What Foods are Recommended for Cancer?
is a very common question. Personalized Nutrition Plans are foods and supplements which are personalized to a cancer indication, genes, any treatments and lifestyle conditions.

For Which Cancer Types Should I Avoid Buckthorn Supplement?

Nov 16, 2022

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Nutritional supplements and extracts like Buckthorn have benefits and are used by cancer patients and those at-genetic risk of cancer. There is limited or hardly any clinical data available for use of nutritional supplements and foods in cancer patients. Generating clinical evidence of efficacy for cancer through a randomized clinical trial is further infeasible due to variations in genetics and cancer chemotherapy treatments across cancer patients. Hence a different and new approach is needed to find out for which cancers you should not take Buckthorn supplement and why should not take them?

Is it okay to take Buckthorn extracts or supplements for all cancer indications and any chemotherapy treatment? A common belief but a myth is that everything natural can only be of benefit and do no harm. For example, the use of grapefruit with certain medications is not recommended. Another example is the use of spinach with some blood thinning medications can cause adverse interactions and hence to be avoided. For cancer, nutrition including plant-based foods and supplements can influence outcomes and hence an extremely important decision which needs to be made. Hence NIH-National Cancer Institute has a website for nutrition for cancer care for patients which are generalized recommendations and not personalized for cancer indication and treatments.

A frequently asked question by cancer patients and those at-risk is “What Foods and Nutritional Supplements could be beneficial over others for me?”. “Who should not take an extract or supplement and why?”. Generic guidelines like eating only plant-based-foods or avoiding all sugar or adopting a keto diet is a good start but not actionable and personalized enough.

To find answers to questions on extracts and nutritional supplements and foods requires knowledge of contained active ingredients; genetic mutation prevalence for cancer indication; understanding of underlying cancer biology; chemotherapy treatments and mechanism of actions of active ingredients.

Taking Buckthorn extracts or nutritional supplements may benefit Primary Myxoid Chondrosarcoma patients on Cisplatin treatment over Persimmon nutritional supplements. But Buckthorn supplements or Buckthorn extracts offer less benefit if on Cyclophosphamide treatment for Primary Gastrointestinal Neuroendocrine Tumors compared to Ashitaba. Similarly, taking nutritional supplements Buckthorn may benefit healthy individuals who are at genetic risk of cancer due to mutation of gene MLH1 over Soy Bean. But avoid nutritional supplements Buckthorn when at genetic risk of cancer due to mutation of gene.

The takeaway being – cancer, genomics, treatments and other personalized factors will influence decision making to questions like: Are extracts or nutritional supplements Buckthorn beneficial and should not be taken? Why should Buckthorn be not taken? Who should not take Buckthorn? What are side effects of Buckthorn with Cyclophosphamide chemotherapy? What are the benefits of Buckthorn for cancer? Can Buckthorn help fight cancer and so on.

Whenever there are changes in chemotherapy treatments or cancer tissue genetics – the nutrition may change and hence needs to be re-evaluated. Do consider factors like cancer indication, ongoing chemotherapy treatments and nutritional supplements, age, gender, weight, height, lifestyle and genetics for personalization of nutrition.

Brief Overview

Use of 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. Difference between supplements and foods being that foods contain more than one active ingredient at much lower concentrations. Every active ingredient in an extract or nutritional supplement or food has a unique mechanism of action which can influence nutrition decisions.

Buckthorn supplement benefits for cancer patients

These are some example questions which nutrition planning should help answer for you. Should you take supplements Buckthorn? Should you take it when at genetic risk of cancer for mutation of gene MLH1? Should you take it when at genetic risk of cancer for mutation of gene? Should you take it when diagnosed with Primary Gastrointestinal Neuroendocrine Tumors? Should you take it when diagnosed with Primary Myxoid Chondrosarcoma? Should you take it when on Cisplatin treatment? Should you continue taking it if you change your treatment from Cisplatin to Cyclophosphamide? So a general explanation like – it is organic and plant-based or it increases immunity is not sufficient information for making a decision of use of Buckthorn extracts and nutritional supplements.


Genetic variations across cancer patients can be different and hence no two cancers are alike. The improved availability of “personalized to genetics” chemotherapy treatments and cancer disease monitoring via blood and saliva have been significant factors to improve outcomes. The earlier the lifestyle and treatment intervention – the better the influence on outcome. Genetic testing has the potential to assess cancer risk and susceptibility early. But for at-risk individuals besides regular monitoring in most cases there are no therapeutic treatment intervention options available. After diagnosis with cancer such as Primary Myxoid Chondrosarcoma or Primary Gastrointestinal Neuroendocrine Tumors, 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 on next steps. A large majority of cancer patients and those at-risk may take nutritional supplements like Buckthorn.

So the question is that are all genetic risks and cancer indications to be considered uniformly when making decisions on the use of Buckthorn extracts or nutritional supplements? Are the biochemical pathway implications of genetic risk for cancer due to mutation of gene MLH1 the same as due to mutation of gene? Are the implications of Primary Myxoid Chondrosarcoma the same as Primary Gastrointestinal Neuroendocrine Tumors? Is it one and the same if you are on treatment with Cyclophosphamide or Cisplatin?

Buckthorn – An Extract or Nutritional Supplement

Buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica), also known as European buckthorn and Common Buckthorn, is a herb native to Europe, northwest Africa and western Asia, from the central British Isles south to Morocco, and east to Kyrgyzstan. The berries of Buckthorn are considered to have medicinal properties. It has been traditionally used for relieving constipation. Buckthorn is also available in the form of supplements. However, excessive use can lead to certain side effects in some people such as discolored urine, stomach cramps, diarrhea, heart problems, and blood in the urine.

Buckthorn supplements contain many active ingredients including Barbaloin, Emodin and Chrysophanol at different concentration levels. The molecular pathways which are regulated by Buckthorn include Cell Cycle Checkpoints, Oxidative Stress, TGFB Signaling and MYC Signaling. These biochemical pathways directly or indirectly regulate specific cancer molecular endpoints like growth, spread and death of cancer cells. Because of this biological regulation – for cancer nutrition, the right choice of supplements like Buckthorn individually or in combination is an important decision to be made. When making decisions on the use of supplement Buckthorn over other nutritional supplements – do consider all these factors.

Who Should not take Buckthorn Supplements and Why?

There is no easy way to answer the question “For which cancers should I not chooseBuckthorn nutritional supplements”. Just like the same chemotherapy treatment does not work across patients, for similar reasons Buckthorn in comparison with other nutritional supplements may be beneficial or not. Along with which cancer and associated genetics – the ongoing treatments, lifestyle habits, height, weight and food allergies are all factors in deciding if Buckthorn should be avoided or not and why.

1. Will Buckthorn Supplements benefit Primary Gastrointestinal Neuroendocrine Tumors patients undergoing Cyclophosphamide treatment?

Primary Gastrointestinal Neuroendocrine Tumors is characterized and driven by specific genetic mutations like ALK, APC and DAXX leading to biochemical pathway changes in Oxidative Stress, Growth Factor Signaling, JAK-STAT Signaling, Angiogenesis, Androgen Signaling and Apoptosis. A cancer treatment like Cyclophosphamide 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, Buckthorn supplement should not be taken for Primary Gastrointestinal Neuroendocrine Tumors along with treatment Cyclophosphamide. Buckthorn supplement impacts the biochemical pathway called Oxidative Stress which either promotes drivers of the disease and/or nullifies 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

2. Will Buckthorn Supplements benefit Primary Myxoid Chondrosarcoma Patients undergoing Cisplatin Treatment?

Primary Myxoid Chondrosarcoma is characterized and driven by specific genetic mutations like IDH1, NR2E1 and WDFY4 leading to biochemical pathway changes in Cell Cycle Checkpoints, Oncogenic Cancer Epigenetics and Glutathione Metabolism. A cancer treatment like Cisplatin 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 supports treatment action or improves the overlap should be considered. As an example, Buckthorn supplements should be considered for Primary Myxoid Chondrosarcoma along with the treatment Cisplatin. Buckthorn supplement impacts pathways/processes like Cell Cycle Checkpoints which either obstruct drivers of Primary Myxoid Chondrosarcoma and/or improve Cisplatin treatment effect.

For Which Cancer to Avoid taking Supplement Buckthorn

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. What about Buckthorn Supplements for Healthy Individuals with MLH1 Mutation associated Genetic Risk?

MLH1 is one of the genes available in panels for cancer risk testing. MLH1 mutation causes biochemical pathways/processes like MYC Signaling and Mismatch Repair to get impacted. These pathways are direct or indirect drivers of cancer molecular endpoints. Buckthorn supplements may be considered when the genetic panel identifies mutations in MLH1 for Colon Cancer. Buckthorn impacts pathways/processes like MYC Signaling and creates a canceling effect in those individuals with MLH1 mutation.

* Other Factors are also included like BMI, Treatments, Lifestyle Habits

In Conclusion

It is important to remember that cancer chemotherapy treatments and nutrition are never the same for everyone. Food and nutritional supplements like Buckthorn are chosen by you and can influence outcomes.

“What should I eat?” is a commonly asked question by cancer patients and those at-risk. The answer to this question depends on cancer indication, underlying genetics, current chemotherapy treatments, food allergies, lifestyle information, and food preferences.

The approach to nutrition personalization uses knowledge of active ingredients contained in foods and nutritional supplements, cancer biology, chemotherapy treatment action and genetic mutation prevalence across cancer indications. team of clinicians, clinical scientists and engineers are experts in cancer biology focusing only on nutrition personalization for cancer patients and those at-risk.

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.

Scientifically Reviewed by: Dr. Cogle

Christopher R. Cogle, M.D. is a tenured professor at the University of Florida, Chief Medical Officer of Florida Medicaid, and Director of the Florida Health Policy Leadership Academy at the Bob Graham Center for Public Service.

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