“Doctor I’d like to know if any of these supplements are interfering with the prescription you gave me for my foot fungus.”
“What’s the problem Bloggins?”
“Well I’ve noticed my left pancreas is itchy and my hair is sluggish.”
“Exactly what supplements are you taking?”
“Not sure, so I brought them with me.” At this time I often hear a loud beeping sound as if a large delivery truck were backing up whereupon I glance outside to observe a large delivery truck backing up. Out tumbles the prize products of infomercials, National Enquirer ads and so-called “health shows” (the ones that exhibit every health expert with the exception of actual health experts.)
“Here they are. Let’s see.” As Bloggins begins stacking bottles upon plastic bottles of virgin beaver tooth extract and beta6 isoelbowanoids I note a preponderance of items beginning with G like ginseng, gingko, grapeseed, assorted green thingamajigs and giblets of Gary Gilmour. As Bloggins proudly looks over her small pharmacy of assorted supplements I soon learn that he has no idea what they are actually for.
“By the way do you take any supplements doctor?”
“What?” he asks eager to add whatever I might suggest to his little armada of bottles.
“Well on a daily basis I take a Snickers pill but when the moon is exactly one third full I take a couple of Mr. Bigs particularly if I feel my serum transfats are getting a little low.”
But to be honest I do take supplements. My constant perusal of the Lancet, New England Journal of Medicine and Women’s Weekly Digest has convinced me to take three supplements; curcumin, salmon oil and folic acid. I need supplements to make up for the paucity of these essential nutrients at the Hershey Cadbury grocery store I usually shop at.
As I have previously expounded voluminously on the benefits of salmon and folic acid (for previous articles please contact the Pulitzer archives and mention my name repeatedly) I turn my attention now to curcumin as many of you do if someone has just ingested a bowl of curry before invading your private space. Curcumin is a component of the turmeric spice that gives curry its brilliant colour and pungency. My mother once made hot curried chicken when I was six and I’m convinced that the part that I didn’t toss to the regretful dog is still eating away at my olfactory glands.
Curcumin has previously been touted to increase our brainpower, improve our vision and give us happier prostates, apparently for good reasons. It has excellent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antiamyloid properties. It is these nasty amyloids that are constantly being implicated in Alzheimer’s disease. India has significantly less Alzheimer’s than North America to say nothing of a cancer rate ten times lower and a statistically significant lower number of Alanis Morrisette fans. Could curcumin be the reason they are so much healthier per se? It is currently being tested in multiple studies as a chemotherapeutic or chemopreventative agent because of its positive effects against cancer growth and spread. It is being studied in large prestigious cancer centers for its antioxidant properties and is now being looked at for specific cancer prevention and even treatment including the dangerous melanomas (moles gone wild). In one study it caused melanoma cells to actually self-destruct.
Curcumin is very safe and tolerable in that ingesting bushels of this stuff appears to cause no toxicity whatsoever, unless on a first date. As more and more disease processes appear to depend on inflammation to wreak their havoc on our brains, arteries and joints, curcumin offers us a safe and effective anti-inflammatory agent.
“Thanks for the info doc. You’ve convinced me. I’ll go pick up gurgumin right away.”