Updated: Jun 5, 2021
Based on research that changes everything we know about curcumin.
Original post: November 29, 2017
Look for products made with Curcumin BDM30™
Curcumin is quickly becoming a household name and noted to be one of the more potent anti-inflammatory agents among the natural therapies. We hear about its application in the treatment of Alzheimer’s, depression, colitis, Crohn’s, arthritis, injuries, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia and so much more. Despite its effectiveness for some people and some conditions, lack of reliability or consistent results is an ongoing problem even for long term users. So is this hit and miss miracle from nature supported by research?
One main reason curcumin can be applied with reasonable effect to treat many of these conditions is inflammation is a fundamental process or chemistry that is common to most if not every disease we face. This includes diseases like depression that appear to be far removed from our mainstream notion of inflammation. Most drugs we use to treat disease today are effective at neutralising this inflammatory activity in target tissues or cells. The different drugs target different proteins involved in this long pathway to immune system and inflammatory activity.
Typically, a unique disease is characterized by a mutation or regulatory anomaly of a unique protein involved in these inflammatory pathways. They work much like dominoes that keep the flow going in an intended direction. If one domino in the line is damaged or warped it could alter the pathway. In a very simple model like this each domino represents a regulatory protein in the long pathway; each ever-so-slightly- guiding the flow. A unique drug targeting this damaged protein, for instance, may inhibit the inflammatory process with precision for this disorder if it corrects completely or to a degree it counters the activity of this specific malfunctioning protein. Nevertheless, by targeting other proteins in the same pathway to slow down the flow, we can slow down inflammation sometimes additively.
Research shows curcumin to be a mildly effective inhibitor of a key protein called a transcription factor (namely NF-kB) involved in the escalation of inflammation. Other proteins are affected as well but we will keep this simple. Poorly regulated NF-kB escalates inflammation by literally transcribing, at the genetic level, cytokines such as TNFα and many others. If pushed out of control by a genetic mutation or damage of a naturally built-in regulatory loop the transcription (or production) stays ON too long without controls. Curcumin can be used to take the edge off many disorders because it slows down NF-kB but it can only do so if it is properly extracted to yield the right proportions of the subfraction curcuminoids.
Regular old curcumin (even curcumin 95%) is not reliable and is usually not potent enough to deal with deep rooted inflammation that is caused by damage to regulatory systems beyond NF-kB. (inflammation can be escalated by mutations leading to poor regulation of other key proteins in the same LONG pathway. These key proteins are often referred to as ‘drug targets’ by pharma researchers because they represent stop points in the expansive pathway where a drug could make a difference if it were able to modulate the protein.
The latest research discovery at Biologic Pharmamedical Research shows us that these underlying curcuminoid components in the curcumin extract have different drug target activity. They can target different regulatory proteins; some of which are in that inflammatory pathway. Treatment success with regular curcumin that is not standardised with regards to the curcuminoid proportions within the curcumin extract is therefore different from one curcumin 95% extract to another curcumin 95% extract. ANY OLD CURCUMIN IS SIMPLY NOT ANY OLD CURCUMIN! It’s important to highlight that within the typical curcumin 95% extract three curcuminoids make up the 95% concentration. The problem is that from curcumin extract to extract these underlying curcuminoid proportions fluctuate and do so even for the same brand from batch to batch or lot to lot.
Our recent research, at Biologic Pharmamedical Research has been focussed on separating, isolating and mapping the pharmacology of these curcuminoid components in the context of multiple key proteins in this inflammatory pathway. Then to study each contribute in isolation to see how they modulate anti-inflammatory activity and other subcellular activities that help neutralise disease symptoms. The findings have led to game changing insight that puts a completely new perspective on curcumin and a new standard of drug design.
These curcuminoids can each have distinct pharmacological activity inside our cells targeting different proteins. One new one was discovered by Biologic Pharmamedical’s Franco Cavaleri PhDc. Even if you are certain you are buying a 95% extract every time, you do not have insight into how the underlying curcuminoid proportions have changed from your previous batch to alter the activity of your curcumin and your inflammation on the next purchase. Remember, the inflammatory pathway is comprised of a plethora of proteins that effect and regulate it from a 3 dimensional perspective. In addition keep in mind that NF-kB modulates as many as 150 genes!! This is complex and any minute shift produces monumental changes. In addition each protein is influenced, itself by a multitude of regulatory proteins any one of which could be defective in your specific disease state/pathology.
Our research at Biologic shows some of the newly discovered curcumioid activity to be synergistic to an intended therapeutic outcome. However, in other situations where the curcuminoid proportions shift the shifting can oppose an intended effect. Sometimes you get a potent 95 extract that works in your favour and other times you get a less effective one even though you think you have the same product.
The amazing knowledge to come out of this pharmaceutical research with these curcuminoids is a clearer understanding of the mechanism by which curcumin delivers its activity. In addition, we have found that nature has provided us with more intelligence within the curcumin extract that we are still working to extract. This latest ‘intelligence’ shows us an exponentially higher ORAC value that is measurably reliable: 125 x greater than regular curcumin. The key active curcuminoid fraction of this discovery is increased to 30% (ie BDM30) while regular curcumin only has 1% (ie BDM1) of this key active. Each curcuminoid portion is locked in for consistency and standardised to be reliable from lot to lot.
Moreover, it has allowed us to stabilise and create proportions of these underlying curcuminoids that serve our inflammatory targets with greater precision and make certain this activity is consistent from lot to lot.
The result of this novel standard of curcumin pharmacology is BDM30™ -reliable curcuminoid composition standardisation; more effective measurement of activity; and consistent activity for curcumin that also exceeds 95% concentration! The patented Curcumin BDM30™ is the new household name used in the higher quality curcumin-based products. Look for products ‘made with BDM30’.
Conflict of Interest Statement. The author/researcher is the owner of a biomedical research group – Biologic Nutrigenomics Health Research Corp and Biologic Pharmamedical Research, that funds and executes research on the pharmacology of nutritional and nutraceutical agents that are studied in the context of disease pathology including characteristics that have been associated with inflammation and dementias.
The research on these findings continues at clinical levels to further investigate the full indication-specific potential of this discovery. The author/researcher is also the owner of related Intellectual Properties. author copyright Franco Cavaleri PhDc
Franco Cavaleri, BSc, PhDc, is The Rhema Group’s Chief Science Officer. He is also the principal research scientist at Biologic Pharmamedical; is a former Mr. IFBB North America; and is completing a doctoral degree in Experimental Medicine in the Faculty of Medicine.