Nutritional supplements like Clove 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 Clove 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 Clove supplements can benefit Rosai-Dorfman disease patients on Methotrexate cancer treatment. But avoid Clove supplements if on Dexamethasone treatment for Multiple Myeloma (Relapsed Refractory). Similarly, taking nutritional supplement Clove can benefit healthy individuals who are at genetic risk of cancer due to mutation of gene CDKN1B. But avoid taking nutritional supplement Clove when at genetic risk of cancer due to mutation of gene ERCC2.
The takeaway being – your individual context will influence your decision if nutritional supplement Clove 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 Clove based on individual context and conditions.
So the question is should you take the supplement Clove? Should you take it when at genetic risk of cancer for mutation of gene ERCC2? Should you take it when at genetic risk of cancer for mutation of gene CDKN1B? Should you take it when diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma (Relapsed Refractory)? Should you take Clove supplements when diagnosed with Rosai-Dorfman disease? Should you take it when on Dexamethasone treatment? Should you continue taking Clove supplements if you change your treatment from Dexamethasone to Methotrexate? So a general explanation like – it is natural or it increases immunity may not be acceptable and sufficient for choosing Clove.
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 Multiple Myeloma (Relapsed Refractory) 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 Clove.
So the question is that are all genetic mutation risks and types of cancers to be considered as one when deciding the use of Clove? Are the biochemical pathway implications of genetic risk for cancer due to mutation of gene ERCC2 the same as due to mutation of gene CDKN1B? Are the implications of taking Clove supplements in Multiple Myeloma (Relapsed Refractory) the same as Rosai-Dorfman disease? Is it one and the same if you are on treatment with Dexamethasone or on Methotrexate?
Clove – A Nutritional Supplement
Cloves are the aromatic flower buds of an evergreen tree known as Syzygium aromaticum or clove tree, native to the Maluku Islands in Indonesia and also commonly found in Asia and South America. It is commonly used as a spice and flavoring agent especially in Indian cuisines.It has strong antioxidant properties and has been widely used in traditional medicine. Following are some of the potential health benefits of cloves:
- May help reduce blood sugar (Minpei Kuroda et al, J Nat Med., 2012)
- May have antimicrobial properties (B C Nzeako et al, Sultan Qaboos Univ Med J., 2006)
- May help improve liver health and protect against liver cirrhosis (Shakir Ali et al, J Cancer Prev., 2014)
- May help reduce ulcers (E O Agbaje et al, Nig Q J Hosp Med., Jul-Sep 2008)
- May help preserve bone mass (Subhra Karmakar et al, Nat Prod Res., 2012)
Clove supplements contain many active ingredients including Beta-sitosterol, Gallic Acid, Kaempferol, Linoleic Acid, Linolenic Acid, Maslinic Acid, Methyl Eugenol and Oleic Acid at different concentration levels. The molecular pathways which are regulated by Clove include MYC Signaling, RAS-RAF Signaling, Stem Cell Signaling, NFKB Signaling 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 Clove individually or in combination is an important decision to be made. When making decisions on the use of supplement Clove for cancer – do consider all these factors and explanations. Because just as true for cancer treatments – Clove use cannot be a one-size-fits-all decision for all types of cancers.
Choosing Clove Supplements for Your Cancer
The reason there is no easy way to answer the question “When should I avoid Clove for Cancer” is because “It Depends!”. Just like the same treatment does not work for every cancer patient, based on your individual context the Clove 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 Clove should be avoided or not and why.
1. Will Clove Supplements benefit Cancer Patients with Multiple Myeloma (Relapsed Refractory) undergoing Dexamethasone treatment?
Multiple Myeloma (Relapsed Refractory) is characterized and driven by specific genetic mutations like MCL1 and CCND1 leading to biochemical pathway changes in MYC Signaling, NFKB Signaling, PI3K-AKT-MTOR Signaling and Cell Cycle. A cancer treatment like Dexamethasone 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, Clove should be avoided for Multiple Myeloma (Relapsed Refractory) along with treatment Dexamethasone. Clove impacts pathways/processes like MYC Signaling and NFKB Signaling which either promote drivers of the disease and/or nullify the treatment effect. Additionally, Clove supplements contain may active ingredients like Beta-Carotene, Gallic Acid, Kaempferol, Linoleic Acid, Linolenic Acid and Maslinic Acid which have CYP3A4 (drug metabolizing enzyme) interactions with Dexamethasone treatment, and hence should be avoided by patients undergoing this treatment. (Kun Wang et al, Toxicol Sci., 2006; Qiang-Hong Pu et al, Xenobiotica., 2015; Fang-fang Zhang et al, Zhejiang Da Xue Xue Bao Yi Xue Ban., 2006; Hsien-Tsung Yao et al, Life Sci., 2006; Sweilem B Al Rihani et al, Arch Phar & Pharmacol Res. 2(5), 2020) 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 Clove Supplements benefit Rosai-Dorfman disease Patients undergoing Methotrexate Cancer 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, MYC Signaling and MAPK Signaling. A cancer treatment like Methotrexate 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, Clove supplement should be considered for Rosai-Dorfman disease along with treatment Methotrexate. Clove supplement impacts pathways/processes like RAS-RAF Signaling and PI3K-AKT-MTOR Signaling which either obstruct drivers of Rosai-Dorfman disease and/or improve Methotrexate 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 Clove Supplements Safe for Healthy Individuals with ERCC2 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. ERCC2 is one of the genes generally available in panels for cancer risk testing.
ERCC2 mutation causes biochemical pathways/processes like Stem Cell Signaling, Angiogenesis, DNA Repair, Cancer Epigenetics and MAPK Signaling to get impacted. These pathways are direct or indirect drivers of cancer molecular endpoints. Clove should be avoided when the genetic panel identifies mutation of ERCC2 for Skin Cancer. Clove impacts pathways/processes like Stem Cell Signaling and Angiogenesis and creates adverse effects with ERCC2 and related conditions.
4. Are Clove Supplements Safe for Healthy Individuals with CDKN1B Mutation Associated Genetic Risk?
CDKN1B is one of the genes available in panels for cancer risk testing. CDKN1B mutation causes biochemical pathways/processes like Stem Cell Signaling, FOXO Signaling, Cell Cycle Checkpoints, PI3K-AKT-MTOR Signaling and Angiogenesis to get impacted. These pathways are direct or indirect drivers of cancer molecular endpoints. Consider taking Clove supplements when the genetic panel identifies mutation in CDKN1B for Neuroendocrine Cancer. Clove impacts pathways/processes like Stem Cell Signaling and FOXO Signaling and creates a supportive effect in those with CDKN1B 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 Clove, 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.