I haven’t mentioned my good friend Sherlock (I’m Watson, of course!) in a while. Well, the reason is simple. Back in November (2008), she decided to see what would happen if she stopped taking curcumin for a few months, whereas I decided to test feverfew.


[Note: I still haven’t had my blood tests done, for a variety of reasons. A lot of folks here have the flu, which means that the hospital lab is filled with dreadful coughers…and why do they always end up sitting next to me in the waiting room? 😉 ]


At any rate, I admit that in the past I too have been tempted to stop taking curcumin, just to see if my markers would remain stable. Last spring, I even asked my haematologist what she thought about my forgetting about curcumin for a couple of months. To my utter surprise, she told me that it would not be a wise move at all. Well, if she says so…!


So, back in November, just as I began my feverfew experiment, Sherlock ended her daily curcumin intake. She continued to take fish oil capsules, and I seem to recall that she also took Zyflamend (I could be wrong about that). She caught a chill in early January and came down with a terrible cough and sinus infection. She told me that she hadn’t been that ill in years and wonders if it could be because she stopped taking curcumin, which is both anti-viral and antibacterial. That could well be. Anyway, she went through three cycles of different antibiotics, poor dear.


She finally had blood tests done in early February 2009, 5-6 days after finishing her last cycle of antibiotics. She still had the remnants of a cough, though, as I recall, and that is something to keep in mind as we look at her test results (below), which, by the way, she authorized me to publish. I won’t bother mentioning any markers that more or less remained the same.


Compared to her October 31 2008 tests, her February 3 2009 tests are as follows:


·        ESR went from 26 to 69.

·        Calcium, from 9.1 to 10.1.

·        Uric acid, from 3.7 to 4.3.

·        Total protein, from 8.1 to 9.4.

·        Her CRP went from <1 to <9, so there must have been an increase of some sort. I would like to note that is extremely annoying to have such an inaccurate reference range for CRP.

·        M-spike, from 2.42 to 2.76. Her m-spike has never been this high.

·        But her monoclonal component went from 29.9 down to 29.4. Go figure.

·        A good thing: her IgM went from 0.17 to 0.23. But her IgA went from 0.11 to 0.10, and her IgG, probably because of her recent illness, was on the high side; it went from 31.30 to 35.50 g/L.


Ah, one more rather interesting number: her haemoglobin didn’t increase that much during this period (remember that curcumin is an iron chelator). It went from 12 to 12.3. Almost no variation.


So, how to interpret these results? Not easy. Sherlock believes in curcumin almost as strongly as I do (and began taking curcumin again right after having these tests, incidentally). These February results, however, don’t seem to prove much, in my opinion. In spite of the slight increase in m-spike and whatnot, she still seems to be more or less stable, which of course is excellent. Matters might have been different if she had stayed off curcumin for at least six months AND her markers had continued to worsen. But she stopped taking curcumin for only three months. Plus, the illness, the antibiotics, the lingering cough…hard to say…but any thoughts are welcome, as always!


Final comment: Sherlock is fine, now. That’s the important thing!


P.S. I haven’t been doing any research, answering e-mails or blogging lately. I apologize. It hasn’t been an easy period…I have been distracted by some not-so-good family news. One of Stefano’s relatives has just been diagnosed with inoperable pancreatic cancer. He is 40 years old and has a 4-year-old son. I am still in shock, as is the whole family. And my mother-in-law has also not been well. Quite the opposite, in fact. Nope, this has not been a good period. Still isn’t. But we are all trying to be optimistic…the glass is still half full, not half empty…and life goes on…yes indeedy.


  1. Margaret, Just want you to know that my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family members. You have become dear to all of us out here who read your blog often. Please take time to process. Wish I could send you a couple of otters to cheer you! Love, Debi

  2. Hi Margaret,

    Sorry to hear about Stefano’s cousin.

    I don’t know if you remember or not, but about 8 months(?) ago I asked you your opinion of DCA, but that must have been one of those busy times for you or you might have missed that particular comment as I don’t recall that you replied to it. Anyway, I have been following the website that maintains all of the latest info on DCA as far as current research, latest synergistic protocols, anecdotal evidence and producers who are questionable or not. Here is a link to that website which is, imo, very interesting and quite good.

    In any case, perhaps now would be a good time for you to review that website if you haven’t already, and possibly have Stefano’s cousin do the same.
    It is updated regularly and has all the links to the available studies and research.
    DCA appears to be compatible with certain chemo agents, but this site seems to focus primarily on the synergy of DCA in combination with more natural supplements like vitamins and caffeine.
    In comparison to most chemo agents, DCA has a pretty good safety profile.
    I would still be very interested in hearing your comments on DCA.


  3. Hi Margaret

    Take care of yourself, keep your chin up, my thoughts are with you and your family. I have in the past used EFT to get over traumatic events, I have found it worked very well.

    Glad to here Sherlock is feeling better, I think the infections are more dangerous to those of us that are stable than anything else, so if Curcumin does nothing else, but keep them at bay it’s doing a good job. Also, maybe even after 3 months, there may be some residue effect from when she was taking the high dose curcumin.

    Love and health


  4. Thanks, everyone, for your super kind words. Sue, very good point. In fact, I remember my specialist telling me that a proper experiment (eliminating curcumin to see what would happen) would involve more time than just a few months. I am not willing to take that risk.

    Art, I don’t remember your older comment, sorry, but I did take the time today to check out DCA (just briefly, I don’t have much time). What I have read so far leads me to believe that DCA, which stands for dichloroacetic acid, isn’t such an innocuous substance. For one thing, it doesn’t occur in Nature, which I don’t like.

    Take a look, for instance, at this (especially page 3, “the facts about DCA”):

    I also read that DCA, in its pure form, is corrosive and destroys tissues of the mucous membranes and upper respiratory tract. Yikes! Moreover, it is a trace product of the chlorination of drinking water (source: Wikipedia). Not sure I like that. In sum, I don’t find any of this information very encouraging. Sorry!

  5. Hi Margaret.

    I certainly understand your being put off after reading the article you linked to! I notice that the article is dated February 5th 2007, over two years old. Imo, information and knowledge about DCA and it’s effects in humans as pertains to cancer and sarcoidosis have grown significantly since that article was written. There are human studies in progress in Canada at this time where they are starting to show that DCA can definitely have a positive effect on certain types of cancers. This is why I have been following DCA, because it actually is in human testing and there are steady anecdotal reports that are mirroring what the Canadian study is showing so far. The link that I posted is one website that is compiling all available information on the anecdotal reports as well the Canadian study as well as links to most available studies about DCA.

    I would also like to note that the author of that article , Dr. Lichtenfeld, was qouting from a very old study. There are newer studies that are certainly more revealing than that one that was quoted from.

    Dr. Len Lichtenfeld is deputy chief medical officer for the American Cancer Society.
    At the time that article was written, the testing in Canada had not begun to the best of my knowledge and the Dr. didn’t seem to quote from the studies that lead up to the testing in Canada. I can only guess why, but I would think that those studies had to have had enough positive data in order for DCA to move forward from rat and mouse testing into a clinical trial on humans. I can definitely understand his cautious stance toward another “miracle cure” with no meaningful testing behind it, but it is quite another thing to selectively ignore “all” of the available studies…….especially when that is your speciallty……..the treatment and prevention of cancer. I’m sure he had a reason though.

    As far as the caustic nature of Dichloracetic acid……..this is undisputed……it is acid, and it is very caustic, however, this is not what is being used in the studies. The studies are using Sodium Dichloracetate, if I understand correctly.

    I know you are pressed for time right now, Margaret, and probably don’t have the time to visit the link that I posted at the moment, but I think if/when you do get that chance, you will not likely be disappointed that you did.


  6. I have to say, I don’t understand why you’d consider stopping the curcumin. Please, find some other way to satisfy your curiosity! 😉 After a year of treatment, I’m still struggling to find anything that works.

    I am sorry to hear of recent troubles, especially your mother-in-law and Stefano’s cousin, and hope you have good news about them soon. Best wishes.

  7. Hi Margaret,
    You mention in this post that Sherlock’s “monoclonal component” went down slightly, even though M-spike went up. I don’t get a report of “monoclonal component” on my test results, but if you get out a calculator you can see that it is simply the percentage of monoclonal protein within the total protein. M-Spike divided by Total Protein times 100. Examples: 2.42/8.1*100 = 29.9, and 2.76/9.4*100 = 29.4. In this case the monoclonal component went down because total protein went up more than did the M-Spike.
    I sound like a professor, sorry! You probably knew this already.
    – Don

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *