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Is there any food or supplement to increase platelets without a negative effect on Imbruvica?

Ask the Doctor Question:

81 years old – Watch and Wait for 6 years. Started Imbruvica in August 2020. I went from 420 mg to 280 mg to currently 140 mg. I am told I have to be on it forever. WBC dropped from over 100 to 9.8. Good results on RBC, HGB and HCT. I exercise every day and generally feel well. However, platelets are 87,000. When I go to the DDS for cleaning, I stop my Imbruvica for 3 days before and 1 day after. Likewise, with my dermatologist whose motto is “when in doubt cut it out.” Is there any food or supplement to increase platelets without a negative effect on Imbruvica?

Answer: While there are no data regarding a food/supplement that directly increases your platelet levels, there are several resources on our website available on the topic of diet/nutrition and CLL. That being said, we cannot recommend any one particular type of diet, since scientific evidence on the role of diet and CLL has been, at best, scant. It benefits everyone (even those without CLL) to try and be the healthiest version of themselves possible by avoiding packaged foods, anything that is high in salt or sugar, as well as staying away from highly processed meats and dairy. 

There is one study that resulted in the paper, “Adherence to the Western, Prudent, and Mediterranean Dietary Patterns and Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia.” The link to the article is in one of the resources listed below. It suggested that there might be some benefit to following the Mediterranean diet that includes a high intake of fish, vegetables, legumes, boiled potatoes, fruits, olives, and vegetable oil.

Here are a few links to diet/nutrition articles we have covered on our website. There are multiple links within these articles that you can also follow to read more about the subject:

  1. https://cllsociety.org/2017/09/37-trillion-reasons-to-eat-a-healthy-diet/
  2. https://cllsociety.org/2018/09/the-impact-of-diet-on-cll/
  3. https://cllsociety.org/2018/09/food-for-thought-and-for-health-jays-awesome-macrobiotic-cll-adventure/