Friday, 31 July 2009

Curcumin

Out of the many treatments suggested to peyronie's disease sufferers, curcumin is rarely mentioned. This is a shame as it has shown great promise in a number of conditions relating to imflammation and plaque. Of course there can be many key differences in plaque formation in various tissues around the body, but there are also similarities, so it's an option that should be given careful coinsideration.

There are various prescription TGF-beta inhibitors used to battle peyronie's (pentoxifylline, tamoxifen, etc) but curcumin is one of the only natural inhibitors of TGF-beta that I can think of. As peyronie's plaques contain a high level of TGF-Beta (which is a characteristic of a number of fibrotic diseases) there is good sense to combining a prescription route with a more natural and readily available course of treatment. In my view curcumin fits the bill.

The good news is that curcumin appears to be non toxic in high doses. The bad news however is that it has low bio-availability. As such there has been a trend towards finding ways to increase the effectiveness of curcumin. Many supplement companies mix it with bioperine (black pepper's active ingredient) as this makes the curcumin more readily available to the body. I would advise against taking any bioperine products if you're taking prescription medications though, as it is known to increase the bioavailability of certain substances while decreasing others. This makes it somewhat unpredictable.

Perhaps a safer way to consume curcumin and improve absorption is to dissolve it within warm oil. My personal oil of choice is extra virgin coconut oil. I heat the oil, then dissolve three or four curcumin capsules into it. Curcumin readily dissolves into oil and so this is the route I'd recommend for those wishing to try out this particular treatment to combat peyronie's disease. Other options include dissolving it into hot water (perhaps into tea) and taking supplements (Quercetin and Genistein) that inhibit the enzymes which can destroy curcumin.

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