Nutritional supplements like Costus 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 Costus 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 Costus supplements can benefit cancer patients with Endometrial Carcinoma on Anastrozole treatment. But avoid Costus supplements if on Decitabine treatment for Myeloproliferative Neoplasms. Similarly, taking nutritional supplement Costus can benefit healthy individuals who are at genetic risk of cancer due to mutation of the gene CDKN1B. But avoid taking nutritional supplement Costus 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 Costus 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 Costus based on individual context and conditions.
So the question is should you take the supplement Costus? 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 CDKN1B? Should you take it when diagnosed with Myeloproliferative Neoplasms? Should you take Costus supplements when diagnosed with Endometrial Carcinoma? Should you take it when on Decitabine treatment? Should you continue taking Costus supplements if you change your treatment from Decitabine to Anastrozole? So a general explanation like – it is natural or it increases immunity may not be acceptable and sufficient for choosing Costus.
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 Myeloproliferative Neoplasms or Endometrial 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 Costus.
So the question is that are all genetic mutation risks and types of cancers to be considered as one when deciding the use of Costus? Are the biochemical pathway implications of genetic risk for cancer due to mutation of gene TERT the same as due to mutation of gene CDKN1B? Are the implications of taking Costus supplement in Myeloproliferative Neoplasms the same as Endometrial Carcinoma? Is it one and the same if you are on treatment Decitabine or on Anastrozole?
Costus – A Nutritional Supplement
Costus, also known as Saussurea costus, Dolomiaea costus, Indian costus, kuth, and putchuk, is a tall perennial plant, native to South Asia and China. It is considered to have anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and analgesic (pain relieving) effects. Following are some of the purported uses/potential health benefits of Costus:
- May help reduce cardiac toxicity (Rehab M Elgharabawy et al, Front Pharmacol., 2021)
- May have liver protective effects (Sheikh Yaeesh et al, Phytother Res., 2010)
- May help treat worm infections (M S Akhtar and S Riffat, J Pak Med Assoc., 1991)
Costus supplements contain many active ingredients including Costunolide and Hispidulin at different concentration levels. The molecular pathways which are regulated by Costus include Vitamin D Signaling, DNA Repair, Cell Cycle Checkpoints, Apoptosis 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 Costus individually or in combination is an important decision to be made. When making decisions on the use of the supplement Costus for cancer – do consider all these factors and explanations. Because just as true for cancer treatments – Costus use cannot be a one-size-fits-all decision for all types of cancers.
Choosing Costus Supplements for Your Cancer
The reason there is no easy way to answer the question “When should I avoid Costus for Cancer” is because “It Depends!”. Just like the same treatment does not work for every cancer patient, based on your individual context the Costus 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 Costus should be avoided or not and why.
1. Will Costus Supplements benefit Cancer Patients with Myeloproliferative Neoplasms undergoing Decitabine treatment?
Myeloproliferative Neoplasms is characterized and driven by specific genetic mutations like JAK2 and CALR. A cancer treatment like Decitabine 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, Costus should be avoided for Myeloproliferative Neoplasms along with treatment Decitabine. Costus impacts specific pathways 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 Costus Supplements benefit Cancer Patients with Endometrial Carcinoma undergoing Anastrozole Treatment?
Endometrial Carcinoma is characterized and driven by specific genetic mutations like PTEN and PIK3CA leading to biochemical pathway changes in Vitamin D Signaling, Cell Cycle Checkpoints, PI3K-AKT-MTOR Signaling, Small Molecule Transport and MAPK Signaling. A cancer treatment like Anastrozole 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, Costus supplements should be considered for Endometrial Carcinoma along with treatment Anastrozole. Costus supplement impacts pathways/processes like Vitamin D Signaling and Cell Cycle Checkpoints which either obstruct drivers of Endometrial Carcinoma and/or improve Anastrozole 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 Costus 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 DNA Repair, Apoptosis, RUNX Signaling, Stem Cell Signaling and Cell Cycle Checkpoints to get impacted. These pathways are direct or indirect drivers of cancer molecular endpoints. Costus should be avoided when the genetic panel identifies mutation of TERT for Hematological Cancer. Costus impacts pathways/processes like DNA Repair and Apoptosis and creates adverse effects with TERT and related conditions.
4. Are Costus 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 Cell Cycle Checkpoints, PI3K-AKT-MTOR Signaling, Stem Cell Signaling, FOXO Signaling and Angiogenesis to get impacted. These pathways are direct or indirect drivers of cancer molecular endpoints. Consider taking Costus supplements when the genetic panel identifies mutation in CDKN1B for Neuroendocrine Cancer. Costus impacts pathways/processes like Cell Cycle Checkpoints and PI3K-AKT-MTOR 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 Costus, 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.