Curcumin and Cigarette Smoke/More Kitchen Experiments (Honey)

I am not a smoker, never have been, never will be. Before Italy came up with a law against smoking in restaurants and public places, life here was tough for me. My parents smoked for many years, and my sister and niece are smokers. The first part of this post is really for the two beloved still-smoking members of my family, since my parents don’t smoke anymore. Prevention is the key!

As happens frequently, I was looking up material on a completely different substance today when somehow I came across a study (full study available here: co-authored by Prof. Aggarwal and published in Carcinogenesis in 2003, with the title: “Curcumin (diferuloylmethane) down-regulates cigarette smoke-induced NF-kB activation through inhibition of IkBa kinase in human lung epithelial cells: correlation with suppression of COX-2, MMP-9 and cyclin D1.”

Okay, we all know that cigarette smoke (CS) can cause all sorts of health problems, including cancers of the larynx, oral cavity and pharynx, esophagus, pancreas, kidney, bladder and lung. [ ] CS is a complex chemical mixture containing thousands of different compounds, of which 100 are known carcinogens, co-carcinogens, mutagens and/or tumor promoters. Known carcinogens, meaning there probably are MORE than 100.

Well, without going into too many details, it turns out that curcumin may well counteract the damaging effects of CS, and the study ends with a suggestion to conduct clinical trials “of curcumin as a chemopreventive agent in former and current cigarette smokers. Well, why am I surprised? After all, curcumin protects us from radiation, pesticides and dioxin! What’s a little cigarette smoke in comparison?!!! I admit, though, that this is not a topic I wish to research at length, even though I saw that there are other studies on this topic online, such as this one, published in March 2007 in Molecular Cancer Therapeutics: But I have other topics that need to be researched, so I shut my eyes and ignored most of those references.

A note for my blog readers: I really really really appreciate the comments you leave, and I read them ALL even if I don’t have time to respond etc. I have received comments from new readers on older posts, which is such a thrill (thank you all). And I wanted to mention that I will do my best to look into all the links and ideas you gave me (Marcelo, have a look at Don’s blog for info on LDN: Don is taking LDN, and in fact I am going to ask my haematologist about it when I see her). I have started thinking that I need a research assistant, or no, even better!, someone who will feed my cats and do laundry (etc.)! Yeah! Dream on, Margaret! 😉

And here we get to the second part of my post concerning my ongoing kitchen experiments. I bought some cocoa butter (FAT! I wonder if the wrapping is toxic, though, sigh ) the other day, so now I can skip the melted butter part of my curculate. Thing is, quercetin and curcumin powders added to melted cocoa butter taste simply TERRIBLE. The adjective BITTER doesn’t cover it. So, in a moment of inspiration, I added honey. I love honey anyway, organic honey, naturalmente. Honey is a natural antibiotic, antiseptic, antioxidant, antibacterial, antifungal the list goes on and on.! See this good write-up on World’s Healthiest Foods (I subscribe to the WHF newsletter, and highly recommend it, by the way): Okay, Margaret, this is not a honey post!

Back to us. My cocoa butter, honey and powders mixture is tasty and has the consistency of smooth peanut butter. I coat my mouth with it, and wait a bit before swallowing. It takes about an hour, perhaps closer to two (I should time this!), for my tongue to return to its normal colour. Now for the shocker, which requires more in-depth research: honey is quickly absorbed into the BLOODSTREAM. AHA!!!


  1. I have an aunt who is the best 87 year-old I have ever seen (she does yoga every day). I was talking to her last night and she told me that she has taken a spoonful of honey in hot water every morning for over 50 years – and she says she has never had a cold.

  2. Margaret- as a myeloma survivor, I focus on curcumin and myeloma. It is terrific to read about curcumin’s chemoprotective effects from CS as well as radiation, pesticides and dioxin. As always, thanks for your blog and research.

  3. Hi Margaret!

    I believe that although you are a ‘chocaholic’ you have stated that you wont eat chocolate again??

    However, recently, a new chocolate has been produced in the UK by the Queen’s chocolatiers (no less!). It has received a lot of press coverage. If you Google CHOXI you can read it about it.

    The manufacturers claim it contains more anti-oxidants than ANY other chocolate hitherto produced – in fact as much as a pound of brussel sprouts, or several pounds of apples (for some reason they havent gone ‘metric’!!!).

    Apparently, all you need is just 2 squares a day for ALL the anti-oxidants you need, ‘though they say you should still continue to eat your 5 a day fruit/veg. 2 squares contains only 55 calories!

    It’s currently only being stocked by Tesco – our largest supermarket- but I have been unable to get any as it has been ‘flying off the shelves’ – according to the staff. I have now ordered some from the manufacturer, and await it’s delivery on Monday.

    Just thought you might be interested as it might go well with your curcumin!!

    Regards, Dora

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