Pat’s Place: Can Curcumin, Resveratrol, Or Other Nutritional Supplements Help Fight Multiple Myeloma?
Published: Jan 6, 2011 10:48 am
I believe the supplements I take help keep my body healthy and strong. But I don’t take any supplements considered to have anti-myeloma properties. Not that there are many of these.
Bioperine, a derivative of black pepper, is thought to help increase the absorption of nutritional supplements. Used in combination with other anti-myeloma supplements, it may enhance anti-cancer effects.
Acetoxychavicol acetate, found in an edible plant in the ginger family that comes from Thailand, has been shown in pre-clinical studies from several years ago to have anti-myeloma properties.
Green tea is believed to have several anti-cancer properties. But multiple myeloma patients beware: Chemicals in green tea called polyphenols can block the effectiveness of Velcade (bortezomib).
Antioxidants may help. But these, too, can reduce the effectiveness of ongoing chemotherapy.
Researchers had hoped another supplement, resveratrol, could help slow the advance of multiple myeloma. Unfortunately, SRT501, a concentrated formulation of resveratrol, was associated with kidney problems so it isn’t being developed any more. Who knows what this means for the natural form of resveratrol?
I have some experience with resveratrol. A friend recommended I try a concentrated form of the supplement shortly after I was diagnosed. I decided against it, fearing using an antioxidant like resveratrol in concentrated form might lessen the effectiveness of the chemotherapy I had just started. In hindsight, sounds like I made the right decision!
However, one anti-myeloma supplement appears to stand head and shoulders above the rest: Curcumin.
Curcumin is an extract of turmeric, a spice widely used in India. Much has been written about how large amounts of curcumin may help prevent or slow multiple myeloma. The Myeloma Beacon featured several articles about this supplement in 2010.
I know a number of patients who have tried curcumin. All of them are back using conventional chemotherapy. A few have continued to use curcumin—along with their more conventional therapies—with the blessing of their oncologists.
Researchers at M.D. Anderson have run several non-human studies showing curcumin slows the growth of myeloma cells.
There are a few ongoing studies studying curcumin for use in multiple myeloma patients. One variable that has never been narrowed down is dosing. So even if it is true that curcumin inhibits myeloma cell growth, several important questions remain. How much curcumin is needed to achieve this result? How often should the compound be taken? Which delivery system (oral, IV, subcutaneous) works best?
Two things are crystal clear: First, researchers need to learn more about all of these supplements. Secondly, myeloma patients should always check with their oncologist before adding any supplement to their diet.
Feel good and keep smiling! Pat
- Red Wine, Resveratrol, And Multiple Myeloma: The Evidence Is Promising, But Needs Further Study
- Curcumin And Multiple Myeloma: Preclinical And Early Clinical Studies Are Promising; Still Awaiting More Clinical Evidence
- Guide To Nutrition In Multiple Myeloma – Part 2: Supplements
- Green Tea Blocks Effectiveness Of Velcade Treatment
- GlaxoSmithKline Halts All Further Development Of Resveratrol Drug SRT501