December 4 2009 post. It is raining in Florence today, it’s damp, chilly and miserable out there, but for me it couldn’t be a lovelier, sunnier day. Ah yes, thanks to a December 2009 interview with Prof. Bharat Aggarwal that I read this morning, I am as happy as a purring cat. A blog reader sent me the link, thank you sooo much. The interview contains a huge amount of valuable information…in just two pages. The main thing, in my opinion, is that it answers many of our questions and doubts about the bioavailability of curcumin. But there is much more, too, so please have a look: http://goo.gl/wcZ6n
The issue of bioavailability is of particular relevance to those of us who take curcumin. Yes, Prof. Aggarwal is right, curcumin is cheap compared to conventional drugs. But it can still be a drain on our household finances (I am lucky to have very generous, loving parents!). Think of it this way: you wouldn’t buy a pair of jeans that was three sizes too big/too small for you, right? No, you buy a pair that fits. The same principle applies to curcumin or anything else, for that matter. You want to invest in something that fits/works/etc. That is why I always tell people who want to start taking curcumin to try it for a couple of months and see if their cancer markers go down. Ah, but I digress, as usual.
My point is, and I have written about this in previous posts, if curcumin does not show up in huge amounts in the bloodstream, it is probably working at some other level. Otherwise, how could I have remained stable for almost four years? How could it work for so many of my blog readers/myeloma list friends? That would make no sense. Well, we don’t have to wonder anymore. Prof. Aggarwal explains very clearly what happens when we swallow our daily dose of curcumin. I think that this interview provides us all with plenty of food for thought.
He points out that curcumin is circulated quickly and is taken up by tissues very quickly. Within 10 to 20 minutes it is already in the brain. Consequently, it is pointless for researchers to attempt to find traces of curcumin in the bloodstream. Aha.
I was particularly interested in his answer to the last question…I didn’t know that 30% of all cancers are indolent. Wow, that is quite a high percentage! And I loved the way he compared asymptomatic cancer to a tiger: With cancer, in some cases the tiger is sitting there somewhere and needs to be left alone. If you start throwing stones at the tiger, he will strike back. Indeed, I have thought the exact same thing since my 2005 diagnosis, but I had no scientific proof, just a gut feeling…
I will conclude with what Prof. Aggarwal says about prevention. In my opinion, he is absolutely right: If we continue to prevent and treat cancer the way we are currently doing and have been doing for the past 50 years, the next 50 years will not be any different. We have to learn to think outside the box. We have put too much emphasis on survival of the pharmaceutical companies and not enough focus on the survival of the patients.
This last sentence really struck a chord with me.
Thank you, Prof. Aggarwal.
P.S. Here is a “Globe and Mail” interview with Prof. Aggarwal on the healthful effects of spices: http://goo.gl/fhWO9