates a supportive effect in those with STK11 mutation and related conditions. 

Which Cancer Types to Avoid Resveratrol Supplement

* Other Factors are also included like BMI, Treatments, Lifestyle Habits 

In Conclusion

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 Resveratrol, is an effective tool which can be controlled by you, while facing cancer.

“What should I eat?” is the most frequently asked question to cancer dieticians and physicians. The right answer depends upon cancer type, underlying genomics, current treatments, any allergies, lifestyle information, and factors like BMI.

The addon personalized nutrition plan keeps you safe from adverse nutrition interactions.

Get started NOW with answering questions on type of cancer, current treatments, supplements, allergies, age group, gender, and lifestyle information.

Top 10 Foods and Supplements to Avoid for Cancer

Go beyond same nutrition guidelines for everyone and make personalized decisions with confidence.


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.