This is my post number 200! WOW! But, even more incredible, according to my blog stats, my blog readers have left me 457 comments. Thank you all so so much.
Thanks also for all the private and public get well wishes. In fact, I feel much better today, and the positive thing about this bug is that it attacked my stomach, not my lungs (my weak spot). And that means: no antibiotics! Yippee! So I am back to doing research today. And laundry.
Blog readers’ questions. Laughing Plasma Cells (hi!), the vaccine I had was the inactive type. I made sure of that. In fact, on Tuesday I obliged my long-suffering 😉 GP to read the entire list of ingredients on the box before I let him administer the vaccine. I also wanted to make sure it contained no mercury, in accordance with recent European regulations. It didn’t. I had the vaccine.
Sue’s question: I have not heard about the yucca studies (sounds interesting). I have instead heard about Turmericforce, made by “New Chapter,” but it has such a low percentage of curcuminoids that I cannot say if it would work or not, even at a high dosage. I would like to add that I do like New Chapter and am going to try its Zyflamend and Scutellaria Baicalensis. Let’s see, I have tried both curcumin capsules AND powder (mixed in fat). Not sure if I can say which works better at this point. The only thing I CAN say for sure is that curcumin capsules withOUT bioperine didn’t work for me. That doesn’t mean that they won’t work for other folks, of course, since we all react differently to the same exact substance. Curcumin capsules WITH bioperine kept me stable. So, you ask a tough question. Don (Myeloma Hope blog, see link on this page) took thalidomide, then curcumin, then adopted the very tempting (to me) kitchen sink approach. You might go to his blog and ask him the same question. If only I had all the answers…!!! Some day…perhaps!
My blog reader Donna wrote me a private message, telling me I could share her good news, which is that her numbers have improved. She writes: “My IgG went from 637 to 669, IgA from 23 to 26, and IgM from 12 to 13! Although these are not drastic changes, at least they are going in the right direction…for a change!” She has added super Bio-Curcumin and quercetin to her intake this month. Go, Donna!
Important note for UK chocoholics. Dora informed me of a new product called Choxi (you can google it for more info) made by the Queen’s chocolatiers (how about that?). It’s been flying off the shelves, but she informed me that you can order it directly from the manufacturers, too. Thanks, Dora. I’ll be looking for some Italian Choxi…
Curcumin bioavailability is a huge issue, which seems to be in the forefront of research on curcumin. Prof. Aggarwal, head of the curcumin research team at MD Anderson in Texas, recently co-authored a study (abstract: http://tinyurl.com/35w4mn) published in Molecular Pharmaceutics (November 2007) on this very topic. The abstract tells us that Major reasons contributing to the low plasma and tissue levels of curcumin appear to be due to poor absorption, rapid metabolism, and rapid systemic elimination. To improve the bioavailability of curcumin, numerous approaches have been undertaken. These approaches involve, first, the use of adjuvant like piperine that interferes with glucuronidation; second, the use of liposomal curcumin; third, curcumin nanoparticles; fourth, the use of curcumin phospholipid complex; and fifth, the use of structural analogues of curcumin (e.g., EF-24). I will probably, at some point, be able to read the full study, and will provide a full report here. I hope, soon.
Before I go on, I should mention that the proposal that my friend Ana and I become curcumin lab mice has failed. The fantastic Italian urologist who uses and studies and writes about curcumin told me it would be quite impossible. I knew it would be difficult, but doesn’t the saying go “if you don’t try, you will never know”? Precisely. So I tried. Well, that chapter is closed for now, at any rate.
Curcumin EF24 analogue. The same doctor told me about EF24, the above-mentioned synthetic analogue. According to a study published in 2005 in Anticancer Drugs (abstract: http://tinyurl.com/3acjyc), EF24 was found to be effective against breast and prostate cancer cells. Effective against, meaning EF24 induced apoptosis in those cells. Apoptosis! Yeah! Thanks again to my friend Sherlock (grazie!), I was able to read the full study. Nearly 100 curcumin analogues were studied and tested for their anticancer and anti-angiogenesis properties. EF24 emerged as the most active one. Compared to regular curcumin, EF24 showed a 2- to 10-fold increase in cytotoxic activity. According to the study, it effectively penetrates and induces apoptosis in cultured human breast and prostate cancer cells.
A more recent study, published in September 2007 in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, examines the anticancer effect of EF24 on cisplatin-resistant human ovarian cancer cells. It induces G2/M arrest and apoptosis in those cells, as you can read in the abstract: http://tinyurl.com/2csz63. It increases the levels of the tumour-suppressing protein p53. The acronym mentioned in the title, PTEN, is a gene that is essential for the creation of a tumour-suppressing protein. By the way, if you ever have to look up a gene and its functions, here’s a good place to start, methinks: http://tinyurl.com/2y9yea This link will take you to information specifically about the PTEN gene, but you can do searches on any other types of genes, such as p53. Anyway, the point is that EF24 increased the activity of PTEN.
I didn’t find any studies on EF24 and myeloma. Too bad. In the next few days, I will check out two more recent curcumin analogues and see if they have been tested against myeloma cells.