Since posting my protocol, I have received a few questions that I would like to address. Yes, it’s true, I HAVE done a lot of research on curcumin, but the more I do, the more I discover there is to do!, which is a very good thing, of course. As Mahatma Gandhi said, Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.
One of the questions concerns why a curcumin-taker should build up slowly to eight grams (or more, actually; I know a few people who take 10-12 grams). As with any substance except perhaps for water, I think it’s a good idea to see how our body reacts to it. What if you began growing a second nose or something? Seriously, though, it’s merely a precaution. I personally have had no bad reactions to curcumin, even when I went up to nine grams of powder at one point last year. But a few people have reported diarrhea, which perhaps can be taken care of by cutting back on fiber intake (an MD Anderson nurse suggestion), and one person developed some kidney trouble, which may (or may not) have been caused by curcumin, even though Prof. Aggarwal replied that curcumin has a protective effect on the kidneys. And, in fact, I have never read of curcumin affecting the kidneys. But, hey, you never know, we are all different and react differently to the exact same thing. So, for those reasons, I think it’s best to err on the side of caution and build up to eight grams slowly.
A listserv friend, who plans to start taking curcumin soon, wrote about having chronic pain and headaches. I don’t recall if I have written anything about headaches on my blog, but this is what happened to me. I used to have horrendous headaches almost daily. I think they might have been caused by my very high blood viscosity (that seems to be one of my main MM symptoms), which essentially means that I have thick blood. Well, curcumin is a natural blood-thinner. Not long after I began taking curcumin, my headaches stopped. Gone. Poof! Just like that. I still get occasional mild headaches, probably because my blood viscosity is still on the high side, but nothing like those terribly painful pre-curcumin ones. I hope curcumin will take care of my friend’s headaches, too.
Another potential benefit: arthritic pain. Through Prof. Aggarwal, I met an Italian urologist who works in a Tuscan hospital. A wonderful man. He just sent me three books that he has written on curcumin and prostate cancer. Fascinating, well-written and containing historical and etymological information, which always makes me as happy as a little kid opening birthday presents. There is also some very useful information on curcumin bioavailability, so I will soon be posting a few comments on that issue. At any rate, he told me that he takes curcumin for his arthritis. And that rang a bell. Before I took curcumin (and I know I posted a few words on this topic, but it doesn’t hurt to reiterate a point, sometimes), I had a difficult time walking up the stairs in my house. I had to go up slowly, and pause now and again. My knees hurt and made scary creaky noises. I now dart up my stairs like an adolescent mountain goat. No problem whatsoever. No more creaky noises, no more pain. Another stupid thing: I used to have to sit on a step stool in order to put laundry inside my washing machine â‚¬”in Italy, we have front loaders â‚¬”because it hurt me to kneel down. I now can kneel with no problem, and pick up things from the floor (like cat bowls) without any trouble. There are studies on curcumin and arthritis, I have discovered. I am not surprised.
There is no denying that I am obsessed with curcumin. But with good reason. Curcumin is keeping me stable AND giving me many side benefits, including, as I have reported elsewhere, a substantial decrease in cholesterol, which is almost normal now (yippee!) for the first time in years. I checked as far back as 1999: it was 73 mg/dL HIGHER then. Plus, I am mentally more alert. I actually remember things now. I used to be such a scatterbrain: I would write notes to remember things and then forget where I put them. Check out the studies on curcumin and Alzheimer’s disease. Curcumin may prevent AD, which comes as no surprise to me. The AD-curcumin topic would merit a post of its own.
I have no doubt that I am doing myself a lot of good (some, perhaps most, of it completely unexpected) by taking curcumin.
And now for an amusing ending. A listserv friend (thank you!) recently posted this YouTube link to a funny Tom Rush video. Have a look at it when you have time, and have yourself a giggle! And, by the way, if you have a joke or a funny link, please send it to me. Thanks! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9yN-6PbqAPM