February 16 2009 post. 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.
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!
For Sherlock’s July 2008 test results, please see my September 9th 2008 post.
May 15 2008 post: Sherlock’s April test results turned out a bit better than mine, which is super duper. For instance her M-spike went from 2.5 down to 2.37. Ok, that’s not a huge decrease, but almost all of her other values did well, too. We compared our results over the phone and concluded that the EGCG did a good job. For both of us. An example: her total protein, which was lower than mine, is now within normal range; mine is just slightly above normal. Excellent!
A curious thing that made us laugh: even though we took the exact same substances (even the same brands!) at the same dosage/time of day, some of my values went up while hers went down (or vice versa). For instance, her white blood cells dropped below the normal range whereas mine climbed back up into the normal range. Her haemoglobin and B2M went up a bit, mine went down (I should point out that all of these values are within the normal range). Her LDH went down a bit, mine went up a bit (still way within the range, though). Etc. Goes to show that we are different!
Anyway, in conclusion, we feel very positive about our EGCG experiment.
We are both still strolling along the stability path.
March 18 2008 post: these refer to her February 26 blood and urine tests. Like yours truly, Sherlock also took a bit of a thwack from our two months on Biocurcumax. Here are a few of her numbers, as follows:
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.
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.
January 27 2008 (see below for clarification) : “I’ll just say how I took my curcumin capsules (8 gr./d). I took them all together (I follow a personal theory of the ‘atomic bomb’), late in the afternoon or late at night. I’ve not been very regular in the way I took them because I work out of town and sometimes is really difficolt for me to get hot milk and melt there 16 capsules of curcumin. So I used different systems, according to the situation:
– capsules melted into hot milk
– capsules taken drinking hot milk
– capsules taken drinking cold milk (not so often)
– capsules taken with just water
sometimes my stomach was empty, somethimes was full.
When I melted the capsules into hot milk I added either some olive oil, or some butter or some chocolate. Most of the time I did not add anything. My protocol also included 1.5 gr of quercetin and 1 gr. of fish oil every day. That’s all. I’m very happy that curcumin worked even if I changed the method of assumption according to my daily schedule. I think the most important thing has been to take all the 8 gr. together. My body knew that once a day a big dose of curcumin was going to cause apoptosis where it was needed.”
January 25 2008 post: Sherlock got her test results today; they refer to the tests we took on the 8th of January:
First, a bit of background: 1. she had never taken curcumin before and 2. she tested curcumin (C3 Complex) with bioperine capsules (Doctor’s Best). I don’t remember every single detail about how she took the curcumin capsules, but, as I recall, she melted them in hot milk, adding a bit of chocolate to improve the taste. I will post more specifics next week.
Okay, now for a few numbers: her IgG decreased from 34.8 to 28,5 g/L (normal range: 7-16 g/L). That’s an 18% decrease from her previous tests (29th of October 2007). Nothing to sneeze at, for sure! This is her first IgG decrease since February of 2007; indeed, percentage-wise, she told me, it’s the biggest decrease she has had since 2002! Fantabulous!
Her M-spike went from 2,62 down to 2,24. It is now the lowest it has ever been since she started testing it in 2005.
She is absolutely thrilled, as you can imagine, and so am I, needless to say. When we spoke, I could hear the joy in her voice. Evvai, Sherlock! Sei grande!
November 27 2008 post. Sherlock sent me a report on what our endocrinologist (henceforth, she shall be known as Dr. DF) had to say about her bone mineral density test results. Well, Dr. DF exclaimed that these results were so good that they seemed fake. I kid you not.
Sherlock explained that even healthy women nearing menopause lose bone density, so if you add myeloma to that equation, you can imagine what happens…nearing menopause + myeloma = dilapidated bone density. I just read online that we begin losing bone mass after age 35 and even more quickly after menopause. (Note: neither of us has hit menopause yet.)
But, contrary to all statistics and expectations, Sherlock’s bone density has increased in the past year and a half, a relatively short time, said Dr. DF.
Dr. DF excluded that this rapid increase could have been caused by Sherlock’s intake of vitamin D. Nope, she was really baffled. And that is when Sherlock brought up the curcumin and bone density studies. Dr. DF was intrigued and promised to have a look at said studies. So I guess I will be reporting more on this topic at some point next year. I have an appointment to see Dr. DF in February; the topic is bound to be mentioned.
They talked about me as well. Dr. DF commented that it was a terrible pity that I hadn’t had a bone density test before I began taking curcumin (indeed!). She said it would have been fascinating to see if my bone density had increased since then (hey, by the way, “then” = almost three years ago!).
Well, Sherlock has already begun badgering me, long-distance from Madrid!, about having a bone mineral density test…and, after giving the matter some thought yesterday, I concluded, “well, why not? After all, what’s another test?” Our results, Sherlock’s and mine, could be of use to other patients with bone issues. So I will make an appointment in the next few days.
For now, though, I just want to congratulate Sherlock on her excellent results. Bravissima!
Oh, and by the way, I forgot to mention that her haematologist (a different one from mine) pronounced her stable, too.
“…contrary to all statistics and expectations, Sherlock’s bone density has increased in the past year and a half”
This is exciting!
I have osteopenia and am not in menopause yet.
I’ve taken a good amount of supplemental Vitamin D, Calcium, Magnesium, etc. for years, so it’s not that.
I am now starting to take turmeric/curcumin for a number of health issues (though I do not have myeloma), and I hope that it will also help my bone density.
I had already skimmed your “Curcumin and Bone Loss” blogpost, but I didn’t notice any mention of your own bone density results (or of your friend’s), so I was glad to see your friend’s November 2008 results in this post.
What has happened with your and Sherlock’s bone density tests since 2008?