Updated: Jun 5, 2021
The impetus behind the curcumin research and medical discoveries that change everything we know about curcumin.
Original post: November 20, 2017
Initially driven by a passion to better understand nutraceuticals and nutrition in order to enhance performance during his quest to win the title of several North American bodybuilding competitions, Franco Cavaleri was struck with a serious autoimmune disease. This disease derailed Cavaleri twice with hospitilazation and with a prognosis of surgical intervention with prohibitive lifestyle consequences. Although he struggled to stay healthy and stay on track with his academic and athletic careers, his struggles eventually led to desperation. In 1991 while preparing for the Mr. North America contest he was hospitalised for the first time in Vancouver’s St Paul’s Hospital. After having lost as much as fifty pounds his drug resistant condition was deemed untreatable.
After much introspection Franco speculated that a specialised curcuminoid extract he had been working in the lab with and using sporadically had taken the edge off his symptoms and allowed him to cope. It wasn’t until he had stopped the treatment that he was hospitalised. He decided to decline the surgical intervention and lean on his hypothesis. His rebound to optimal health led to the win in Redondo Beach, California in 1992 – Mr. IFBB North America.
After nearly 19 years of research and persistence with his unique treatment he decided to terminate the unique curcuminoid treatment that he speculated was no longer needed. Within months of running down his supply of his uniquely extracted curcuminoid compound, he was hospitalised again in 2009 with the same prognosis – drug resistant ulcerative colitis and surgery to resect the colon as the only alternative. This time his speculation about the efficacy of the treatment and its potential role turned to conviction and back he went to successfully treat and maintain long term remission with the unique extract that took several weeks to generate. This point in time generated the impetus that changed Cavaleri’s course of research forever. He made the decision to bring the strategy to formal medical drug research. Moreover, he committed to wed his 20 years of nutraceutical research to a formal initiative to study medicine and establish a medical PhD degree in experimental medicine using this natural medicine as the study subject matter of the thesis. His practical and academic experience and honed intuition in the field converged into a powerful outcome. The research was designed to determine the pharmacological mechanisms involved in this activity; and whether or not this biological activity played the role he believed it did in disease remission.
Cavaleri’s research into anti-inflammatory strategies originally used to support recovery from training, quickly became focused on better understanding the pharmacology of natural medicinal agents to rehabilitate his ulcerative colitis, without surgical intervention. Irrefutably, Cavaleri was able to overcome his disease without surgery!
According to Cavaleri, the key was to isolate an extract instrumental in reducing inflammation. Cavaleri achieved efficient separation of the curcuminoids within the regular curcumin extract more than 18 years ago and with the study of the pharmacology of each constituent independently in isolation, was eventually able to unravel the pharmacology of each constituent at a cellular and subcellular level in multiple cell lines and tissues. Over the decades his in-depth biomedical work mapped the pharmacology of these curcuminoids with regards to targeted subcellular proteins in an attempt to better understand why they worked to effect symptoms differentially. In this way, Cavaleri discovered a way to predict curcumin and curcuminoid activity and augment the curcuminoid proportions within the extract to manipulate the activity to be more target specific and reliable in terms of disease indication. The result is the new potential to design curcumin-based therapies with greater precision, with the ability to more selectively target subcellular proteins involved in development of disease symptoms and pathology, and increased efficacy by indication. These discoveries change everything we knew about curcumin setting in place a new industry standard and a new level of pharmacology for patients and consumers in need. Some of his work has been published. Some is still in peer review.
Cavaleri says there is still lots of work to do; to run more bench work and clinical research to determine more accurately how these natural medicines can be used to treat specific indications. Nevertheless, for now, they will cautiously use what has been discovered, patented and recently approved by the Canadian regulatory agency (NNHPD) while they continue the research at his medical laboratory, Biologic Pharmamedical Research (www.biologicpharmamedical.com).