Beetroot like other plant based foods have health benefits and is included in the diet of cancer patients and those with genetic risk of cancer. But, the intake of Beetroot may need to be reduced for some cancers and cancer treatments. A belief but a myth is that everything plant based can only benefit and do no harm. That is true if the food intake is in moderation. For example, grapefruit with certain medications is not recommended. Also spinach with some blood thinning medications can cause adverse interactions and hence intake should be reduced. For cancer, nutrition which includes food and supplements are important decisions which need to be made. Hence the frequently asked question related to cancer is “What Food Should I Eat and What Should I Avoid?”.
Benefits of foods like Beetroot can be scientifically explained for cancer patients with Mouth Cancer taking Cisplatin treatment. But reduce intake of Beetroot for BRAF+ Melanoma and Cobimetinib treatment .
Similarly, the benefits of eating Beetroot can be scientifically explained for healthy individuals who are at genetic risk of cancer due to mutation of the gene BRCA2. But reduce intake of Beetroot when at genetic risk of cancer due to mutation of gene ALK.
The takeaway being – for cancer individual conditions can influence if food like Beetroot is recommended or not. As conditions like ongoing treatments and supplements change the nutrition plan must be personalized again. Which cancer, current treatments and supplements, age, gender, weight, height, lifestyle and genetic conditions are decision factors for your nutrition.
Why is the choice of foods important for cancer?
Foods typically contain more than one active ingredient at varying concentrations. Each of these active ingredients has a unique molecular biological mechanism of action. Cancer like most diseases is driven by specific biochemical pathways and molecular interventions of the pathway can be beneficial or create adverse interactions. Hence for cancer there is a need to personalize which foods and supplements to take and check if foods like Beetroot are recommended.
So some of the example questions you may have related to Beetroot can be: Should you eat it when at genetic cancer risk due to mutation of gene ALK? Should you eat Beetroot when a mutation of a gene BRCA2 is identified? Should you eat Beetroot when diagnosed with BRAF+ Melanoma? Should you eat Beetroot when diagnosed with Mouth Cancer? Should you eat Beetroot when on Cobimetinib treatment? Should you continue eating Beetroot if your treatment changes from Cobimetinib to Cisplatin? Are the implications of taking Beetroot in Mouth Cancer the same as BRAF+ Melanoma? And so on.
Beetroot and cancer
Beetroot (Beta vulgaris), also known as red beet, table beet, garden beet, or beet, is a root vegetable with dark purple skin and purple-coloured flesh. It is packed with many nutrients including different vitamins and minerals. Following are some of the potential health benefits of beetroots:
- May have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and chemo-preventive properties (Tom Clifford et al, Nutrients., 2015)
- May promote brain health and enhance memory function (Tosin A Olasehinde et al, Nutr Neurosci., 2020)
- May help control blood pressure (Larysa Strilchuk et al, Kardiol Pol., 2020)
Beetroot contains many active ingredients like Folic Acid, Linoleic Acid and Beta-sitosterol at different concentrations. The molecular pathways which are regulated by Beetroot include MAPK Signaling, Cell Cycle Checkpoints, PI3K-AKT-MTOR Signaling, P53 Signaling, JAK-STAT Signaling, Apoptosis, Angiogenesis and MYC Signaling. These cellular pathways directly or indirectly influence cancer molecular endpoints like growth, spread and death. Because of this biological relationship – for cancer, choosing foods like Beetroot and supplements is an important decision to be made. And not necessarily the same food choices are scientifically correct across individuals.
Include Beetroot in Your Cancer Nutrition?
The answer to the question “Which Foods to Eat” and “Which Foods to Reduce Intake of” is It Depends!. Just like the same treatment does not work for every cancer patient, based on individual context the Beetroot may have scientific benefits or have adverse interactions. Along with cancer – the ongoing treatments, supplements, lifestyle habits, height, weight, allergies and food preferences are all factors influencing answers to the question.
1. Continue Eating Beetroot for BRAF+ Melanoma and Cobimetinib treatment?
BRAF+ Melanoma is defined and driven by specific genetic mutations like BRAF and LRP1B leading to biochemical pathway changes in MYC Signaling, MAPK Signaling, Growth Factor Signaling, Extracellular Matrix Remodelling and Small Molecule Transport. A cancer treatment like Cobimetinib has molecular action on a unique set of biochemical pathways. The treatment intent is to have a good overlap between the cancer driving pathways and those manipulated by the treatment. In such conditions foods which have an opposing effect to the treatment and reduce the overlap between the cancer driving pathways and treatment should be avoided. As an example, Beetroot intake should be reduced by cancer patients with BRAF+ Melanoma while on Cobimetinib treatment. Beetroot impacts pathways or processes like MYC Signaling and MAPK Signaling which can negate the effects of the treatment. The factors to be considered when choosing foods and supplements are which cancer, treatments and supplements being taken currently, which age group, gender, height, weight, lifestyle habits and any genetic information.
2. Continue Eating Beetroot for Mouth Cancer and Cisplatin treatment?
Mouth Cancer is defined and driven by specific genetic mutations like TP53 and TERT leading to biochemical pathway changes in Apoptosis, Cell Cycle Checkpoints, P53 Signaling and PI3K-AKT-MTOR Signaling. A cancer treatment like Cisplatin has molecular action on a unique set of biochemical pathways. Beetroot should be considered by cancer patients with Mouth Cancer while on Cisplatin treatment. Beetroot impacts pathways or processes like Apoptosis and Cell Cycle Checkpoints which can either obstruct drivers of Mouth Cancer and/or improve Cisplatin 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. Continue Eating Beetroot for ALK Associated Cancer Genetic Risk?
Many companies offer gene panels testing for evaluating genetic risk to different cancers. These panels cover genes associated with high prevalence cancers of breast, ovary, uterus, prostate and gastrointestinal system and others. Testing of these genes may confirm a diagnosis or identify risk to some cancers. ALK is one of the genes available in panels for cancer risk testing.
ALK mutation causes biochemical pathways or processes like Angiogenesis, JAK-STAT Signaling, Stem Cell Signaling and Growth Factor Signaling to get impacted. These pathways are direct or indirect drivers of cancer molecular endpoints. Intake of foods like Beetroot should be reduced when mutation of ALK for risk of Central Nervous System is identified. Beetroot impacts pathways or processes like Angiogenesis and JAK-STAT Signaling and creates adverse effects with ALK mutation and related conditions.
4. Continue Eating Beetroot for BRCA2 Associated Cancer Genetic Risk?
BRCA2 is also one of many genes available in panels for cancer risk testing. BRCA2 mutation causes biochemical pathways or processes like P53 Signaling, PI3K-AKT-MTOR Signaling, Androgen Signaling, Stem Cell Signaling and Chemokine Signaling to get impacted. These pathways are direct or indirect drivers of cancer molecular endpoints. Intake of foods like Beetroot should be considered when mutation of BRCA2 for risk of Breast Cancer and Ovarian Cancer is identified. Beetroot impacts pathways or processes like P53 Signaling and PI3K-AKT-MTOR Signaling and creates a supportive effect in those with BRCA2 mutation and related conditions.
* Other Factors Included Like BMI, Lifestyle Habits, Treatments
Nutrition for cancer (including supplements and foods like Beetroot) and treatments may not be the same for everyone.
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.
Foods to Eat After Cancer Diagnosis!
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.