Sun Farms Vegetable Soup

Health Care Professional Information

Common Name

Sun Soup, selected vegetables, SV

Clinical Summary

A proprietary product developed by the biochemist, Alexander Sun, Sun Soup contains water, soybean, shiitake mushroom, mung bean, red date, scallion, garlic, lentil bean, leek, hawthorn fruit, onion, American ginseng, angelica root, licorice, dandelion root, senegal root, ginger, olive, sesame seed, and parsley (1). Patients use it in conjunction with conventional therapies to prevent and treat cancer, HIV/AIDS, promote weight gain, and as an immunostimulant.

Sun Soup exhibits antitumor activity in mouse models (2). Data from small open-label phase I/II studies of SV administered concurrently with conventional therapies for stage III and IV non-small cell lung cancer suggest improvements in survival, Karnofsky Performance Scale Score, and objective tumor regression (1). Larger randomized studies are needed to confirm these findings.
Side effects such as bloatedness and fullness after ingestion have been reported (1).

Purported Uses
  • Cancer prevention
  • Cancer treatment
  • HIV and AIDS
  • Immunostimulation
  • Weight maintenance
Constituents

Water, soybean, shiitake mushroom, mung bean, red date, scallion, garlic, lentil bean, leek, hawthorn fruit, onion, American ginseng, angelica root, licorice, dandelion root, senegal root, ginger, olive, sesame seed, and parsley (1).

Mechanism of Action

The inventor suggests that the antitumor activities of compounds in some constituents act synergistically (1). Quantitative analysis of freeze-dried powder (DSV) revealed approximately 63 mg inositol hexaphosphate (IP6), 2.6 mg genistein, 4.4 mg daidzein, and 15.5 mg coumestrol per serving (2). In vitro and animal studies performed with IP6 suggest that it slows the initiation and/or promotion, inhibits proliferation by chelation of metalloproteins, causes G0/G1 arrest, and induces differentiation of various cancer cell lines. In vitro, genistein inhibits angiogenesis, induces DNA damage in cancer cell lines, and, with daidzein and coumestrol, inhibits the growth of human prostate cancer cell lines (3). Genistein and coumestrol have been shown to induce NADPH:quinone reductase (QR), a detoxifying phase II enzyme, in colonic cells, leading to possible antitumor effects (4). Shiitake mushrooms contain lentinan, a polysaccharide, which may act as an immunomodulator and enhance production of IL-1, TNF, LAK activity, cytotoxic T lymphocytes, and cytotoxic peritoneal exudate cells. A mouse tumor model showed that mice fed shiitake extract, mung bean extract, or both exhibited tumor inhibition of 60%, 53%, and 82%, respectively, as compared to the control group after 22 days.

Pharmacokinetics

No formal pharmacokinetics studies have been performed on Sun Soup.

Adverse Reactions

Common: GI fullness or bloatedness after ingestion. (1)

Herb-Drug Interactions

Although no drug interactions have been reported, several ingredients of Sun Soup can interact with prescription drugs.
Please see the following monographs:
Lentinan
Hawthorn fruit
Ginger
Licorice
Soy
American ginseng

Consumer Information

How It Works

Bottom Line: Sun Farms Vegetable Soup has not been shown to treat or prevent cancer.

Sun Farms Vegetable Soup contains soybean, shiitake mushroom, mung bean, red date, scallion, garlic, lentil bean, leek, hawthorn fruit, onion, American ginseng, angelica root, licorice, dandelion root, senegal root, ginger, olive, sesame seed, and parsley. Scientists are unsure of exactly how it works because only a few laboratory studies have tested it. In mice taking dried Sun Soup powder, tumor growth was slowed by 53-74% compared to mice not taking the powder. Laboratory tests show that Sun Soup contains inositol hexaphosphate (IP6), a compound that slows that formation and growth of cancer cells in laboratory and animals studies. Sun Soup also contains genistein, daidzein, and coumestrol, which are phytoestrogens (also called isoflavones) found in soybeans. In the laboratory, genistein slows the growth of blood vessels that feed tumors, damages the DNA of cancer cell lines, and, along with daidzein and coumestrol, inhibits the growth of prostate cancer cells. Shiitake mushrooms contain lentinan, which may stimulate the immune system. A study in mice found that shiitake extract and mung bean extract slowed the growth of tumors. However, despite all of these anti-cancer activities in the laboratory setting, it is still not known whether Sun Soup will have an anti-tumor effect in the human body.

Purported Uses
  • To prevent and treat cancer
    Small pilot studies show that Sun Soup may increase survival in late-stage non-small cell lung cancer patients, but its use in treatment or prevention of other cancers has not been studied.
  • To treat HIV and AIDS
    No scientific evidence supports this use. A clinical trial of Sun Soup in HIV patients is underway.
  • To stimulate the immune system
    Although some laboratory studies show that the chemicals found in Sun Soup stimulate certain aspects of the immune system, it is not known if this effect occurs in the human body.
  • To maintain the weight lost with diseases like cancer and HIV/AIDS
    A small pilot study in late-stage non-small cell lung cancer patients supports this use.
Side Effects

Sun Soup can cause gastrointestinal fullness or bloating.

E-mail your questions and comments to aboutherbs@mskcc.org.