Bioavailability of curcumin

There are several studies online about curcumin’s low bioavailability, which means that most of what we swallow goes directly into our gastrointestinal area and is expelled. Very little remains in the bloodstream about an hour or so after ingestion. However, it is possible that the small amount that does get absorbed is enough to induce apoptosis of the MM cells. Otherwise, curcumin wouldn’t have worked in my case.
Curcumin is not soluble in water, but in fat. When dissolved in fat, curcumin will go directly into the lymphatic system. On the Grouppe Kurosawa website (www.grouppekurosawa.com) there is a lot of information on the bioavailability of curcumin, such as the following: The lymphatic system bathes all the cells in the body. It also bypasses the liver in what is called the first pass phenomenon. This means that more curcumin gets into the body to interact with cancer cells. Some more scientifically-minded MM listserv members have disputed this, writing that fats do not by-pass the liver. They travel from the stomach to the intestine, where they are digested, and the digestion products travel from there to the lymph, then to the blood, and then to all organs of the body, including the liver. But that’s fat. Curcumin isn’t fat.
The fact remains that my Ig count decreased or remained stable on my coconut milk (fat)-curcumin powder drink. So, whatever the mechanism, some curcumin had and has to be reaching my malignant cells.
For several months I mixed curcumin powder with a fat. I tried everything from coconut milk to flaxseed oil. The problem arose when I began feeling nauseous just at the smell of coconut milk heating up on the stove. That’s when I tried mixing curcumin powder with flaxseed oil. The taste was more than I could stand, but for a few weeks I managed to swallow this concoction, too. But then I joined the two main MM listservs. And began experimenting.

MMA Support mailing list and Acor MM listserv

In November of 2006, I joined the MMA Support mailing list. Later that month I joined the Acor MM listserv. I posted my curcumin experience on both lists, and began receiving dozens of private e-mails, mostly from people who wanted more information about curcumin, but some were from curcumin-takers. I learned a lot from them. Nobody mixed curcumin powder with a fat substance. I was the only one. And all had had positive results from curcumin. So I decided to test curcumin capsules with bioperine for a couple of months. I chose the same curcumin that is being used in the MD Anderson clinical trial, the C3 Complex made by the Sabinsa Corporation.
I began my capsule experiment in January and expect to take my blood tests at the end of March 2007.
Some curcumin-takers advised me to take curcumin capsules together with fish oil or flaxseed oil capsules. Aha, the fat needed for curcumin to be absorbed!
A month or so ago, an Acor listserv subscriber posted a study called the Delano Report, which suggested that quercetin, a flavonoid found in apples, onions, red grapes, citrus fruits, broccoli and so on, would inhibit the sulfotransferase enzymes which render curcumin relatively inactive (for more information, see the Delano Report at: http://tinyurl.com/yyucfp ). As a result, I now take between 1 and 2 grams of quercetin 15 to 30 minutes before curcumin.

Bioavailability update. September 10 2007 post. A blog reader recently posted a comment, with an attached abstract, on this topic, which for obvious reasons is of utmost importance and interest to me and to anybody else who takes curcumin. The abstract (http://tinyurl.com/2t73w5) reports that the bioavailability of curcumin is enhanced with HEAT. Key sentence: We report here that the water solubility of curcumin could be increased from 0.6 μg/ml to 7.4 μg/ml (12-fold increase) by the use of heat. A 12-fold increase in water solubility? That’s nothing to sneeze at. These researchers also found [ ] no significant heat-mediated disintegration of curcumin. Well we certainly do NOT want curcumin to disintegrate, do we? Now, I already knew that curcumin dissolves in fats (I have seen that happen with my own eyes) and I have read that it dissolves in alcohol (bring on the vodka, hic!), but heat? And then, boom!, it hit me. When I first started taking curcumin, I mixed the powder with very warm, but not boiling, coconut milk. At that time I hadn’t even heard of bioperine nor was I taking any oil capsules. I had simply read that it was best to take curcumin powder mixed with a fat. I drank this concoction for months. And by the way, after the first eight weeks my IgG count went down almost 20 %.

Consideration. As I have said before, curcumin is not water-soluble. However, recently another blog reader commented that she mixes her curcumin with heated organic whole milk. She wrote that one day she ran out of milk but managed, eventually, to dissolve her curcumin in hot water. Well, so this heating curcumin business may make sense after all. Another consideration: back in May I wrote a post on a study (http://tinyurl.com/2fh26z) that examined the degradation of curcumin when heated up. I reread it yesterday and found that curcumin was affected after being boiled in water for ten and twenty minutes. Well, no worries, then. I don’t plan to BOIL my curcumin as I do pasta, not even for a few seconds, but just heat it up enough to make it more bioavailable. And that leads to the obvious question: how much is enough ? Ok, NOW I’m in trouble!

While looking for material on this topic, I came across an interesting Dutch website called Food Info Net, which is (and I quote): an independent joint project, initiated and run by Wageningen University (the Netherlands) in co-operation with several other partner universities in Europe. The site is non-commercial and all responsibility on content and lay-out is with the university partners. Hmmm, interesting. I will go back at some point and have a look at the various sections on food allergies etc. At any rate, Food Info has info on curcumin (http://tinyurl.com/ywf75z), as follows: Curcumin is light sensitive but stable at temperatures used in food processing. So, that is reassuring. It would appear that heating it up for a few seconds wouldn’t alter its properties. Or would it? My final question is: should we try taking curcumin mixed in, or simply accompanied by, a cup of hot milk? I knew I should have been a Science major. Drat. Well, the search continues.

September 29 2007 post. A blog reader recently wrote me a fascinating (private) message. With his permission, I am posting parts of it (it’s a long message, so I had to edit it a bit). This is a brilliant presentation of the bioavailability of curcumin with a few interesting suggestions on how to increase it: Biocurcumax is giving us curcumin that is predissolved in 10-15% oil by weight. Isn’t that what I am doing by mixing curcumin with full fat yogurt: predissolving it before ingesting it? Could it be that those of us who predissolve in oil are already getting the benefit of the improved bioavailability that Biocurcumax wants to offer us? And why does the dissolution of curcumin in oil help the bioavailability? I believe it is because the way the body digests fat is that it the chunks go through the stomach and then it becomes emulsified when bile is added to the initial end of the small intestine. Then those small droplets of oil, containing molecules of dissolved curcumin, are small enough to pass through the vilii of the small intestine into the network of lymph ducts that parallel all the network of blood veins, into which other molecules enter through the vein pores in the walls of the vessels (but the fat droplets don’t). Fats are not digested much in the stomach or the small intestine, but enter the lymph system, along with the enzyme lipase, which breaks down the fat globules and converts the fats into glycerol and fatty acids, both of which are soluble in water. So when the lymph is dumped back into the blood vein system up near the thorax, the fat has been changed into water soluble components. Presumably, the curcumin that was dissolved in the fat globules (dissolved means that it then existed in molecular form, not crystalline form), now remains attached to the fatty acids molecules or exists as free curcumin molecules in the blood to be carried throughout the body to find their home on some ugly little cancer cell in the bone marrow, where it frightens that cancer cell into committing hara-kiri, or your favorite word APOPTOSIS. So my theory is the Biocurcumax improves bioavailability by dissolving part of the curcumin in the oil, making easier for part of it to get into the blood stream through the lymph system. But I want to dissolve ALL of the curcumin in oil so that All of it gets into the blood stream through the lymph system. Maybe we already are there and don’t know it because no one ever measured.Finally, I have two more brainstorm ideas to push on you. First, you must realize that curcumin will dissolve in alkaline aqueous solutions, but not acid solutions. The stomach is very acidic but the small intestine is very alkaline. First idea is to ferry the curcumin through the stomach, where a lot of it gets turned into curcumin glucorinide and curcumin sulfate, neither of which are bioactive, and into the small intestine by encapsulating the fine curcumin powder in an enteric coated capsule that can resist the stomach acids, but will dissolve in the alkaline environment of the small intestine, releasing its contents, which promptly dissolve in that environment and enter the vein system in molecular form. Some may still get lost through conjugation into glucorinide and sulfate, but more will at least get dissolved and able to enter the blood stream because it wasn’t conjugated while in the stomach.Second idea is to dissolve the curcumin into some kind of fat (how about cocoa butter?) that is hard at room temperature, like chocolate, and form it into a capsule form, which gets swallowed whole. As it makes it way through the stomach it slowly melts and the fat breaks into droplets with the curcumin still dissolved in them. These droplets are then emulsified in the small intestine and go on their way into the lymph system to be digested by the lipase, as in the above description. The main advantage of this approach is convenience. Just pop a few delicious chocolate-flavored lozenges into your mouth and swallow them WHOLE, and your curcumin is on its way to lymph heaven.

I particularly liked his second idea: chocolate, my favourite thing in the world, AND curcumin? I must do some experimenting. And why not mix curcumin with a ganache, i.e., warm cream with unsweetened dark chocolate? Ahhh, the possibilities are endless.

September 30 2007 post. Two interesting comments to yesterday’s post. First, I would like to address Don’s comment. With my almost non-existent scientific background, I think the idea of swallowing the chocolate lozenge just as you would swallow a pill is in order for it to melt slowly not in the mouth but in the stomach. If it melts in the mouth, wouldn’t that defeat the purpose? How would curcumin bypass the stomach if it were not still encapsulated in fat? I could be totally wrong, of course.Second, Marcelo’s comment. I agree, I would love to have a chemist comment on all of this, too! At any rate, his wife now dissolves curcumin in olive oil. A possible suggestion to improve taste would be to add herbs and spices to this concoction. In the past, I tried flaxseed oil, but the taste was so dreadful that after a couple of weeks I became nauseous just at the sight of this mixture, no matter how much I tried to think of it as a Harry Potter potion. However, I still think an oil mixture is a good way to take curcumin (and Biocurcumax would be proof of that, although where to get our hands on essential oil of turmeric is beyond me), perhaps THE best way, but you have to have a strong stomach for it. By the way, if you would like to read the Biocurcumax patent application, go to: http://tinyurl.com/2nqcjf I will go through this application more carefully soon.As for milk cream (would that just be cream, Marcelo, as in whipping cream or double cream?), I would suggest heating it. It seems strange that your curcumin didn’t dissolve in cream. In the past, I tried the warm cream/curcumin (another yuck!) mixture, and the former dissolved rather easily. There may not be enough fat content in your milk cream. (?)A good question would be: how to make all these great concoctions more palatable? I am very open to suggestions.Here are a couple of things that I would like to try in the future. One is the chocolate lozenge idea; the other is the oil idea, with, as I mentioned previously, the addition of other spices (spices have anti-inflammatory effects, generally speaking, so I very much doubt that they would interact negatively with curcumin) in order to make the concoction more palatable. Speaking of palatable, I remember that last year, after preparing a huge Indian feast, I took my curcumin mixed in the oily part of the food, and it tasted absolutely fantastic. I couldn’t taste the curcumin at all when mixed with all those wonderful spices. Well, in my September 12th post ( Signaling Protein for Multiple Myeloma Identified ), I wrote about an Indian dish called Vindaloo. Given my previously-described successful (in terms of taste, anyway!) experiment with curcumin and spicy oil, this reinforced my idea of mixing curcumin with the warmed up oily part of this dish. That might well be the best way to take curcumin. Ahhh, with spices there really are so many different possibilities. I wish I could do one experiment for two weeks, have blood tests done, then do another experiment for two weeks, and so on. But patience is a virtue, no? And in fact, according to an Italian proverb, la pazienza è la virtù dei forti, which roughly means patience is the virtue of strong people. So I will be patient, I will be strong, and try one thing at a time, for two months at a time.

October 1 2007 post. Last week I stopped taking the Doctor’s Best curcumin capsules, fearing a possible interference between the bioperine and my massive daily dose of antibiotics (I am not sure that that would be the case, but better safe than sorry!). Since I don’t want to stop taking curcumin for obvious reasons, though, I figured that now would be a good time to try one of the new increased bioavailability ideas.Since I am not up to making chocolate candies yet, I decided to try my chocolate ganache idea. All I have in my kitchen right now is some 70% dark chocolate, which yesterday afternoon I melted over low heat, adding a small amount of organic butter, then some whole organic milk. I mixed about two grams of curcumin powder into this thick dark liquid and drank it. Now, keeping in mind that right at the moment I have quite a head cold and my taste buds are, consequently, a bit altered, this mixture tasted just fine to me. Quite an interesting color, too. ;-) This morning I upped the dose of curcumin to four grams. The taste was definitely worse but not horrendous. Once I get my hands on some double cream and some cocoa butter (which has a 50-57% fat content), I won’t need to use butter to increase the fat content of my fake ganache. Still, even without the cocoa butter etc., I can confirm that curcumin will dissolve easily in what is essentially warm (almost hot) chocolate milk, without sugar. Whether it works on my myeloma markers well, I won’t know that until I have my next set of tests. My experiment continues.

October 2 2007 post. Today I thought I would gather together a few more of my blog reader suggestions (if I have forgotten anyone, please let me know!), and also show a few photos documenting how I am currently taking curcumin (see explanation below). The curcumin powder here depicted (see photo on the left) is the C3 Complex curcumin, without bioperine, that I order from the Italian distributor for the Sabinsa Corporation. I keep it in a hermetically sealed ceramic jar so no air and light will make it deteriorate. A blog reader with a plasmacytoma (diagnosed three years ago) is currently stable. He takes curcumin together with a product called Barley Green, which, from what I gathered on Internet, is composed mainly of organic barley grass containing active enzymes, minerals, B-vitamins, amino acids, essential fatty acids, carotenoids, bioflavonoids, and chlorophyll. This mix allegedly gives a boost to the immune system and reduces inflammation. I have never tried it, but I HAVE been curious to try wheatgrass, which is not readily available here in Italy, though. I love what this blog reader says about myeloma cells, i.e., that they don’t like green. When I visualize, I focus sometimes on things that my myeloma cells don’t like, and it makes sense that they don’t care for healthful diets full of green veggies. So this is interesting. Does anybody else here take a similar green product?Another blog reader suggests letting curcumin rest in the flaxseed or liquid preparation for about a half hour before drinking it in order to give it time to go through and finish its chemical processes. This is analogous, I suppose, to letting fresh homemade pasta dough rest before rolling it out. An interesting idea. The only thing that would concern me is that curcumin is not happy when exposed to air and light. But perhaps mixed in a liquid would lessen its chances of losing any of its healthful properties. Any thoughts on this?Chocolate curcumin mixture

Blog reader number three dissolves curcumin powder in very warm milk and then adds the omega 3 oil from a capsule (Omega 3-6-9 lemon flavor from Nordic Natural). She says this makes it very palatable. When she mixed it with coconut milk (as yours truly used to do), she did not like it (neither did I). It was the smell from the milk what make her sick (no kidding! Me, too!). Sometimes she adds coconut oil to her concoction, which tastes very good, too, she reports.

A fourth blog reader does the following: I mix the caps of curcumin in a teaspoon or two of organic flax seed oil – it dissolves easily. Then I add about 1/3 cup of organic fruit yoghurt and stir it up. Next I add a 1/4 to 1/2 cup of frozen raspberries (or other small frozen fruit). Stirring this turns it into a kind of frozen yoghurt ice cream which doesn’t taste wonderful but is palatable due to the fruit flavour and the cold (which reduces the flavour). This is also an interesting method. I tried mixing curcumin powder in organic fruit yoghurt in the winter of 2006, between November and January 2007, and my IgG numbers didn’t decline at all. I just checked, though, and my monoclonal component did indeed decrease, which is important. So, that method might work after all, even though there is no heat involved (remember the abstract on increasing the bioavailability of curcumin by heating it up?). At any rate, in January 2007 I switched to curcumin capsules with bioperine, and my subsequent tests showed a decline in my IgG count, the first decline since November 2006, but also a slight increase in the monoclonal component. Sigh, this is SO hard to figure out.

What I actually drankHere are three not-so-great photos documenting my now daily chocolate curcumin preparation (two preparations/day). The photo at the top shows a full teaspoonful of curcumin, about four grams; the second photo shows four grams of curcumin powder sprinkled over the warm, almost hot, chocolate, butter and milk mixture, and the third shows what I actually drink, which is lighter in colour compared to the mixture in photo 2, obviously. The taste is not bad at all. And this is also not a bad way to get my chocolate hit for the day! ;-)

Update. October 28 post: Today I would like to continue quoting a message sent to me by one of my blog readers (the same who is quoted in my October 19th post) because I think it is tremendously important to understand what happens to curcumin once we swallow it. Not a simple matter, but my blog reader (thank you!!!) makes the process seem simple by using simple terms. Here goes:

The starting point to understanding the central issue of low bioavailability is to realize that curcumin is insoluble in water at pH of 7 and below. Therefore, in the stomach, where the curcumin first encounters body fluids, it remains insoluble because the stomach fluids are acidic. Once the stomach contents enter the small intestine they are changed to alkaline pH by the bile and other digestive fluids that are injected there. Curcumin is soluble in alkaline aqueous solutions at a pH of 7.4 and above and would dissolve in the small intestine. Then the curcumin molecules that are present only when a solution exists can enter the capillaries of the hepatic venous system that serves the stomach and the large and small intestines. Prior to solution, curcumin exists as small crystals or clumps of crystals that cannot pass through the tiny pores in the capillary walls €”only molecules of curcumin can €”thus the importance of having the curcumin in solution. However, it is found that in the stomach the curcumin is rapidly conjugated to curcumin glucoronide and curcumin sulfate, neither of which show any biological activity with the cells, as does curcumin. As a result, a considerably smaller part of the total ingested curcumin enters the small intestine, ready to be dissolved there. But some does dissolve and gets through the venous capillaries and then proceeds through the hepatic portal vein directly to the liver, where it undergoes first pass metabolism wherein more of the curcumin is converted to biologically inactive metabolites. All these hurdles must be surmounted before the curcumin gets a chance to circulate to the rest of the body to organs that might use it beneficially. The end result is that the measurable level of curcumin in the blood serum peaks very soon after a small two mg dose is given and only reaches a very low peak concentration.

Now consider the implications of these results for a person who takes that two gram dose of plain curcumin twice a day, approximately ten hours apart. Within the first hour after dosing, he sees a slight rise in his serum curcumin concentration, which blip then disappears within three hours, leaving nothing to supply to the tissues for the next seven hours. Then the same blip occurs after the second dose is taken, and some curcumin level exists for another three hours. So for about six hours total time there is some curcumin getting to the tissues and nothing for the other eighteen hours of the day. When developing a dosing amount and frequency for a medicine it is the objective to obtain an overlap between dose concentration peaks, so that there is drug available to the tissues for the entire 24 hours, even though the concentration changes as the drug is metabolized and excreted. It will be at the highest concentration shortly after taking a dose and will be at its lowest concentration shortly before taking the next dose. Two grams per day of plain curcumin simply will not give that desired overlap, and even curcumin with Bioperine will not do it either, because it also disappears within five hours. Only a much larger dose of curcumin taken together with Bioperine (or other means of enhancing bioavailability) is likely to achieve a continuous level of curcumin in the serum, though with peaks and valleys.

I hadn’t thought of the implications of curcumin crystals versus molecules before reading this message. A few things began to click in my brain. As I recall, my friend Don (see my October 25th post) takes curcumin at least three times a day. I try to take it twice a day, except on the days when I teach when it is difficult for me to do so. On those days, I usually take it in one big dose, all eight grams of it, when I get home in the afternoon. Now I realize that is probably NOT a good idea, and I will make some changes in my schedule so I always have a morning dose, too. The idea of keeping, or trying to keep, curcumin in the serum with overlapping doses makes total sense to me. After all, when we have a horrendous headache, don’t we take Tylenol or whatnot every four to six hours?

November 29 update, please read November 25 and 26 2007 posts on a new bioavailability study and the following: about a month after I wrote my most recent update (October 28, that is), I have changed my mind about dosage timing. It all began when a friend told me that she decided to take her dose of curcumin all at once, yes, all eight grams, in the late afternoon because that is when she felt most relaxed. Soon thereafter I found out about and wrote a post on circadian rhythms. An eye-opener. As a result, I now take my curcumin powder (mixed with melted cocoa mass and a bit of honey) all at once just before going to bed, when my enzymes, I hope!, are not as active as they are during the day. My idea is that if my body is not so active perhaps curcumin has a better chance of being absorbed. Not sure how scientific this is, but as soon as I can ask someone with the proper scientific know-how, I will report the answer. Taking curcumin in one big evening dose is a big change for me, but it makes my life easier especially on the days when I teach. Of course, matters would be different if I took curcumin capsules with bioperine. In that case, I would divide the doses into two, mainly because I really hate to take so many capsules. For now, I am sticking to the cocoa mass concoction.

57 thoughts on “Bioavailability of curcumin

  1. Jack

    I have been using hot milk or yougart besides half a teaspoon of black pepper for better absorption. Recently have started taking Omega 3 capsules three times a day. There is a company that makes Longvida curcumin in the US. They claim it is covered in Lipo fat; therefore has 65 times better absorption. If it is true then what should be the dose for something like that. If someone has a comment please submit it. Dr. T Campbell study shows that animal fat and that includes dairy is cancer causing. So the question is if we use milk everytime (4 times daily) then that might be offsetting the anti cancer effort.

    Regards,

    Reply
    1. Stella US

      The Longvida curcumin was referenced in a study by the Natl Institute of Health as being the highest in bioavailability.

      Reply
  2. Fausto

    Hi Margaret, I’m Fausto (from Milan). If you haven’t read it yet, really go and buy a book written by dr. David Servan-Schreiber. He’s a French-Canadian doctor who wrote a very simple (but really informative) autobiographic book on cancer. The title is “Anticancer” (in Italian: “Anticancro” published in Italian by Sperling & Kupfler). Inside it you’ll find, among other interesting tips, good literature/indications on curcumin bioavailability.
    Basically his (and dr. Belivier’s – another Canadian) advice is to dilute curcumin (or tumeric) in a few drops of olive oil, adding a pinch of black pepper. Apparently scientific studies have proved that pepper can increase up to 1000 times curcumin bioavailability (provided this mixture is diluted in oil). Thus you might also try and decrease the enormous amount of curcumin you wrote you get daily (6 grams per day is quite a lot and can be expensive too). Well, let me know and my very best wishes

    Reply
    1. Marcelle

      I know your comment is dated 2010, but just wanted to let you know that Dr. Béliveau was interviewed on this subject, yesterday, on our French radio station. In Moncton, NB, Canada. Most interesting, I must say….also there is a Dr. William LaValley who practises in Texas, and in Chester, Nova Scotia, who is being interviewed by a Joseph Mercola on the subject of curcuma, on you tube. Quite interesting!

      Reply
  3. Margaret Post author

    Ciao Fausto, in fact, I have some of Dr. Béliveau’s books, including an anticancer cookbook. Very useful, I agree.
    I remember reading somewhere that simply adding black pepper to curcumin won’t do much. What you need is the black pepper extract (=piperine or bioperine).
    The other thing is that you would have to take a truckload of turmeric to get enough curcumin to make a difference. Turmeric, in fact, has a very low content of curcumin: 8-9% at the most.
    If you are interested in prevention, I suppose that taking turmeric is better than doing nothing. But if you already have cancer, simply adding turmeric to your daily intake is NOT enough. You have to take the active ingredient–that is, curcumin…
    I take C3 Complex curcumin capsules (with piperine): 8 grams per day. I am used to taking this amount…It’s not a big deal anymore. But you are right: here in Italy curcumin is quite expensive. I buy mine in the U.S. and bring or have it brought over here. I have a one-year supply by now.
    My best wishes to you, too.
    Grazie e buone feste! :-)

    Reply
  4. Bryan

    The Longvida product does not contain animal products according to their web site. It appears to be a phospholipid enacapsulation – not sure if its at ‘nano’ size or not. but the science looks promising.

    be aware that a 500mg capsule has 100mg curcumin. 500mg curcumin per day would be 5 capsules. Also remember that the absorption is supposedly MUCH higher to target tissues.

    Curcumin and chemotherapy can be a good or bad depending on chemo type.

    My simplistic research indicates Taxol is potentially synergistic. A study indicated reduced effectiveness of Cyclophosphamide. So do some research if considering use with chemo.

    good luck

    Reply
  5. Amaia

    Hi, i would like to know if soya lecithin (organic)…will be as good as milk….????.i think there is enough “fat” or oil in it to blender with curcumin……what do you think?..

    Greatings…from Spain Europa…

    Reply
  6. JC Eagle

    Margaret: Have not been able to locate one single Enterically Coated Curcumin tab/cap/ anywhere. Do you have data on the avilability of Ent.Coatd.Curcumin? Brand? Etc?
    Grateful, JC.

    Reply
  7. Tim C

    Hi Margaret
    I have a rare cancer called pancreatic neuroendocrine carcinoma. I’m a big fan of curcumin and have read your blogs with great interest. On the subject of bioavailability of curcumin, I recently read of some research in which an extract of chinese sweet tea (the active ingredient being rubusoside)was used to dramatically increase the sulubility of curcumin. Have you heard of this and if so are you or any of your readers using this?
    Best wishes
    Tim

    Reply
  8. Jeanne

    I am also looking for enteric coated curcumin for my teenage daughter – it has been reported to be effective in the treatment of the auto-inflammatory syndrome TRAPS (TNF receptor associated periodic syndrome ). Please – if someone has this info provide a source!

    Reply
  9. Jens F

    Dear Margaret,
    as prostate patient now receiving an intermittent hormontherapy I am interested to find out, whether a version of (nano-) curcumin-capsule is known that enables and maintains bioavailability of curcumin for a significant time in a sufficient concentration so that three to four capsules per day may produce potential benefit of curcumin.
    Should your time permit, it would be very helpful if you could answer the above question.

    With best regards
    Jens Faber

    Reply
  10. Len Walde

    FYI:

    When I tried to open the Consumer Lab 2011 report,I found your link blocked. I got around it by opening the casch ( spelling ) link. Looks like they are unhappy with you ? I had to register and pay $12.00 to get the report.

    Any suggestions?

    Regards,

    Len Walde

    Reply
  11. Roseanne Hubbard

    I have a Kangen machine that raises the alkilinity of drinking water to 9.0. Would that be helpful in dissolving the curcumin?

    Reply
  12. Bryan

    I recently read a patent submission that states Meriva’s -a PC Phytosome- Bioavaiability is substantlialy further enhaced with Piperine.

    Reply
  13. Michael Schiavello

    The Curcumin-MM trial at MD Anderson is testing both types of curcumin, with and without bioperine. From http://www.beating-myeloma.org/node/273 it says they have not seen any statistically significance of the Bioprene which is confirmed by this graph from Dr. Aggarwal’s website: http://www.curcuminresearch.org/Images/tissue1.jpg

    In addition, there is research being done at this time to see if chronic amounts of piperine (over 5mg/day) could be toxic or damaging to the liver or other organs, and affects testosterone levels adversely. Also all medications are regulated by the liver, and bioperine interferes with this process.

    After being diagnosed with prostate cancer, I also experimented with many curcumin products and mixes. I got my best results from curcumin 95% from http://www.turmeric-curcumin.com and mint flavored cod liver oil from Swanson Health Products.

    Reply
  14. Tom289

    To Michael Schiavello:
    Your comments on curcumin plus cod liver oil caught my eye since I also have prostate cancer. I would like to talk further about this. My enail address is tom28950@yahoo.com. Could I ask you for to send me a note so I can follow up with you? I am curious by what you mean by “best results” when using these two products.
    Thank you,
    Tom

    Reply
  15. bar

    I was recently diagnosed with CLL. My white cell count has been rising steadily and I would like to begin taking curcumin supplements to see if that can help keep my counts from going higher or even lower them. What brand or company do you recommend? Is it better to get organic tumeric and mix with coconut milk? Thaks for your help!

    Reply
  16. Ron

    I would like to see some discussion on dosage of curcumin concerning having a more steady serum level with a product like Meriva-SR taken twice a day versus a large dose of a C3 product taken all at one time.

    Reply
  17. Len Walde, mba, P.E.

    In 2006 , the FDA issued a formal Guidance “Estimating the Maximum Safe Starting dose in Initial Clinical Trials for Therapeutics in Adult Healthy Volunteers ” ( http://www.pteropure.com/dosage.html )

    This provides simple examples and calculations to follow.

    I found it while researching Pterostilbene –similar to Resveratrol.

    Happy New Year to everyone.

    Len

    Reply
  18. Slobodan

    I mix curcumin (10g), lecithin (one full teaspoon)+Vitamin C (250mg) and D (1000 IU), fish and sunflower oil (one full teaspoon 1:1),black pepper ( 1/4 teaspoon) and than heat it up (80-90 C) for 2-3min.
    Take 1/2 teaspoon every hour or so.

    Reply
  19. Diane

    Hi Margaret,
    I’ve been doing a lot of research for my husbands condition, rheumatoid arthritis, and in doing so came across DMSO (dimethyl sulfoxide). It is a natural solvent that was discovered by a doctor years ago, and used to stop the deterioration of transplant organs. Since then however, he has done research in the other areas that DMSO is helpful. It has been used to cure a number of ailments, including cancer, because of it’s ability to be used as a carrier when absorbed by the skin. It goes directly to the blood stream, and crosses the blood/brain barrier. If curcumin is dissolved in this, then rubbed onto the skin, all worries about taste and amount actually making it to the blood stream would be history. The only issue would be if the curcumin was irritating to the skin. Just a thought, here’s the link. http://www.dmso.org
    Good luck, hope this helps in some way.
    Diane

    Reply
  20. Big Talk

    Curcumin is classified as a vegetable dye (yellow).
    It will stain a countertop in seconds.

    I would NOT suggest using it on your skin especially with a powerful penetrator like DMSO (paint thinner – bad idea!)

    Reply
  21. Mitch

    Anyone tried the “Biomor” brand of curcumin? They say the bio-availability of their product is vastly superior to other curcumin products.

    Reply
  22. Nick in London

    Just to advise that all the information on http://www.grouppekurosawa.com has been removed by the author’s sister, following the Author’s (Stephen Martin Phd) death. This is wrong in my view, but the author;s sister believes that the information is “out of date”.

    Reply
  23. Jaimie

    Just to add a recent update to this discussion, I asked Dr. Aggarawal in email about the bioperine, and he said, “it makes no discernable difference”..so, seeing that it can be an irritant to the gastric system, and other problems in higher doses (more than 15 grams) would be considered high—he’s basically advocating not to take it with it–especially if you’re doing high doses–and he said mix in yogurt or milk…He didn’t mention about the fat content of the yogurt or milk though and upon inspecting my greek yogurt, and others, I saw most were fat free..so, looks like 2% yogurt of more is probably better way to go–

    Reply
  24. Jaimie

    Margaret, after 2 weeks of research on all these supplements (curcumin, reservatrol, and theaflavin) which were suggested to me by the onco–I’ve learned so much, and am grateful for your blog which helped me the most in sorting out much of what I found online. I am curious what you think of the actual ingredients that are constitue bioperine, here they are on the label from AFI, which is the sister company for Sabinsa, and the amount of calcium type ingredients is irking me–especially when I was advised to not take calcium at all, other than just what is in foods naturally. http://www.afisupplements.com/AddToMyCart.aspx?enc=Hgaxmjznowx+WTliSeGut87BtWOb/f+jy1fA69n3PwdnWEW/6CKxNVWYpr2WfAyvkyFBybxW6ZgWkBf4OWJpOF26M1n7P0RWpOqKvAnxEEQirOG+MNM1j0N1Z2HgTlFc

    Also, one more important observation which is not possible to explain scientifically, and most probably factors into your sustained good health, is your exceptional upbeat positive attitude about enjoying life–these is more powerful than 8g of curucmin for sure! Thanks again!

    Reply
  25. Carol

    I did lots of research on curcumin for a couple of years now. The most recent update to bio-availability is a product called longvita, used in some recent supplements. But I found a liposomal powder that is great. I have a friend with HPV and she has the cancer strain. She started using this new liposomal form as the piperine was totally taring up her stomach. After 3 months on it she has got her 1st clear pap smear in 5 years. Yea it working. The Product is call Curcumin & PC. It is made by a company called Nutrasal. Not bad tasting, but not great. I hold it in my mouth before swallowing. The liposomal’s take supplements to a whole new level. I am currently using 4 liposomal products because I have leaky gut. Wish I could get all liposomals. Hope this will help. Oh, on side point and If I can find the research article again I will post the link. But curcumin also cleans the liver of fatty deposit, and keeps bile ducts clear. Good luck to all and a healthy New Year!

    Reply
  26. Jaimie

    thank you so much for this info..had no idea about this product..looked on their website http://shop.nutrasal.com/category_s/47.htm

    and see that the product is unavailable with a notification that they are transitioning to veg capsules (yea!)—

    Has anyone else transitioned from the c3 to this stuff in the powder form for mgus or myeloma?

    Margaret, what do you think? And since you had bad results with the biocuru 95, is it similar to this?

    Reply
  27. Jaimie

    http://www.clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/results/NCT00113841

    has this study result been read by everyone here researching curcumin? Shows results of with bioperine and without—

    After speaking with longvida and nutrasal, I’m a bit concerned as the lack of info I’ve received from Dr. Aggarwal in regards to these products and their application and difference from either Meriva, or C3 curcumin–he wrote,”it’s like comparing apples to oranges”..honestly, I have no idea how to interpret that. I’m just trying to find out my best option for avoiding the bioperine, and taking the AFI no biop in yogurt is just so gross, and trying it in milk today, was grosser! If I need to do this at higher doses and basically for a very very long time..I need something that’s going to be workable…can anyone out there help me out a bit–on these differences–and which one is best–thank you!!! Longvida told me they have oncologists giving it to their myeloma patients at 3-6g doses a day.

    Reply
  28. Jaimie

    http://www.afisupplements.com/AddToMyCart.aspx?enc=Hgaxmjznowx+WTliSeGut87BtWOb/f+jy1fA69n3PwdnWEW/6CKxNVWYpr2WfAyvkyFBybxW6ZgWkBf4OWJpOF26M1n7P0RWpOqKvAnxEEQirOG+MNM1j0N1Z2HgTlFc

    Do those of you who are taking bioperine realize that it has calcium in it? If sabinsa has the patent for bioperine as it appears they do, and this is from afi website–then these are the ingredients of bioperine…can anyone please comment on this? When I asked AFI when I ordered, they said that is why they make the plain curuminoids which I started taking because many people don’t want the bioperine in it…..

    Reply
  29. Max

    Hi Margaret
    I was thinking, the melting point of curcumin is around 180 degrees C, so would it not have to get to that temperature in oil to dissolve?

    Reply
  30. Rob

    Hi, just wanted to chime in here with a tasty recipe for ingesting circumin. If you dissolve your dose in a little bit of olive oil with pepper and then mix with tomato juice the concoction tastes just like tomato juice. If you microwave for 15 seconds the two mix even better together.

    Reply
    1. Stella US

      @Rob – Glad you chimed in, Rob. I agree; I’ve been using the Vitamin Shoppe’s Curcumin with bioperine and I put it in a very small amount of bloody mary mix; it’s delicious. I’ve tasted the curcumin without anything though and it has no taste, so it’s no surprise that it doesn’t change the taste of tomato juice or bloody mary mix. For those interested in good oils, Barleans orange-flavored fish oil liquid is very good; I take a tblsp a day and highly recommend it.

      Reply
  31. jaimie

    anyone familiar with physician naturals which appears to have the c3 powder or ageless cures..i just ordered from ageless cures–and they will be getting the powder in also.

    Reply
  32. Margaret Post author

    Yes, Jaimie, I am familiar with them. I’ve ordered some C3 Complex powder (which I haven’t yet tested) from Physician Naturals. Just the powder, nothing added (no bioperine, i.e.) The powder is quite expensive, so it’s good to know that PN may soon have at least one “competitor,” so that we can compare prices…Thanks for your note! :)

    Reply
  33. jonathan mills

    hi,

    Can you give your opinion on Doctor’s Best, Curcumin Phytosome Featuring Meriva, 500 mg.
    This is meant to have the best bioavailability.

    Reply
  34. jonathan mills

    Hi again,
    Not sure if you are still looking at your blog but I have tried for hours to try and find out the difference between C3 and say tumeric-curcumin.com’s product. The later is cheaper but seems to be 95% etc. Can someone enlighten me?

    Reply
  35. The watcher

    hello,

    Anyone tried BIOMOR CURCUMIN from Healthy Source ?…
    From their site… ” Manufactured using a patent-pending process, BioMor™ Curcumin is documented in human studies to be absorbed up to 800 percent better than conventional curcumin supplements.”

    Sounds good…maybe…too good?

    Reply
  36. Janet Sears

    I would like to ask Margaret or others who use her method of taking their curcurim. Melting chocolate and adding the curcurim for better bioavailability. How do you follow this regimen when away from home or traveling?

    Reply
  37. Jo Roberts

    I Think you’re on the right track.! I always look to the traditional ways it is taken and these methods often hold true when you dissect them using modern scientific logic. In India they use ghee to prepare it, which involves fat and heat. Subsequently the ghee-turmeric is mixed with warm milk and take in this way, which also provides the water soluble component. I am looking out for fresh turmeric in the stores soon to prepare it in this way.

    Reply
  38. Laurie

    I have read over and over again the different ways to take curcumin and each time become more confused. I bought the vitacost capsules with bioperene for my husband and he takes them with 2 capsules of 1200mg fish oil capsules. He has active myeloma and is starting new regimen of kyprolis pomalyst and dex. Any help would be so appreciated

    Reply
    1. ellen

      I have been researching curcumin. And as best as I can figure you are doing absolutely right to take it with bioperine and fish oil.
      but perhaps your question is for Margaret, is so, excuse me. :)

      Reply
  39. Chrissi

    Hi i have read my brain into total confusion about curcumin/turmeric and how it is brillient at getting rid of cancer. I have breast cancer and secondary in the bones. I hate the smell of curries and make me feel very ill indeed. I have found turmeric in holland and barrett and i am wondering if these will solve my dislike for spice inside. Also has anyone tried them?

    Reply
  40. Cissie

    Dear Margareth,

    Thank you for the very helpfull information.

    Could you mind to give me the contact of Sabinsa corp?

    I want to buy curcumin c3 by sabinsa, for my mom.
    She has reccurance pancreatic cancer stage 1 b. She got whipple surgery 2 years ago in Johns Hopkins Hospital, and the latest chemoradiation in may 2013. Now I want to give her the best curcumin recommended.

    Thank you.

    Reply

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