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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 Dandelion Supplement?

Nov 30, 2022

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Highlights

Nutritional supplements and extracts like Dandelion 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 Dandelion supplement and why should not take them?

Is it okay to take Dandelion 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 Dandelion extracts or nutritional supplements may benefit Primary Uterine Myxoid Leiomyosarcoma patients on Radiation treatment over Aloe Vera nutritional supplements. But Dandelion supplements or Dandelion extracts offer less benefit if on Radiation treatment for Primary Esophageal Neuroendocrine Tumor compared to Star Anise. Similarly, taking nutritional supplements Dandelion may benefit healthy individuals who are at genetic risk of cancer due to mutation of gene CTNNB1 over Broccoli. But avoid nutritional supplements Dandelion when at genetic risk of cancer due to mutation of gene MYC.

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

Dandelion supplement benefits for cancer patients

These are some example questions which nutrition planning should help answer for you. Should you take supplements Dandelion? Should you take it when at genetic risk of cancer for mutation of gene CTNNB1? Should you take it when at genetic risk of cancer for mutation of gene MYC? Should you take it when diagnosed with Primary Esophageal Neuroendocrine Tumor? Should you take it when diagnosed with Primary Uterine Myxoid Leiomyosarcoma? Should you take it when on Radiation treatment? Should you continue taking it if you change your treatment from Radiation 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 Dandelion extracts and nutritional supplements.

Cancer

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 Uterine Myxoid Leiomyosarcoma or Primary Esophageal Neuroendocrine Tumor, 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 Dandelion.

So the question is that are all genetic risks and cancer indications to be considered uniformly when making decisions on the use of Dandelion extracts or nutritional supplements? Are the biochemical pathway implications of genetic risk for cancer due to mutation of gene CTNNB1 the same as due to mutation of gene MYC? Are the implications of Primary Uterine Myxoid Leiomyosarcoma the same as Primary Esophageal Neuroendocrine Tumor? Is it one and the same if you are on treatment with Radiation or Radiation?

Dandelion – An Extract or Nutritional Supplement

Dandelion is an edible herb with yellow flowers which is native to Europe, but grows in different parts of the world. Dandelion root has strong antioxidant properties and has also been used in traditional Chinese medicine for managing various health conditions including stomach and liver conditions. Some of the purported uses/benefits of dandelion include:

  • May reduce bad cholesterol
  • May help reduce blood sugar
  • May help reduce gastro-intestinal disorders
  • May reduce heartburn
  • May help reduce blood pressure
  • May help reduce inflammation

Dandelion supplements contain many active ingredients including Hexadecanoic Acid and Retinol at different concentration levels. The molecular pathways which are regulated by Dandelion include DNA Repair, Notch Signaling, Cell Cycle and Focal Adhesion. 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 Dandelion individually or in combination is an important decision to be made. When making decisions on the use of supplement Dandelion over other nutritional supplements – do consider all these factors.

Who Should not take Dandelion Supplements and Why?

There is no easy way to answer the question “For which cancers should I not chooseDandelion nutritional supplements”. Just like the same chemotherapy treatment does not work across patients, for similar reasons Dandelion 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 Dandelion should be avoided or not and why.

1. Will Dandelion Supplements benefit Primary Esophageal Neuroendocrine Tumor patients undergoing Radiation treatment?

Primary Esophageal Neuroendocrine Tumor is characterized and driven by specific genetic mutations like TP53, RB1 and APEX1 leading to biochemical pathway changes in Notch Signaling, Cell Cycle Checkpoints, Apoptosis and DNA Repair. 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, Dandelion supplement should not be taken for Primary Esophageal Neuroendocrine Tumor along with treatment Radiation. Dandelion supplement impacts the biochemical pathway called Notch 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 Dandelion Supplements benefit Primary Uterine Myxoid Leiomyosarcoma Patients undergoing Radiation Treatment?

Primary Uterine Myxoid Leiomyosarcoma is characterized and driven by specific genetic mutations like CTNNB1, RNF43 and ATM leading to biochemical pathway changes in Adherens junction, Androgen Signaling, DNA Repair and Cell Cycle Checkpoints. A cancer treatment like Radiation 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, Dandelion supplements should be considered for Primary Uterine Myxoid Leiomyosarcoma along with the treatment Radiation. Dandelion supplement impacts pathways/processes like DNA Repair which either obstruct drivers of Primary Uterine Myxoid Leiomyosarcoma and/or improve Radiation treatment effect.

For Which Cancer to Avoid taking Supplement Dandelion

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 Dandelion Supplements for Healthy Individuals with MYC 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. MYC is one of the genes generally available in panels for cancer risk testing.

MYC mutation causes biochemical pathways/processes like Cell Cycle, Antigen Presentation, PI3K-AKT-MTOR Signaling and Amino Acid Metabolism to get impacted. These pathways are direct or indirect drivers of cancer molecular endpoints. Dandelion should not be taken when the genetic panel identifies mutation of MYC for Burkitt Lymphoma. Dandelion impacts pathways/processes like Cell Cycle and creates adverse conditions with MYC.

4. What about Dandelion Supplements for Healthy Individuals with CTNNB1 Mutation associated Genetic Risk?

CTNNB1 is one of the genes available in panels for cancer risk testing. CTNNB1 mutation causes biochemical pathways/processes like Focal Adhesion, Adherens junction and Epithelial to Mesenchymal Transition to get impacted. These pathways are direct or indirect drivers of cancer molecular endpoints. Dandelion supplements may be considered when the genetic panel identifies mutations in CTNNB1 for Adrenocortical Carcinoma. Dandelion impacts pathways/processes like Focal Adhesion and creates a canceling effect in those individuals with CTNNB1 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 Dandelion 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.

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References

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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