Bilberry 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 Bilberry 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 Bilberry can be scientifically explained for cancer patients with Oropharyngeal Cancer taking Docetaxel treatment. But reduce intake of Bilberry for Pancreatic Acinar Cell Carcinoma and Fluorouracil treatment .
Similarly, the benefits of eating Bilberry can be scientifically explained for healthy individuals who are at genetic risk of cancer due to mutation of the gene ALK. But reduce intake of Bilberry when at genetic risk of cancer due to mutation of gene CDKN2A.
The takeaway being – for cancer individual conditions can influence if food like Bilberry 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 Bilberry are recommended.
So some of the example questions you may have related to Bilberry can be: Should you eat it when at genetic cancer risk due to mutation of gene CDKN2A? Should you eat Bilberry when a mutation of a gene ALK is identified? Should you eat Bilberry when diagnosed with Pancreatic Acinar Cell Carcinoma? Should you eat Bilberry when diagnosed with Oropharyngeal Cancer? Should you eat Bilberry when on Fluorouracil treatment? Should you continue eating Bilberry if your treatment changes from Fluorouracil to Docetaxel? Are the implications of taking Bilberry in Oropharyngeal Cancer the same as Pancreatic Acinar Cell Carcinoma? And so on.
Bilberry and cancer
Bilberry, also known as whortleberry, huckleberry, or European blueberry, is a fruit native to Europe and Asia. It is rich in anthocyanins and has antioxidant properties. Following are some of the potential health benefits of bilberries:
- May help improve symptoms of Ulcerative colitis (Luc Biedermann et al, J Crohns Colitis., 2013)
- May have anti-inflammatory properties (Anette Karlsen et al, J Nutr., 2007)
- May help promote brain function (Adrian R Whyte et al, Nutrients., 2018)
- May help reduce bad cholesterol and promote heart health (Yu Qin et al, Am J Clin Nutr., 2009)
- May help reduce blood sugar levels (Nigel Hoggard et al, J Nutr Sci., 2013)
- May help improve eye health (A Riva et al, Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci., 2017)
Bilberry contains many active ingredients like Resveratrol, Arbutin and Asperuloside at different concentrations. The molecular pathways which are regulated by Bilberry include Cell Cycle Checkpoints, Oncogenic Cancer Epigenetics, P53 Signaling, JAK-STAT Signaling, Apoptosis, DNA Repair, 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 Bilberry and supplements is an important decision to be made. And not necessarily the same food choices are scientifically correct across individuals.
Include Bilberry 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 Bilberry 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 Bilberry for Pancreatic Acinar Cell Carcinoma and Fluorouracil treatment?
Pancreatic Acinar Cell Carcinoma is defined and driven by specific genetic mutations like SMAD4 and JAK1 leading to biochemical pathway changes in Oncogenic Cancer Epigenetics, DNA Repair, Oxidative Stress, Small Molecule Transport and MAPK Signaling. A cancer treatment like Fluorouracil 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, Bilberry intake should be reduced by cancer patients with Pancreatic Acinar Cell Carcinoma while on Fluorouracil treatment. Bilberry impacts pathways or processes like Oncogenic Cancer Epigenetics and DNA Repair 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 Bilberry for Oropharyngeal Cancer and Docetaxel treatment?
Oropharyngeal Cancer is defined and driven by specific genetic mutations like TP53 and PIK3CA leading to biochemical pathway changes in Apoptosis, MYC Signaling, Cell Survival, PI3K-AKT-MTOR Signaling and P53 Signaling. A cancer treatment like Docetaxel has molecular action on a unique set of biochemical pathways. Bilberry should be considered by cancer patients with Oropharyngeal Cancer while on Docetaxel treatment. Bilberry impacts pathways or processes like Apoptosis and MYC Signaling which can either obstruct drivers of Oropharyngeal Cancer and/or improve Docetaxel 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 Bilberry for CDKN2A 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. CDKN2A is one of the genes available in panels for cancer risk testing.
CDKN2A mutation causes biochemical pathways or processes like Cell Cycle Checkpoints, P53 Signaling, MAPK Signaling, Stem Cell Signaling and Cell Cycle to get impacted. These pathways are direct or indirect drivers of cancer molecular endpoints. Intake of foods like Bilberry should be reduced when mutation of CDKN2A for risk of Skin Cancer and Head And Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma is identified. Bilberry impacts pathways or processes like Cell Cycle Checkpoints and P53 Signaling and creates adverse effects with CDKN2A mutation and related conditions.
4. Continue Eating Bilberry for ALK Associated Cancer Genetic Risk?
ALK is also one of many 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 Bilberry should be considered when mutation of ALK for risk of Central Nervous System is identified. Bilberry impacts pathways or processes like Angiogenesis and JAK-STAT Signaling and creates a supportive effect in those with ALK mutation and related conditions.
* Other Factors Included Like BMI, Lifestyle Habits, Treatments
Nutrition for cancer (including supplements and foods like Bilberry) 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.