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HOW TO MAKE TUMERIC/CURCUMIN MORE EFFECTIVE

RoseyR
Posts: 471
Joined: Feb 2011

June 4, 2011 - 1:51pm

A lot of you are asking how to use turmeric or what curcumin to take.

I'd like to share what I've learned about that subject from several books and online research.

According to Schreiber (in his book Anti-Cancer), turmeric isn't absorbed in our bodies unless we cook it in a bit of olive oil (organic and virgin, ideally) and add a dash of black pepper.

The potent anti-cancer component of turmeric is curcumin, however.

And while there are many curcumin capsules out there on the market, only Life Extension (as far as I know) makes one already combined with black paper (bioperine). It's called "SuperCurcumin" and comes only in 800 mg capsules, so two a day with meals would me an acceptable minImal dosage. (I wish they would make it in 500 mg capsules, as other companies do.)

However, in his book Natural Strategies for Cancer Patients, Dr. Russell Blaylock advises, if we want to MAXIMIZE absorption, to take ANY curcumin capsule in a tablespoon of olive oil. I've tried this with Supercurcumin (opened the capsule, added it to a tablespoon of olive oil and gulped it down) but have to warn you that it's a little acidic tasting (who cares, if it could be saving our lives, right?) and that you need to wash your hands afterwards; curcumin will stain everything a bright orange. (Note that in nature, it's so often foods that are bright orange that are the healthiest.)

Sorry that I"ve been off the boards for a few weeks. Have just finished five weeks of pelvic radiation and am feeling just fine, remarkably. (Have had no fatigue, no urinary burning, no skin burn, and only very minor diahrrea--only after breakfast, for five or so days after treatment ended--and even this effect is already improving.) Now just need last three rounds of carbo/taxol to finish treatment.

Best,
Rosey

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missbabsonmars's picture
missbabsonmars
Posts: 29
Joined: Jun 2010

Thanks for posting this information Rosie. There seems to be some "healthy" disagreement among the experts on this topic. I have sent an e-mail to "my expert" Dr. Donald Abrams, oncologist at the UCSF Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, who I've been seeing since January on integrated therapies for cancer. I will post his reply.

I cannot tell you how very grateful I am to have found some people who are on the anti-cancer diet! I'm appalled that when I went to the chemo. class at my HMO, the nurse told people that there was no need for any special diet; "eat whatever you want" where her exact words. As has been pointed out many times, there is no down side to eating healthy. rant, rant, rant

missbabsonmars's picture
missbabsonmars
Posts: 29
Joined: Jun 2010

I just received this e-mail from my oncologist about my question on Tumeric. My original e-mail to him is below his response. Hope this is helpful to the discussion.

"In Chicago at the annual cancer meeting - hot and humid. There is no real answer to your question! Turmeric is generally poorly absorbed from the GI tract which is why it is probably most active in colorectal and perhaps other gastrointestinal cancers. Doses up to 8.6 grams have been studied in pancreatic cancer. I often recommend Turmeric Force (which is in olive oil) but, since you prompted me to check I see they add maltodextrin (ie sugar) so I like the Life Extension product as it has the pepper and no sugar (but no olive oil!) Recently some of my Naturopath friends were cautioning that the piperine may increase absorption of other things besides Turmeric, but I think it is probably a good product. Although any data that is there suggests best effects in GI malignancies, I do suggest that anyone with metastatic disease take a turmeric supplement, but precise answers to your queries are unavailable. That said, the session I am at now is What's Hot in Alternative Therapies so I may have some follow-up later!
Be well!

My message to him:
Dear Dr. Abrams: I’ve been researching turmeric to try and determine:

1) how much one should ingest every day for maximum effect

2) the proper ratio of black pepper to turmeric

3) whether olive oil has to be mixed with the turmeric and pepper. How much?

3) whether turmeric tablets are a proper substitute for turmeric powder

There is a lot of conflicting information even among the major players in the field. I’ve finally connected with some other cancer patients who are practicing complimentary therapies like I am. One poster states that while there are many curcumin capsules on the market, only Life Extension makes one already combined with black paper (bioperine). In his book Natural Strategies for Cancer Patients, Dr. Russell Blaylock advises taking ANY curcumin capsule in a tablespoon of olive oil.

I AM SO CONFUSED. Can you please clarify?

kkstef's picture
kkstef
Posts: 706
Joined: May 2008

Hi Babs....thank you for your post. I know that Vital Nutrients also makes this product in both 500 mg and 750 mg. with the black pepper.

Look forward to hearing more about your research on this topic. It seems easy to just mix turmeric with some black pepper and olive oil...but also not sure how much I am getting. We do what we need to do!

Karen

Rewriter's picture
Rewriter
Posts: 496
Joined: Dec 2009

I have this combination on a slice of whole grain toast for breakfast. In addition, I add turmeric, olive oil, and pepper to all of the many stews and soups that I make from scratch. Since I have so much of the stuff throughout the day, I would hesitate to add a capsule.

I may not be getting pure curcumin nor a precise number of milligrams, but to me this is the easiest and safest way to get the benefits.

Thanks for all of the information, Babs.

Jill

Rewriter's picture
Rewriter
Posts: 496
Joined: Dec 2009

for sharing your information.

Jill

evertheoptimist
Posts: 140
Joined: Jan 2011

Jill,

Tumeric powder is only 2% curcumin. So, in order to have 8 grams of curcumin, you will have to have a bucketful of tumeric powder everyday.

Regarding curcumin capsules that already has pepper component included, I noticed they are considerably more expensive. I take curcumin capsules, and simply chew a few whole pepper cones, No big deal.

The olive oil thing is something I should adopt. Ay.... yet one more thing to do.

Rewriter's picture
Rewriter
Posts: 496
Joined: Dec 2009

I'd love to hear what other women on this board are doing, because I am very confused about dosage. Recommendations vary depending on whether a person is actively fighting cancer or wants to prevent a recurrence. In the former case, the preferred form is pure curcumin, 400 mg 3x daily. That is based on a study for colon cancer, though, and curcumin has been found to be most effective in treating this type of cancer as well as destroying liver cancer cells.

There ARE negative side effects of curcumin, and it also interacts dangerously with some common medications.

What dosage is everyone taking? I will do more research, which still seems inconclusive even at M.D. Anderson and MSKCC. Until I find out that adding turmeric, olive oil, and pepper to almost everything I eat does not give me enough curcumin, I am continuing my practice.

evertheoptimist
Posts: 140
Joined: Jan 2011

I have read something (coming out of MD Anderson) to the effect that 8 grams of curcimin a day is a safe dosage. I even read up to 12 gram (I believe it was Blaylock's claim).

I am taking about 6-7 grams a day. Till now, I did not mix it with olive oil: so all this time I was taking curcumin, it was not very effective, based on what I am just reading on this thread..... Sigh....

RoseyR
Posts: 471
Joined: Feb 2011

Just read a post today that cited MD Anderson's latest findings on curcumin: that it is "effective against any kind of cancer."

Will try to find it and send to all; can't remember if it was Dr. Mercola's web site or Chris Woolsey's from England.

In the meantime, what makes sense is the following:

As ReWriter is doing, cook at least once a day with turmeric in a little olive oil and add a dash of pepper. Then sautee whatever you are eating in it.

Take a capsule (with or without bioperine) of 400 to 500 mgs of curcumin three times a day, with meals. If you can hack downing it with a tablespoon of virgin olive oil, better yet. If not, that's OK. But I'd be taking at least 1200 to 1500 mgs of curcumin every day.

Rosey

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jazzy1
Posts: 1387
Joined: Mar 2010

I've attached below from Claudia -- great reading on turmeric!

It's more effective mixed with Olive Oil and ground pepper. I put it on my cabbage salad mixed with lots of other wonderful vegies...yummie! Also, add to some of my main courses which include soups. Be creative and think outside the box as you'll find wonderful ways to incorporate into a daily diet.

------------

Not only kills cancer cells, but, it makes your skin look fabulous and it appears to have made my hair grow in more fully. I don't know in the end if this will be a good or bad thing, but I'm getting oodles of compliments. Have noticed that I am more coherent in a face to face conversation. Could be turmeric removing plaque from my scrambled brain.

Been visiting and reading a novel still.

Update eve 6th.

url and 20 things about turmeric. The most important might be that it increases the affectiveness of taxol. see for yourself.
http://www.healthdiaries.com/eatthis/20-health-benefits-of-turmeric.html
The medicinal properties of this spice have been slowly revealing themselves over the centuries. Long known for its anti-inflammatory properties, recent research has revealed that turmeric is a natural wonder, proving beneficial in the treatment of many different health conditions from cancer to Alzheimer's disease.
Here are 20 reasons to add turmeric to your diet:
1. It is a natural antiseptic and antibacterial agent, useful in disinfecting cuts and burns.
2. When combined with cauliflower, it has shown to prevent prostate cancer and stop the growth of existing prostate cancer.
3. Prevented breast cancer from spreading to the lungs in mice.
4. May prevent melanoma and cause existing melanoma cells to commit suicide.
5. Reduces the risk of childhood leukemia.
6. Is a natural liver detoxifier.
7. May prevent and slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease by removing amyloyd plaque buildup in the brain.
8. May prevent metastases from occurring in many different forms of cancer.
9. It is a potent natural anti-inflammatory that works as well as many anti-inflammatory drugs but without the side effects.
10. Has shown promise in slowing the progression of multiple sclerosis in mice.
11. Is a natural painkiller and cox-2 inhibitor.
12. May aid in fat metabolism and help in weight management.
13. Has long been used in Chinese medicine as a treatment for depression.
14. Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, it is a natural treatment for arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
15. Boosts the effects of chemo drug paclitaxel and reduces its side effects.
16. Promising studies are underway on the effects of turmeric on pancreatic cancer.
17. Studies are ongoing in the positive effects of turmeric on multiple myeloma.
18. Has been shown to stop the growth of new blood vessels in tumors.
19. Speeds up wound healing and assists in remodeling of damaged skin.
20. May help in the treatment of psoriasis and other inflammatory skin conditions.
Contraindications: Turmeric should not be used by people with gallstones or bile obstruction. Though turmeric is often used by pregnant women, it is important to consult with a doctor before doing so as turmeric can be a uterine stimulant.

Claudia

MoJoe
Posts: 2
Joined: Sep 2013

Taking raw curcumin, which is the active spice of Tumeric, can be made many times more effective by adopting some well known strategies.

(1) Mix curcumin with high quality fish oil, there is a great synergy between the two. Solubility is an issue as less than 1% of curcumin is soluble in fish oil.

(2) Mix Piperine with the curcumin, around 1% by weight. Also Quercetin is helpful and if you mix curcumin 94%, Quercetin 5% and Piperine 1% you have the right ratios. If you have cancer and are treating it with curcumin etc then the price of some precision scales is but a small price.

(3) There is a product already on the market that combines phospholipids from marine sources, complexed to curcumin, quercetin and piperine. It has many times the potency of a single Meriva capsule.

MoJoe

susieg
Posts: 1
Joined: Sep 2013

Hello,  MoJoe,

What is the name of the product that is already on the market that combines phosphlipids form amrine sources, complexed curcumin, quercetin and pepperine thst you spoke of in your #3 statement?   Ive done a search for a product that has all of theses and cant find one.  Please give the name of that product.

mickey13's picture
mickey13
Posts: 2
Joined: Apr 2012

I realize I don't fit the gender qualification for this board but you guys had the posting that addresses Tumeric and black pepper. I did a bunch of research/searching for information on this and this is what I came up with pertaining to how much pepper to add with the tumeric. Most of this was gleaned from manufacturers of the tumeric and bioperine capsules that are on the market. The data implies that it is better to use bioperine with tumeric because it is more "bioavailable" than using raw pepper. Manufacturers of tumeric were adding 10 mg of bioperine to 1,000 mg tumeric. 10 mg is like shaking a pepper shaker gently twice over your food.
Personally, I think you can go nuts trying to balance all these things in your diet and follow some exact dosing routine. Like the Mediterranean diet and reduced heart disease, I think the Asian influence in food provides many ingredients for our bodies health. Consistency is important, just like all the other factors that influence our health and recovery. I will defer to taking tumeric capsules after a meal and I use a fair amount of pepper in my diet anyway. I have begun to use virgin olive oil in lieu of margarine/butter and that gets another synergistic element to the tumeric triangle: Tumeric, black pepper and virgin olive oil. I hope that helps.

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california_artist
Posts: 864
Joined: Jan 2009

Researchers look at countries where there is a low cancer rate, and then they look at what they eat. Seems as though in countries where there is a low rate of cancer there is a daily usage of turmeric in food, on some countries there is a high usage of green tea. I don't think there is any need to eat it by the tubful, just incorporate into your diet. Sometime I will make an English muffin pizza, I am certain my Sicilian ancectors turn over in their graves when I do that, but I just put olive oil in the pan, toast the muffins, stick them in the pan, sprinkle in some turmeric and grind in some black pepper and then add whatever sauce and veggies I choose. I seldom even bother with cheese cause it seems to taste just fine. Drink it with a cup of green tea and lemon. And just enjoy your life.
I do something really odd in the process of cooking this concoction,

I add about a half cup or sometimes more of filtered spring water, cover the whole mess, top with a lid with a steam hole, and wait while the muffin balloons up and becomes like pizza dough. Don't eat it tile the sogginess has been absorbed by the muffin.

And people wonder if I crazy. Is there any doubt????

Rewriter's picture
Rewriter
Posts: 496
Joined: Dec 2009

Claudia-- I laughed out loud when I read your post. Your English muffin pizza sounds delish. I live in a mostly Sicilian neighborhood, and I want to share this recipe. I particularly like the ballooning of the muffin and will try that when my four-year-old neighbor comes to visit.

Anyway, I share your perspective on dietary changes. I get my curcumin the way that you do: by adding turmeric, olive oil, and freshly ground pepper to my food. I also eat raw ginger; drink unsweetened green tea with lemon; and have a bunch of fresh vegetables, fruits, and salads every day. I stay away from all forms of sugar and have eliminated most meat. So that's my diet, and I am feeling great. My cholesterol and blood sugar are both low; I dropped 25 pounds; and I've been NED for almost three years.

I miss you; hope you are doing really well.

Love,

Jill

sleem
Posts: 92
Joined: Feb 2010

Thanks ladies...I'm doing this all the wrong way-just taking one 500 mg daily. I try to add pepper to my food when I think of it and never with olive oil.
You all have put me on a new quest. Thanks a million

madhatter
Posts: 1
Joined: May 2012

You are a woman after my own heart :) I tend to do exactly what you do regarding the tea and spices. I make a good green tea with ginger in it, by the way, Jill.

I am wondering, and this is to all of you, does the research suggest that turmeric needs to be cooked/heated to unlock the anti-cancerous part? I have been taking 1tsp of it with flax seed and pepper, but not heating it. If I know to heat it, I can do that. And if indeed it needs to be heated or cooked, for how long. *Also, if I cook with oil, I use coconut oil, not olive oil. Just a side issue.
Does the oil with the turmeric help the turmeric benefits be absorbed, is that the purpose of the oil?
Does anyone have the link to research on this matter whether to cook it or raw powdered turmeric is okay? I get organic, too.

Thank you, Steph.

VolaVola
Posts: 2
Joined: Jun 2012

Hi just wanted to share my simple tumeric tea recipe:
Boil 3 cups of water add 1tsp of Tumeric and 1tsp of Cinnamon
I also use one teaspoon of Maple Syrup to sweeten but that's optional, it is the most delicious tea I ever had, I love it.
Vi.

VolaVola
Posts: 2
Joined: Jun 2012

Hi just wanted to share my simple tumeric tea recipe:
Boil 3 cups of water add 1tsp of Tumeric and 1tsp of Cinnamon
I also use one teaspoon of Maple Syrup to sweeten but that's optional, it is the most delicious tea I ever had, I love it.
Vi.

daisy366's picture
daisy366
Posts: 1493
Joined: Mar 2009

Thanks for your recipe. I also like to add cinnamon to cereal or anything that needs sweetening.

However if you take turmeric without black PEPPER, it is hardly worth taking. With pepper turmeric is 2000 times as effective! I guess this could go in the tea too but try to ingest it somehow.

ajsingh9999
Posts: 2
Joined: Oct 2014

Toasted turmeric olive oil, flax seed, 1/2 apple, skim milk in 1 1/2 scoop off protein powder, try as break fast . I try with diff frfruits regards 

ajay

ajsingh9999
Posts: 2
Joined: Oct 2014

Toasted turmeric olive oil, flax seed, 1/2 apple, skim milk in 1 1/2 scoop of protein powder, try as break fast . I try with diff frfruits

regards 

ajay

 

 

ps: you may add any thing u want, Ppowder helps in taste and also helps in weight/ diabetes and ----- control

 

robert1699
Posts: 1
Joined: Jun 2012

I think folks may be getting gm (grams) and mg (micrograms) mixed up. Turmeric's effect start from the lowest dosage 1mg (a teaspoon of turmeric is roughly 2,270 mg. (Aqua-calc.com is a wonderful site for converting measurements).. So one teaspoon of turmeric would give you a dose of roughly 2.27 grams of turmeric. A penny weighs 2.5gm so an equal weight of turmeric would give you a solid dose of 200mg of curcumin more or less. The amount of active ingredient in herbs is always a "depends". (the mskcc.org site, Memorial sloan-Kettering Cancer Center has some interesting herb useage/doage stuff and in the case of turmeric covers the contra-indications very well, as long as you keep in mind no answer applies to everyone). I buy my turmeric at an Indian food store here in Nebraska for about $4 for 7oz.
Black pepper (active ingredient piperine) really increases the absorption of the active ingredient in turmeric, curcumin. Sadly i can not find any studies that compare different oils effect's on bioavailability except that oil increased the bioavailabity. I use organic coconut oil, I know many sites say olive oil, but why not flaxseed oil, canola , etc.? One thing to keep in mind with turmeric is at it's highest concentration in the body is somewhere around 30min to one hour after you take it. So in theory, dosing every couple of hours would keep things at what every level you are trying to reach/maintain.
The way I use it is to make a paste. I start with 1 tablespoons of coconut oil, heated in the microwave, 1/8 teaspoons of black pepper, then mix in enough turmeric to make a paste. Then I let that set for at an hour or so. Then, when I want to use it, I mix one teaspoon of paste in 1/4 cup of hot Acari Green Tea (I use the "Republic of Tea" brand, i think you could use acari berries to make a tea or heat acari juice) add 1 teaspoon of honey, and soy milk, a 1/4 cup more or less. I like the woody taste of the turmeric.

daisy366's picture
daisy366
Posts: 1493
Joined: Mar 2009

Thanks for your info. You sound very knowledgeable and I will explore this using another way to heat the oil.

Question: I have an aversion to the microwave and I've had holistic practitioner tell me to not use micro (I didn't get explanation from him but I have read the book "The Secret Messages in Water"). My thinking is that the microwave kills the nutrition in food (I certainly can be off base here and I'm ready for feedback).

Do you have any concerns about microwave energy? Anyone else?

Mary Ann

JemsNTips's picture
JemsNTips
Posts: 1
Joined: Jul 2012

I won't use a microwave at all. The rest of the family don't have the same reservations as I do. Its not a tried and true way to cook food. Unless something has been used for at least three generations we won't discover side affects. Well, that's my two cents anyway.

Dirlboy
Posts: 1
Joined: Apr 2015

i make a paste, too. I heat up a cup of coconut oil, add two tablespoons of turmeric and a teaspoon of finely ground pepper (I use a mortar and pestle). I keep stirring it till it thickens otherwise the pepper sinks to the bottom. Then I use a baster/injector and fill size 0 gelatin capsules. I can make about 100 capsules while watching a one hour TV show (usually Downton Abbey but I'm sure any TV show will work ;^). I keep them in the freezer and take two or three with breakfast and at bedtime.  I don't know exactly how many milligrams it equals but I've had great results and can tell my inflammation has gone down. I have to grind the pepper finely so it fits through the opening of the baster/injector. Be forewarned, it can get messy. But, I find that for all the trouble to make the capsules, it makes it significantly more convenient to take turmeric regularly.

because of the issue with the pepper sinking, I've been thinking about putting some dry pepper in the capsule first, then injecting the coconut oil and turmeric paste on top of it.

Based on this, does anyone have a formula that might determine how much turmeric that equals?

jsuurkula
Posts: 2
Joined: Apr 2015

The reason I joined this group was that I saw it was suggested that Microwaving is used for heating.

Turmeric contains many valuable compounds and herbal compounds are often delicate. Microwaving is like entering a very rough earthquake.

In general, it has been proven that Microwave heating damages the food and weakens the immunity  - throw the oven out!

Heating is necessary for dissolving important components. Some are water and some are oil soluble. 

The unsaturated oils including flaxseed oil, canola oil, soy oil, maize oil, sunflower oil etc  turn into free radicals when heated - don't use at all in cooking  - they turn the food carcinogenic. They should be totally excluded from cooking in Cancer cases and also by the rest for preventing cancer. People who used these foods in cooking had significantly higher rates of all kinds of cancer.

How to do: The ancient asian cultures give an indication:  they traditionally dissolve all spices in a about two tablespoons wather along with as much of oil - ghee preferably or coconut oil - these are resistant to heat. The water has two important roles: it prevents the temperature from rising above 100 and dissolves the important water-dissoluble components. Cook for some 3-4 minutes.

I have seen no studies about this but I highly respect the profound knowledge o Asian cultures - being myself a western medicine trained M.D. who turned into an Ayurveda&integrative medicine doctor.

 

 

 

MoJoe
Posts: 2
Joined: Sep 2013

It should be noted that Curcumin loses a lot of efficacy when heated at 70 degrees centigrade or higher, as does Piperine. When combining note that the ratio of piperine to curcumin is  1%, higher is definetly not better. Add curcumin to all fats taken during the day, butter, oils etc. A ratio here is 0.5% of curcumin to fats. Tumeric is definetly inferior to curcumin and should not be used.  My friend adds 0.5% to his gin, just don't spill it on the carpet. Bio-Mer markets curcumin complexed to a marine phospholipid.

MoJoe    

jsuurkula
Posts: 2
Joined: Apr 2015

Please give a scientific reference regarding your statement that the effectiveness of curcum decreases at 70 degrees.

Turmeric is a compound of substances and it may very well contain components that protect Curcumin from heat damage at 70 because it is very well documented that food cooked - not fried - with whole turmeric powder has significant cancer-preventive effects etc.

It is a great mistake to take out a component of a herb or spice and study it only. Ayurveda strongly empasizes that they are wholes where different components protect and enhance their effect and even bring about qualities found in the single parts. Foods, herbs, spices are not just "bags" of chemicals which western scients think - they are balanced in a subtle way that we should respect in stead of picking the them apart and taking some "most active" ingredient.

A recent example of this is research that demonstrates that turmeric, used as a whole, is many times more effective than pure curcumin, see here for a good summary of recent discoveries: How whole turmeric heals..

 

Doctor Jaan

 

 

 

 

 

 

Willys
Posts: 1
Joined: Apr 2015

This is a terrific topic, thanks muchos for the discussion.  I've been using turmeric regularly/daily for a while now.  My life flow seems to parallel that of my mom's (with the exception of birthing and such as I'm a guy, mid 60's now).  In her mid/late 70's mom began to show signs of Alzheimer's, now twenty years later she's moved on.  Considering the parallels, I'm trying to get in front of that train to stop it in it's tracks.

Through online research I've discovered the possible effects of turmeric so have incorporated it into my daily routine, and wanted to share here.  First, in a reply inquiring about heat and curcumin, I've also read elsewhere that too much heat can reduce the effective qualities of turmeric.

I start each day with a cup of green tea, using water from my Mr. Coffee (no coffee, just the water).  While the tea is steeping I squeeze a lemon, add some inulin (no S in inulin), add a quarter TSP of turmeric and cayenne.  As with the pepper theme I've read that cayenne helps with the absorption of turmeric.  Oh yeah, and a dash of stevia - for the lemon.  Then I blend with the green tea.  I've gotten to where I really like my spicey eye opener and don't think I can get a day started without it.

Two points here...  Either the drink will assist to allay the onset of Alzheimer's, or I'll never know the difference - my consolation.

Also, the part of winter I like most is making soup, as in more turmeric.  It's not a big deal, olive oil, some veggies, brown rice, spices and LOTS of turmeric and cayenne.  I'll wait until the soup is a minute or so from turning off the heat (a low heat) to add the spice.  Again, don't want heat to reduce the qualities of the turmeric, or any thing else.

 

Best of wishes to you all, looking forward to survival.

Tehilla
Posts: 3
Joined: Aug 2015

Hi All,

 I was wondering - do any of you know if curcumin helps lower or prevent hair-loss due to chemotherapy?

My brother-in-law is on chemo (cisplatin + vp16) and was practically going bald, and since he started taking curcumin capsules, it seems as if the hair loss has stopped. Has anyone else around here experienced similar positive effect?

If so, does anyone have an explanation?

I'd be very grateful to hear anything about curcumin and hair-loss,  because my brother-in-law actually has a certain fear that if the side-effect of the hair-loss is being blocked, perhaps the curcumin is also blocking other necessary actions of the chemo.....

I'm pretty sure this fear is groundless, since curcumin is supposed to be very synergistic with cisplatin. (He does not take it on the days of the chemotherapy because you're not supposed to take curcumin together with the vp-16). But if I had something concrete to tell him about this to calm him down it would be a great help!!

He'd be thrilled if he knew that curcumin is known to help prevent hair-loss positively, yet still strengthen the chemo!!

 

Thanks and lots of health to all of you out there!!!

MAbound
Posts: 47
Joined: Jun 2016

I don't want to rain on anyone's parade here, but want to point out that Tumeric/curcumin does interact with numerous medications (such as tylenol, advil, aspirin, anticoagulants to name a few) and a number of chemo drugs in a manner that make them less effective. One site that cautions about this is Memorial-Sloan Kettering at https://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/integrative-medicine/herbs/turmeric. It can't be emphasized enough to always check with your oncologist first before adding any supplements to your treatment regimen; the last thing anyone wants to do is render their chemo less effective.

Tethys41's picture
Tethys41
Posts: 1104
Joined: Sep 2010

Actually, your doctor will discourage you from taking supplements while on chemo because most of them don't know much about them.  There are, however, a number of things that can be used during or around chemo treatments, if used properly.  But the people who know how to prescribe them are either integrative doctors of naturopaths.  There is also a book, "The Definitive Guide to Cancer," which lists what supplements can be taken with each type of chemo drug.  it is written by Lise Auschler, who is a well known naturopathic oncologist.  Don't be turned away from things that can help you with side effects and help increase the effectiveness of chemo by asking practitioners who have not been trained in these things.  Do some research or ask someone with the proper training. 

MAbound
Posts: 47
Joined: Jun 2016

It's not really fair to generalize that "most doctors will discourage you from taking supplements while on chemo because most don't know much about them". Many doctors are quite open to their use these days where they are at least shown to do no harm and studies exist that show promise of positive effect even if more study needs to be done before they could be considered for adding to stanard practice. You just need to do your homework to present it to doctors when you want to add it into your treatment. Doing so will also help you to better understand what you might be asking for and to be selective in what is worth trying. If you are fortunate to be working with a naturopathic doctor, he can help you by pointing you to the evidence he uses in making his reccomendations. It's really in your own best interest to understand as much of the science existing about supplements as you can before ingesting them. In this instance, curcumin does not meet this standard during chemotherapy. If you need a naturopathic source to refer to, Life Extension has a lengthy article on chemotherapy that specifically recommends chemotherapy patients wait 3 weeks after their last dose of chemotherapy before taking high dioses of curcumin: www.lifeextension.com/protocals/cancer/chemotherapy/page-05. Scroll down to the section titled "Why Agents That Inhibit Angiogenesis and Block Signal Transduction Are Failing" to the 2nd paragrapgh where they recommend waiting until 3 weeks after chemotherapy to take high doses of curcumin.  It's an anti-oxident, that by it's anti-cancer effects, diminishes the effectiveness of chemotherapy because those drugs are designed to prefer cells that are highly active, namely cancer cells, and anti-oxidents are agents that impact this level of axtivity and put normal cells at higher risk of damage by chemo drugs while making cancer cells less susceptible. It's why  you should probably avoid any anti-oxident use during chemotherapy without certainty that there won't be negative interference with treatment.

 

I don't mean to give the impression that I'm against naturpathic assistance during chemotherapy.I'm highly in favor of it and interested in looking into the anti-cancer diet information I'm finding on these discussion forums.  I'm currently taking B vitamins, getting B12 shots and glutamine, with my oncologists blessing, and also using hypothermic gloves and mittens to protect against and mitigate side-effects with positive results, but there are existing studies that show their value and safety just as there is evidence that indicates that using curcumin and other anti-oxidents during chemotherapy might impact its effectiveness. I tend to be a very skeptical and cautious person, and so prefer to rely on scientific study rather than anecdotal or testimonial evidence, especially when dealing with my health. This applies to medical science, too, as I've been questioning pelvic radiation after chemotherapy even though it's SOP for the stage 3a, grade 3 uterine cancer I have. My oncologist is starting to agree that progesterone therapy and close monitoring may be the better path for me after chemotherapy before revisiting radiation for any recurrance after I raised a lot of concerns about it's value with such scattershot targeting in hopes but not certainty of eliminating undetectable cancer cells. Too many permanent, life-altering side effects for uncertain need or benefit even if statistically it's considered to raise odds of cure. What point is a cure if remaining living is ruined by chronic, disabling pain, increased risk for other cancers andn other disability? I definetly need the chemo and progesterone, but radiation seems to be more for added insurance by it's unspecific targeting and not worth the risks of creating serious new issues for me at this point.

I apologise if this post seems lecturing to some. I just think that if you are undergoing chemotherapy as I am, there are others who would also want to be aware of issues that might impact it and judge for themselves whether or not taking curcumin or other anti-oxidants is worth potentially lessening the effectiveness of what they are going through. To know better is to do better, so hence I jumped into this discussion to raise a point of concern.

Tethys41's picture
Tethys41
Posts: 1104
Joined: Sep 2010

MAbound,

Not to minimize your 'opinion' with regard to supplementing during chemotherapy, but I must reiterate that there are many, many options available that do have synergistic benefits with chemo drugs.  And although you are completely entitled to 'feel' the way you do with regard to testing and studies and how you choose to address your disease, your position is not definitive.  It is unlikely that your superficial research compares to the expertise of a practitioner trained in the art of integrative cancer therapies.  I am guessing that the informaiton contained on the Life Extension site is aimed at people who are taking a do-it-yourself approach to integrative or alternative cancer treatment because what you stated is in direct conflict with the research of Dr. Baharat Aggarwal from MD Anderson.  

I relied on naturopathic support throughout my treatment for stage IIIC ovarian cancer and my treatment was sucessful, despite my gynecological oncologist's claim that I would not reach remission.  And I have had 4 oncologists advise me not to take any supplements because, they said, they are unregulated and harmful.  Plus I have seen dozens of posts from women on this and other discussion boards, who have had a similar experience.  The only oncologist who had the opposite view was at a hospital I went to in Mexico.   This is the basis of my statement that 'most' doctors will discourage you from taking suppelments.  If your experience has been more positive, then you are more fortunate than many.  

It has been almost exactly 7 years since my initial diagnosis and my successful first line treatment.  I made many lifestyle changes, took supplements, and changed my diet based on my naturopath's advice and have maintained NED since early 2010.  And yes, I did take curcumin and anti-oxidants during chemotherapy, Carbo/Taxol/Avastin under the guidance of my naturopath, but it may not be appropriate with some other chemo drugs.  A naturopath trained in oncology could tell you when it is appropriate.  If oncologists are the preemminent experts on cancer treatment and if mine was correct, that I should not have seen results from chemo, then I can only attibute my success to the integrative therapies I incorporated.  

I am, however, in agreement with you that you should rely on an expert to prescirbe the appropriate supplements and other supportive therapies with your chemotherapy treatment.  Someone trained in these methods is an essential component to integrative support.  To try the do-it-yourself approach is dangerous and wreckless. Additionally, each person requires a different approach to her cancer because cancer is a personalize disease, requiring personalized treatment.  The supplements my naturopath prescribed for me are not the same for every ovarian cancer patient across the board.

No disrespect, MA, but this site has a history of newbies signing up for an account, diggining into the files and ferretting out threads from years ago that relate to integrative treatments and attempting to discredit them.  It is horribly unfair and damaging to discourage patients from investigating the options available to them.  This disease is frightening enough without people trying to dissuade patients from investigating and learning about their options.  Based on my experience and the experience of about 70 of my ovca sisters, with whom I remain in contact, I do not agree with the statements that you should follow your oncologist's advice when it comes to integrative therapies and supplements, and that they don't work or interfere with chemo, because that simply is not the case if they are used correctly. 

Good luck with your treatments.

MAbound
Posts: 47
Joined: Jun 2016

Tethys41, I really was hoping to just put out a concern about this particular supplement that wasn't mentioned in earlier posts in this thread, not get into an argument over naturopathic medicine vs western medicine. Both have value and are not necessarily mutually exclusive of being used in concert with each other. You obviously have very strong feelings about the results you have achieved (congratulations, by the way!) and want to share that with others. We all need to hear about it, but perhaps toned down a bit. It never hurts to have different aspects of an issue presented for people to consider in making their own decisions. I'm sure your naturopathic oncologist wouldn't disagree with me about that.

I was hoping that by pointing to a specific spot in the LifeExtension article on chemotherapy it would get someone interested in reading the article from the beginning to see how they came to that recommendation. It's rather lengthy and somewhat technical, but it does present and discuss the two options of not taking curcumin during chemo or going ahead and taking it and why they arrived at the recommendation that was their bottom line. There are many citations at the end of the article that would be useful for digging deeper. Whenever there's disagreement or opposing views, it's always a good idea to investigate further from different kinds of sources to get the whole picture about what you are considering.

I truly take to heart the experiences of others as I take on my journey and know I have a lot more to learn, but I have a strong science background that has trained me to ask questions that always lead to more questions. I don't give a lot of weight to annecdotal or testimonial evidence; I just use it as a starting point for learning more. I may be a "newbie" to this website, but I'm not trying to discredit or discourage anyone from investigating any options open to them, far from it as I was only trying to raise a point of concern that bears weighing into treatment decisions. That hardly qualifies as a sinister, pre-meditated plot "trying to dissuade patients from investigating and learning about their options" and I take strong exception to being accused of that. It was very disrespectful. If anyone is guilty of being closed-minded about other options, I think Tethys41 needs to look in the mirror.

I'm truly sorry that this upset you Tethys41 and my intent is to end this here as I think we have both have said our piece. I'm still interested in what you have to offer from your experiences and don't want there to be hostility between us. We are all on this journey together with each of us on different parts of the path. How we use what we learn here will always be a matter of individual decision making and everyone won't always be in agreement with what others chose to do. That has to be respected and supported.

EZLiving66's picture
EZLiving66
Posts: 766
Joined: Oct 2015

The thing is, there is not one size that fits all.  Several women on this old thread are, sadly, dead.  Chemo almost killed me by causing my liver to shut down. My gynocologist/oncologist has quit doing routine scans and using radiation as a frontline treatment unless he cannot surgically get all the cancer he can see because of the sometimes, horrendous side effects.  Yet, other doctors continue to do this.  Some women choose, after their hysterectomy, to have no further treatment and go on to live many years; others go through all the recommended treatment and still face recurrence.  We each have to do what's best for us.  

I agree 100% you need to speak with your doctor if you're taking anything not specifically prescribed.  Get a second opinion if you're not happy with your doctor's recommendation.  However most women don't have access to a variety of treatment options.  

Right now successful cancer treatment is in its infancy and who knows when the next breakthrough will happen?  I take Metformin for T2 diabetes.  It is showing promise in treating UPSC recurrence.  There are women who swear by it and as long as I take it anyway, I am going to continue, but would I take it if I didn't have T2?   Probably not.

Love, 

Eldri

 

Spiderhunter
Posts: 2
Joined: Jul 2016

I know that sounds absurd, but when I am looking for the supplements I find over and over capsules with X amount of curcuma longa root and then a WAY lesser amount of 95% standardized curcuminoids and then the 10 mg of bioperine.  Should I be looking for a capsule with  only or mostly the 95% standardized curcuminoids and bioperine? 

I don't even know if there IS a supplement with only the curcuminoids.. is there?

Thanks

onesong's picture
onesong
Posts: 1
Joined: Jul 2016

From the perspective of herbalists, many times the 'whole herb' is more beneficial than it's parts.  In a recent class by K.P. Khalsa, a well known herbalist, turmeric use was discussed and this was his take on it (not verbatim).  Turmeric is best taken as a whole herb, rather than isolating the 'curcurmin' out of it.  His daily practice is to take 3 Tablespoons of dried turmeric in water.  The discussion included whether it needed cooked, additional additives, etc. and his take was that the best way to use and avail our bodies of this natural medicine is in whatever way we will actually use it.  So here is the way I take it (and my thoughts on why). 

1 1/2 T. of turmeric, 1 tsp virgin coconut oil, 1 tsp raw honey, 1/8 tsp black pepper.  I mix all until it becomes a paste, pour a few ounces of boiling water over it, mix to remove remaining lumps and add enough cool filtered water to drink it.  I down it quick, much like one might a stiff drink, and follow it with some water.  I do this in the morning and again at night.

The coconut oil is better than olive oil only because most/much of the olive oil in our groceries is now being found to be of questionable quality and some isn't olive oil at all.  Coconut oil kills fungus, yeast etc.  which is beneficial as well.  The honey has healing properties by itself, but also allows the turmeric to be rapidly taken up by cancer cells which we know use up 'sugars/glucose' in our bodies faster than the healthy cells. Black pepper helps with absorption.  Just my take on it, no scientist but from my understanding-the reason I'm doing what I do. K.P. Khalsa has a website and offers classes etc. for reasonable cost. (I AM NOT affiliated with him, just value his judgement and expertise!)  

Spiderhunter
Posts: 2
Joined: Jul 2016

Thank you SO much! I find I am learning all over again how to eat, what to look for etc. I am trying very hard to be a healthier person. I see my friends and friends of friends that have all manner of things happening to them. Big pharma is such an evil conglomerate of business and faux healthcare!! So odd at my age to no longer trust most of the types of people I was taught were the ONES that could be trusted! Perhaps the same old song and dance has been done since man began our journey... still odd and difficult to know what to do anymore. THANKS again for your honesty and help! 

Kate L
Posts: 1
Joined: Jul 2016

Today I was looking up some information on curcumin and turmeric and I found this  website .  I am not a cancer survivor  rather I have another very debilitating chronic illness  due to a long-term  bout with Lyme disease .  I was a healthy bike rider reduced to bed and not being able to stand or hold down food. I also required 27 hours of surgery due to a complication.  I have post treatment Lyme disease, adrenal fatigue and  an immune system and  nervous system that has gone haywire .  With that said, I thought I might share with you  what I have found about curcumin and diet.   Both have multiple benefits and are bringing me back to living.  Hope this is helpful... prayers to you all...... 

I  found a powdered curcumin ( drink mix) that comes in a plastic jar.  I use it in soups and smoothies and tea, also sprinkle it in salad etc. I add pepper.  It dissolves well with a little fat .  I use healthy oils high in omega 3 fatty acids such as walnut, avocado, and coconut oil mostly.  I find it dissolves best in soup without adding more oil. 

I also have eliminated sugar, dairy, beef , shellfish, soy, wheat, gluten, and unhealthy fats from my diet. I eat chicken, turkey, fish, eggs, lamb, duck,...  other game meats i can eat but don't like them.....I have three servings of a cleansing vegetable like Kale and artichokes, two cruciferous, one serving of another vegetable like tomato, etc., one serving of beans, nuts especially walnuts, one to two servings of berries, and coconut almond or cashew milk, and three tsps of a healthy fat each day.  ...  olive, walnut, avocado oil, high oleic sunflower, coconut, sesame, e g.

 I have also found many vitamins , especially B12, may not be absorbed. Methcobalamin is the most effective form to take. Calcium citrate is also the best absorbed form.  

I went to a nutritionist at the Center for Integrative Medicine at university of Maryland . I also worked with a doctor of osteopathy as well as my traditional Dr.   They helped me find the right vitamins and nutrients, as well as what to eat during the day.  They found that I had multiple vitamin deficiencies. The right food really made a difference in terms of how I feel. I can walk a little now and I'm doing much better with ADLs.   I can do this type of diet for the rest of my life. And if I want something sweet I had a little Stevia to some fruit or a fruit cobbler. My family doesn't seem to mind either and my husband is a picky eater.....or was... These people that think that diet doesn't matter are just crazy. I guess in some ways we are what we eat. 

Here's to Good Health. Best wishes

 

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