Blood Tests and A Good Story

Sherlock and I had our blood tests done today up at the main hospital in Florence, as usual. My cocoa mass/curcumin powder, Scutellaria baicalensis and Zyflamend experiment has officially ended. Funny thing is, I just realized that I am going to miss my powder concoction at the end of the day! Oh well. I get these test results back on January 31st, which is rather late, but that’s because I also got tested for celiac disease, a test that requires special consideration.

Today the BioCurcumax experiment officially begins. BioCurcumax is, allegedly, a more bioavailable form of curcumin manufactured by an Indian company called Arjuna (you can read a bit more about it on my Bioavailability page). It’s basically curcumin mixed with essential oil of turmeric (curcumin mixed with a fat). We shall see!

Anyway, this morning, in between dodging the coughs and sneezes of others while waiting to have our blood drawn, Sherlock and I discussed exactly HOW we would conduct this experiment. We decided the following: I will take it in two doses of 4 grams each, whereas she will take it in one big gulp. We decided it would be interesting to take it in different ways rather than the exact same way, which was our other option. We will continue to take quercetin, but I will switch to the capsule form.

Today we start with 4 grams of BioCurcumax. Tomorrow, 6 grams. On Thursday we will go up to the full 8-gram dose, which we will take until early March, then we will have blood tests repeated.

So, as things stand today, this will be my protocol for the next couple of months:

Quercetin capsules with bromelain: 1.5 grams, 10 minutes before taking curcumin.

BioCurcumax capsules: 8 grams, divided into two doses, on a empty stomach.

Vitamin D drops, cholecalciferol, oil-based preparation: 2500 IU per week.

Freshly ground flaxseeds added to my food.

A multivitamin on occasion, with mostly B vitamins.

As time goes on, I may make a few minor changes. If that happens, I will post about it here. The main difference between my intake and Sherlock’s is, as I mentioned, that she will take the daily dose all at once. She will also continue to take vitamin C, which I do not take except as part of an occasional multivitamin. That’s it, for now.

A good story. Beth told me about one her blog readers, Earl, who is treating his precancerous prostate condition with…well, go see for yourselves: My hat’s off to you, Earl! 


  1. Margaret: I would like some more info about how you take/get your biocurcumax. I ordered capsules from India. On Arjuna’s website they say: “1 capsule is equivalent to about 10 grams of turmeric powder.” The capsules themselves are 500 mg. Now, as I read this, if you are taking 8 grams of biocurcumax, you’re getting a TON of turmeric/curcumin.

    I am taking 3 capsules of biocurcumax a day and happily thinking it’s enough! But for a different cancer than yours. Can you comment?

  2. Curious readers want to know: Exactly what celiac test did you have? I think you discussed the “anti-gliadin antibody” test in an earlier post. Did you precede the test with a gluten challenge?

    I asked my onc about celiac disease and, because my son is a celiac, he quickly ordered a test. I THINK it was the anti-gliadin antibody test, because that’s what we discussed, but the lab techs actually took three vials of blood so evidently he ordered more. He said that a gluten challenge was not necessary, even though I’ve been gluten-free for a couple of months.

    Reading with interest as always,


  3. Hi! Martha: a pharmacist near Florence has been able to order the BioCurcumax powder directly from Arjuna, and with that he has made a supply of one-gram capsules for this experiment. If you have been following my quest to understand bioavailability (not an easy one!), just because you double the amount of a substance doesn’t mean that you will get double bioavailability, as I understand it. True, tests (by the companies that sell the product) show that BioCurcumax apparently is 7 times more active than regular curcumin. But does that translate into bioavailability? I am not sure. Bioavailability depends on so many factors, such as gender, age, diet, even attitude. That is the reasoning behind our experiment with 8 grams of BioCurcumax, not less. This way, we may be able to compare equal amounts of two kinds of curcumin. We may be wrong, of course. And if we are wrong, and you are right, then I suppose Sherlock and I will begin turning yellow! (just kidding…hmmm, or am I? ;-))
    Don: I had three celiac disease blood tests (three different vials, just like you): AGA, EMA and anti-iTG, I think. My GP decided it would be interesting to see the results from all three. Such a great doctor!
    I don’t know what you mean by gluten challenge, except it could be eating a lot of gluten before the test (could be the opposite, too, though). No, I didn’t do that. I HAVE been eating pasta every day with lots of ground flaxseeds, capsaicin and garlic, but that’s it. Take care, Margaret

  4. Happy New Year, Margaret.

    Good luck with the new regimen. Given the mediocre results from the latest MD Anderson curcumin trial on MM, the question of maximizing bioavailability is more important than ever.


  5. Hi Martha,
    could you, please, tell us how did you order the capsules from India?
    Was it done directly from Arjuna or via a shop chain? How long did it take to get the stuff?


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