Nutritional supplements and extracts like Gamma-linolenic Acid 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 Gamma-linolenic Acid supplement and why should not take them?
Is it okay to take Gamma-linolenic Acid 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 Gamma-linolenic Acid extracts or nutritional supplements may benefit Primary Prostate Small Cell Carcinoma patients on Docetaxel treatment over Soy Bean nutritional supplements. But Gamma-linolenic Acid supplements or Gamma-linolenic Acid extracts offer less benefit if on Radiation treatment for Primary Embryonal Carcinoma compared to Pomegranate. Similarly, taking nutritional supplements Gamma-linolenic Acid may benefit healthy individuals who are at genetic risk of cancer due to mutation of gene ERBB2 over Pineapple. But avoid nutritional supplements Gamma-linolenic Acid when at genetic risk of cancer due to mutation of gene POLH.
The takeaway being – cancer, genomics, treatments and other personalized factors will influence decision making to questions like: Are extracts or nutritional supplements Gamma-linolenic Acid beneficial and should not be taken? Why should Gamma-linolenic Acid be not taken? Who should not take Gamma-linolenic Acid? What are side effects of Gamma-linolenic Acid with Radiation chemotherapy? What are the benefits of Gamma-linolenic Acid for cancer? Can Gamma-linolenic Acid 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 Gamma-linolenic Acid? Should you take it when at genetic risk of cancer for mutation of gene ERBB2? Should you take it when at genetic risk of cancer for mutation of gene POLH? Should you take it when diagnosed with Primary Embryonal Carcinoma? Should you take it when diagnosed with Primary Prostate Small Cell Carcinoma? Should you take it when on Docetaxel treatment? Should you continue taking it if you change your treatment from Docetaxel to Radiation? 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 Gamma-linolenic Acid 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 Prostate Small Cell Carcinoma or Primary Embryonal 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 on next steps. A large majority of cancer patients and those at-risk may take nutritional supplements like Gamma-linolenic Acid.
So the question is that are all genetic risks and cancer indications to be considered uniformly when making decisions on the use of Gamma-linolenic Acid extracts or nutritional supplements? Are the biochemical pathway implications of genetic risk for cancer due to mutation of gene ERBB2 the same as due to mutation of gene POLH? Are the implications of Primary Prostate Small Cell Carcinoma the same as Primary Embryonal Carcinoma? Is it one and the same if you are on treatment with Radiation or Docetaxel?
Gamma-linolenic Acid – An Extract or Nutritional Supplement
Gamma-linolenic Acid is formed in the body from linoleic acid which belongs to the omega-6 class of fatty acids. It is present in trace amounts in green leafy vegetables and in nuts. The benefits are:
- Has an anti-inflammatory role (Rakesh Kapoor et al, Curr Pharm Biotechnol. 2006)
- Has an antioxidant properties (Hong Cui et al, Drug Des Devel Ther., 2018)
- Possesses anticancer role (Yan Wang et al, Folia Histochem Cytobiol., 2020)
- Helps in diabetic neuropathy (H Keen et al, Diabetes Care., 1993)
Gamma-linolenic Acid supplements contain many active ingredients including Gamma-linolenic Acid at different concentration levels. The molecular pathways which are regulated by Gamma-linolenic Acid include Growth Factor Signaling, Oxidative Stress, DNA Repair and MAPK 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 Gamma-linolenic Acid individually or in combination is an important decision to be made. When making decisions on the use of supplement Gamma-linolenic Acid over other nutritional supplements – do consider all these factors.
Who Should not take Gamma-linolenic Acid Supplements and Why?
There is no easy way to answer the question “For which cancers should I not chooseGamma-linolenic Acid nutritional supplements”. Just like the same chemotherapy treatment does not work across patients, for similar reasons Gamma-linolenic Acid 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 Gamma-linolenic Acid should be avoided or not and why.
1. Will Gamma-linolenic Acid Supplements benefit Primary Embryonal Carcinoma patients undergoing Radiation treatment?
Primary Embryonal Carcinoma is characterized and driven by specific genetic mutations like CAPN7, B3GNT8 and KNTC1 leading to biochemical pathway changes in Oxidative Stress. A cancer treatment like Radiation 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, Gamma-linolenic Acid supplement should not be taken for Primary Embryonal Carcinoma along with treatment Radiation. Gamma-linolenic Acid 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 Gamma-linolenic Acid Supplements benefit Primary Prostate Small Cell Carcinoma Patients undergoing Docetaxel Treatment?
Primary Prostate Small Cell Carcinoma is characterized and driven by specific genetic mutations like APC, KMT2A and TP53 leading to biochemical pathway changes in Growth Factor Signaling, Angiogenesis, Amino Acid Metabolism, Cell Cycle Checkpoints and Apoptosis. A cancer treatment like Docetaxel 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, Gamma-linolenic Acid supplements should be considered for Primary Prostate Small Cell Carcinoma along with the treatment Docetaxel. Gamma-linolenic Acid supplement impacts pathways/processes like Growth Factor Signaling which either obstruct drivers of Primary Prostate Small Cell Carcinoma 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. What about Gamma-linolenic Acid Supplements for Healthy Individuals with POLH 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. POLH is one of the genes generally available in panels for cancer risk testing.
POLH mutation causes biochemical pathways/processes like DNA Repair to get impacted. These pathways are direct or indirect drivers of cancer molecular endpoints. Gamma-linolenic Acid should not be taken when the genetic panel identifies mutation of POLH for Skin Cancer. Gamma-linolenic Acid impacts pathways/processes like DNA Repair and creates adverse conditions with POLH.
4. What about Gamma-linolenic Acid Supplements for Healthy Individuals with ERBB2 Mutation associated Genetic Risk?
ERBB2 is one of the genes available in panels for cancer risk testing. ERBB2 mutation causes biochemical pathways/processes like MAPK Signaling, Growth Factor Signaling and PI3K-AKT-MTOR Signaling to get impacted. These pathways are direct or indirect drivers of cancer molecular endpoints. Gamma-linolenic Acid supplements may be considered when the genetic panel identifies mutations in ERBB2 for Esophageal Adenocarcinoma. Gamma-linolenic Acid impacts pathways/processes like MAPK Signaling and creates a canceling effect in those individuals with ERBB2 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 Gamma-linolenic Acid 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.
- Cell-of-Origin Patterns Dominate the Molecular Classification of 10,000 Tumors from 33 Types of Cancer.
- Role of KEAP1/NRF2 and TP53 Mutations in Lung Squamous Cell Carcinoma Development and Radiation Resistance.
- Mutational landscape of metastatic cancer revealed from prospective clinical sequencing of 10,000 patients.
- Overexpression of c-erbB-2/neu in breast cancer cells confers increased resistance to Taxol via mdr-1-independent mechanisms.
- Research on Rett syndrome: strategy and preliminary results.
- Effect of gamma-linolenic acid on the transcriptional activity of the Her-2/neu (erbB-2) oncogene.
- cBioPortal for Cancer Genomics
- cBioPortal for Cancer Genomics
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.