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They injected some kind of concrete into my spine to keep it stable.’ Dieneke tried Curcumin, a component of turmeric, and five years on, her cancer cell count is negligible, with her recovery featuring in the British Medical Journal.
She had a serious relapse and there seemed little hope.Her recovery was so extraordinary that it recently made the pages of the eminent British Medical Journal Dieneke is still taking 8g of curcumin in tablet form daily — the equivalent of about two teaspoonfuls of pure powdered curcumin.As kitchen turmeric contains 2 per cent curcumin, it would be physically impossible to eat enough of the curry spice to get the same dose of curcumin.Then Dieneke started a new treatment — not another high-tech, expensive drug, but a remedy based on something many of us have in our kitchen cupboards.Where all others had failed, this one worked, and five years on, Dieneke’s cancer cell count is negligible. Curcumin, which is a key component of the spice turmeric.She believes an Italian curcumin product, marketed here as Turmeric , containing soy lecithin, which studies have shown is 29 times better absorbed in the bloodstream, could resolve these difficulties.
She hopes to get funding for trials using this formulation. Adam Cleevely, managing director of Future You, which has the distribution rights to Turmeric , says the company is in talks with universities, including Leicester, to get more human research studies set up.
Dieneke uses a product from an Indian company called Sabinsa, made from three forms of curcumin molecules and which has been recommended by patient forums.‘However, the tablets are expensive — £50 for ten days — but provide a form of curcumin that’s better absorbed by the body.
If it was available on the NHS it would be much cheaper,’ she says.
I have not seen such a convincing response before.’Maggie Lai, senior research and clinical information specialist at the charity Myeloma UK, also helped with the BMJ report.
She cautioned against raising hope for a miracle cure for cancer: ‘Curcumin seems to work for some people and not others, but we don’t know how it works and this was only a one-off case.’One of the main problems for researchers, says Professor Brown, is finding a curcumin product that contains a standardised dose, and a formulation with an ingredient that modifies curcumin molecules to improve their absorption.
She first came across the remedy via an internet support group and decided to try it because, as she says: ‘I had nothing to lose’.‘I told my oncologist I was taking it and he was very interested, especially when it apparently made such a difference,’ says Dieneke, 67, who lives in North London and runs Hidden Art, a not-for-profit business helping artists market their work.