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.

Which cancer would benefit from including Beta-carotene in their diet?

Jan 28, 2024

Estimated reading time: 9 minutes
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Beta-carotene is widely recognized for its health benefits and is frequently used by cancer patients and those at genetic risk. Yet, the safety and effectiveness of Beta-carotene for cancer patients depend on many factors like the cancer indication, chemotherapy, other treatments, and the tumor’s genetics. Knowing that some foods and supplements, such as grapefruit and spinach, might interact poorly with cancer medications and cause adverse reactions is crucial.

Diet is critical for cancer treatment as it can affect treatment outcomes. Cancer patients must carefully select and incorporate suitable foods and supplements into their diets. For example, Beta-carotene could benefit those with Primary Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma undergoing Cisplatin, but it might not be good for patients receiving Radiation for Primary Well Differentiated Liposarcoma. Furthermore, while Beta-carotene could help individuals with a genetic risk factor “TERT”, it may not be suggested for those with a different genetic risk “ALK”. Personalizing diet plans based on health, treatment, and genetics is essential.

Understanding that making a decision on the suitability of Beta-carotene for a cancer patient needs to be individualized is crucial. Critical factors like the type of cancer, treatment methods, genetic makeup, genetic risks, age, body weight, and lifestyle are vital in deciding if Beta-carotene is the appropriate choice. Genetics and genomics, in particular, is a significant consideration. Since these factors can evolve, it’s essential to regularly review and adapt dietary choices to match changes in health status and treatment.

In conclusion, a holistic approach to dietary choices is vital, focusing on the overall effects of all active components in foods/supplements like Beta-carotene instead of assessing each active ingredient separately or ignoring it completely. This broad perspective fosters a more rational and scientific approach to diet planning for cancer.

Brief Overview

Use of plant-based foods and supplements, such as vitamins, herbs, minerals, probiotics, and various specialized supplements, are rising among cancer patients. These supplements are designed to deliver high concentrations of specific active ingredients, many of which are also in different foods. The concentration and diversity of active ingredients differ between whole foods and supplements. Foods typically offer a range of active ingredients but at lower concentrations, while supplements provide higher concentrations of specific ingredients.

Considering the varied scientific and biological functions of each active ingredient at the molecular level, it’s crucial to account for the combined effects of these components when deciding on foods and supplements to eat or not.

Beta-carotene supplement benefits for cancer patients and genetic risks

The critical question arises: Should you incorporate Beta-carotene into your diet as a food item or a supplement? Is it advisable to consume Beta-carotene if you have a genetic predisposition to cancer associated with the TERT gene? What if instead your genetic risk stems from the ALK gene? Is it beneficial to include Beta-carotene in your diet if you’re diagnosed with Primary Well Differentiated Liposarcoma, or if your diagnosis is Primary Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma? Moreover, how should your consumption of Beta-carotene be adjusted if you’re undergoing Cisplatin treatment or if your treatment plan shifts from Cisplatin to Radiation? It’s essential to recognize that simplistic assertions like ‘Beta-carotene is natural, so it’s always beneficial’ or ‘Beta-carotene boosts immunity’ are insufficient for informed food/supplement choices.

Additionally, it’s essential to reassess the appropriateness of including Beta-carotene in your diet if there are changes in your treatment regimen. In summary, when making decisions about incorporating foods or supplements like Beta-carotene into your diet for its benefits, you should consider the overall biochemical effects of all ingredients, considering factors such as the type of cancer, the specific treatments you’re undergoing, genetic predispositions, and lifestyle choices.


Cancer remains a significant challenge in the medical field, often causing widespread anxiety. However, recent advancements have improved treatment outcomes, notably through personalized treatment approaches, non-invasive monitoring methods using blood and saliva samples, and the development of immunotherapy. Early detection and timely intervention have been crucial in positively influencing overall treatment outcomes.

Genetic testing offers significant promise in evaluating cancer risk and susceptibility early on. However, for many individuals with familial and genetic predispositions to cancer, options for therapeutic intervention, even with regular monitoring, are often limited or none. Once diagnosed with a specific type of cancer, such as Primary Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma or Primary Well Differentiated Liposarcoma, treatment strategies need to be customized based on the individual’s tumor genetics, the stage of the disease, as well as factors like age and gender.”

Post-treatment, ongoing monitoring is essential to detect any signs of cancer relapse and to inform subsequent decisions. Many cancer patients and those at risk often seek advice on incorporating certain foods and supplements into their diets, which plays a crucial role in their overall decision-making process regarding health management.

The critical question is whether to factor in genetic risks and specific cancer diagnoses when deciding on dietary choices, such as Beta-carotene. Does a genetic risk for cancer stemming from a mutation in the TERT have the same biochemical pathway implications as a mutation in the ALK? From a nutritional standpoint, does the risk associated with Primary Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma equate to Primary Well Differentiated Liposarcoma? Furthermore, does the dietary consideration remain the same for those undergoing Radiation as for those receiving Cisplatin? These considerations are crucial in making informed food choices for individuals with different genetic risks and cancer treatments.

Beta-carotene – A Nutritional Supplement

The supplement Beta-carotene encompasses a range of active ingredients, including Beta-carotene, each present at varying concentrations. These ingredients influence molecular pathways, specifically DNA Repair, PI3K-AKT-MTOR Signaling, MAPK Signaling and Angiogenesis, which regulate critical aspects of cancer at the cellular level, such as tumor growth, spread, and cell death. Given this biological influence, selecting the appropriate supplements like Beta-carotene, alone or in combination, becomes a critical decision in the context of cancer nutrition. When considering using Beta-carotene for cancer, it’s essential to consider these various factors and mechanisms. This is because, similar to cancer treatments, the use of Beta-carotene is not a universal decision suitable for all cancers but needs to be personalized.

Choosing Beta-carotene Supplements

Addressing the question ‘When should I avoid Beta-carotene in the context of Cancer’ is challenging because the answer is highly individualized – it simply ‘Depends!’. Similar to how any cancer treatment may not be effective for every patient, the relevance and safety or benefits of Beta-carotene varies depending on personal circumstances. Factors such as the specific type of cancer, genetic predispositions, current treatments, other supplements being taken, lifestyle habits, BMI, and any allergies all play a role in determining whether Beta-carotene is appropriate or should be avoided, underlining the importance of personalized consideration in such decisions.

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.

1. Will Beta-carotene Supplements benefit Primary Well Differentiated Liposarcoma Patients undergoing Radiation treatment?

Primary Well Differentiated Liposarcoma is characterized by particular genetic mutations, namely FGFR1, COL1A1 and ZFHX3, which lead to alterations in biochemical pathways, specifically PI3K-AKT-MTOR Signaling, Angiogenesis, MAPK Signaling, Extracellular Matrix Remodelling and Epithelial to Mesenchymal Transition. The effectiveness of a cancer treatment, such as Radiation, is contingent on its mechanism of action on these specific pathways. The ideal strategy involves aligning the treatment’s action with the pathways driving the cancer, thereby ensuring a personalized and effective approach. In such scenarios, avoiding foods or nutritional supplements that might counteract the treatment’s effects or diminish this alignment is crucial. For instance, the Beta-carotene supplement, which affects the PI3K-AKT-MTOR Signaling, may not be the right choice in the case of Primary Well Differentiated Liposarcoma when undergoing Radiation. This is because it may either exacerbate the disease’s progression or interfere with the treatment’s efficacy. When choosing a nutrition plan, it’s important to consider factors such as cancer type, ongoing treatments, age, gender, BMI, lifestyle, and any known genetic mutations.

2. Will Beta-carotene Supplements benefit Primary Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma Patients undergoing Cisplatin Treatment?

Primary Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma is identified by specific genetic mutations, such as FRG1BP, TP53 and PCDH11X, which result in changes in biochemical pathways, particularly DNA Repair, Cell Cycle Checkpoints and Apoptosis. The efficacy of a cancer treatment, like Cisplatin, is determined by its interaction with these pathways. The aim is to ensure that the treatment aligns well with the pathways that drive the cancer, enabling a personalized treatment approach. In this context, foods or supplements that are compatible with the treatment or enhance this alignment should be considered. For example, the Beta-carotene supplement is a rational option for those with Primary Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma undergoing Cisplatin. This is because Beta-carotene influences pathways such as DNA Repair, which can either inhibit the factors driving Primary Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma or benefit the effectiveness of the Cisplatin.

Which cancer would benefit from including Beta-carotene in their diet?

3. Are Beta-carotene Supplements Safe for Healthy Individuals with ALK Mutation Associated Genetic Risk?

Various companies provide gene panels for assessing the genetic risk of different types of cancers. These panels include genes linked to breast, ovarian, uterine, prostate, and gastrointestinal cancers. Testing these genes can confirm a diagnosis and inform treatment and management strategies. Identifying a variant that causes disease can further assist in the testing and diagnosing of relatives who may be at risk. The ALK gene is commonly included in these panels for cancer risk assessment.

A mutation in the ALK gene affects biochemical pathways or processes, such as MAPK Signaling and Growth Factor Signaling, which are directly or indirectly involved in driving cancer at the molecular level. When a genetic panel identifies a mutation in the ALK associated with an increased risk of Central Nervous System, scientific rationale suggests avoiding use of supplement Beta-carotene. This is because supplement Beta-carotene influences pathways like MAPK Signaling, which can lead to adverse effects in the context of the ALK mutation and related cancer conditions.

4. Are Beta-carotene Supplements Safe for Healthy Individuals with TERT Mutation Associated Genetic Risk?

TERT plays a crucial role in cancer risk assessment. Mutations in TERT can disrupt critical biochemical pathways, including Angiogenesis and DNA Repair, which influence cancer development. If your genetic panel reveals mutations in TERT associated with Hematological Cancer, consider incorporating Beta-carotene supplements in your nutrition plan. These supplements can positively influence pathways like Angiogenesis, benefit by providing relevant support for individuals with TERT mutations and related health concerns.

In Conclusion

The two most important things to remember are that cancer treatments and nutrition are never the same for everyone. Nutrition, including food and supplements like Beta-carotene for its benefits, is an effective tool that can be controlled by you while facing cancer.

“What should I eat?” is the most commonly asked question by cancer patients and those at-risk of cancer. The correct response is that it depends on factors such as cancer type, genetics of tumor, current treatments, allergies, lifestyle, and BMI.

Get your nutrition personalization for cancer from addon by clicking the link below and answering questions about your cancer type, treatment, lifestyle, allergies, age, 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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