Curcumin and HPA Axis Dysfunction

liverock

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Although this study does not specifically refer to CFS, curcumin appears to have properties that help restore HPA axis dysfunction.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/...ed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum&ordinalpos=16

Curcumin reverses the effects of chronic stress on behavior, the HPA axis, BDNF expression and phosphorylation of CREB.
Xu Y, Ku B, Tie L, Yao H, Jiang W, Ma X, Li X.

Department of Pharmacology, School of Basic Medical Science, Peking University, 38 Xueyuan Road, Beijing, 100083, PR China.

Curcuma longa is a major constituent of the traditional Chinese medicine Xiaoyao-san, which has been used to effectively manage stress and depression-related disorders in China. Curcumin is the active component of curcuma longa, and its antidepressant effects were described in our prior studies in mouse models of behavioral despair. We hypothesized that curcumin may also alleviate stress-induced depressive-like behaviors and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis dysfunction. Thus in present study we assessed whether curcumin treatment (2.5, 5 and 10 mg/kg, p.o.) affects behavior in a chronic unpredictable stress model of depression in rats and examined what its molecular targets may be. We found that subjecting animals to the chronic stress protocol for 20days resulted in performance deficits in the shuttle-box task and several physiological effects, such as an abnormal adrenal gland weight to body weight (AG/B) ratio and increased thickness of the adrenal cortex as well as elevated serum corticosterone levels and reduced glucocorticoid receptor (GR) mRNA expression. These changes were reversed by chronic curcumin administration (5 or 10 mg/kg, p.o.). In addition, we also found that the chronic stress procedure induced a down-regulation of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) protein levels and reduced the ratio of phosphorylated cAMP response element-binding protein (pCREB) to CREB levels (pCREB/CREB) in the hippocampus and frontal cortex of stressed rats. Furthermore, these stress-induced decreases in BDNF and pCREB/CREB were also blocked by chronic curcumin administration (5 or 10 mg/kg, p.o.). These results provide compelling evidence that the behavioral effects of curcumin in chronically stressed animals, and by extension humans, may be related to their modulating effects on the HPA axis and neurotrophin factor expressions.

PMID: 17022948 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
 

kurt

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I read about this a few years ago and tried a variety of Curcumin supplements. Definitely there was some noticeable shifting in 'something,' it was like my neurochemistry was affected in a positive way, but it did not alleviate any of my major CFS symptoms. Fixing neurochemical balance problems, even treating depression does not fix CFS in my experience. But who knows, we are all different, this might help some PWC.
 
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Hi Liverock

Hi Liverock,

Thanks for posting. I definitely feel better when I am eating food with a lot of turmeric in it (curcumin is ingredient in turmeric, I think). Also, I think Cheney recommended the curcumin on his website recently.

Thanks again,

HW
 

Dreambirdie

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In India they have a much lower rate of Alzheimer's, which they have begun to associate with the fact that Indians
eat A LOT of CURRY that contains turmeric, and do so on a daily basis.

I've found turmeric to be helpful for my brain symptoms and try to remember to use it.
 
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In India they have a much lower rate of Alzheimer's, which they have begun to associate with the fact that Indians
eat A LOT of CURRY that contains turmeric, and do so on a daily basis.

I've found turmeric to be helpful for my brain symptoms and try to remember to use it.
Hi Dreambirdie,

Your post reminded me of something I read in "The Inflammation Syndrome" by Jack Challem:

"Curcumin, a bright yellow spice, is obtained from the root of turmeric (Curcuma longa), a member of the ginger family. Native to Asia, curcumin is one of the oldest and most cherished anti-inflammatory herbs in Indian Ayurvedic medicine

Turmeric root and curcumin are mild Cox-2 inhibitors but are not as powerful and not as dangerous as popular Cox-2-inhibiting drugs. According to recent experiments, they block the activity of "NF kappa B", a protein that turns on inflmmation-promoting genes. This effect and similar ones too complex to discuss here also suggest that the herbs might reduce the risk of cancer. Animal studies have found that turmeric root and curcumin may reduce arthritic symptoms." pp. 150-151

Happy eating,

HW
 

Chris

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Curcumin Magic

Hi; somewhere there is a ref to an essay showing that curcumin raises glutathione levels--I think it is in an early essay by Rich van Konynenburg on substances that raise glutathione--I think it is somewhere on this site...somewhere. I just typed "curcumin and glutathione" into PubMed and was simply staggered by what turned up--did not yet find the essay I was looking for, but masses of stuff on a variety of good things that it does; must go and swallow another capsule...
Best, Chris
 

Frickly

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My sister started taking Thorne's Meriva-SR which is a curcumin product. It has had a dramatic affect on her health. Before she started taking it she was missing work due to allergies and severe migraines. She had to take over the counter medications everyday or she couldn't function. She hasn't had a migrain in several months. I guess I should try it too.
 
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Confused

Hi Guys,

I am a big turmeric/curcumin cheerleader, but I am now confused about something in the "7-Day Detox Miracle" book that Rich recommends. I have just started reading it and it is very informative even tho the title is a little off-putting.

But here is the question:

In one part of the book it says turmeric (along with grapefruit and others) is a Phase 1 inhibitor - something that "slows down Phase 1 detoxification, setting the stage for a toxic buildup. They affect the DNA of the liver cells, causing less detoxification enzymes to be produced."

Phase 1 detox in the book is defined as: " Think of this detoxification process as a two-phase wash cycle. Enzymes are like the soap that liberates grease into little droplets, removing impurities that the water can't remove on its own. In the first part of the wash cycle (Phase 1), enzymes break toxins down intro intermediate forms."

But then in another part of the book it says:

"Turmeric is a common spice in South Asian cuisine. Its distinctive yellow color is a defining characteristic of Indian curries. Although not a spice with general appeal to a western palate, turmeric is very important as a medicine. It has been used by Indian and Chinese healers for thousands of years to protest the liver and promote bile flow. The therapeutic agent in turmeric is thought to be curcumin, a bioflavonoid contained in turmeric's yellow pigment.

Current research has identified turmeric as a powerful anti-inflammatory, comparable in effectiveness to any anti-inflammatory dug currently on the market. Studies have shown it to be especially helpful in the management of arthristis pain. Curcumin's ability to fight inflammation also makes it helpful as an antioxidant, scavenging free radicals and protecint DNA from oxidant breakage and lipid peroxidation."

So, I am confused. Turmeric looks great for anti-inflammatory processes, but if we are also trying all the time to "detox" that it can inhibit the pathway?

Anybody? Help?

Thanks,

HW
 

Chris

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That Book...

Hi, Maxine; I have a lot of respect for Rich, but I think I would want to know a bit more about that book--what do you know about the author? Do you have the name and title? What else has he written, if anything? Does it read like a seriously informed account? And so on... I am in principle rather suspicious of 7 day miracles. Best, Chris
 

Dreambirdie

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Hi Maxine--

I don't know the answer to this question from a scientific standpoint. But I will say that I have become a bit ambivalent about research like this, because I find it to be much too GENERAL to be true for EVERYONE, ALL THE TIME. That's the problem I've had with "science" a lot of time is that it works with generalities and averages, and unfortunately no one person will fit the "average" mold at ANY given time. We all are genuinely unique in our biology, and on top of that we change from day to day. So what works for one person like a charm, can be a total failure at working for the next person. And... what worked great ONE DAY, can STOP being effective within a matter of weeks or even days.

It makes it all so freaking complicated to figure out, doesn't it! :confused::confused::eek:

When it comes to herbs and foods, I've found it to be really important to just trust my own body and go with what works. Usually I can tell in a day or two if something is "BAD" for me. Tho it's harder to tell how good something is, because there is just so much that needs attention in my body, but sometimes I get lucky. :Retro wink:

In my reality for NOW turmeric rocks! :cool::cool:
 
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Hi, Maxine; I have a lot of respect for Rich, but I think I would want to know a bit more about that book--what do you know about the author? Do you have the name and title? What else has he written, if anything? Does it read like a seriously informed account? And so on... I am in principle rather suspicious of 7 day miracles. Best, Chris
Hi Chris,

All good questions. I have great respect for Rich's recommendations too and he already said that the title of the book is stupid. I am assuming the publisher insisted on the stupid title to sell to more people. Sigh. The book is written by Stephen Barrie, N.D., founder of Great Smokies Diagnositics labs in N.C. and Peter Bennett, N.D. who specializes in treating immune disorders using homeopathic and naturopathic medicine. Foreword by Jeffrey S. Bland, Ph.D.

So far I have just skipped around and read snippets here and there, but I was particularly interested in the turmeric, of course. I have to say that so far the book makes sense (altho I am confused about what I wrote in the former post). The Diagram of the Detoxification-Bio-Reactive Mechanisms pathways alone helps me begin to understand what the different pathways (methylation, sulfation, etc.) are about.

I try never to expect any book to be 100% relevant. And there are some serious discussions in there about who should not undertake a detox program without a doctor, gut premeability, etc. etc. If you get a chance, go out to Amazon and look around it - especially the Detox pathways diagram if that is one of the pages you can access.

Thanks for your input,

HW
 
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Hi Maxine--

I don't know the answer to this question from a scientific standpoint. But I will say that I have become a bit ambivalent about research like this, because I find it to be much too GENERAL to be true for EVERYONE, ALL THE TIME. That's the problem I've had with "science" a lot of time is that it works with generalities and averages, and unfortunately no one person will fit the "average" mold at ANY given time. We all are genuinely unique in our biology, and on top of that we change from day to day. So what works for one person like a charm, can be a total failure at working for the next person. And... what worked great ONE DAY, can STOP being effective within a matter of weeks or even days.
Yes DB, I believe all that is true also!



It makes it all so freaking complicated to figure out, doesn't it! :confused::confused::eek:
Yes it does!! Maybe I should spend more time in the chat rooms and less time reading!

When it comes to herbs and foods, I've found it to be really important to just trust my own body and go with what works. Usually I can tell in a day or two if something is "BAD" for me. Tho it's harder to tell how good something is, because there is just so much that needs attention in my body, but sometimes I get lucky. :Retro wink:

In my reality for NOW turmeric rocks! :cool::cool:
Yep, listening to your own body is definitely important! I do worry about long term impacts, tho, of something that I might be doing that doesn't show up right away. For the whole detox thing, I think you can build up toxins over long periods of time without ever feeling bad about it until WHAM something gets completely overloaded. Sigh. Too hard to understand with a broken brain.

Thanks,

HW
 

Dreambirdie

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Yes it does!! Maybe I should spend more time in the chat rooms and less time reading!
HMMMMM... That's a thought! ;)

Yep, listening to your own body is definitely important! I do worry about long term impacts, tho, of something that I might be doing that doesn't show up right away. For the whole detox thing, I think you can build up toxins over long periods of time without ever feeling bad about it until WHAM something gets completely overloaded. Sigh. Too hard to understand with a broken brain.

Thanks,

Maxine
:(:( Damn that broken brain thing. I know EXACTLY what you mean.
 

garcia

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So, I am confused. Turmeric looks great for anti-inflammatory processes, but if we are also trying all the time to "detox" that it can inhibit the pathway?
Phase I inhibitors are actually good for many/most of us.

Basically (in general) we have an overactive Phase I, and underactive Phase II. The distinction is important because Phase I is a preparatory phase where the toxin is prepared for detoxifying in Phase II, the side effect of which is that the toxin actually becomes more toxic.

This is one of the reasons we respond so badly to chemicals - we have the double-whammy of an overactive Phase I and an underactive Phase II. In general slowing down Phase I is probably desirable for us.
 
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Phase I inhibitors are actually good for many/most of us.

Basically (in general) we have an overactive Phase I, and underactive Phase II. The distinction is important because Phase I is a preparatory phase where the toxin is prepared for detoxifying in Phase II, the side effect of which is that the toxin actually becomes more toxic.

This is one of the reasons we respond so badly to chemicals - we have the double-whammy of an overactive Phase I and an underactive Phase II. In general slowing down Phase I is probably desirable for us.
Oh, yes, Garcia - that makes perfect sense!

Especially in light of how much better I feel when I get Indian food and what the book says next:

"A different type of detoxification problem develops if Phase 1 breaks down toxins at so fast a rate that Phase 2 cannot keep up. In this situation, the toxic intermediates produced during Phase 1 waiting to be washed out in Phase 2 flood the system. Many of these intermediate compounds--stuck in between Phase 1 and Phase 2 - are more dangerous than the original toxin. This bottleneck can become a biochemical nightmare, damaging the liver, brain, and immune system."

Garcia - is there anyway to be tested to see if that is true for us individually? I wonder how many people have that problem?

Other Phase I inhibitors that are listed in the book are capsicum and cloves. Yet others are antihistamines, ketoconazole (used in antifungal medications) and toxins from bacteria in the intestines. Obviously bacteria would not be "good" phase 1 inhibitors for us.

Thanks for the information. Can you recommend a web site, or other book to get more information?

Thanks,

HW
 
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I've been a curcumin fan for over a year now - eat it nearly every day. Here's a great medline summary of what western medicine has "proven" so far (the link has the studies this summary is derived from). I couldn't get the nice chart format to copy over - you might want to read it from the link.

My one concern is that I seem to get more gall bladder twinges with it - and have had stones before so have to be careful. There are studies going both ways on this and my body goes both ways too - feel it reduces the fevers and inflammation and maybe lifts brain fog a bit, but increases gall bladder twinge to a painful level. I'll add a Japanese study at the bottom that shows 40mg causes a 50% gall bladder contraction

Evidence

These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.

Uses based on scientific evidence Grade*

Blood clot prevention
Early research suggests that turmeric may prevent the formation of blood clots. However, more research is needed before turmeric can be recommended for these conditions. C

Cancer

Several early animal and laboratory studies report anti-cancer (colon, skin, breast) properties of curcumin. Many mechanisms have been considered, including antioxidant activity, anti-angiogenesis (prevention of new blood vessel growth), and direct effects on cancer cells. Currently it remains unclear if turmeric or curcumin has a role in preventing or treating human cancers. There are several ongoing studies in this area. C

Cognitive function

Curcumin has been shown to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and to reduce beta-amyloid and plaque burden in lab studies. However, there is currently not enough evidence to suggest the use of curcumin for cognitive performance. C

Dyspepsia (heartburn)

Turmeric has been traditionally used to treat stomach problems (such as indigestion from a fatty meal). There is preliminary evidence that turmeric may offer some relief from these stomach problems. However, at high doses or with prolonged use, turmeric may actually irritate or upset the stomach. Reliable human research is necessary before a recommendation can be made. C

Gallstone prevention/bile flow stimulant

It has been said that there are fewer people with gallstones in India, which is sometimes credited to turmeric in the diet. Early studies report that curcumin, a chemical in turmeric, may decrease the occurrence of gallstones. However, reliable human studies are lacking in this area. The use of turmeric may be inadvisable in patients with active gallstones. C

High cholesterol

Early studies suggest that turmeric may lower levels of low-density lipoprotein ("bad cholesterol") and total cholesterol in the blood. Better human studies are needed before a recommendation can be made. C

HIV/AIDS

Several laboratory studies suggest that curcumin, a component of turmeric, may have activity against HIV. However, reliable human studies are lacking in this area. C

Inflammation

Laboratory and animal studies show anti-inflammatory activity of turmeric and its constituent curcumin. Reliable human research is lacking. C

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common functional disorder for which there are limited reliable medical treatments. One study investigated the effects of Curcuma xanthorriza on IBS and found that treatment did not show any therapeutic benefit over placebo. More studies are needed to verify these findings. C

Liver protection

In traditional Indian Ayurvedic medicine, turmeric has been used to tone the liver. Early research suggests that turmeric may have a protective effect on the liver, but more research is needed before any recommendations can be made. C

Oral leukoplakia

Results from lab and animal studies suggest turmeric may have anticancer effects. Large, well-designed human studies are needed before a recommendation can be made. C

Osteoarthritis

Turmeric has been used historically to treat rheumatic conditions. Laboratory and animal studies show anti-inflammatory activity of turmeric and its constituent curcumin, which may be beneficial in people with osteoarthritis. Reliable human research is lacking. C

Peptic ulcer disease (stomach ulcer)

Turmeric has been used historically to treat stomach and duodenal ulcers. However, at high doses or with prolonged use, turmeric may actually further irritate or upset the stomach. Currently, there is not enough human evidence to make a firm recommendation. C

Rheumatoid arthritis

Turmeric has been used historically to treat rheumatic conditions and based on animal research may reduce inflammation. Reliable human studies are necessary before a recommendation can be made in this area. C

Scabies

Historically, turmeric has been used on the skin to treat chronic skin ulcers and scabies. It has also been used in combination with the leaves of the herb Azadirachta indica ADR or "neem." More research is necessary before a firm recommendation can be made. C

Uveitis (eye inflammation)

Laboratory and animal studies show anti-inflammatory activity of turmeric and its constituent curcumin. A poorly designed human study suggests a possible benefit of curcumin in the treatment of uveitis. Reliable human research is necessary before a firm conclusion can be drawn. C

Viral infection

Evidence suggests that turmeric may help treat viral infections. However, there is not enough human evidence in this area. Well-designed trials are needed to determine if these claims are true. C


*Key to grades
A: Strong scientific evidence for this use;
B: Good scientific evidence for this use;
C: Unclear scientific evidence for this use;
D: Fair scientific evidence against this use;
F: Strong scientific evidence against this use.
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Asia Pacific J Clin Nutr (2002) 11(4): 314318

Effect of different curcumin dosages on human gall bladder
Abdul Rasyid1 PhD, Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman2 PhD, Kamaruddin Jaalam2 PhD and Aznan Lelo2 PhD
1School of Medicine, University of North Sumatera, Medan, Indonesia
2School of Medical Sciences, University Science Malaysia, Kelantan, Malaysia
 
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Hi DB,

Thanks for posting - good information. I used to worry about taking turmeric in the extract form when I still had gallbladder/gallstones. Alas, both are gone now.

Thanks,

HW