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Vitamins for sickle cell


Vitamins for sickle cell

Due to the many complications involved with sickle cell patient, it is very important that they are placed on very rich diets with high nutritious contents. Vitamins are a very good supplement for SCD patients. This article tends to talk about the different kinds of vitamins and how they help sickle cell patients in fighting this deadly disease.

Vitamins are organic compounds mainly gotten from food. There are other sources of vitamins, and even the body produces vitamins, but in very little quantities. This is why they have to be supplemented from food as well other sources. For instance, the human body can synthesize vitamin D from sunlight.

There are currently 13 categories of vitamins. This article covers about 4 of these vitamins and how they can help sickle cell patients.


Vitamin A

Sickle cell patients do have low antioxidant levels. Antioxidants help to protect cells from damages that are oxygen-related. Studies have shown that sickle cell patients tend to have a low level of antioxidants in their blood, including low levels of carotenoids.

Vitamin A helps to correct this deficiency of antioxidants.

Some good sources of vitamin A include, eggs, oily fish, cheese, milk, yoghurt, liver and liver-related products such as liver pate – this source is very rich in vitamin A, but caution should be taken when taking vitamin A from this source to avoid having too much of it. Yellow, red and green leafy vegetables such as carrots, sweet potatoes and spinach, mangoes, pawpaw are also very good organic sources of vitamin A.


Vitamin C

Vitamin C also helps to correct the deficiency of antioxidants in the blood.

Good sources of vitamin C are fresh fruits, vegetables, more importantly, citrus fruits, freshly squeezed orange juice or fresh frozen concentrates. Vitamin C can also be manufactured or synthesized in the laboratory, but it is highly recommended that it be gotten from organic sources as mentioned already.


Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 from studies and effective use has shown to possess anti-sickling effects on the red blood cells of sickle cell anaemic patients.

Good sources of this vitamin include pork, peanuts, soya beans, oats, bananas, milk, chicken and turkey, some cereals, wheatgerm, some fish, etc




Vitamin E

Generally, a deficiency of vitamin E leads to a lot of sicknesses in children with greater symptom frequency in adults. Vitamin E supplements can help to restore the health of sickle cell patients.

Good sources of vitamin E include, wheatgerm, nuts and seeds, plant oils such as sunflower, soya, corn and olive oil.


Vitamin D

This vitamin also helps to ensure strong bones for the body. Sickle cell patients often suffer from a deficiency of this vitamin and this can lead to stunted growth and development.

Good sources of vitamin D include fruits, vegetables, grains, eggs, fish, meats, beans, nuts, seeds. Sun exposure is also a source of vitamin though an insufficient source.


Ensuring all these nutrients for a sickle cell patient might be very tasking for an average family, and so we recommend working with a reputable and registered dietitian nutritionist.



Photo of the Remarkables mountain range in Queenstown, New Zealand.

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