“Circadian responses to chemo”

This morning I came across an intriguing article published recently in “The Scientist”: http://goo.gl/Hl4sCa

I’ve written a couple of posts about circadian rhythms before (for a reminder, see http://margaret.healthblogs.org/antioxidants-and-chemotherapy/biological-clock-and-bioavailabilty/) but haven’t thought about them in a while, I must confess. Well, I’m thinking about them today, that’s for sure. I mean, cancer cells appear to be more susceptible to chemotherapy when administered at certain times of day…And this new study tells us that the same occurs when cancer cells* are exposed to curcumin. How cool is that?


Excerpt: “…curcumin can activate a gene important to regulating the circadian clock…” Did you know that? I don’t think I did…Food for thought!

Here’s the link to the abstract on which the article is based. Incidentally, it was presented a couple of weeks ago at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research, so it’s hot off the press: http://goo.gl/gTB6t8 Warning: it’s quite technical!!!

Excerpt: “These results indicate, for the first time, that efficacy of curcumin is under circadian control and that the rhythm is lost at higher curcumin concentrations.” Now, if I have interpreted this sentence correctly, it means that we might be able to take less curcumin if we can figure out our circadian rhythm. Wouldn’t that be absolutely fantastique? :-)

The main reason I take my curcumin in the evening, before supper, is because of all the water I have to drink in order to swallow all the capsules, which means that if I’m going out and about during the day, I might be spending a lot of my time looking for a bathroom…But if I know I’m going to be at home, I do try to split my dose (lunch and supper).

IMG_4774But what if my best curcumin-taking time of day were in the morning, not the afternoon or evening?

I’m seriously thinking about changing to the morning now…just to see what happens…

(* The tests in this new study were carried out on rat glioma cells–the C6 glioma cells mentioned in the abstract–not human cancer cells…So we need to look at the circadian rhythm of human cancer cells treated with curcumin…though I’d bet almost anything that we’d have similar results…)