Nutritional supplements like Larch 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 Larch 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 Larch supplements can benefit Rosai-Dorfman disease patients on Cladribine cancer treatment. But avoid Larch supplements if on Ifosfamide treatment for Testicular Germ Cell Tumors. Similarly, taking nutritional supplement Larch can benefit healthy individuals who are at genetic risk of cancer due to mutation of gene KIT. But avoid taking nutritional supplement Larch when at genetic risk of cancer due to mutation of gene MRE11.
The takeaway being – your individual context will influence your decision if nutritional supplement Larch 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 Larch based on individual context and conditions.
So the question is should you take supplement Larch? Should you take it when at genetic risk of cancer for mutation of gene MRE11? Should you take it when at genetic risk of cancer for mutation of gene KIT? Should you take it when diagnosed with Testicular Germ Cell Tumors? Should you take Larch supplement when diagnosed with Rosai-Dorfman disease? Should you take it when on Ifosfamide treatment? Should you continue taking Larch supplement if you change your treatment from Ifosfamide to Cladribine? So a general explanation like – it is natural or it increases immunity may not be acceptable and sufficient for choosing Larch.
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 Testicular Germ Cell Tumors 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 Larch.
So the question is that are all genetic mutation risks and types of cancers to be considered as one when deciding the use of Larch? Are the biochemical pathway implications of genetic risk for cancer due to mutation of gene MRE11 the same as due to mutation of gene KIT? Are the implications of taking Larch supplement in Testicular Germ Cell Tumors the same as Rosai-Dorfman disease? Is it one and the same if you are on treatment with Ifosfamide or on Cladribine?
Larch – A Nutritional Supplement
Larch is a deciduous tree which usually grows in cold climates and native to Northern Europe, Asia and North America. Arabinogalactan, a natural compound found abundantly in Larch trees is highly rich in dietary fiber and is also considered as a potential immune stimulating agent. (Altern Med Rev., 2000) It may also act as a prebiotic for gut bacteria and may improve digestive tract health. Larch tree extract may also help reduce cold. (Carine Dion et al, Nutr Metab (Lond)., 2016)
Larch supplements also contain many other active ingredients including Ferulic Acid, Apigenin, Caffeic Acid, Gallic Acid, Kaempferol, Naringenin and Cinnamic Acid at different concentration levels. The molecular pathways which are regulated by Larch include Oxidative Stress, RAS-RAF Signaling, Estrogen Signaling, RUNX Signaling and DNA Repair. 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 Larch individually or in combination is an important decision to be made. When making decisions on the use of supplement Larch for cancer – do consider all these factors and explanations. Because just as true for cancer treatments – Larch use cannot be a one-size-fits-all decision for all types of cancers.
Choosing Larch Supplements for Your Cancer
The reason there is no easy way to answer the question “When should I avoid Larch for Cancer” is because “It Depends!”. Just like the same treatment does not work for every cancer patient, based on your individual context the Larch 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 Larch should be avoided or not and why.
1. Will Larch Supplements benefit Cancer Patients with Testicular Germ Cell Tumors undergoing Ifosfamide treatment?
Testicular Germ Cell Tumors is characterized and driven by specific genetic mutations like KIT and KRAS leading to biochemical pathway changes in Oxidative Stress, DNA Repair, PI3K-AKT-MTOR Signaling, RAS-RAF 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, Larch should be avoided for Testicular Germ Cell Tumors along with treatment of Ifosfamide. Larch impacts pathways/processes like Oxidative Stress and DNA Repair which either promote drivers of the disease and/or nullify the treatment effect. Additionally, Larch contains many active ingredients like Apigenin, Caffeic Acid, Gallic Acid, Kaempferol and Naringenin which have one or more type of drug metabolizing enzyme- CYP (CYP2C9, CYP2C19, CYP2A6, CYP3A4, CYP3A5) interactions with Ifosfamide treatment and hence should be avoided by patients undergoing this treatment. (P C Ho et al, J Pharm Pharm Sci., Sep-Dec 2001; Zhe Wang et al, Pharmacology., 2016; Mirza Bojić et al, Molecules., 2019; Churdsak Jaikang et al, J. Med. Plants Res., 2011; Himanshu Rastogi et al, Phytother Res., 2014; Qiang-Hong Pu et al, Xenobiotica., 2015; Fang-fang Zhang et al, Zhejiang Da Xue Xue Bao Yi Xue Ban., 2006; Dayong Si et al, Drug Metab Dispos., 2009; K Fukuda et al, Biol Pharm Bull., 1997; Wenjie Jessie Lu et al, Chirality., 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 Larch Supplements benefit Rosai-Dorfman disease Patients undergoing Cladribine 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 Cladribine 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, Larch supplements should be considered for Rosai-Dorfman disease along with treatment Cladribine. Larch supplement impacts pathways/processes like RAS-RAF Signaling and PI3K-AKT-MTOR Signaling which either obstruct drivers of Rosai-Dorfman disease and/or improve Cladribine 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 Larch Supplements Safe for Healthy Individuals with MRE11 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. MRE11 is one of the genes generally available in panels for cancer risk testing.
MRE11 mutation causes biochemical pathways/processes like Estrogen Signaling, Growth Factor Signaling, Stem Cell Signaling, Interferon Signaling and Angiogenesis to get impacted. These pathways are direct or indirect drivers of cancer molecular endpoints. Larch should be avoided when the genetic panel identifies mutation of MRE11 for Breast Cancer. Larch impacts pathways/processes like Estrogen Signaling and Growth Factor Signaling and creates adverse effects with MRE11 and related conditions.
4. Are Larch Supplements Safe for Healthy Individuals with KIT Mutation Associated Genetic Risk?
KIT is one of the genes available in panels for cancer risk testing. KIT mutation causes biochemical pathways/processes like RUNX Signaling, Stem Cell Signaling, JAK-STAT Signaling, RAS-RAF Signaling and PI3K-AKT-MTOR Signaling to get impacted. These pathways are direct or indirect drivers of cancer molecular endpoints. Consider taking Larch supplements when the genetic panel identifies mutation in KIT for Gastric Cancer and Hematological Cancer. Larch impacts pathways/processes like RUNX Signaling and Stem Cell Signaling and creates a supportive effect in those with KIT 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 Larch, 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.