GLUCOSE-6-PHOSPHATE DEHYDROGENASE (G6PD) DEFICIENCY
Written by Slawomir Gromadzki, MPH
WHAT IS G6PD DEFICIENCY
G6PDs (glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase) deficiency is a genetic disorder that affects red blood cell enzyme. It interferes with the ability of red blood cells to provide body cells with enough oxygen, causing a variety of symptoms related to anaemia. In this case, anaemia is caused by increased hemolysis or destruction of red blood cells, due to a defect in the glucose-6-phosphate enzyme. The more severe form of this condition is called favism.
Worldwide, around 400 million people have the genetic disorder called glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency. It almost always occurs in males.
Many people with G6PD deficiency don’t experience any symptoms. When symptoms do occur, they include especially weakness and fatigue. Symptoms may be also associated with weaker immunity.
By avoiding certain problematic foods and drugs and by supporting the immune system those with G6PD can significantly lower their risk for complications.
CAN NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS AND HERBS BE USED IN G6PD DEFICIENCY
Concerning questions about taking multivitamins and other nutritional supplements by adults and children with glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency, according to what I have found, there are contradicting opinions. Some sources suggest that supplements with vitamin C shouldn’t be recommended in this condition (unfortunately, almost all multivitamins contain vitamin C).
To boost energy, treat anaemia and other symptoms use the same nutritional supplements (especially chlorella, B12, D3, magnesium, etc.) described in the article on SICKLE CELL ANAEMIA >
MEDICATIONS TO AVOID
The best way to avoid symptoms due to G6PD deficiency is to limit exposure to the triggers including the following:
- Anti-malarial drugs
- NSAIDs painkillers (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)
- Drugs with “sulf” in the name and products containing sulfites (not the same as sulphates/sulfates)
- Quinine and drugs with “quin” in their name
FOODS & DRINKS TO AVOID
- Fava beans and possibly other legumes
- Soy products (tofu, miso, tempeh, etc.)
- Vitamin C supplements and foods high in vitamin C (although the above study couldn’t find scientific proof for this)
- Foods with artificial blue dyes
- Tonic water