Curcumin to treat scleroderma lung disease

Has anybody heard about using curcumin, the active component of the spice turmeric as a treatment for scleroderma? See the article:
http://ajrcmb.atsjournals.org/cgi/content/full/31/1/28
which suggests that curcumin may be a useful treatment for scleroderma lung disease in particular and lung fibrosis in general.

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I've been taking it now and again, but I can't take it non-stop because it aggravates my GERD. The brand I'm using has bioperrine (piperine) in it to increase absorption, because otherwise the stomach has a hard time absorbing it. Its "bio-availability" is poor. Anyway, piperine is basically pepper, so it aggravates the GERD.

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I was putting it in my smoothie in the am but got off the habit. Thank you for the reminder. I will start again!

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Do you think that just putting turmeric in our food would help as much as the supplements?

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Well bcnya ????????????????? Thank you for that riveting Link....I thought I was going to read about an important breakthrough????
Sorry but I did not understand a thing it was going on about....except of course the killing of mice,rabbits and whatever other animals are on hand at that time...well if anyone understood that lot of Gobbledegook??? I will award them a medal...obviously not for the layman in the street
nor for people similar to me, who do study,and try to swat up on this awful disease to see if it can be helped in any way....then along comes all these ridiculous web links......I mean JUST who are they meant for??? [ And I am not thick by any means ] in fact I would like to think thet I'm intelligent and streetwise, But these links are a complete waste of space.....Sorry perhaps you are a uni-graduate in biology,medicine....I bet even Doctors struggle to grasp it....they just don't bother either...as I don't suppose they get it either......I love reading the posts on here as it is as daisey claims.....probably the best one, But Hey lets be able to understand these suggested links....Many thanks and I will try Curcumin,
although don't know how to use it.

Casagrande.

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The other thing that works well for lungs is NAC (N Acetyl Cysteine) 3 caps a day.
CASA mouse testing is super important as we are much like them and meds are tested there first.If something works for a mouse it likely has a fair to good chance that it could work for us and again maybe some changes are needed.Testing something out on a mouse is not the end of the world if it dies,not the case with humans.Once something works well in a mouse model it can go to a Phase 1 trial with a human but I sure would not try anything until good results are found in a phase 3 trial

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I have been taking turmeric for many years even before I was diagnosed with this disease. It does help to bring down inflammation in the body. My rhuemy thinks that is part of the reason why my symptoms are mild (compared to many others) is because I have had this in my system for years on a daily basis. This has never bothered my stomach in any way but again we are all different when it comes to vitamins, herbs, or medications. I can only say what is working for me. The best thing you can hear from your doctor after bloodwork and a checkup is "whatever you're doing keep doing it" LOL So that is what I am doing :-)

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happy2beme827, how have you been taking the turmeric? in pill form or used as a spice? and does this mix well with meds?

Nima

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Casagrande, I can summarize that article for you in a few short words: curcumin destroys scleroderma lung fibroblasts while sparing normal ones. That's EXTREMELY important! And would you rather humans be killed or mamed in order to get this research done? This research required living lung cells. You can't make them in a test tube. They have to be gotten either from a human or a mouse model. And yes, thankfully there is a strain of mice that can get scleroderma, so we can study them and learn the mechanisms for this disease.

And Adina, no, putting tumeric on your food will not do it. There is only a minuscule amount of the active ingredient, curcumin, in turmeric. I've read varying accounts that turmeric has a curmumin concentration of only about 3 to .6% by weight. On top of that, curcumin is very poorly bioavailable, not absorbing well into the stomach. So you would have to eat HUGE amounts of turmeric in order to get any measurable blood concentration of curcumin.

Christine, and others interested in NAC (N Acetyl Cysteine), here's a recent rather disturbing study you might want to know about: http://margaret.healthblogs.org/ . You can follow Margaret's links to the original article. Margaret is a friend of mine who is an English-Italian translator of very technical writing. It's her job. She has a knack for putting articles into understandable layman's English. She has "smoldering multiple myeloma" an early stage of multiple myeloma. In addition to scleroderma, I have MGUS which is a precursor stage to multiple myeloma. Dr. Wigley told me that about 15% of his scleroderma patients have the paraproteins indicating either MGUS or multiple myeloma. So this article is something we should be aware of. Incidently, Margaret also takes curcumin because it has been shown to lower the paraprotein levels in multiple myeloma patients. Paraproteins are an indicator of total tumor burden, so being able to lower them is a very good thing.

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Oops, Margaret's blog changes articles daily, so that link should have been to the particular day's entry: http://margaret.healthblogs.org/2011/03/10/cancer-patients-should-stay-away -from-n-acetyl-cysteine/ .

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Thanks Daisy,I'll check it out.

Casa, here is a very good article on why one should use mice.Just imagine breeding people for such research.
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110303134435.htm

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DaisyDo, is there a specific amount of curcumin that one should take for it to be effective? Thanks for the info on bioperrine, good to know!

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First of all, as I always say, first run it by your scleroderma specialist. I will tell you that people can tolerate large doses of it with no toxic side effects, but as I said before, it may aggravate your GERD, so it is important to watch for increased symptoms of that. Dr. Bharat Aggarwal, Ph.D, at U. of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center has been doing a lot of the research on curcumin, especially in regard to its use for multiple myeloma patients. Please see this video at http://myeloma.org/ArticlePage.action?articleId=2237 . As you see they found they could prescribe up to 12 grams daily with no adverse effects. So I emailed him, told him I had both MGUS and scleroderma and asked what dose he would recommend. What he suggested was to simply start with 1 gram daily and very gradually build up. In his video he talks a lot about Curcumin downregulating NF kappa B. As to whether downregulating NF kappa B is a good thing to do in scleroderma has not yet been made clear for certain. There are conflicting reports. So tread with caution! I use it mainly because of my MGUS. I was already diagnosed with scleroderma before I started using curcumin, so it certainly did not cause it for me. The article saying it may help the lungs of scleroderma patients was somewhat reassuring to me, but curcumin's total role in scleroderma has not been fully investigated.

Christine, that was a very interesting article! I really found the mention of Gleevec interesting. You probably all know that Gleevec didn't turn out to be as good in scleroderma as had been hoped, but now it turns out that it may be a very potent protector against Alzheimers in patients who have started developing it. What a great thing!

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Wow, Margaret has an amazing blog. - Thanks Daisy

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