Rotate, Rotate, Rotate and Curcumin

A Facebook reader posted:

“I’m wondering your thoughts on Turmeric/Curcumin in relation to the current model. I’ve searched your site and found a few older posts about its benefits, but noticed it wasn’t included in your herbal antibiotic chart. Curcumin helps me a lot with pain and since I’m in a fibro-flare right now, I’m back on it multiple times per day. But it seems to make me more and more tired the longer I take it. This is a clear pattern, probably the 10th time I’ve taken it for pain. My thought was maybe it has a negative impact on e.coli or Lactobacillus or some other species I might be low in. I couldn’t find anything specific on PubMed.”

Rotate, Rotate, Rotate

If something is anti-infection, you need to rotate the use of it. Say that it is 95% effective against a specific family, that means 5% of a bacteria family can resist it.  When the 95% dies, the remaining 5% will slowly grow to take it place.  Curcumin or whatever — will no longer be effective against that family because your eventual population will likely be 95% resistant. The bacteria quickly learns that the genes for resistance (although expensive to keep going) is preferred.

There are several studies that found that pulsing antibiotics was more effective than continuous application. Bacteria are adaptive, not machines.

Research Update on Curcumin


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  • showed a marked inhibition of the growth of Staph. aureus. [1949]
  • extended antimicrobial activity of curcumin and safety property even at high doses (12 g/day) assessed by clinical trials in human [2014]
    • …with 45% and 30% inhibition rates against Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli
    • demonstrated the MIC (minimum inhibitory concentration) …. against
      • S. epidermis ATCC 12228,
      • Staph. aureus ATCC 25923,
      • Klebsiella pneumoniae ATCC 10031, and
      • E. coli ATCC 25922 [15].
    • antibacterial effect against 13 bacteria, namely,
      • Vibrio harveyi,
      • V. alginolyticus,
      • V. vulnificus,
      • V. parahaemolyticus,
      • V. cholerae,
      • Bacillus subtilis,
      • B. cereus,
      • Aeromonas hydrophila,
      • Streptococcus agalactiae,
      • Staph. aureus,
      • Staph. intermedius,
      • Staph. epidermidis, and
      • Edwardsiella tarda.
    • Turmeric oil as a byproduct from curcumin manufacture also was found effective against
      • B. subtilis,
      • B. coagulans,
      • B. cereus,
      • Staph. aureus,
      • E. coli, and
      • P. aeruginosa [19].
    • showed significant antibacterial activity …against 65 clinical isolates of Helicobacter pylori [41].
    • It has been demonstrated that curcumin as a plant derivative has a wide range of antiviral activity against different viruses…including parainfluenza virus type 3 (PIV-3), feline infectious peritonitis virus (FIPV), vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV), herpes simplex virus (HSV), flock house virus (FHV), and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)
    • The methanol extract of turmeric demonstrated antifungal activity against Cryptococcus neoformans and Candida albicans with MIC values of 128 and 256 μg/mL, respectively [16].
    • Study of curcumin against 14 strains of Candida including 4 ATCC strains and 10 clinical isolates showed that curcumin is a potent fungicide compound against Candida species
    • S. mutans and L. acidophilus were susceptible to curcumin in the presence of blue light.[2014]

Bottle Line

The reader is correct that “My thought was maybe it has a negative impact on e.coli or Lactobacillus”. Taking it knocks down the symptom causing bacteria but to take it continuously runs multiple risks:

  • Resistance being developed by the symptom causing bacteria
  • Reduction of good bacteria that was already low….