Micronutrients as therapeutic tools in the management of sickle cell disease, malaria and diabetes

Abstract


Okochi, V. I. and Okpuzor, J.

The Global use of micronutrients in health care delivery has taken center stage due to the realization of their importance in disease management. Sickle cell disease, malaria and diabetes are among the diseases plaguing a good population of the developing world and the cost implication for their management is very high. Sickle cell disease and malaria have anemia as a common factor and immunological disturbances are also prevalent in these disease conditions. Free radicals are generated in sickle cell disease, malaria and diabetes so a balance between minerals and antioxidants is imperative to maintain membrane integrity and function. Protection of red cell membranes from free radical-mediated oxidative stress is crucial to their management. Minerals such as copper, iron, chromium, magnesium, selenium and vanadium as well as vitamins like A, C, E, folate and the B group have been found to relieve oxidative stress associated with them. Micronutrients and their importance in the management of sickle cell disease, malaria and diabetes is reviewed here, with emphasis on the need to harness the natural resources abundant in our environment.

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