The Health Edge 22: Inflammation- Are you playing with fire?

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In this Health Edge Podcast, John and Mark review inflammation as one of the most important contributors to western chronic complex disease. They examine the many lifestyle changes that can dramatically reduce inflammation, manage disease, reduce disease risk, create health and improve quality of life.

3 thoughts on “The Health Edge 22: Inflammation- Are you playing with fire?

  1. Joyce Chicoine

    Until a few weeks ago, I was able to manage several health issues using diet, nutritional supplements recommended to me by an integrative /holistic medical doctor and healthy lifestyle choices, such as getting regular exercise. On June 6 , that changed when a hematologist told me that I have a specific gene mutation that causes my bone marrow to produce too many platelets. I have a type of Myeloproloferative Neoplasm called Essential Thrombocythemia. I was prescribed a chemo drug called Hydroxyurea and told to take 81 mg of aspirin. I don’t have a problem with the Hydroxyurea, but I had to give up one of my favorite anti-inflammatory supplements – turmeric- because it is also an anticoagulant and should not be taken with aspirin. I would like to continue taking turmeric instead of aspirin, but don’t know how much or what form to take. Can you help me? Do you know of a study that provides the information that I need? Is there another supplement that I can take instead? My antinuclear antibodies are also high, indicating that I am at least at risk for some sort of autoimmune disease.

    • Hi Joyce,
      Hydroxyurea is generally very effective for longer term management of a high platelet count. As I am sure you have been told, the greatest risk of platelet counts (usually above 750k – thousand/ml) is blood clotting. paradoxically, if both the # and the quality of the platelets is effected, one can see bleeding complications though less commonly). To my knowledge Joyce, there is likely little if any research looking at turmeric in that context with respect to additional bleeding risk.
      The additional value of turmeric as an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, supporter of BDNF (an important brain growth factor), would leave me reluctant to suggest NOT taking it.
      In my opinion you have two options, assuming your platelet count is brought into control (< 500k) with the hydroxyurea: 1. Take turmeric with the baby aspirin (turmeric with "bioperine/piperine" is much better absorbed) and if you notice any easy bruising, bleeding from your gums, check you platelet count and stop the aspirin and observe 2. Take the turmeric instead of the aspirin given what, in my view, is a better risk-benefit proposition. For brands, I generally use consumerlab.com for quality control. Those with the best ratings for turmeric include: Jarrow formulations, Life Extension Super Biocurcumin, and Vitacost brand (often the best value) I would also add that green tea (drink or extract) has also been shown to demonstrate some benefits as turmeric. Hope this helps! Mark

      • Joyce Chicoine

        Thanks, Mark, for your response! Since my platelets are now <400K, I have stopped taking aspirin and resumed taking turmeric. I agree that the benefits of turmeric are greater than aspirin.

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