No two cancers are the same and neither should your nutrition be. The most commonly asked question to dieticians and oncologists globally is “What Should I Eat?”. The answer is “It Depends”. It depends on the type of cancer, current treatment and supplements being taken, age, gender, BMI, lifestyle and any genetic information available. In short – the answer to “What Should I Eat” for Multiple Myeloma needs to be personalized to minimize adverse interactions between nutrition (from foods/diet) and treatment, and to improve symptoms.
Foods like Cucumber and Tomato should be eaten when undergoing Lenalidomide treatment for Multiple Myeloma. On the other hand, for Multiple Myeloma, Asafoetida and Asparagus should be eaten with treatment of Dexamethasone. On the same lines, avoid foods like Yardlong Bean and Parsnip with treatment of Lenalidomide for Multiple Myeloma. If the treatment is Dexamethasone, then avoid Acorn and Buttermilk.
Similarly, Black Seed contains an active ingredient called Thymoquinone. Thymoquinone has CYP (drug metabolizing enzyme) interactions with Dexamethasone treatment and hence should be avoided.
You get the point – your nutrition needs to be personalized and it needs to be re-evaluated as soon as any of the conditions change. Create and follow a nutrition plan personalized to you to minimize adverse interactions of nutrition for cancers like Multiple Myeloma.
What is Multiple Myeloma?
Multiple Myeloma is a cancer that develops from a type of white blood cell called a plasma cell. The incidence rate of this cancer is only 2.1 per 1 lakh people per year. This cancer is commonly diagnosed in people who are about 66–70 years of age, however, it can occur in people of any age. It is more commonly found in Black population as compared to White and Asian population.
Multiple Myeloma has prevalence of certain genetic changes. Some of the genes such as KRAS, NRAS, MYC, and CCND1 are known to have genetic abnormalities in this cancer resulting in a change of function.
The genetic abnormalities found in Multiple Myeloma can influence specific biochemical pathways to drive these cancer cells to aggressive growth and survive the ongoing treatment. In addition, lifestyle conditions or habits like smoking, alcohol consumption and BMI (Body Mass Index) can have a big influence on the response to your physician prescribed treatments for Multiple Myeloma. Numerous studies have consistently shown that your nutrition/diet – both food and nutritional supplements can adversely affect the treatment or be supportive or play no role. Hence, the triangulation of Multiple Myeloma genomics, planned or ongoing therapies and lifestyle need to be thoroughly considered to make decisions on what foods and supplements to consider and avoid while designing diet/nutrition plan. Also, it is important to note that when any of these conditions change, like treatment or lifestyle or cancer diagnosis – it may impact the nutrition and the nutrition/diet plan for Multiple Myeloma nutrition may have to be redesigned.
Why Eating Right Matters for Multiple Myeloma?
In Multiple Myeloma, activation or inhibition of some of the biochemical pathways including MAPK Signaling, MYC Signaling, Epithelial To Mesenchymal Transition, DNA Repair, NFKB Signaling, Cell Cycle, Apoptosis and PI3K-AKT-MTOR Signaling plays an important role in driving the disease. All foods and nutritional supplements contain active ingredients which have a specific molecular action on different biochemical pathways. Hence, while the intake of certain foods and nutritional supplements as part of the diet may support a specific treatment of Multiple Myeloma, eating few other foods and supplements may lead to adverse interactions with the treatment or may increase the cancer progression.
Example Foods to “Not Eat” and Eat with Lenalidomide treatment for Multiple Myeloma
The nutrition for cancer always depends on the type of cancer, treatments and supplements being taken (if any), age, gender, BMI, lifestyle and any genetic information available. Here we show changes in nutrition/diet for Multiple Myeloma considering only the treatment changes.
Foods to Avoid with Lenalidomide treatment
Yardlong Bean : Yardlong Bean contains active ingredients such as Folic Acid, Linolenic Acid, Retinol and others. Folic Acid interferes with the impact of Lenalidomide in Multiple Myeloma by activating a specific biochemical pathway called PI3K-AKT-MTOR Signaling. Hence, avoid foods likeYardlong Bean with Lenalidomide treatment for Multiple Myeloma.
Parsnip : Parsnip contains active ingredients such as Myristicin, Psoralen, Linolenic Acid and others. Myristicin interferes with the impact of Lenalidomide in Multiple Myeloma by blocking a specific biological process called DNA Repair. Hence, avoid foods like Parsnip with Lenalidomide treatment for Multiple Myeloma.
Foods to Eat with Lenalidomide treatment
Cucumber : Cucumber contains active ingredients like Beta-sitosterol, Fisetin and Linolenic Acid. Intake of Beta-sitosterol along with Lenalidomide treatment for Multiple Myeloma causes a decrease in a specific biochemical pathway which is called PI3K-AKT-MTOR Signaling, and this is a very positive effect. Cucumber, hence should be eaten with Lenalidomide treatment for Multiple Myeloma. (Heshan Xu et al, J Agric Food Chem., 2018; Vijay Ramakrishnan and Shaji Kumar, Leuk Lymphoma., 2018)
Tomato : Tomato contains active ingredients like Glucaric Acid, Rutin and Quercitrin. Intake of Glucaric Acid along with Lenalidomide treatment for Multiple Myeloma causes a decrease in a specific biochemical pathway which is called PI3K-AKT-MTOR Signaling, and this is a very positive effect. Tomato, hence should be eaten with Lenalidomide treatment for Multiple Myeloma. (Prakash Tiwari et al, Biochimie., 2016; Vijay Ramakrishnan and Shaji Kumar, Leuk Lymphoma., 2018)
Should I take this Nutritional Supplement with Lenalidomide treatment?
Black Seed : Black Seed has no known reported CYP (drug metabolizing enzyme) interactions with Lenalidomide treatment. Black Seed supports the Lenalidomide treatment for Multiple Myeloma by decreasing the biochemical pathways/processes called Angiogenesis, JAK-STAT Signaling, Cell Cycle, MYC Signaling, NFKB Signaling, Notch Signaling, PI3K-AKT-MTOR Signaling, WNT Beta Catenin Signaling, RAS-RAF Signaling and increasing pathways like Oxidative Stress.
Example Foods to “Not Eat” and Eat with Dexamethasone treatment for Multiple Myeloma
Foods to Avoid with Dexamethasone treatment
Acorn : Acorn contains active ingredients such as Folic Acid, Retinol and others. Folic Acid interferes with the impact of Dexamethasone in Multiple Myeloma by activating a specific biochemical pathway called MYC Signaling. Hence, avoid foods like Acorn with Dexamethasone treatment for Multiple Myeloma.
Buttermilk : Buttermilk contains active ingredients such as Myristic Acid, Vitamin D3, Lauric Acid and others. Myristic Acid interferes with the impact of Dexamethasone in Multiple Myeloma by activating a specific biochemical pathway called MYC Signaling. Hence, avoid foods like Buttermilk with Dexamethasone treatment for Multiple Myeloma.
Foods to Eat with Dexamethasone treatment
Asafoetida : Asafoetida contains active ingredients like Alpha Pinene, Cynaroside and Luteolin. Intake of Alpha Pinene along with Dexamethasone treatment for Multiple Myeloma causes a decrease in a specific biochemical pathway which is called MYC Signaling, and this is a very positive effect. Asafoetida hence should be eaten with Dexamethasone treatment for Multiple Myeloma. (Lianbao Ye et al, Cancer Chemother Pharmacol., 2020; K K Jovanović et al, Leukemia., 2018)
Asparagus : Asparagus contains active ingredients like Isorhamnetin, Rutin and Linolenic Acid. Intake of Isorhamnetin along with Dexamethasone treatment for Multiple Myeloma causes a decrease in a specific biochemical pathway which is called MYC Signaling, and this is a very positive effect. Asparagus hence should be eaten with Dexamethasone treatment for Multiple Myeloma. (Gang Ma et al, Chem Biol Interact., 2007; K K Jovanović et al, Leukemia., 2018)
Should I take this Nutritional Supplement with Dexamethasone treatment?
Black Seed : Black Seed nutritional supplements contain active ingredients such as Thymoquinone which have CYP3A4 interactions with Dexamethasone treatment, and hence should not be used. Also, Black Seed supplement interferes with the impact of Dexamethasone in Multiple Myeloma by decreasing the biochemical pathways such as NFKB Signaling. (Ahmed A Albassam et al, Saudi Pharm J., 2018)
What are the Symptoms of Multiple Myeloma?
In the initial stages, most cancers including Multiple Myeloma may not cause any signs or symptoms. However, as the disease progresses, Multiple Myeloma may start showing symptoms.
Following are some of the signs and symptoms that may be caused by Multiple Myeloma.
- Loss of appetite
- Frequent infections
- Extreme thirst
- Persistent Bone pain, especially in the spine, ribs or hips
- Weakness in the legs
- Tiredness and Fatigue
- Weight loss
Though many of these symptoms may also be caused by various other health conditions, consult your doctor if you experience these symptoms to rule out the possible chances of Multiple Myeloma.
What are the Treatment Options for Multiple Myeloma?
The treatment for Multiple Myeloma may be decided based on different factors including the stage and extent of spread of the cancer, cancer characteristics, symptoms, patient’s general health and medical history, and whether the cancer was just diagnosed or had come back. The treatment options for Multiple Myeloma include:
- Bone marrow transplant
- Targeted therapy
- Radiation therapy
As part of the diet, avoid including those foods and supplements that may adversely interact with the treatments for Multiple Myeloma.
The two most important things to remember are that cancer treatments and nutrition are never the same for everyone. Nutrition/diet which includes food and nutritional supplements is an effective tool which is controlled by you, while facing cancer such as Multiple Myeloma.
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.