ABSTRACT Background: This report describes the case of a 61-year-old man who ate curry for 50 years. Three months after he stopped eating curry, he developed neuropathic pain. After 6 years of not eating curry, he experienced visuospatial disturbances, and his serum prostate-specific antigen (PSA) increased from 1.91 to 5.38 ng/mL. He tested whether normal aging or the dietary change accounted for his PSA data and symptoms. This self-reported case is the first of its kind in the medical literature. Method and Results: The subject developed a vegetable curry recipe that included turmeric/ curcumin. After 7 to 10 days of eating meals containing this curry twice daily, his pain decreased noticeably, and his visuospatial memory returned. After 8 to 9 weeks of eating curry, his PSA level dropped to 3.85 ng/mL. Using a sensitive high-performance liquid chromatography method with a detection limit of 1 ng/mL curcumin, his plasma unmodified curcumin level was 2.89 ng/mL after eating a curry meal and 4.56 ng/mL after fasting for 13 h. Detection of curcumin in the blood is important because curcumin has very low oral bioavailability, and plasma curcumin has not been detected in several previous clinical trials even after administration of gram quantities of unformulated 95% curcuminoid extract. This report also presents several converging lines of evidence that may account for the apparent salutary effect of restoring curry to one’s diet. Conclusions: The results advance our understanding of curcumin effects at the level of the individual. This original case report should be of interest to a wide clinical audience that spans several clinical specialties, including neurology, urology and diabetology.
Cite this paper
B. Seshi, "Potential Medical Benefits of Eating Curry: A Self-Reported Case and Review," International Journal of Clinical Medicine, Vol. 3 No. 7, 2012, pp. 587-594. doi: 10.4236/ijcm.2012.37106.
 R. Sinha, D. E. Anderson, S. S. McDonald and P. Greenwald, “Cancer Risk and Diet in India,” Journal of Postgraduate Medicine, Vol. 49, No. 3, 2003, pp. 222-228.
 T. Rastogi, S. Devesa, P. Mangtani, A. Mathew, N. Cooper, R. Kao and R. Sinha, “Cancer Incidence Rates among South Asians in Four Geographic Regions: India, Singapore, UK and US,” International Journal of Epidemiology, Vol. 37, No. 1, 2008, pp. 147-160.
 T. P. Ng, P. C. Chiam, T. Lee, H. C. Chua, L. Lim and E. H. Kua, “Curry Consumption and Cognitive Function in the Elderly,” American Journal of Epidemiology, Vol. 164, No. 9, 2006, pp. 898-906. doi:10.1093/aje/kwj267
 J. M. Ringman, S. A. Frautschy, G. M. Cole, D. L. Masterman and J. L. Cummings, “A Potential Role of the Curry Spice Curcumin in Alzheimer’s Disease,” Current Alzheimer Research, Vol. 2, No. 2, 2005, pp. 131-136.
 B. B. Aggarwal, “Prostate Cancer and Curcumin: Add Spice to Your Life,” Cancer Biology & Therapy, Vol. 7, No. 9, 2008, pp. 1436-1440. doi:10.4161/cbt.7.9.6659
 G. M. Cole, B. Teter and S. A. Frautschy, “Neuroprotective Effects of Curcumin,” Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology, Vol. 595, 2007, pp. 197-212.
 S. J. Kim, T. G. Son, H. R. Park, M. Park, M. S. Kim, H. S. Kim, H. Y. Chung, M. P. Mattson and J. Lee, “Curcumin Stimulates Proliferation of Embryonic Neural Progenitor Cells and Neurogenesis in the Adult Hippocampus,” The Journal of Biological Chemistry, Vol. 283, No. 21, 2008, pp. 14497-14505. doi:10.1074/jbc.M708373200
 S. K. Kulkarni, M. K. Bhutani and M. Bishnoi, “Antidepressant Activity of Curcumin: Involvement of Serotonin and Dopamine System,” Psychopharmacology, Vol. 201, No. 3, 2008, pp. 435-442.
 Y. Xu, B. Ku, L. Cui, X. Li, P. A. Barish, T. C. Foster and W. O. Ogle, “Curcumin Reverses Impaired Hippocampal Neurogenesis and Increases Serotonin Receptor 1A mRNA and Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor Expression in Chronically Stressed Rats,” Brain Research, Vol. 1162, 2007, pp. 9-18.
 S. Reuter, S. C. Gupta, B. Park, A. Goel and B. B. Aggarwal, “Epigenetic Changes Induced by Curcumin and Other Natural Compounds,” Genes & Nutrition, Vol. 6, No. 2, 2011, pp. 93-108.
 A. Goel and B. B. Aggarwal, “Curcumin, the Golden spice from Indian Saffron, Is a Chemosensitizer and Radiosensitizer for Tumors and Chemoprotector and Radioprotector for Normal Organs,” Nutrition and Cancer, Vol. 62, No. 7, 2010, pp. 919-930.
 K. H. Tsui, T. H. Feng, C. M. Lin, P. L. Chang and H. H. Juang, “Curcumin Blocks the Activation of Androgen and Interlukin-6 on Prostate-Specific Antigen Expression in Human Prostatic Carcinoma Cells,” Journal of Andrology, Vol. 29, No. 6, 2008, pp. 661-668.
 J. Zhao, H. He, K. Zhou, Y. Ren, Z. Shi, Z. Wu, Y. Wang, Y. Lu and J. Jiao, “Neuronal Transcription Factors Induce Conversion of Human Glioma Cells to Neurons and Inhibit Tumorigenesis,” PloS One, Vol. 7, No. 7, 2012, Article ID: e41506. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0041506
 A. G. Smith and J. R. Singleton, “Impaired Glucose Tolerance and Neuropathy,” The Neurologist, Vol. 14, No. 1, 2008, pp. 23-29. doi:10.1097/NRL.0b013e31815a3956
 S. P. Weisberg, R. Leibel and D. V. Tortoriello, “Dietary Curcumin Significantly Improves Obesity-Associated Inflammation and Diabetes in Mouse Models of Diabesity,” Endocrinology, Vol. 149, No. 7, 2008, pp. 3549-3558.
 M. K. Bhutani, M. Bishnoi and S. K. Kulkarni, “Anti-Depressant Like Effect of Curcumin and Its Combination with Piperine in Unpredictable Chronic Stress-Induced Behavioral, Biochemical and Neurochemical Changes,” Pharmacology, Biochemistry, and Behavior, Vol. 92, No. 1, 2009, pp. 39-43. doi:10.1016/j.pbb.2008.10.007
 V. S. Gota, G. B. Maru, T. G. Soni, T. R. Gandhi, N. Kochar and M. G. Agarwal, “Safety and Pharmacokinetics of a Solid Lipid Curcumin Particle Formulation in Osteosarcoma Patients and Healthy Volunteers,” Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Vol. 58, No. 4, 2010, pp. 2095-2099. doi:10.1021/jf9024807
 M. Kanai, A. Imaizumi, Y. Otsuka, H. Sasaki, M. Hashiguchi, K. Tsujiko, S. Matsumoto, H. Ishiguro and T. Chiba, “Dose-Escalation and Pharmacokinetic Study of Nanoparticle Curcumin, a Potential Anticancer Agent with Improved Bioavailability, in Healthy Human Volunteers,” Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology, Vol. 69, No. 1, 2012, pp. 65-70.
 P. Anand, A. B. Kunnumakkara, R. A. Newman and B. B. Aggarwal, “Bioavailability of Curcumin: Problems and Promises,” Molecular Pharmaceutics, Vol. 4, No. 6, 2007, pp. 807-818. doi:10.1021/mp700113r
 V. O. Gutierres, C. M. Pinheiro, R. P. Assis, R. C. Vendramini, M. T. Pepato and I. L. Brunetti, “Curcumin-Supplemented Yoghurt Improves Physiological and Biochemical Markers of Experimental Diabetes,” The British Journal of Nutrition, Vol. 108, No. 3, 2012, pp. 440-448.
 S. Shishodia, G. Sethi and B. B. Aggarwal, “Curcumin: Getting Back to the Roots,” Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, Vol. 1056, 2005, pp. 206-217.