My current protocol…

Some blog readers have recently asked me what my current protocol is. So, even though I have no earth-shattering update concerning my daily protocol, I decided to publish a post about it today…especially since it will probably take me a while to read through all the “virus” messages/comments–thanks everyone!–in order to put together a series of meaningful, I hope!, posts (=for more information, please see my September 28 2010 post…).

Speaking of viruses, I would like to mention, quickly!, that I have made a full recovery from the bronchitis that struck me down a couple of weeks ago. Last week my family doctor changed the antibiotic that Stefano and I were taking (awww, isn’t it adorable that we do everything together, including getting sick and taking antibiotics together? 🙄 ), and that reaaaaally worked. So, he is fine, and I am fine. Just a bit tired, but that is not surprising: the new antibiotic was so strong that it probably would have resuscitated a Tyrannosaurus rex!

Okay, let’s get to the matter at hand: one of my super-organized blog readers asked me a series of questions, so the easiest thing to do is to answer them one by one…

Question: What is your current curcumin “ritual” (i.e., do you divide it into doses? do you combine it with bioperine or any other supplements or foods to help bioavailability? do you take it in pill form or as a powder? do you take it before, after or during meals?).

Answer: For a long time now, I have been taking one big dose about an hour before dinner (=16 capsules just of curcumin…). I make an exception if we are having a curry or another Indian dish for dinner: in that case, since I always use heaps of organic turmeric, I take all my capsules with dinner, hoping to increase their bioavailability. What type of curcumin? Well, I take either Doctor’s Best, the 500 mg capsules (which do not contain any silicon dioxide), or NSI, the Vitacost brand (ditto). Both contain bioperine (black pepper extract). By the way, I have eliminated pepper from my diet (not red pepper, of course), just to be cautious…too much pepper could be too much of a good thing!

Question: Please specify your current schedule of other supplements (specifying the exact dosages, the forms in which you take them and the time of day — including whether before, after or during meals).

Answer: right before I take my curcumin capsules, I take 2 grams of fish oil and 1.5 grams of quercetin, all in capsule form (i.e., not caplets or pills or gummy bears). I make sure that the fish oil is molecularly distilled/purified…This is the easy protocol that I have been following this summer, but I should mention that I soon plan to add ashwagandha for three-month cycles. I am a big fan of “less is more,” so I plan to be very careful…

Question: Are there any supplements that you started and then stopped taking due to side effects or other reasons?

Answer: Yes. Details:

Parthenolide, or PTL (feverfew extract). I will probably never take any more PTL, even though it attacks leukemic stem cells, which is obviously fantastic. You see, I recently found out (see my October 6 2010 post) that it induces cellular protective responses that likely function to reduce its overall cytotoxicity in leukemic cells. That is not good at all, but it also might explain why my PTL experiment (May 2009) was such a failure…

BCM-95 or Biocurcumax. Sherlock and I tested BCM-95 in 2008, and our myeloma markers worsened…a lot! So, until I am 1000% sure that there is a truly fabulous (backed up by solid proof etc.) new curcumin on the market, I will stick with C3 Complex curcumin, which has been tested in various clinical trials. Case closed.

Resveratrol. The jury is still out. Back in 2008, I took one of the two best brands available on the market, but my results ended up being only so-so: some markers slightly improved (monoclonal component, total IgG, e.g.), and some got slightly worse (total protein, red and white cell counts, blood viscosity, e.g.). All in all, no dramatic changes, though. I should make the point that I tested resveratrol in the summer. Well, I don’t test anything during the summer anymore. It simply gets too hot here, and, based on what I have been told, I am afraid that my blood tests would not be entirely reliable, since the test tubes sit around in a hot lab for a certain amount of time…blablabla… Anyway, that is a reason I might try resveratrol again…

Ganoderma lucidum or Reishi (the New Chapter brand). I began testing it last spring but had to stop taking it when we left for the UK (=so I still don’t know if it did any good or not…). Reason for stopping: I just couldn’t travel with too many supplements. Now that I am over my bout with bronchitis, though, I plan to test it again, taking the recommended daily dosage, no more. In order to avoid taking so many capsules at once, however, I will take it in the early afternoon whenever possible. I have a huge amount of faith in the anti-myeloma effects of Ganoderma lucidum, so it had better not let me down! 🙂

Side effects: no, I have never taken anything that has given me any trouble…not even when my experiments ended up being complete failures.

SUMMARY: Just before dinner (with the above-noted exception), every day, I take 8 grams of curcumin, 2 grams of fish oil and 1.5 grams of quercetin. To that I am soon going to add almost 1 gram of ashwagandha (also known as Indian ginseng) for three months. That is my basic protocol, to which I will add anything I plan to test for a couple of months or so. Next test: G. lucidum (=Reishi). Okay, I think I have answered all of my blog readers’ questions now. If I haven’t, though, or if you have any more, please feel free to ask…

Oh wait, another question that I frequently get asked is: “have you ever had any chemotherapy?” Well, this seems like a really good time to declare publicly that I have never had any chemotherapy or any other conventional treatments (=nothing stronger than antibiotics!).

I also do not have any CRAB symptoms and do not take bisphosphonates. Hmmm, what else? Ah yes, I do not take any multivitamins or, indeed, any individual vitamins, with the exception of vitamin D, which, as I have written countless times, I believe should be on the list of the routine testing/screening of all MGUS, SMM and MM patients (see my Page on myeloma and vitamin D). Every single one of us should have our vitamin D levels monitored. Indeed, all cancer patients should probably have their vitamin D levels tested! 

That’s it, folks! 🙂

Afterthought: I have also started drinking a cup of green tea almost every afternoon (if I have the time, that is)…


  1. Hi Margaret.

    We all operate on relatively stable, individual believe system and easily reject new ideas. This gives as a comfort of every day functioning based on 95% of subconscious mind. Accumulations of conflicting information or crises triggers some shock forcing as to adjust point of view to somewhat differently perceived new reality, but we must be open…

    Peter 06

  2. Hi Margaret,

    I tried to post a comment earlier, but it was rejected because I had three links in it.
    I was asking for your opinion on Meriva and the three links were simply to Pubmed as Pubmed only has three abstracts available when you search specifically for Meriva.
    It would be interesting to see a comparison bioavailabilty study between Curcumin with bioperine compared to Meriva! I know there is at least one such studiy for curcumin compared to curcumin plus bioperine.

    Thank You.


  3. Hello Margaret

    Am now slightly confused re the addition of quercetin being taken at the same time as curcumin.
    Your earlier entry on curcumin in the curcumin bioavailability section states that it interferes with curcumin’s absorption. At that time you were therefore taking it 15 mins at least BEFORE the curcumin.
    Best wishes

  4. Thanks Scott for the above report link.
    Some MMers are having to do a combination of drug and natural products such as curcumin, quercetin, green tea etc. and an ‘encouraging’ drugs report is helpful in keeping updated. Thank you.

  5. Quite a number of readers ask me about Meriva, Art. I don’t have an opinion, but that is only because I haven’t tried it (for the reasons stated in this post). It certainly looks good on paper…
    Okay, let me make a general appeal: if anyone out there has tried Meriva curcumin, would you please let me/us know if it made a difference in your markers? Thanks! That would be very helpful!
    Ann, I do take fish oil and quercetin before taking curcumin, unless I am in a horrendous hurry (which does happen–after all, I am a very busy gal! ;-)). Did I really write that quercetin intereferes with curcumin’s absorption? Hmmm. That’s odd. What happens (and this is from memory, mind you, since I don’t have the time to check now) is that quercetin apparently intereferes with an enzyme that inhibits the absorption of curcumin. Taking it before curcumin would, therefore, simply give it a bit more time to shut up that particular pesky enzyme, that’s all.
    Paula: I would have bet anything (my house, my most cherished possessions, my cats…) that YOU would have been THE ONE to catch that gummy bear silliness. Hehe! Thanks for the chuckle…:-)

  6. Hi Margaret

    You are a fantastic woman and may God bless you for the good work you’re doing for MMers.

    I’ve read your current curcumin protocol (or “ritual” as you put it) and I just want to clarify a few issues (if that’s OK with you)

    On curcumin:

    –> Where do you get your curcumin from?

    You said “right before I take my curcumin capsules, I take 2 grams of fish oil and 1.5 grams of quercetin, all in capsule form…”
    –> Do you take both the fish oil and the quercetin at the same time?
    –> and how many minutes do you wait (having taken the fish oil and the quercetin) before taking your curcumin?

    On fish oil:

    –> How do you ensure that the fish oil is molecularly distilled/purified?
    –> Is organic flaxseed oil equally as good as fish oil? – and if so should it be 2 grams as well?
    –> Where do you get your fish oil from?

    On quercetin:

    –> What type of quercetin do you take – and does it contain any silicon dioxide (or not)
    –>where do you get your quercetin from?

    On Another Protocol
    What about the following protocol being taken by one MMer (which I believe you’ve been made aware of?)
    • IP6 Inositol 1.5 g/day
    • Inositol 2 g/day
    • Selenium 200 mcg/day
    • Vitamin C 500 mg/day
    • Vitamin D 1000 iu/day
    • A Multivitamin/Multimineral per day

    –> Would you recommend that one adds it (in whole or in part) to the curcumin/oil/quercetin protocol?

    A prompt reply would be greatly appreciated.

    Kind Regards
    William B

  7. William, I just sent you the e-mail address that I use for any blog correspondence. Feel free to use it, though I may not be able to get back to you immediately. Sometimes I get overwhelmed and wish I had an assistant! 🙂
    Okay, let me see if I can answer a few of your questions. I order my curcumin from Vitacost (so much for my wish NOT to sponsor any company…! Oh well…), but there may be cheaper sources out there.
    Yes, I do take fish oil and quercetin at the same time. I confess, though, I don’t sit around with a kitchen timer. I wait for a while (the “while” depends on what I am doing at the time…preparing dinner, writing a blog post, doing research, preparing my classes for the following day, feeding my cats, getting ready to go out with my friends or whatnot…), and yes, then I take my curcumin. Sometimes, though, due to my work schedule or other life, er, interferences!, I get home late, so I just take everything at the same time. I do try to be good, but sometimes it is simply NOT possible.
    No, my quercetin does not contain silicon dioxide. It’s the Vitacost brand (NSI). The 250 cap bottle with bromelain. Also free of titanium dioxide…
    As for IP6 and some Inositol, I have bought enough for a 2-month trial but haven’t tested them yet. So I cannot say. When I do test them, though, then yes, I will add them to my basic protocol. I will never stop taking curcumin, in other words.
    That said, let me add that I cannot and do NOT recommend that anyone follow my protocol, the basic or the expanded one. That would be very VERY wrong of me, for many reasons that I think are quite obvious.
    What I would like to do, via my blog, is share my experiences with other MGUSers, SMMers and MMers. Of course, if someone wishes to try taking curcumin, I think it’s wonderful (provided that the circumstances are right and so on). And I can offer suggestions, based on my own experience. But that is it.
    Sorry about the not-so-prompt reply…Stefano and I are dealing with some family health issues right now (a close relative is quite ill…).

Leave a Reply

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