Nutritional supplements like Ursolic Acid 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 Ursolic Acid 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 Ursolic Acid supplements can benefit cancer patients with Endometrial Carcinoma on Anastrozole treatment. But avoid Ursolic Acid supplements if on Eribulin treatment for Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML). Similarly, taking nutritional supplement Ursolic Acid can benefit healthy individuals who are at genetic risk of cancer due to mutation of gene TP53. But avoid taking nutritional supplement Ursolic Acid when at genetic risk of cancer due to mutation of gene GATA2.
The takeaway being – your individual context will influence your decision if nutritional supplement Ursolic Acid 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 Ursolic Acid based on individual context and conditions.
So the question is should you take the supplement Ursolic Acid? Should you take it when at genetic risk of cancer for mutation of gene GATA2? Should you take it when at genetic risk of cancer for mutation of gene TP53? Should you take it when diagnosed with Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML)? Should you take Ursolic Acid supplements when diagnosed with Endometrial Carcinoma? Should you take it when on Eribulin treatment? Should you continue taking Ursolic Acid supplements if you change your treatment from Eribulin to Anastrozole? So a general explanation like – it is natural or it increases immunity may not be acceptable and sufficient for choosing Ursolic Acid.
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 Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML) 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 Ursolic Acid.
So the question is that are all genetic mutation risks and types of cancers to be considered as one when deciding the use of Ursolic Acid? Are the biochemical pathway implications of genetic risk for cancer due to mutation of gene GATA2 the same as due to mutation of gene TP53? Are the implications of taking Ursolic Acid supplements in Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML) the same as Endometrial Carcinoma? Is it one and the same if you are on treatment with Eribulin or on Anastrozole?
Ursolic Acid – A Nutritional Supplement
Ursolic acid is a triterpenoid natural compound found in fruit peels and in different herbs and spices. Ursolic acid is widely used in the form of dietary supplements. It may also have cancer-fighting potential. Following are some of the potential health benefits of Ursolic Acid:
- May have antiinflammatory effects (Dharambir Kashyap et al, Recent Pat Inflamm Allergy Drug Discov., 2016)
- May help reduce weight, obesity, glucose intolerance and fatty liver disease (Steven D Kunkel et al, PLoS One., 2012)
- May help improve heart health (Dae Yun Seo et al, Korean J Physiol Pharmacol., 2018)
- May help build muscle
However, excess intake of Ursolic acid supplements may lead to certain side effects in some people like nausea, swelling in the stomach, skin rashes, blood in the urine and high sodium levels.
Ursolic Acid is an active ingredient found in various food items. Bilberry, Pomegranate and Basil contain Ursolic Acid at different concentration levels along with other active ingredients. The molecular pathways which are regulated by Ursolic Acid include RUNX Signaling, Cancer Epigenetics, Cell Cycle Checkpoints, Angiogenesis 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 Ursolic Acid individually or in combination is an important decision to be made. When making decisions on the use of supplement Ursolic Acid for cancer – do consider all these factors and explanations. Because just as true for cancer treatments – Ursolic Acid use cannot be a one-size-fits-all decision for all types of cancers.
Choosing Ursolic Acid Supplements for Your Cancer
The reason there is no easy way to answer the question “When should I avoid Ursolic Acid for Cancer” is because “It Depends!”. Just like the same treatment does not work for every cancer patient, based on your individual context the Ursolic Acid 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 Ursolic Acid should be avoided or not and why.
1. Will Ursolic Acid Supplements benefit Cancer Patients with Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML) undergoing Eribulin treatment?
Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML) is characterized and driven by specific genetic mutations like BCR-ABL1 and RUNX1 leading to specific biochemical pathway changes. A cancer treatment like Eribulin 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, Ursolic Acid should be avoided for Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML) along with treatment Eribulin. Ursolic Acid 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 Ursolic Acid 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 RUNX Signaling, Cell Cycle Checkpoints, Microtubule Dynamics, PI3K-AKT-MTOR Signaling and Small Molecule Transport. 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, Ursolic Acid supplements should be considered for Endometrial Carcinoma along with treatment Anastrozole. Ursolic Acid supplements impact pathways/processes like RUNX 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 Ursolic Acid Supplements Safe for Healthy Individuals with GATA2 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. GATA2 is one of the genes generally available in panels for cancer risk testing.
GATA2 mutation causes biochemical pathways/processes like Cancer Epigenetics, RUNX Signaling, Stem Cell Signaling, JAK-STAT Signaling and Hypoxia to get impacted. These pathways are direct or indirect drivers of cancer molecular endpoints. Ursolic Acid should be avoided when the genetic panel identifies mutation of GATA2 for Hematological Cancer. Ursolic Acid impacts pathways/processes like Cancer Epigenetics and RUNX Signaling and creates adverse effects with GATA2 and related conditions.
4. Are Ursolic Acid Supplements Safe for Healthy Individuals with TP53 Mutation Associated Genetic Risk?
TP53 is one of the genes available in panels for cancer risk testing. TP53 mutation causes biochemical pathways/processes like Cell Cycle Checkpoints, PI3K-AKT-MTOR Signaling, Stem Cell Signaling, TGFB Signaling and Autophagy to get impacted. These pathways are direct or indirect drivers of cancer molecular endpoints. Consider taking Ursolic Acid supplements when the genetic panel identifies mutation in TP53 for Breast Cancer and Lung Cancer. Ursolic Acid impacts pathways/processes like Cell Cycle Checkpoints and PI3K-AKT-MTOR Signaling and creates a supportive effect in those with TP53 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 Ursolic Acid, 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.