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HOW TO MAKE TUMERIC/CURCUMIN MORE EFFECTIVE

RoseyR
Posts: 462
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: 494
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: 494
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: 494
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: 462
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

jazzy1's picture
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.

california_artist
Posts: 850
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: 494
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.

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.

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    

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