Nutritional supplements and extracts like Folic 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 Folic Acid supplement and why should not take them?
Is it okay to take Folic 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 Folic Acid extracts or nutritional supplements may benefit Primary Serous Cystadenoma of the Pancreas patients on Radiation treatment over Caraway nutritional supplements. But Folic Acid supplements or Folic Acid extracts offer less benefit if on Cisplatin treatment for Primary Penile Squamous Cell Carcinoma compared to Chapparal. Similarly, taking nutritional supplements Folic Acid may benefit healthy individuals who are at genetic risk of cancer due to mutation of gene VHL over Parsley. But avoid nutritional supplements Folic Acid when at genetic risk of cancer due to mutation of gene TP53.
The takeaway being – cancer, genomics, treatments and other personalized factors will influence decision making to questions like: Are extracts or nutritional supplements Folic Acid beneficial and should not be taken? Why should Folic Acid be not taken? Who should not take Folic Acid? What are side effects of Folic Acid with Cisplatin chemotherapy? What are the benefits of Folic Acid for cancer? Can Folic 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 Folic Acid? Should you take it when at genetic risk of cancer for mutation of gene VHL? Should you take it when at genetic risk of cancer for mutation of gene TP53? Should you take it when diagnosed with Primary Penile Squamous Cell Carcinoma? Should you take it when diagnosed with Primary Serous Cystadenoma of the Pancreas? Should you take it when on Radiation treatment? Should you continue taking it if you change your treatment from Radiation to Cisplatin? 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 Folic 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 Serous Cystadenoma of the Pancreas or Primary Penile Squamous Cell 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 Folic Acid.
So the question is that are all genetic risks and cancer indications to be considered uniformly when making decisions on the use of Folic Acid extracts or nutritional supplements? Are the biochemical pathway implications of genetic risk for cancer due to mutation of gene VHL the same as due to mutation of gene TP53? Are the implications of Primary Serous Cystadenoma of the Pancreas the same as Primary Penile Squamous Cell Carcinoma? Is it one and the same if you are on treatment with Cisplatin or Radiation?
Folic Acid – An Extract or Nutritional Supplement
Folic acid is the synthetic form of the naturally occurring Vitamin B9 or Folate. It is available in the form of dietary supplements. Folic acid helps the body produce and maintain new, healthy cells – especially Red blood cells. Folate deficiency can lead to many health problems such as anemia, increased risk of heart diseases, and birth defects. Additionally, Folic acid may also help improve brain function and fertility. (Fei Ma et al, Eur J Nutr., 2019; Audrey J Gaskins et al, Obste Gynecol., 2014)
Folic Acid supplements contain many active ingredients including Folic Acid at different concentration levels. The molecular pathways which are regulated by Folic Acid include Cell Survival, Cell Cycle Checkpoints, P53 Signaling and Angiogenesis. 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 Folic Acid individually or in combination is an important decision to be made. When making decisions on the use of supplement Folic Acid over other nutritional supplements – do consider all these factors.
Who Should not take Folic Acid Supplements and Why?
There is no easy way to answer the question “For which cancers should I not chooseFolic Acid nutritional supplements”. Just like the same chemotherapy treatment does not work across patients, for similar reasons Folic 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 Folic Acid should be avoided or not and why.
1. Will Folic Acid 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 Cell Cycle Checkpoints, Hematopoiesis and Inositol Phosphate Signaling. A cancer treatment like Cisplatin 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, Folic Acid supplement should not be taken for Primary Penile Squamous Cell Carcinoma along with treatment Cisplatin. Folic Acid supplement impacts the biochemical pathway called Cell Cycle Checkpoints 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 Folic Acid Supplements benefit Primary Serous Cystadenoma of the Pancreas Patients undergoing Radiation Treatment?
Primary Serous Cystadenoma of the Pancreas is characterized and driven by specific genetic mutations like TBC1D3F, ADAMTS19 and SERPINA3 leading to biochemical pathway changes in Cell Survival. 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, Folic Acid supplements should be considered for Primary Serous Cystadenoma of the Pancreas along with the treatment Radiation. Folic Acid supplement impacts pathways/processes like Cell Survival which either obstruct drivers of Primary Serous Cystadenoma of the Pancreas and/or improve Radiation 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 Folic Acid Supplements for Healthy Individuals with TP53 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. TP53 is one of the genes generally available in panels for cancer risk testing.
TP53 mutation causes biochemical pathways/processes like P53 Signaling, Cell Cycle Checkpoints and Apoptosis to get impacted. These pathways are direct or indirect drivers of cancer molecular endpoints. Folic Acid should not be taken when the genetic panel identifies mutation of TP53 for Lung Cancer. Folic Acid impacts pathways/processes like P53 Signaling and creates adverse conditions with TP53.
4. What about Folic Acid Supplements for Healthy Individuals with VHL Mutation associated Genetic Risk?
VHL is one of the genes available in panels for cancer risk testing. VHL mutation causes biochemical pathways/processes like Angiogenesis and Hypoxia to get impacted. These pathways are direct or indirect drivers of cancer molecular endpoints. Folic Acid supplements may be considered when the genetic panel identifies mutations in VHL for Kidney Cancer. Folic Acid impacts pathways/processes like Angiogenesis and creates a canceling effect in those individuals with VHL 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 Folic 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.
- Genetic Determinants of Cisplatin Resistance in Patients With Advanced Germ Cell Tumors.
- Effects of folate deficiency on gene expression in the apoptosis and cancer pathways in colon cancer cells.
- Whole-exome sequencing of neoplastic cysts of the pancreas reveals recurrent mutations in components of ubiquitin-dependent pathways.
- Peritubular capillary loss after mouse acute nephrotoxicity correlates with down-regulation of vascular endothelial growth factor-A and hypoxia-inducible factor-1 alpha.
- Activation of STAT3 and Bcl-2 and reduction of reactive oxygen species (ROS) promote radioresistance in breast cancer and overcome of radioresistance with niclosamide.
- cBioPortal for Cancer Genomics
- Blocking tumor necrosis factor-alpha inhibits folic acid-induced acute renal failure.
- cBioPortal for Cancer Genomics
- Cancer therapy shapes the fitness landscape of clonal hematopoiesis.
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.