It didn’t work!

Right after I had published my anniversary post yesterday, I went to check our snail-mail mailbox, and my test results had arrived. Gulp! These were the results of my two months on eight grams of Biocurcumax, allegedly a more bioavailable form of curcumin, ordered directly from the Arjuna company in India and put into capsule form by fabulous Dr. Balducci in Calenzano.
Terrible. A big flop. As I looked through my February 26 results, I began feeling like Piccolo in this photo (actually, he’s yawning, it just LOOKS scary, doesn’t it? Hehe). Let’s see…where shall I begin? Going down the list, comparing the February results to my so-so early January ones:
First, the good news (January results are listed first).
  • Hemoglobin went up a bit: from 12.7 to 13.6 g/dL.
  • So did my hematocrit, from 37.4 to 40.0.
  • My blood viscosity and general inflammation marker (VES, in Italian) went from 50 mm/h to 42, the lowest it has been in years (I checked as far back as 2004). 
  • Ferritin: up slightly, from 7 to 13 ng/mL. Still under the normal range, though (sigh).
  • CRP is still under 9 mg/L.
  • Bence-Jones is negative, as it has always been. In this case, for non-myeloma folks, negative is good.
  • IgA and IgM are the same as they were (barely there, but holding on!).
  • B2M: stable. It went from 1.9 to 2.0, still within the normal range.
  • Albumin went up a bit, from 48.2 to 49.0 %. So did my beta globulin, from 6.9 to 7.4 %.
  • Liver markers are all fine. To be expected, because of my intake of curcumin. 
  • DHEA-S (new test) is right smack in the middle of the normal range.
Now for the bad bits, again going down the list.
  • Total IgG went from 31.90 to 35.30 g/L. It’s never been that high. Please remember, though, that I started on antibiotics the day after the tests, so that could have something to do with this bothersome increase.
  • My serum iron took a bit of a plunge, from 81 to 57 micrograms/dL, which means that I am now a bit below the normal range.  I guess I will be seeing heaps of iron-rich molasses in my near future. 
  • Total protein: the highest it has ever been. It went from 8.7 to 9.3 g/dL. 
  • The news gets "better": my m-spike went from 2.17 to 2.45. The highest it’s been since I discovered this test (less than a year, so not long).
  • My monoclonal component also took a wrong turn (I’m going to give it a map before I take my next set of tests!), going from 25.0 to 26.4 %.
  • For the first time EVER, my white cell count has dropped below the normal range. That doesn’t make much sense, since, as I mentioned, I must have been fighting an infection at the time. Puzzling.

Two of my "new" tests were a bit “off,” as follows.

  • Alkaline phosphatase, which is below the normal range. This could be a symptom of a bunch of things (still have to look into the matter), such as magnesium deficiency and hypothyroidism. But, from what I have read so far, better to have a low than high result. Phew.
  • Creatinine clearance, which I have never had done before, is right smack on the high end of the normal range: 140 mL/min. That could mean a million things, including hypothyroidism (hmmm, there it pops up again!), so I will have it checked out. But my serum creatinine is fine, no change from last tests (0.7). I will have to sort this out.
The story hasn’t ended. Sherlock also took a bit of a thwack from our two months on Biocurcumax. She authorized me to post a few numbers, as follows:
Good news.
  • Her blood viscosity dropped a few more points, from 44 to 40 (but in the past it’s been as high as 98!). She told me this is the lowest it’s been in years.
  • B2M went from 1.9 to 1.7. Good.
  • CRP is less than 1 mg/L. WOWIE. Excellent, Sherlock!
  • Her serum iron level went up, and is now well within the normal range. Go figure.
Bad stuff.
  • Her total protein went up, from 8.4 to 9.0. She has had higher results, though, in her pre-curcumin past.
  • Total IgG went from 28.5 to 30.0, not a huge jump.
  • Her IgM, which is higher than mine, dropped a bit, from 0.23 to 0.19.
  • M-spike went from 2.24 to 2.5. I see that in her pre-curcumin era it was higher, at times.
  • Monoclonal component jumped in her case, too: from 26.7 to 27.8. 
Nothing else really sticks out to me. Sherlock, if you would like to add something I missed, please go right ahead.

My conclusions. Biocurcumax may well work for other ailments, but it would appear not to have worked for yours truly and Sherlock, respectively a U.S. citizen and an Italian (our DNA is VERY different, I mean).

So…hasta la vista, Biocurcumax! Too bad. Life can be like a rather wobbly path through the woods at times (I took this photo in Acadia, Maine, in 2006 ).

Well, at least I won’t have any more rosacea flare-ups. There is always (?) a bright side…  


  1. La curcumina è un potente chelante del ferro, probabilmente questo è il motivo della ferritina in discesa.

    Iron chelation in the biological activity of curcumin.
    Jiao Y, Wilkinson J 4th, Christine Pietsch E, Buss JL, Wang W, Planalp R, Torti FM, Torti SV.

    Department of Cancer Biology, Wake Forest University Health Sciences, Winston-Salem, NC 27157, USA.

    Curcumin is among the more successful chemopreventive compounds investigated in recent years, and is currently in human trials to prevent cancer. The mechanism of action of curcumin is complex and likely multifactorial. We have made the unexpected observation that curcumin strikingly modulates proteins of iron metabolism in cells and in tissues, suggesting that curcumin has properties of an iron chelator. Curcumin increased mRNA levels of ferritin and GSTalpha in cultured liver cells. Unexpectedly, however, although levels of GSTalpha protein increased in parallel with mRNA levels in response to curcumin, levels of ferritin protein declined. Since iron chelators repress ferritin translation, we considered that curcumin may act as an iron chelator. To test this hypothesis, we measured the effect of curcumin on transferrin receptor 1, a protein stabilized under conditions of iron limitation, as well as the ability of curcumin to activate iron regulatory proteins (IRPs). Both transferrin receptor 1 and activated IRP, indicators of iron depletion, increased in response to curcumin. Consistent with the hypothesis that curcumin acts as an iron chelator, mice that were fed diets supplemented with curcumin exhibited a decline in levels of ferritin protein in the liver. These results suggest that iron chelation may be an additional mode of action of curcumin.

    E’ sicura che la ferritina bassa sia una cattiva notizia?
    Legga questo articolo:

    Può dirmi quanto costa la curcumina ordinata presso il suo amico farmacista?


  2. Hey Margaret!

    Sorry to hear this… But of course this tiny step backwards is just taking a good run for a new big forward jump!!

    I’m just curious – are you gonna go back to your chocolate-mix? I think it’s THE ONE for you. 🙂

    Best wishes Margaret and keep the faith!!


  3. Dear Margaret,

    I do wonder how total protein can go up and blood viscosity down, but that happened to both of you. They don’t even test mine – one doctor occasionally tests for ESR (sed rate) whatever that is, but not viscosity.

    THANK YOU BOTH for this experiment! I now know of four people who have tried biocurcumax, with zero reductions in serum proteins and M-spike. Everyone went up, including me. So now we know what to do.

    Isn’t that a beautiful trail!


  4. Thank you Margaret for printing out your results. I was also crossing my fingers for the biocurcumax to work. But I’m sorry about the slight increases. I was wondering today what new ideas you might have for us and logged on to see. Thank you for allowing your readers to share your experiences and learn from them and to view your wonderful photos. Your plate of raspberries photo is still my screensaver!!

  5. Hi Margaret: even though some of your numbers are off, I take the view that if my doc says my mgus is stable even though my number of protein is crawling down to 9.3 from 10.7 and even 11. something, maybe your SMM is stable even if some numbers crawled up. As you know I have been taking 500mgs of curc a day – well most days – I may double the dose for a few months – an experiment before my next tests in September.

    take care –

    and I was pleased to read on one of the lists the body-mind of Ayuveda (good spelling?) – it validates what I think and the link to eft

    Marguerite (buried under 400 cms of snow in Ottawa and they say Spring is 48 hours away)

  6. Wish I could throw you a couple of snow balls. Oh yes, it was lovely to get up to… but I are eager to get out on the trails.

    Thanks for your faithful discovering and reporting.

    I keep thinking about that marathon in Rome… and then getting to meet you. (But alas it is not yet in the budget.)

    Good luck with the next round of blood tests.
    We love you.

  7. Dear Margaret,
    I´m sure you´ll make the changes and next results will be better. I would like to know mi body as you do…….I have a long way to get it!
    I wrote you before, I had a high dose treatment with interferon, and during that therapy, I continued taking 2gm./day of curcumin (Dr. Best).
    At the dose 28th, the therapy stopped, I was very sick, I had a toxic hepatitis. I left interferon and curcumin. Since that (january the first week) I didn´t take any drug, even vitamine………I´ve been taking care of my liver. Now I´m OK, having a very healthy diet, making some exercise every day.
    I want to believe that the one that hit my liver was interferon. I won´t have more of that drug, so I would like to begin with curcumin again, checking my liver every week, to be sure curcumin is helping me.
    At this time I´m “free” of my desease (malignant melanoma) but I want to prevent……
    I´ll be very thankful with any information you have about this.
    Thank you very much for writing us daily, you are a wonderful reference for us.
    A big kiss,

  8. You are always in my thoughts and prayers. I was hoping you would be very successful with your experiment, but its not over yet.

    I am like Patricia, malignant melanoma, I have no cancer right now and hope to continue on that path. I missed your blog a couple of days because I was at MD Anderson.

    I am sure most will agree that you give us alot of strength and hope and we all admire you for your selfless efforts to provide everyone with as much information as possible. I doubt any site is as extensive in knowledge as yours is.

    Be well my friend. Jim

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