Rieb Service
Medical Interpreting | Nutritional Advice | Quality Management


Efficacy of coadministration of antioxidant supplementation with chemotherapy  

Keith Block at the Institute for Integrative Cancer Research and Education and coresearchers recently conducted a systematic review 256 of 19 RCTs on the efficacy of coadministration of antioxidant supplementation with chemotherapy evaluating Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, melatonin, NAC, ellagic acid, glutathione, and an antioxidant mixture in subjects with predominantly advanced or relapsed disease. They found that none of the trials found any evidence of significant decreases in efficacy from antioxidant supplementation concurrent with chemotherapy, with many of the studies finding that antioxidant supplementation yielded either increased survival times, increased tumor responses, or both, as well as fewer toxicities than controls, although they note that lack of adequate statistical power was a consistent limitation, so that large, well-designed studies of antioxidant supplementation concurrent with chemotherapy are further warranted. (...) Antioxidants may enhance the effects of chemotherapy as well as diminish its toxicity. (...) Antioxidant-chemotherapy coadministration holds potential for reducing dose-limiting toxicities, and without affecting therapeutic efficacy of the therapy.“


Examples of curcumin efficacy against arthritis

Curcumin is difficult absorbed in the gut because of its insolubility in water. The addition of oils or, preferred, lecithin rises the uptake, whereas the addition of pepper prolongs the activity. So both can be recommend, if you aim at a maximal effect of curcumin in the whole body. The effect of curcumin  extract without additives remains limited to the gut. Below you find examples from studies about the efficacy of curcumin in (rheumatoid) arthritis:

200mg  curcumin complexed with  400 mg phosphatidylcholine  shows an increase in intestinal absorption by 20 times , so it could be equivalent to 4 g not complexed curcumin.


Addition of 1% piperine (extracted from black pepper) to curcumin extract increases curcumin efficiency by 20 times.


Combination of 350 mg Curcuma longa extract (containing 70% curcumin, 17% demethoxycurcumin, 3,5% bis-demethoxycurcumin and 7,5% turmeric essential oils) with 150 mg Boswellia serrata extract (containing 75 % boswellic acids and 10% AKBA) taken twice daily 12 weeks along shows better results in concern of safety and efficacy in osteoarthritic patients than the administration of selective COX-2 inhibitor celecoxib 100 mg twice a day.


500 mg curcumin extract  daily showed better results in treatment of rheumatoid arthritis than 50 mg diclofenac sodium and had no adverse effects.


In a rat model curcumin showed a 10 % higher efficacy in treatment of induced arthritis than indomethacin.


400 mg Curcumin complexed with  800 mg phosphatidylcholine is comparable to 2 g acetaminophen in potency of pain relief.


A three-month oral administration of curcumin complexed with phosphatidylcholine reduced pain, joint stiffness and physical dysfunction by more than a half according special scores respectively. Also mobility were improved significantly. There was also observed a significant reduction of CRP (C-reactive protein) levels.

Patients who took curcumin complexed with phosphatidylcholine experienced gastrointestinal complaints more than two times rarer (15 % instead of 38 %) in comparison with patients who took NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs).

The study tested the efficacy of 200mg curcumin complexed with  400 mg phosphatidylcholine per day during 8 months. The results showed a reduction of osteoarthritic symptoms by more than 50% and a 3-fold increase in walking distance. Also antidepressive effects with improvement of well-being were observed. Patients in the treatment group could reduce the use of NSAIDs and had fewer associated gastrointestinal complaints, possibly also due to gastrointestinal protective effects of curcumin.

Distal edema were reduced by 65 % due to the curcumin complex in contrast to 5 % due to the conventional therapy.


Curcumin has a lot of other effects. The science continues to investigate curcumin, so further exciting facts are expected. There is for example an assumption, that curcumin could prevent or even treat the Alzheimer's disease, according to results of a six-month randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, pilot clinical trial. Medical Journal: Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology; Year: 2008; 28(1):110-114; Authors: Baum, et al.

Boswellia serrata uses:



analgesic (pain-reliever)

abolishes osteoclastogenesis

reduced cerebral edema

osteoarthritis (reducing inflammation, pain, swelling, stiffness, crepitations and tenderness)

antihyperlipidemic (controls blood lipids)

antiatherosclerotic (anticoronary plaque)

cardiovascular diseases

effective against inflammatory bowel disease


stimulation of liver

memory function, brain development, prevention and treatment of Alzheimer


against leukemic and brain tumor cells

brain tumor (boswellic acids effective against glioma cell lines - inhibit proliferation, induce apoptosis - and against peritumoral brains edemas)

colon cancer (initiates the death of cancer cells by influencing genes)

reduces polyps

prostate tumor (reduces the DHT-influence on prostate, which can cause the death of the cancer cells)

prostte cancer (very effective against metastasis, also reduces the tumor size)

fevers (antipyretic)

bad throat




mouth sores





skin and blood diseases

vaginal discharges





irregular menses




syphilitic diseases

internal and external stimulant