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As is often the case, the devil is in the details. Curcumin is difficult to absorb into one’s blood stream. Scroll down this post to learn about the most bioavailable forms of curcumin.
I am both a long-term survivor of multiple myeloma and MM cancer coach. I work with myeloma patients and caregivers to research both conventional and non-conventional therapies, such as supplementation, for their specific type and stage of MM.
The bottom line is that while you, the patient, are in-charge of your health and therapy- it is in your interest to include your oncologist in a discussion of antioxidant supplementation.
Have you been diagnosed with multiple myeloma? Scroll down the page, post a question or comment and I will reply to you ASAP.
“Abstract– Many studies confirm that a majority of patients undergoing cancer therapy use self-selected forms of complementary therapies, mainly dietary supplements. Unfortunately, patients often do not report their use of supplements to their providers. The failure of physicians to communicate effectively with patients on this use may result in a loss of trust within the therapeutic relationship and in the selection by patients of harmful, useless, or ineffective and costly nonconventional therapies when effective integrative interventions may exist. Poor communication may also lead to a diminishment of patient autonomy and self-efficacy and thereby interfere with the healing response.
To reach a mutually informed decision about the use of these supplements, the Clinical Practice Committee of The Society of Integrative Oncology undertook the challenge of providing basic information to physicians who wish to discuss these issues with their patients. A list of leading supplements that have the best suggestions of benefit was constructed by leading researchers and clinicians who have experience in using these supplements.”
Thank you Ruthi Backenroth for the information below- Ruthi is an alternative practitioner, an expert at helping people get stress and pain relief without additional medication. In fact, people are able to think more clearly about their medical decisions and their relationships when the stress and pain are lower.
“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).”