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Old 06-22-2006, 10:25 AM   #1
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Curcumin, NAC - friend or foe?

I've read some posts about these two antioxidants (curcumin and NAC) in the past, usually touting the benefits to muscle generation. Curcumin being a factor in myogenesis and NAC having benefits in insulin sensitivity, etc. But, today I read the abstract of an article:

Kawanishi, S., S. Oikawa and M. Murata. "Evaluation for Safety of Antioxidant Chemopreventive Agents". Antioxid Redox Signal. 2005 Nov-Dec;7(11-12):1728-39.

The article mentions that the two antioxidants in question can be thought of as a "double-edged sword". N-acetylcysteine (NAC) was found to cause DNA damage via generation of oxidative species in the presence of metal ions and curcumin exerts pro-oxidative properties after metabolic activation.

I know that NAC is used in high doses to prevent liver damage from aspirin overdose. And I know that there's a lot of curcumin in curries. Do these "paradoxical" properties of these antioxidants really pose a threat to anyone's health? I was just about to add curcumin to my regimen of supplements!
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Old 06-22-2006, 12:44 PM   #2
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There is always a double edged sword with antioxidants, of every chemical class.

Take for instance, vitamin C, ascorbate. I commented in a recent post on the unusual mechanism of peroxidative damage to membranes, catalyzed by non coordination complexed iron = nonheme iron, in cells. Demonstrated to occur via glucose oxidation and ROS production, and made worse by the presence of reducing equivalents (NADPH and ascorbate)

IF there is a superoxide, peroxy, peoxynitrate, or other activated oxygen species present in excess, without another reducing agent to intervene - BAM! - you get DNA, protein, and membrane lipid damage, sure as shooting.

Thats why one must be oh-so-careful about dosages - the very reason I advise moderation in use of these antioxidants.

Its the melange of antioxidants in whole foods that keeps most free radical insult at bay. Remember that. These shortcut supplements, purified out of their natural matrix, have costs with their easy use benefit.

That said, turmeric, cayenne pepper extract, and ascorbate have their place in diet - when deficiencies are present.

In the athletic individual, with proper diet, sleep and stress management has beens shown NOT to benefit from excess dose of vitamin C, for a very good reason.

They are synthesizing enough of it and other antioxidatns, under proper cellular pathway regulation, to get the job done when the whole foods diet provides the precursors for their proper synthesis internally.

You see? Bad diet, poor lifestyle choices, these predispose us to deficiency states for core vitamins and coenzymes, and then if we attempt to remedy these deficiency with megadoses, all the while ignoring the other parts of the recipe for health, mayhem results from excess.

You cannot cure one excess with another, all the while expecting a short cut to save your metabolic ass.
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Old 07-22-2006, 01:50 PM   #3
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Trouble, in ironaddict's thread titled "enhancing myoblast proliferation..." , you mentioned that if curcumin wasn't already part of our recovery stack, we may want to add it. But in this thread you said that "it has it's place in the diet -- when deficineces are present."

So what I'm getting is that you don't want to take too much of it, is that right?

Could you please give me an idea of what kind of dosage I would want to use with turmeric extract (95% curcuminoids).

I don't know if you need my stats to give me guidelines, but I'm 200 pounds and about 7% body fat.
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Old 09-19-2006, 12:29 PM   #4
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Curcumin deficiency? Synthesize vitamin c internally?
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Old 09-19-2006, 12:52 PM   #5
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Why not just use turmeric if extracts are troublesome?
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Old 10-13-2010, 06:04 PM   #6
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curcumin, foe, friend, nac

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