Part of the book: Pharmacology and Nutritional Intervention in the Treatment of Disease
Thalassemia is an inherited disease caused by the genetic disorder of α- and β-globin genes, resulting in ineffective erythropoiesis and chronic anemia. Transfusion-dependent β-thalassemia patients require red cell transfusion to maintain their blood hemoglobin level in the normal range, whereas non-transfusion-dependent thalassemia patients increase duodenal absorption of dietary iron in an attempt to accelerate erythropoiesis. These changes give rise to iron overload, oxidative stress, organ dysfunction, and other complications. Effective iron chelators are necessary to achieve negative iron balance and to relieve such complications associated with iron overload. Some pharmaceuticals such as hydroxyurea, N-acetylcysteine, ascorbic acid, vitamin E, and glutathione are also given to thalassemia patients in order to overcome oxidative cell and tissue damage and to generate a better quality of life. Interestingly, functional natural products (such as mango, tea, caffeine, and curcumin), vegetables, and cereal (e.g., rice) are helpful for their health-providing properties by supplementing the endogenous antioxidant defensive power in the body. Natural products exhibit many pharmacological activities, but they are safer if used in the traditional manner.
Part of the book: Personalized Medicine, in Relation to Redox State, Diet and Lifestyle