Nutritional supplements like Honeysuckle 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 Honeysuckle 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 Honeysuckle supplements can benefit cancer patients with Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS) on Lenalidomide treatment. But avoid Honeysuckle supplements if on Radiation treatment for Pilocytic Astrocytoma. Similarly, taking nutritional supplement Honeysuckle can benefit healthy individuals who are at genetic risk of cancer due to mutation of gene CEBPA. But avoid taking nutritional supplement Honeysuckle 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 Honeysuckle 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 Honeysuckle based on individual context and conditions.
So the question is should you take supplement Honeysuckle? 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 CEBPA? Should you take it when diagnosed with Pilocytic Astrocytoma? Should you take Honeysuckle supplement when diagnosed with Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS)? Should you take it when on Radiation treatment? Should you continue taking Honeysuckle supplement if you change your treatment from Radiation to Lenalidomide? So a general explanation like – it is natural or it increases immunity may not be acceptable and sufficient for choosing Honeysuckle.
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 Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS), 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 Honeysuckle.
So the question is that are all genetic mutation risks and types of cancers to be considered as one when deciding the use of Honeysuckle? Are the biochemical pathway implications of genetic risk for cancer due to mutation of gene TERT the same as due to mutation of gene CEBPA? Are the implications of taking Honeysuckle supplement in Pilocytic Astrocytoma the same as Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS)? Is it one and the same if you are on treatment Radiation or on Lenalidomide?
Honeysuckle – A Nutritional Supplement
Honeysuckle (Lonicera caerulea) is a climbing plant and shrub with fragrant flowers, usually found in Europe, North America and Asia. The fruits of the plant are commonly known as haskap berry or honeyberry. It has strong antioxidant and anti-cancer properties. Following are some of the potential health benefits of honeysuckle:
- May have antimicrobial properties (Irena Palíková et al, J Agric Food Chem., 2008)
- May help lower blood sugar (Anshul Sharma et al, Nutr Res Pract., 2019)
- May have anti-inflammatory properties (H P Vasantha Rupasinghe et al, Biomolecules., 2015)
- May help reduce blood pressure (Lynne Bell and Claire M Williams, Eur J Nutr., 2019)
- May help reduce arthritis (Shusong Wu et al, Journal of Functional Foods, Volume 17, August 2015, Pages 514-523)
Honeysuckle supplements contain many active ingredients including Geraniol, Carvacrol and Chlorogenic Acid at different concentration levels. The molecular pathways which are regulated by Honeysuckle include RAS-RAF Signaling, PI3K-AKT-MTOR Signaling, Stem Cell Signaling, Cell Cycle Checkpoints and JAK-STAT 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 Honeysuckle individually or in combination is an important decision to be made. When making decisions on the use of supplement Honeysuckle for cancer – do consider all these factors and explanations. Because just as true for cancer treatments – Honeysuckle use cannot be a one-size-fits-all decision for all types of cancers.
Choosing Honeysuckle Supplements for Your Cancer
The reason there is no easy way to answer the question “When should I avoid Honeysuckle for Cancer” is because “It Depends!”. Just like the same treatment does not work for every cancer patient, based on your individual context the Honeysuckle 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 Honeysuckle should be avoided or not and why.
1. Will Honeysuckle Supplements benefit Cancer Patients with Pilocytic Astrocytoma undergoing Radiation treatment?
Pilocytic Astrocytoma is characterized and driven by specific genetic mutations like KIAA1549-BRAF and BRAF leading to biochemical pathway changes in RAS-RAF Signaling, PI3K-AKT-MTOR Signaling, MYC Signaling and MAPK Signaling. A cancer treatment like Radiation 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, Honeysuckle should be avoided for Pilocytic Astrocytoma along with treatment Radiation. Honeysuckle impacts pathways/processes like RAS-RAF Signaling and PI3K-AKT-MTOR Signaling which either promote drivers of the disease 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 Honeysuckle Supplements benefit Cancer Patients with Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS) undergoing Lenalidomide Treatment?
Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS) is characterized and driven by specific genetic mutations like ASXL1 and TET2 leading to biochemical pathway changes in PI3K-AKT-MTOR Signaling, RAS-RAF Signaling, JAK-STAT Signaling, Cancer Epigenetics and mRNA Splicing. A cancer treatment like Lenalidomide 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, Honeysuckle supplements should be considered for Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS) along with treatment Lenalidomide. Honeysuckle supplement impacts pathways/processes like PI3K-AKT-MTOR Signaling and RAS-RAF Signaling which either obstruct drivers of Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS) and/or improve Lenalidomide 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 Honeysuckle 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 Stem Cell Signaling, Cell Cycle Checkpoints, RUNX Signaling, JAK-STAT Signaling and Hypoxia to get impacted. These pathways are direct or indirect drivers of cancer molecular endpoints. Honeysuckle should be avoided when the genetic panel identifies mutation of TERT for Hematological Cancer. Honeysuckle impacts pathways/processes like Stem Cell Signaling and Cell Cycle Checkpoints and creates adverse effects with TERT and related conditions.
4. Are Honeysuckle 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/processes like Stem Cell Signaling, JAK-STAT Signaling, RUNX Signaling, Hypoxia and Nucleotide metabolism to get impacted. These pathways are direct or indirect drivers of cancer molecular endpoints. Consider taking Honeysuckle supplements when the genetic panel identifies mutation in CEBPA for Hematological Cancer. Honeysuckle impacts pathways/processes like Stem Cell Signaling and JAK-STAT Signaling and creates a supportive effect in those with CEBPA 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 Honeysuckle, 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.