Have I been deceived, too?

We’re back in Florence from our holiday in Austria (we got back last weekend, actually), and I’m trying to catch up with a million different things, including laundry…but a few days ago a big translation plopped into my lap. So my plan of sifting through my photos and posting about our trip has been postponed…until I get some of this big beastie translated, at least…

But I just read an article, a very negative article, about curcumin, one that I couldn’t ignore. It was published recently in the “Scientific American.” Curcumin is actually defined as a “deceptive spice extract.”

Deceptive? You’ve got to be kidding me. I was absolutely stunned…still am.

Where, in this review, will I find an explanation for my having managed to stay away from conventional treatments for multiple myeloma thus far (more than 10 years after my SMM diagnosis), in spite of being at high risk for progression?

Where will I find the explanation for the disappearance of my rosacea…although I am still prone to blushing easily (but hey, the horrendous pustules disappeared years ago, and my skin is smooth and soft).

And how would this review explain a host of other side effects that have made my life so much more comfortable? Just to mention one other thing: my recurrent, painful vaginal yeast infections completely disappeared after I began taking curcumin. I have written about this…

Oh wait, then there’s my familial hypercholesterolemia, which used to be really, REALLY, bad. My cholesterol levels aren’t back to normal, but I’ve reached the point where my family doctor has me tested only once a year.

Placebo effect for all this? Not according to my doctors…

But I felt I couldn’t simply ignore this article. After all, I don’t ONLY read and post about positive stuff about curcumin, That would be really silly of me. I mean, hello???, I don’t want to be taking something that will harm me!!!

So even though I think this article is potentially dangerous, in the sense that it might discourage people from taking curcumin, I decided to post about it. Here’s the link, by the way: goo.gl/iJSTLO

What do YOU think???


  1. What I THINK I’m reading is that there are several chemical compounds within curcumin, that some of these may or may not bind to proteins in the body and that they have no idea which chemicals are responsible for any clinical effects.

    They do say that many studies have been corrected or retracted but they don’t tell us why. As you know, there’s a lot to clinical studies and one little error can warrant a retraction. The last paragraph does state that curcuminoids “…may well help”, but they don’t know how. And right there’s the purpose of the article, in a nutshell. I will continue my curcumin as well.

    Ten years without signs of disease, this April, plasmocytoma of the skull.

  2. They still don’t have a definite answer. I will continue taking it, for me it helps the pain.. i don’t know what else it does for me, but my doctor said he doesn’t have a problem with it.

  3. Margaret, I couldn’t agree with you more.

    Hmm could big Pharma be behind this article? The article written by Monya Baker, popping up everywhere, describes the recent publication as “the most comprehensive critical review yet of curcumin.”

    Could this be discrediting a substance that can’t be particularly patented so monies for research can be spent elsewhere?

    This reminds me of the flawed New Zealand study on Vitamin D telling people to toss this supplement.

  4. Hi Margaret,

    It’s been quite awhile since I’ve posted here and you may not remember me.

    I think what they have found would be very significant for a compound that is relatively unknown, but in the case of curcumin / turmeric, one of the most studied herbs on the planet, I just don’t see how this one study can undo or disprove what all of the human studies have already proved. The shear amount of quality studies for curcumin is overwhelming and I think if they want to make a broad claim like this and expect to be taken seriously, this research team needs to come with actual proof that what they are claiming actually affects the outcomes of existing human studies in any meaningful way. In fact, until they can disprove any quality human study with real proof, I think they are not to be taken seriously.

    The quality studies showing positive results in humans are too many to be just tossed aside without proof that the study is some how flawed. To me, as with any study, the burden of the proof is on them to show that existing studies are incorrect based on their findings. I think at a minimum they should take at least one good quality study and disprove it based on their findings. If they can’t do that, then they are merely speculating.

    We won’t even discuss the anecdotal evidence from so many people who claim benefit from curcumin. Can they all just be placebo effect? I am very doubtful of that!


  5. Have you been deceived? No, I don’t think so. I take it, and have found a great improvement in my cholesterol levels and blood pressure that cannot be attributed to anything else. Go, curcumin!

  6. As the saying goes, the proof is on the pudding. This article’s researchers did not do a blind study so it should carry no weight!

  7. Number crunchers. I just received my latest blood work. while my IGG is every so slowing moving up, the important markers are down. Five years ago my oncologist wanted me to start on Revlimid. I declined. And my numbers have declined. I’ve been adding more Vit. D and this has helped. But the Curcumin and Resveratrol work. Can I tell you in a scientific article why they work? No. But my existence is proof positive.

    1. Je vous suis sur le blog depuis 2013; J’habite la région de Troyes en France. Myélome asymptomatique IGG lambda. Plamocytose médullaire à 25%; Protéïne anormale à 18g/l. Mon M pic est monté à 18 en 2013 et est redescendu à 12 et ne bouge plus depuis 3ans; n’ayant pas assez d’argent pour acheter la curcumine j’ai mangé simplement l’épice curcuma dans tous mes plats et ayant un taux alarmant de vitamine D, j’ai décidé de prendre beaucoup de cette vitamine. C’est tout ce que j’ai fait, et j’ai essayé aussi de manger des fruits et légumes. J’ai beaucoup économisé pour m’acheter la curcumine C3 du Doctor’s BEST avec BIOPERINE. J’attendais pour commencer, le feu vert du DR DINE qui est mondialement connu et vient de partir en retraite, mais il m’a déconseillé d’en prendre, disant que cela tromperait les résultats, mais n’empêcherait pas la maladie de progresser si elle doit progresser. L’idée d’être sauvée par la curcumine me donnait beaucoup le moral, ainsi que tous vos articles et même les anecdotes sur les voyages et les chats que j’adore.Je ne sais plus ce que je dois faire? Serais-ce uniquement la vitamine D qui a amélioré mes résultats? Car le curcuma n’est pas assez fortement dosé pour faire baisser mon PIC?

      1. Dominique – My Vit. D was in the single digits when tested five years ago. It has taken a long time to get above the minimum of 30. But i believe that Vit. D does have much influence on MM. I also believe that Curcumin and Resveratrol have helped, probably saved me. I use Curcumin 1,100mg from Vitacost, their brand. I source the REsveratrol with assay from China through a US distributor.

        Dominique – My Vit. D a été dans les chiffres uniques lorsqu’il a été testé il ya cinq ans. Il a fallu beaucoup de temps pour dépasser le minimum de 30. Mais je crois que Vit. D a beaucoup d’influence sur MM. Je crois aussi que la curcumine et le resvératrol ont aidé, probablement m’a sauvé. J’utilise Curcumin 1.100mg de Vitacost, leur marque. Je suis à la source du REsveratrol avec un dosage de la Chine à travers un distributeur américain.

  8. If the establishment is again’ it . . . I am for it. FAR, FAR too many people have had fabulous results using curcumin to treat inflammatory diseases . . . including cancer. And WHO CARES if it triggers a drug test? In fact knowing that is great information for the explanation in case it does.

  9. My wife was diagnosed with MGUS 3 years ago. I started her on curcumin right away AND i jumped in too with 4 g daily myself. Her MGUS remains stable, as for me the psoriasis on my elbows which I had for years is completely gone. Only change in my life style: curcumin. If i stop taking it for weeks, which i have experimented with, it comes back on both elbows… i dont need one negative article out of a hundred positive ones to change my mind.

  10. Hi Margaret

    Thank you for posting this. I read this as well. It was posted on Smart Patients by someone and actually appeared in Nature – same article. I fully disagree with it as I am also living proof that curcumin helps. No chemo, nothing since mid 2011 and my paraprotein is still behaving. So that is over 5 years now. So much so that my consultant had to believe in the power of curcumin as he could not think of anything else that it could be attributed to. My case has now been written up and hopefully will be published soon. Now what is true is that no one really knows how to ensure to make it as much bio available as possible. So there might be curcumins in the market that are not as good as others. I am still sticking with the original Aggarwal protocol – C3 1000mg, dr best with pepperin. This year my paraprotein had been slightly going up and I have been experimenting with taking the curcumin with milk which doesn’t work so I have gone back to taking it with water all at once on an empty stomach. It does make you realise that my cancer is still there and is just kept in check by the curcumin! It might well be that other things affect the bioavailability. And I read that apple cider vinegar might help the absorbtion as well as warm water. So I might try that at some point.

    So for me we really should try and resolve the issue of bioavailability which hasn’t been resolved as yet.


    1. Bonjour à tous,

      Pourquoi est-ce que les scientifiques ne se penchent pas sur le cas de toutes les personnes qui témoignent ici, et qui, ayant refusé la chimio pour tester la curcumine, ont tenu en échec ce cancer en ayant des taux correct depuis plus de 10 ans pour certains. Sommes nous considérés comme des fous des illuminés, des menteurs? Cela est inquiétant de penser que ce n’est qu’une histoire de gros capitaux. Notre expérience devrait pouvoir servir à tous!

    2. Hello Dieneke,

      I read that your doctor published something about this in the British Medical Journal but I’ve been unable to find it. Would you have a link to it?



      1. Hello Ben

        of course, here is the link to the BBC4 Food Programme, which also has the link to Margaret’s blog, as well as the case study. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08rpd85
        There are also two posts here on Margaret’s corner where you will find further information from others and comments. They were both posted in the last month, so you might have a look at that as well.



  11. Actually, if you look at all the replies so far there are quite a few of us that have benefited from taking curcumin. Now that could become a case study. Combining them all, and adding some information – very powerful evidence indeed. Just a thought.

  12. Technically speaking, Scientific American at its best was a popular, speculative magazine, not peer reviewed, in the 1960s and 70s. One of my research mentors used to rant about the situation with SA articles. Years ago SA totally descended into a fish wrapper.

    I assume they need the pharma marketing dollars, like the easy bucks that used to be handed out to those publications willing to ho’ out for the tobacco companies years ago, to gull the low information masses.

  13. I believe that your blog has helped me more than anything! I am so thankful that I discovered it, and Curcumin, because it keeps me on a positive road.
    Many thanks.

  14. I looked at the abstract of the research paper mentioned in the scientific American article. In the article, the researcher stated:

    “No double-blinded, placebo controlled clinical trial of curcumin has been successful.”

    Yet, here’s one of many:

    Monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance, smoldering
    multiple myeloma, and curcumin: A randomized, double-blind placebocontrolled
    cross-over 4g study and an open-label 8g extension study


  15. Hi Jim

    Very interesting. Thanks for that. I passed it on to the team that is writing up my case study with stable with curcumin for publication in the British Medical Journal . I don’t know whether this one was included in the bibliography but just in case it wasn’t



      1. Hello EK

        yes I will – hopefully it is accessible to non medical people as it will be in the British Medical Journal.



  16. Hi Margaret I enjoy your blogs very informative I do take curcumin and I try to eat row garlic for my MM had SCT I take Revlimid 10 mg .
    I read an article on Biobran Arabinoxylan and most MM people swear by it but i also read that this Biobran should not be taken in congunction with any medication specifically for supporting the immune system
    I was just wondering if you know or have any info on this Biobra
    Thank you and good health to you

  17. Hi MARGARET, I was diagnosed a year ago with MM stg1. I have delayed chemo and have been taking some herbal remedies including fresh turmeric/curcumin tea. Today I bought the capsules for the 1st time. Each capsule contains 475 mg curcumin. Is this high or low dosage or is it ok???? I would appreciate your opinion. Ck

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