Lunching With Baicalein

Hah, and you thought that perhaps I was DONE with baicalein, eh? Nope. Not by a long shot. I still have a few baicalein studies to read…Besides, at lunchtime TODAY I will start taking Scutellaria baicalensis, which contains a high percentage of baicalein and also a bit of wogonin. I will also start taking Zyflamend, which is a blend of various herbal extracts (see my page on Polyherbal Zyflamend). Of course, I will keep taking my curcumin-quercetin-cocoa mass-honey mixture at night, since I didn’t give it enough time to work before having blood tests done a couple of weeks ago (I should have my results by next week, by the way). We shall see what happens. Of course, my next set of tests may be influenced by the flu vaccine (which apparently can increase IgG levels for up to six months after administration!), so they may need a bit of interpretation.

Thanks to a friend (thanks you! πŸ˜‰ ), I got my hands on a very interesting study that I looked at more carefully this morning, even though I really SHOULD BE preparing my English classes for tomorrow, sigh. Published in the November 2007 issue of Clinical and Molecular Allergy, the study is titled: Baicalein inhibits IL-1b- and TNF-a-induced inflammatory cytokine production from human mast cells via regulation of the NF-kB pathway. Let’s quickly examine the title. IL-1beta is an inflammatory cytokine that is a potent inducer of the important myeloma growth factor, IL-6. (see these two Mayo Clinic study abstracts from 2006 and 2007, respectively: and Anything that induces IL-6 is no friend of mine! I am almost certain that I have already written about TNF-alpha, or tumour necrosis factor-alpha, but just in case I haven’t, here goes: it is a growth and SURVIVAL factor for myeloma cells, albeit not as powerful as IL-6. So, also not good news for us.

A few remarks on human mast cells. As the abstract (see: informs us, these are multifunctional cells capable of a wide variety of inflammatory responses. According to the full study, these cells accumulate wherever there is an inflammatory process going on and even mediate the production of inflammatory cytokines. Now, that’s really no good, no good at all, especially since Inflammatory cytokines are important factors in chronic inflammation, allergy, asthma, atherogenesis, and autoimmune diseases. Reading on, we are told that mast cells have been implicated in acute and chronic inflammatory responses and in many diseases characterized by inflammation. Oh, and read this: activated mast cells secrete IL-6! Tsk, tsk. Bad BAD mast cells!

Another interesting bit: The activation of NF-kB requires phosphorylation and proteolytic degradation of the inhibitory protein IkBa. This sentence takes us back to the discussion section of the 2005 Blood study on baicalein and myeloma (full text: I quote: NF-kB regulates the expression of many genes (IkB-a, Bcl-xL, IL-6, and cyclin D1) important for the proliferation and survival of myeloma cells.

Well, on page 16, the November 2007 study states: The results suggest BAI inhibits the NF-kB activation via inhibition of IkBa phosphorylation and degradation. BAI, by the way, stands for baicalein.

Hmmm, how about THAT? So, is it lunchtime yet? πŸ˜‰


  1. Dear Margaret!

    My name is Robert, I’m 39 and I live in your neighbouring country – Slovenia. I apologise for my English in advance… : )

    Allow me first to give you all my compliments about your work here. It’s really fantastic! All this research work, the page itself, sharing experience and knowledge with all of us – amazing!! Thank you for that!

    And I also think you are THE person! I think everything you start is a success! Because I see u as a positive, amusing, creative person and I think I’m not mistaken.

    Ok, enough of you! πŸ™‚

    If I may, I’d like to ask u for an advise, since I’m not much of a researcher… I read a lot of articles on your blog, but not even a half! So: I was diagnosed MGUS just the other day and I’d like to try curcumin treatment since the medicine here in Slovenia is not giving me any treatment for now. As I understand it – they will just fallow my status and start curing me when numbers suit… But nobody really listens to my clinical signs and how I’m feeling… And that’s bad! I have frequent headaches, recurent night-sweats, malaise, skin rashes…

    So – curcumin treatment! I could hardly find it somewhere close. I found non in my country – just the spise, we call it Curcuma (I think that’s Turmeric). But I managed to find one producer in Croatia – Fero-leko. They produce kapsules with 95% curcumin. My question to you is: is it better to take those capsules or a powder-mix-coctail, like you do?

    I kindly ask for your request and really looking forward to it!

    I wish you all the best with your recovering and your work!

    Thank you!


  2. Hi Robert, you are much too kind!
    I have to tell you, though, that I am not a doctor (I do have a Ph.D., but it’s in an entirely different field); therefore, I cannot advise you or anyone else on what to do. Hmmm, sometimes I cannot even advise MYSELF on what to do! Seriously, though, I don’t mean to be blunt. I just mean that we are all different, and we all react differently to the exact same substance, so it would be quite impossible for me to tell you: take this, take that. What works for me won’t necessarily work for you. I don’t mean to discourage you from taking curcumin, of course! πŸ™‚
    I looked up the source you mentioned, and found Kurkumin. Since I haven’t tried it, I have no opinion about it, except that I like the fact that it is associated with grapefruit zest, which may enhance its bioavailability. I do have a couple of suggestions. Why don’t you look up BioCurcumax to see if there is a seller near you? You could actually write directly to the BioCurcumax manufacturer, Arjuna, in India.
    You could also contact Sabinsa’s European headquarters (you can find the contact info in my Brands page) and ask if there is a Slovenian seller for their C3 Complex curcumin.
    I think that the first step, once you have decided to try curcumin, is to find a reliable source. Then you can decide how to take it. Please remember that I won’t know for at least a month and a half if the curcumin-chocolate (etc.) mixture is working for me. But you are certainly welcome to try it! πŸ™‚

  3. Robert- I too have MGUS- diagnosed since Feb. 07- I have been taking circumin (3 grams daily) since then, as well as zyflamend, and Dr. Andrew Weil’s immune system builders (combination of mushrooms). Everyone one I have communicated with has been told by their Drs to wait and watch but I choose to change my lifestyle (reduce stress) and change my diet (more veggies and fruits, less red meat and only organic). My m-spike numbers have gone down by 1/2. I think there is a theraputic value in doing something! But I’m not a Dr. Ther is also a support group at : that may heelp too. I think you’ve got the right idea- Mary

  4. Hi Margaret!

    Don’t worry – I’m not some uneducated person, I know very well that you cannot take responsibility for anyone but yourself, especially for such matter. But I can tell you, that you gave me a perfect answer, I expected no more. And I am much thankful.

    I’ll check some more sources you kindly suggested and just try them. And I hope in time I will experience nothing but benefit :))

    Thanks again for your speedy reply and best wishes!

    Bye, Robert

  5. Hi Robert,
    I have asked Margaret and she doesn’t mind if I reply to you.
    I have had many of the symptoms you are experiencing and they are now mostly gone – since I stopped eating foods containing gluten. Check out the possible symptoms of Celiac’s disease with Google.
    You will also be interested to see that a group of Serbian researchers think that Celiac’s might be causing MGUS/MM in some people. See:
    Finally, I have found omega 3 (flax seed oil) very helpful in preventing rashes and allergies.
    Normally with MGUS doctors like to see how things go before giving you drugs that might have unpleasant side effects. However, there are lots of things you can do that might help the condition and certainly won’t do you any harm.
    Good luck,

  6. Hi Paul!

    Oh, so many nice and well-informed people here!! It’s really great to find you! Thank you Paul.

    Yes, I think I’ve already come to this article at Google’s search for plasmacytoma. But I guess I payed too little attention, as I can see now.

    I understand that one must do anything and everything to help one-self and not rely too much upon someone else. Thank you for that remark, too.

    So at least I was right about flax-seed oil, which I just started to use yesterday – but more for the purpose of better curcumin resorption. πŸ™‚

    Thank you very much for sharing your experience with me and good luck to you, too!


  7. Hi Robert,
    To check if celiac’s disease is a problem you could ask your doctor for an anti-gliadin antibody (AGA) test. Be careful to ask for an AGA test because there are other tests (IgA) that won’t work if your immune system is compromised. Has your doctor given you figures for total IgG, IgA, IgM and the paraprotein component? I think it might be possible to tell if the monoclonal element is active against gliadin. I am going to ask my haematologist when I see him.
    Going gluten-free is bad news (you have to stop drinking beer and eating all sorts of nice things) but if it works!!!
    Best wishes,

  8. Hi Mary,
    A 50% drop in M-spike over 10 months is very impressive indeed. I’m sure we would all be absolutely delighted with a result like that. Would you mind telling us what the actual numbers were and what type of paraprotein you have (eg IgG kappa). It would be really good to find out what has happened in your case and if your success is repeatable.
    My monoclonal IgG dropped from 27 to 21 in the 2 years before I went on a gluten-free diet. I am due a blood test this week so I will soon know if that has helped.
    I think we can learn a lot from one another – and maybe teach the medical profession a thing or two in the process πŸ™‚
    Best wishes,

  9. Hi Paul!

    I just have an appointment with a gastro-enterologist on Thursday, so I can ask if they could do that test, too. I will also be checked for a Helicobacter Pylori on my own request, because I had it two years ago and after a treatment didn’t do the checking, ’cause I felt better (bad,bad!).

    yes, I know very well what no-gluten diet means… I’ve tried some sort of it few years ago, for I was sure I had Candidias… Uf,uf!! :))

    So – thanks again for your tip.

    Best wishes,


  10. Hi Mary!

    Thanks to you, too for sharing your experience. I’ve already changed many things in my life, since I was forced to (because of really not feeling well for some time). I had very stressful life, working 12, 14 or even more hours per day. And of course the whole chain reaction – bad eating timing, no relaxation etc. So this is much different now for some time. But I see that there’s more to do, ’cause I still don’t feel well. And with a great help from you, kind people, I hope I’ll make it!

    Congratulation on your success, keep the spirit!!

    Thank you and all the best to you!


  11. Paul – I was diagnosed with IGG MGUS in Feb m-spike only.03, by June m-spike.07 and in Oct. m-spike of.03. I immediately modified my diet toward Vegan organic but have since included organic meat 2 to 3 times a week. I noticed when I had the flu and didn’t eat for 2 days that my PN reduced. I only have one kidney and had many infections==reduced protein reduced infections, Hmmm. Started reading about inflammation. Got BMB and no lesions found and no indicators in BMB. Felt like poo though and had no energy. In june got shingles vaccine and my flu symptoms stopped. Hmmm? Got test for Celiac but have reactions to some carbs, no celiac,-got blood sugar monitor and now monitor when feeling not good but think those were Asian rices I bought, have increased allergic reactions to things, another reason to build my immune system. I take Andrew Weil’s vitamins- daily and immune system builders. Believe vitamin quality an issue. I take zyflamend and gugol. I take 1600 mg curcumin am and pm. I’m learning biofeedback, bought a machine/software. I no longer try to multi-task. I do everything with a zen like slow intention. I now do in week what I used to do in a day and things still get done. I quit my job as a social worker in an environment that the gov’t here does not give you the resources to help the people that come to you for help-resulting in heavy stress. I am trying to start a private practice part-time but I am going very slow with that trying not to get stressed about it. I worked as a shipyard electrician for 17 years and am a trained diesel mechanic, so I was exposed to plenty of chemicals. I believe we were not created to work under continuous stress and I am regrouping to only demand that my body breathe and move like I think we were made to do. I’m even getting to the point that doing nothing is theraputic and I practice this as much as possible. Some days I do nothing and my body thanks me for it. I’m even worrying less. My payback is my m-spike is at.03.

  12. Hi Mary!

    Congratulations again for your success, may it progress even more!

    I think we’re all forgetting a crucial thing in our story – the chance for choice, THE Change! The change of our thinking, perception, emotions, habits… Because we’re the only ones responsible for what’s happening to us. Illness is just a warning we HAVE to change something in Life we were given. For that we must be capable to look inside of ourselves and have a little “talk” there. And if we manage to find the block or blocks, a discomfort or even a pain in our subconsciousness, we can erase it or them and so start to work on a cause. And if that is cured, I’m sure all the remedies we take will have a solid ground to work on! So let’s give our remedies a better chance – let’s discover ourselves! πŸ™‚

    That was just a thought – maybe due to a late hour.. But truly – quiting a job that is not satisfying you, but gives you a security is a big step and the first step that proves you’re being serious about making THE change. So – bravo Mary!! I still don’t have guts to do that…

    But I will change my telephone number, I’ll stop taking so many people for a therapy, I’ll quit some hobbies and re-start the old (healthier) ones or start some new. For now the best one is a long walk with my dog :))

    Sorry for this non-scientific-nothing-new-telling reply…

    Just came along and had to get it out, though I know this is no place to do it. Sorry Margaret!

    Going to bed now – a hard day is ahead!

    Best wishes to all of you!


  13. Robet- Just finished a Book by Jon Katz – The New Work of Dogs- Jon’s theory is that dogs are helping fulfill our early attachments that were broken. I don’t know, but I think he makes a good case that dogs jobs have changed and I know I spend more time with my dogs. He almost makes a case for making me the crazy dog lady down the block. When I hear about the people with too many dogs, I ache for those people and feel I know what has gone wrong because I do think of my dogs as family members. And your dog is happy to be on that list….Take care. M

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