A friend of mine emailed me recently. Deborah (not her real name) explained to me that after her 85 year old mother had been diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer, Deborah’s doctor asked her if she was interested in undergoing tamoxifen therapy.
Since Deborah knew that I would have a well-researched answer to her question about tamoxifen therapy for the non-breast cancer patient, she asked me what I thought.
The basic issues that may impact Deborah’s thinking is below:
The articles linked and excerpted below explain why most women don’t undergo tamoxifen therapy in spite of the fact that tamoxifen has been show to reduce the risk of breast cancer. In short, the risks of tamoxifen therapy outweigh the benefits in Deborah’s case.
I am a cancer survivor and cancer coach. To learn more about those inexpensive, non-toxic therapies to dramatically reduce the risk of breast cancer or the risk of a BC relapse, scroll down the page, post a question or comment and I will reply to you ASAP.
“The study’s findings may help women and their doctors make decisions about who may get the most benefit out of taking the drug tamoxifen, which has been shown to have been adopted by only a slim margin of women eligible to take it…
“Tamoxifen is very good at preventing breast cancer, but it also has to be weighed against an increased risk of uterine cancer, stroke or blood clotting negative effects,” Nichols said...”
“But it does have side effects. The most common are menopausal symptomsincluding hot flashes, vaginal dryness, low libido, mood swings, and nausea.
If you’re at an age when you would soon enter natural menopause, tamoxifen can nudge you into menopause sooner.
If tamoxifen gives you uncomfortable menopausal symptoms, and your doctor advises you not to take hormone replacement therapy (HRT), other effective treatments are available. Click here for detailed information on managing menopausal symptoms.
Tamoxifen may also cause non-cancerous changes in the uterus. In some women, it may increase the risk of blood clots or endometrial cancer (cancer in the lining of the uterus)…”
The Most BioAvailable Curcumin Formulas
“Based on a review of these studies, it is evident that better bioavailability of formulated curcumin (CU) products is mostly attributed to improved solubility, stability, and possibly low first-pass metabolism”
A search of the Pubmed database for the word curcumin yields 601 studies spaning health topics from multiple myeloma and colorectal cancer, to chemotherapies that synergizes with CU, to Alzheimer’s Disease, arthritis and more. Based on years of reading studies and personal accounts, I think it is safe to say that CU supplementation is safe and relatively inexpensive.
I have read about myeloma patients taking daily doses of CU from 400 milligrams to 8 grams (1000 milligrams = 1 gram). By almost any measure, CU is a safe, inexpensive wonder drug.
The only challenge is that CU is famously difficult to absorb in the body. In other words, a person has to mix curcumin with some sort of fat (coconut oil, chocolate, etc.) or take a brand of curcumin capsule that is already formulated to be more “bioavailable” in order to derive the full benefit of CU.
The study linked and exerpted below reviews different formulations of CU. The study itself lists the three most bioavailable formulation/brand of CU and I’ve added an excerpt from a further review from Consumerlab.com that lists four additional bioavailable brands of CU.
“CU is a bright yellow chemical produced by some plants. It is the principal curcuminoid of turmeric (Curcuma longa), a member of the ginger family, Zingiberaceae. It is sold as an herbal supplement, cosmetics ingredient, food flavoring, and food coloring.“
“Curcumin is a widely studied natural compound which has shown tremendous in vitro therapeutic potential. Despite that, the clinical efficacy of the native CU is weak due to its low bioavailability and high metabolism in the gastrointestinal tract. During the last decade, researchers have come up with different formulations with a focus on improving the bioavailability of curcumin. As a result, a significant number of bioavailable curcumin-based formulations were introduced with the varying range of enhanced bioavailability.
The purpose of this review is to collate the published clinical studies of CU products with improved bioavailability over conventional (unformulated) CU. Based on the literature search, 11 curcumin formulations with available human bioavailability and pharmacokinetics data were included in this review. Further, the data on clinical study design, analytical method, pharmacokinetic parameters and other relevant details of each formulation were extracted.
Based on a review of these studies, it is evident that better bioavailability of formulated curcumin products is mostly attributed to improved solubility, stability, and possibly low first-pass metabolism. The review hopes to provide a quick reference guide for anyone looking information on these bioavailable curcumin formulations.
Based on the published reports,
exhibited over 100-fold higher bioavailability relative to reference unformulated CU. Suggested mechanisms accounting for improved bioavailability of the formulations and details on the bioanalysis methods are also discussed.”
According to Consumerlab.com:
“Novasol has the highest bioavailability (185 x compared to unforumulated CU), followed by Curcuwin (136 x), Longvida (100 x), Meriva (48 x), BCM-95 (27 x), Curcumin C3 Complex + Bioperene (20 x), and then Theracumin (16 x).”