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5 Proven Benefits Of Curcumin (Curcuma Longa) For Multiple Myeloma

By Dr. Wangchuk (BBEbiotech)

Multiple myeloma is a type of blood cancer in which the plasma cells become malignant.

The plasma cells are derived from the B cells (B lymphocytes) of the white blood cells, formed in the bone marrow (spongy tissue inside some bones of the body like hip, skull, femur, rib cage etc).

The plasma cells are an important component of the immune system as they produce antibodies to fight infections.

In the case of multiple myeloma, these cells multiply abnormally and cause multiple tumour formation in many bones of the body. As a result, the healthy blood cells formation is impeded in the bone marrow.

The tumours can also cause weakening of the bone by breaking down the bone tissue and releasing calcium into the blood. The elevated calcium levels in the blood may affect other organs as well such as kidney, heart, digestive tract, muscles, and nerves.

The cause of this disease is unknown.

However, the mutation in the plasma cell DNA due to some genetic, chemical or environmental factors is thought to be a major cause.

The symptoms of this disease include bone problems, anaemia (causing weakness, breathlessness), high blood calcium levels in the blood (causing extreme thirst, loss of appetite, frequent urination, abdominal pain etc), kidney problems, recurrent infections (especially pneumonia) etc.

Multiple myeloma can give rise to a condition called amyloidosis due to build up of certain proteins. This can lead to purple spots on skin, swelling, diarrhoea, numbness in feet and legs etc.

The risk factors that are involved in the development of multiple myeloma are older age, exposure to radiations or certain chemicals, history of diseases like MGUS (high levels of M. Protein in the blood) and plasmacytoma (a cancer of plasma cells). Also, this disease is found to be common in males.

The treatment of this disease involves chemotherapy, radiotherapy, surgery, targeted therapy etc. The corticosteroids are also sometimes employed. Stem cell transplant is another emerging treatment option.

However, these treatment methods generally have several drawbacks due to the side-effects (nausea, organ damage, low blood count etc), high cost or limited access to these.

The limitations of conventional treatment approaches call for natural alternatives. A natural product that can be useful in the treatment of multiple myeloma is curcumin.

What is curcumin?

Curcumin (diferuloylmethane) is a polyphenolic compound present in the roots of Curcuma longa. This compound is responsible for the yellow-orange colour and it is the most biologically active component of Curcuma Longa.

Curcumin has the ability to modulate a number of molecular pathways of a living cell resulting in therapeutic benefits.

The modulation of various molecular pathways by curcumin confers it anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-cancer, immune-modulatory and many other properties.

These properties have medicinal value in numerous diseases such as diabetes, infections, kidney problems, heart problems, cancer, Alzheimer’s etc.

5 Proven Benefits of Curcumin in Multiple Myeloma

The anti-cancer activity of curcumin is effective against almost all types of cancer, including multiple myeloma. Curcumin has a therapeutic action on various aspects of this disease, from treatment to prevention.

1. Curcumin kills multiple myeloma cells

The development of multiple myeloma is primarily a result of activation of oncogenes (genes having the potential of causing cancer). The survival and proliferation of the cancer cells depend on various cytokines and other survival