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Sickle Cell Anemia

Also indexed as:Crescent Cell Anemia
Get support for sickle cell anemia by focusing on your unique nutritional needs. According to research or other evidence, the following self-care steps may be helpful.
  • Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.
  • Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.
  • For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support.

Our proprietary "Star-Rating" system was developed to help you easily understand the amount of scientific support behind each supplement in relation to a specific health condition. While there is no way to predict whether a vitamin, mineral, or herb will successfully treat or prevent associated health conditions, our unique ratings tell you how well these supplements are understood by some in the medical community, and whether studies have found them to be effective for other people.

For over a decade, our team has combed through thousands of research articles published in reputable journals. To help you make educated decisions, and to better understand controversial or confusing supplements, our medical experts have digested the science into these three easy-to-follow ratings. We hope this provides you with a helpful resource to make informed decisions towards your health and well-being.

SupplementAmountWhy
Arginine

(Pulmonary Hypertension)
100 mg per 2.2 lbs (1 kg) of body weight, three times per day2 stars[2 stars]
People with pulmonary hypertension (a life-threatening complication of sickle cell anemia) who received L-arginine had significant improvement in one study.
Fish Oil
250 mg of oil per 2.2 lbs (1 kg) of body weight daily2 stars[2 stars]
Supplementing with fish oil appears to reduce the frequency of severe pain episodes.
Folic Acid

(High Homocysteine)
Consult a qualified healthcare practitioner2 stars[2 stars]
In one trial, patients with sickle cell anemia who were given folic acid plus aged garlic extract, vitamin C, and vitamin E saw significant improvement and less painful crises.
L-Carnitine
50 mg per 2.2 lbs (1 kg) of body weight daily2 stars[2 stars]
In a study of children with sickle cell anemia, supplementing with L-carnitine reduced the number of painful crises and improved abnormal heart function and pulmonary hypertension.
Vitamin B12

(Vitamin B12 Deficiency)
Consult a qualified healthcare practitioner2 stars[2 stars]
People with sickle cell anemia may be deficient in vitamin B12. Intramuscular vitamin B12 injections improved symptoms for patients in one study.
Zinc
Take under medical supervision: 100 mg of zinc (plus 2 mg of copper daily to protect against depletion)2 stars[2 stars]
Supplementing with zinc appears to help prevent cell damage and speed healing of leg ulcers associated with sickle cell anemia.
Beta-Carotene
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Sickle cell anemia patients tend to have low levels of antioxidants, which protect cells from oxygen-related damage. Supplementing with beta-carotene may help correct a deficiency.
Garlic
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
In one trial, patients with sickle cell anemia who were given folic acid plus aged garlic extract, vitamin C, and vitamin E saw significant improvement and less painful crises.
Magnesium
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
In one trial, supplementing with magnesium dramatically reduced the number of painful days for people with sickle cell anemia.
Vitamin A
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Sickle cell anemia patients tend to have low levels of antioxidants, which protect cells from oxygen-related damage. Supplementing with vitamin A may help correct a deficiency.
Vitamin B6
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Vitamin B6 has been shown to have anti-sickling effects on the red blood cells. It can also correct vitamin B6 deficiency, which is common in people with sickle cell anemia.
Vitamin C
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Sickle cell anemia patients tend to have low levels of antioxidants, which protect cells from oxygen-related damage. Supplementing with vitamin C may help correct a deficiency.
Vitamin E
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Low vitamin E levels have been associated with higher numbers of diseased cells in children and with greater symptom frequency in adults. Supplementing with the vitamin can help restore levels.

Copyright 2014 Aisle7. All rights reserved. Aisle7.com

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The information presented in Aisle7 is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2015.

 
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