Curcumin eye drops

I’ve been reading and researching curcumin for almost 13 years now, but I am still amazed at all the things it can do…

A new study shows that it might be able to treat the early stages of glaucomagoo.gl/W98w8x

That’s music to my ears, since glaucoma runs in my family…hmmmm, my eye pressure happens to be normal…I wonder if my high intake of curcumin might have something to do with that?

Excerpt from the above-mentioned Science Daily article: “‘Curcumin is an exciting compound that has shown promise at detecting and treating the neurodegeneration implicated in numerous eye and brain conditions from glaucoma to Alzheimer’s disease, so being able to administer it easily in eye drops may end up helping millions of people,’ said the study’s lead author, Professor Francesca Cordeiro (UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, Western Eye Hospital and Imperial College London).”

Millions of people…

According to the researchers, curcumin may someday be used to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease…Well, how about that? This is indeed one of the most interesting articles I’ve read in recent times…

“Crystal structure reveals how curcumin impairs cancer”

Wow, VERY EXCITING BIT OF NEWS that popped up in my Google Alerts yesterday.

My post title is the title of a new study revealing a previously unreported biochemical activity of curcumin. This very important study, carried out by three research teams (University of California San Diego School of Medicine, Peking University, and Zhejiang University), shows how curcumin attaches to, and INHIBITS, a gene called DYRK2, which is associated with cellular growth and/or development. This inhibition diminishes the proliferation of cancer cells. It reduces the tumor burden. 

How about THAT?

Here’s the link to the University of California San Diego School of Medicine press release: goo.gl/XPUz6G

Quote: “DYRK2 depletion impairs proteasome activity and exhibits slower cancer proliferation rates and significantly reduced tumor burden in mouse models. In combination with the FDA-approved multiple myeloma drug, carfilzomib, curcumin induced a much higher cancer cell death while normal non-cancerous cells were less affected. This suggest that targeting proteasome regulators (such as DYRK2) in combination with proteasome inhibitors may be a promising approach of anticancer therapy with less side-effects but further work is needed, said Banerjee.

Curcumin plus carfilzomib = HIGHER MM CELL DEATH. Food for thought.

One of the researchers involved in the study states the following: “In general, curcumin is expelled from the body quite fast. […] For curcumin to be an effective drug, it needs to be modified to enter the blood stream and stay in the body long enough to target the cancer. Owing to various chemical drawbacks, curcumin on its own may not be sufficient to completely reverse cancer in human patients.

I agree, of course. I never thought curcumin would (reverse cancer, that is, etc.). But I was also told by an expert that curcumin gets absorbed by our tissues, slurp slurp slurp!!!, within ten minutes or so after we swallow it. Well, whatever the case, curcumin has done me (and many of you, too!!!) a world of good in the past 12 and a half years…

And that is why, while waiting for researchers to come up with a truly effective, modified form of curcumin, I’m going to keep taking my daily eight grams of C3 Complex.  

Well, well. Curcumin never ceases to “wow” me, that’s for sure…

Researchers test curcumin in new bone-building study

After enhancing the bioavailability of curcumin using polymers, a group of Washington State University researchers proved that curcumin can increase bone growth by between 30% and 45%  in a matter of weeks: “The presence of curcumin in TCP results in enhanced bone formation after 6 weeks.” (Quoted from the abstract.)

The researchers are currently testing other natural extracts as well, namely “aloe vera, saffron, Vitamin D, garlic, oregano and ginger [… ] that might help with bone disorders, including those that encourage bone growth or that have anti-inflammatory, infection control, or anti-cancer properties.” (Quoted from Science Daily, see link below.)

The bone-forming qualities of curcumin are nothing new to us (I’ve written a number of posts on this topic), but it’s always good to learn that researchers are looking for, and apparently FINDING, new ways to make curcumin more bioavailable, especially if it has to do with our precious bones!

Note: this study was carried out on 3D-printed, ceramic bone scaffolds, not on human beings. So there is still a long way to go. Still, it is encouraging to have one more study prove the importance of curcumin for bone health and growth…

Curcumin forever!

Here’s the very interesting write-up in Science Daily (easy to read, to boot): goo.gl/MRxtK2 There is a link to the study’s abstract there, for those who want to know more.

Happy reading! 🙂

Not just myeloma

First bit of news: I’ve had absolutely no pain in my heel. It’s as good as new. I have to admit I’m still stunned…and I wonder if a more conventional doctor, let’s say a physiotherapist, would have made the connection between my relatively new eyeglass prescription and my heel pain. I doubt it.

This makes me wonder how many similar cases there are, of people who think they have plantar fasciitis or tendonitis or, sorry for the mention! 😉 , heel spurs, but whose pain actually originated in a different part of the body, an easy-to-fix part of the body. Mind-blowing, eh?

But the reason I’m writing today is that EBV, that is, the Epstein-Barr virus, is in the news again.

I wrote a few posts about the EBV connection to MGUS (and, therefore, to SMM and MM) back in October of 2017 when I came across an Italian study on this very topic, and then another bunch of posts in December and January, as I recall. To find and read these posts, all you have to do is put the acronym “EBV” in my blog’s “Search” box.

But now we have a more recent EBV study (which a dear SMM friend, thanks!!!, brought to my attention), conducted by a team at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, showing that this terrible virus is linked to SEVEN OTHER diseases, as follows: lupus, MS, RA, inflammatory bowel disease, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, celiac disease, and type 1 diabetes. (!!!)

Here’s the link to the Science Daily article: goo.gl/FMyGe5

It’s a very interesting, easy-to-read article…a highly recommended read. As my friend commented, EBV has reached the mainstream now.

Here’s a food-for-thought excerpt from the SD article: “When viral and bacterial infections strike, our bodies respond by commanding B cells within our immune systems to crank out antibodies to battle the invaders. However, when EBV infections occur, something unusual happens. The EBV virus invades the B cells themselves, re-programs them, and takes over control of their functions.”

Given all the possibly dire consequences of an EBV infection, and given the fact that more than 90% of adults all over the world are antibody positive by the time they are 35 years old (freaky fact), we must take action. So, while we wait for an EBV vaccine to be developed (see article for more info), we need to build up our immune systems and, more importantly, those of our kids. How do we do that? Well, by looking up all the natural ways to block EBV…Curcumin would be at the top of my list: it prevents B cells infected with EBV from becoming immortal, etc. etc. etc. (check PubMed…I even found a study published back in 1998 about how curcumin affects EBV!)…There is lots we can do…

Oh how I wish I’d known all this stuff when I was in grad school, BEFORE I contracted this bloody virus, which, I just read, is an ancient fellow, perhaps 100 million years old…another freaky fact!!!

Anyway, it’s too late for me now…But it might NOT be late for you, so…get going! PREVENTION IS KEY!!! 🙂

Dieneke in the news

Well, well, I am so pleased for Dieneke! Her myeloma-curcumin story is still in the news, even after all these months (I first reported on it in August).

But what surprised me was to discover (today) that the Italian news has also picked up her story, as you can see here: goo.gl/sCKzkA

And the Times, too (in addition to many British papers, of course): goo.gl/bnefDA

Well done, Dieneke!

December test results

I had blood tests (and the Bence Jones 24-hour urine test) last week.

This afternoon I got my results. Here goes, in a nutshell:

  • My M-spike has gone down (it has actually been going down a wee bit for the past two tests, so this is the third “wee bit down”).
  • Total IgG is also down (for the second time, when compared to my last few tests).
  • My hemoglobin is in the normal range, even though my red blood cells are slightly low, but just slightly.
  • Everything else looks pretty much the same. Almost everything, certainly anything of importance, is a wee bit better compared to my most recent tests. For example, my monoclonal component hasn’t been this low since 2012. And my freelite chains have also gone down quite a bit.
  • No Bence Jones. Yaaaay!

You are probably curious to know what I’ve been taking. Not much, actually. I mean, in addition to using Nigella sativa in my food, I’ve been taking my usual 8 grams of C3 Complex curcumin a day, divided into two doses (4 grams at lunchtime, 4 at dinnertime). And, since last summer, I have been testing a Ganoderma lucidum supplement: 960 mg, twice a day (again, lunch and dinner, together with the curcumin). Well, the Ganoderma seems to have done something, for sure.

Or could it simply be the “kitten” effect (see photo of Pandora, left; Pixie, right)? Meow!!! 

Who knows? 😉

Anyway, whatever the cause, these results confirm that I’m stable…And to think that more than 12 years have passed since my SMM diagnosis…

Well, well, well! Stefano and I certainly have some celebrating to do this evening. 🙂

Ciao, everyone, and may the holiday season bring GOOD NEWS to you, too!!!

New study: a curcumin-carfilzomib combination is deadly to U266 myeloma cells

Well, well, well…

A few minutes ago a recently-published Italian study caught my eye. A group of researchers from the University of Messina (Sicily) has discovered that the combined effects of curcumin and carfilzomib (CFZ) are absolutely deadly to multiple myeloma U266 cells.  😎  

Here’s the link to the abstract: goo.gl/EBTwcc 

As we can read, the researchers conclude the following: “These findings evidence that curcumin can ameliorate CFZ efficacy, and lead us to hypothesize that this effect might be useful to optimize CFZ therapy in MM patients.

Indeed!

At any rate, I thought this study might be of huge interest to anyone who is taking carfilzomib right now…and so I wrote this quick post! But now I have to get back to my kittens (the vet is coming to visit them day after tomorrow…I so hope she will give us some GOOD NEWS…!!!).

Dendritic cells, miR-29b, and multiple myeloma

Life is very complicated these days. This morning, after consulting with the vet, I discovered that our giardia-ridden kittens will have to undergo a second cycle of treatment, which will begin next week. This means that they will have to spend another month holed up in their luxurious quarantine, poor dears! I am spending almost all of my free time with them…playing with them, feeding them, holding them, cleaning  up, sterilizing, and being SUPER CAREFUL whenever I handle anything at all in the quarantine room.

Mind you, it may sound like it, but I’m not complaining. Not at all!!! I mean, just look at that face!  🙂 

Well, okay, I admit, I HAVE had a few frustrating moments in which I’ve asked myself, and/or Stefano, HOW and WHY did we get into this mess??? Agh!

But the truth is that we almost certainly saved the lives of our kittens, and probably the lives of their siblings, too (immediately after we received the giardia diagnosis, I got in touch with the woman who gave us the kittens…She had no idea…). So that is something to remember…

And besides, these two kitties are so incredibly adorable and funny and affectionate…They act like normal, playful, curious, crazy kittens that zoom all over the place and then crash and sleep until they have enough strength to go back into the crazy kitten mode…I mean, you can’t tell that there’s anything wrong with them…except for the huge quantity of smelly pooparoni (though it’s MUCH better than it was a couple of weeks ago, let me tell ya)! Yuck!

Okay, enough…It will only be another month, then they’ll be cured, and we’ll be able to let them out into the rest of the house…and meet their older siblings (yikes…a bit nervous about that). If we’re lucky, they’ll be well enough by Xmas. That would be a lovely present indeed!

But that’s not the reason I’m writing this post, even though, hehe!!!, it might seem that way. Nope, this evening I wanted to write (then I got derailed, sorry!) about a new myeloma study that I bumped into just this morning…a very interesting, and mostly Italian!, study on myeloma and dendritic cells (DCs, for short), which is fully available online and has been accepted for publication in “Leukemia.” Here’s the link: goo.gl/wFMjS1 I’ve written a few posts on dendritic cells and myeloma, btw, so you can use my “Search Box” to have a look through my blog, if you want.

The abstract begins with a good explanation of DCs: “Dendritic cells (DCs) play a key role in regulating tumor immunity, tumor cell growth and drug resistance.” The authors believe that MM cells may recruit and reprogram DCs in order to survive. They found a member of the microRNA family (a family of teeny tiny RNA molecules that regulate gene expression), called  miR-29b, which is is not downregulated in normal DCs but, drum roll!, is downregulated in most types of cancer, including myeloma.

Now, even though we may not understand (or care!) what exactly this little, hairpin-shaped miR-29b does, etc., the main thing is that it  is able to counteract “pro-inflammatory pathways, including STAT3 and NF-kB, and cytokine/chemokine signaling networks which correlated with patients’ adverse prognosis and development of bone disease.”

Translation: more miR-29b, less myeloma cell proliferation.

So, miR-29b is GOOD. From our perspective, of course, not from that of a myeloma cell. 😉

Now, it’s getting late over here in Italy, and I don’t have much time left. Stefano is on his way home (oh, oops, he just walked in the door…I have to go help him with dinner…He’s the chef tonight…). So I have to leave you with this study and all its complexities.

But do have e a look at page 23. There you will find that ASPIRIN and CURCUMIN “revealed a promising therapeutic activity in both MGUS and sMM patients.”

AHA!, so researchers ARE paying attention. This one sentence made my day…my week, even! 🙂

Oh, and guess what? Curcumin upregulates the expression of miR-29b. Tadaaaaaa!

I will have to keep my eye on these authors who are also looking into the role of this little molecule in the progression from MGUS to MM.

Good stuff, good stuff!!! Take care, everyone!!! Ciao!

The Daily Mail article on Dieneke, curcumin, myeloma…

I should have posted this link (see below) days ago, but ever since we lost our eldest cat, Puzzola, practically all my free time has been devoted to taking care of, and doing research for, Piccolo (the big black and white cat in my header photo), who, at age 14, has unfortunately been diagnosed with spondyloarthrosis, a very painful, degenerative condition of the spine…

But this will be fodder for another post, since I have a question for those of you who have pets…

Today my focus is instead on Dieneke, my longtime blog reader whose oncologists recently published her case study (see my May 30 2017 post). As a result of that, she was interviewed by a reporter from the Daily Mail (UK), and the article was published on July 24.

I was and am extremely pleased about this for two reasons:

  1. curcumin has really worked for Dieneke…and it always makes me so happy to think about all the blog readers who have benefited from taking this extract (or other things, too, for that matter…think of blog reader TAB, for example…).
  2. her recent “stardom” has enabled her to to reach out and help others…And that is wonderful!

Here is the link to the Daily Mail article (with photos), which, by the way, has been picked up by a slew of other news sources online and has thus gone VIRAL, how about that, eh…: goo.gl/wMzJ7e. Fantastic.

I hope you all enjoy reading it as much as I did.

And again, THANK YOU, Dieneke: you are an inspiration to so many, including yours truly! 🙂

My blog…mentioned in a BBC radio programme!

Even though my blog reader D. had told me some time ago that my blog might be mentioned in the BBC radio station that had interviewed her for the programme they were doing on turmeric, I was happy about that, of course, but I hadn’t really gotten too carried away…until today, when I found and actually listened to the programme, which is available online, right here: goo.gl/Gmda8N

BBC food programmeDieneke’s case study is mentioned toward the end of the programme, so please be patient. It’s a very interesting programme, anyway. With a nice turmeric-based recipe or two, which never hurts!

I have to admit that I got a bit teary as I listened to Dieneke (no point in trying to protect her privacy anymore, since her name is mentioned during the programme!) and her oncologist discuss her case…Teary in a good way, of course!

And at this point I would like to thank blog reader Jan who posted a lovely comment on my April 20th post…the comment that inspired me to have a look for the programme in the first place (but I didn’t think I’d find it):

“On Sunday 28th May 2017 ( repeated on Monday 29th) I listened to a programme on BBC radio 4 FM called ‘The Food Programme ‘. It was talking about health benefits of turmeric and in particular curcumin. The contributor to Margaret’s blog called ‘D’ was interviewed about her use of curcumin and how her MM has stabilised now for five years. Her oncologist was also interviewed and the study was mentioned. It all sounded very positive about curcumin. ‘D’ also said that she had discovered curcumin on Margaret’s blog. The programme presenter called Sheila Dillon also has MM and as I recall had a SCT a few years ago.
I’ve had MM for seven years and have been following Margaret’s blog since then. Have tried numerous alternative treatments but due to extreme pain had five months of Velcade etc last year. Pain now coming back so thinking of doing curcumin. Hadn’t done it before for various reasons.
Margaret this is so exciting! Your curcumin protocol and your blog has been talked about on the BBC!
Thanks so much for all your great work. You’ve kept me going over these seven years.

And ‘ D ‘ thanks to you too for your major contribution .

Best wishes to all,

Jan.”

And finally, thank you, Sheila Dillon and BBC Radio 4, for this very interesting programme! 🙂