Nutritional supplements and extracts like Zi Cao 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 Zi Cao supplement and why should not take them?
Is it okay to take Zi Cao 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 Zi Cao extracts or nutritional supplements may benefit Primary Penile Squamous Cell Carcinoma patients on Cisplatin treatment over Red Algae nutritional supplements. But Zi Cao supplements or Zi Cao extracts offer less benefit if on Romidepsin treatment for Primary Mycosis fungoides compared to Ashitaba. Similarly, taking nutritional supplements Zi Cao may benefit healthy individuals who are at genetic risk of cancer due to mutation of gene TP53 over Green Tea. But avoid nutritional supplements Zi Cao 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 Zi Cao beneficial and should not be taken? Why should Zi Cao be not taken? Who should not take Zi Cao? What are side effects of Zi Cao with Romidepsin chemotherapy? What are the benefits of Zi Cao for cancer? Can Zi Cao 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.
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.
These are some example questions which nutrition planning should help answer for you. Should you take supplements Zi Cao? Should you take it when at genetic risk of cancer for mutation of gene TP53? Should you take it when at genetic risk of cancer for mutation of gene? Should you take it when diagnosed with Primary Mycosis fungoides? Should you take it when diagnosed with Primary Penile Squamous Cell Carcinoma? Should you take it when on Cisplatin treatment? Should you continue taking it if you change your treatment from Cisplatin to Romidepsin? 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 Zi Cao 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 Penile Squamous Cell Carcinoma or Primary Mycosis fungoides, 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 Zi Cao.
So the question is that are all genetic risks and cancer indications to be considered uniformly when making decisions on the use of Zi Cao extracts or nutritional supplements? Are the biochemical pathway implications of genetic risk for cancer due to mutation of gene TP53 the same as due to mutation of gene? Are the implications of Primary Penile Squamous Cell Carcinoma the same as Primary Mycosis fungoides? Is it one and the same if you are on treatment with Romidepsin or Cisplatin?
Zi Cao – An Extract or Nutritional Supplement
Zi Cao is a herbal plant that belongs to the Lithospermum family. It is part of traditional herbal medicine which has long been known for its effectiveness in treating hyperthyroid conditions. Some of the purported health benefits of consuming Zi Cao are:
- Vitalizes blood
- Clear skin lesions and relieves burn
- Relieves mild constipation
- Possesses Anticancer properties (Yue Hou et al, Yakugaku Zasshi. 2006, Nan Zhang et al, Int J Biol Sci. 2020)
Zi Cao supplements contain many active ingredients including Shikonin at different concentration levels. The molecular pathways which are regulated by Zi Cao include MYC Signaling, Retinoic Acid Signaling and Cell Cycle Checkpoints. 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 Zi Cao individually or in combination is an important decision to be made. When making decisions on the use of supplement Zi Cao over other nutritional supplements – do consider all these factors.
Who Should not take Zi Cao Supplements and Why?
There is no easy way to answer the question “For which cancers should I not chooseZi Cao nutritional supplements”. Just like the same chemotherapy treatment does not work across patients, for similar reasons Zi Cao 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 Zi Cao should be avoided or not and why.
1. Will Zi Cao Supplements benefit Primary Mycosis fungoides patients undergoing Romidepsin treatment?
Primary Mycosis fungoides is characterized and driven by specific genetic mutations like PEG3, ABCA1 and PRPF8 leading to biochemical pathway changes in Retinoic Acid Signaling. A cancer treatment like Romidepsin 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, Zi Cao supplement should not be taken for Primary Mycosis fungoides along with treatment Romidepsin. Zi Cao supplement impacts the biochemical pathway called Retinoic Acid Signaling 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 Zi Cao Supplements benefit Primary Penile Squamous Cell Carcinoma Patients undergoing Cisplatin Treatment?
Primary Penile Squamous Cell Carcinoma is characterized and driven by specific genetic mutations like ABRAXAS1, PIK3CB and NUP93 leading to biochemical pathway changes in MYC Signaling, Hematopoiesis and Inositol Phosphate Signaling. 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, Zi Cao supplements should be considered for Primary Penile Squamous Cell Carcinoma along with the treatment Cisplatin. Zi Cao supplement impacts pathways/processes like MYC Signaling which either obstruct drivers of Primary Penile Squamous Cell Carcinoma 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. What about Zi Cao Supplements 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 and Apoptosis to get impacted. These pathways are direct or indirect drivers of cancer molecular endpoints. Zi Cao supplements may be considered when the genetic panel identifies mutations in TP53 for Lung Cancer. Zi Cao impacts pathways/processes like Cell Cycle Checkpoints and creates a canceling effect in those individuals with TP53 mutation.
* Other Factors are also included like BMI, Treatments, Lifestyle Habits
It is important to remember that cancer chemotherapy treatments and nutrition are never the same for everyone. Food and nutritional supplements like Zi Cao 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 addon.life 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. addon.life 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.
- Shikonin suppresses proliferation and induces cell cycle arrest through the inhibition of hypoxia-inducible factor-1α signaling.
- The mutational landscape of cutaneous T cell lymphoma and Sézary syndrome.
- Genetic Determinants of Cisplatin Resistance in Patients With Advanced Germ Cell Tumors.
- Cancer therapy shapes the fitness landscape of clonal hematopoiesis.
- cBioPortal for Cancer Genomics
- cBioPortal for Cancer Genomics
- A functional genetic screen identifies retinoic acid signaling as a target of histone deacetylase inhibitors.
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.