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Thalassemia minor paleos

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created October 10, 2011 at 11:43 AM

I just got diagnosed with hereditary beta Thalassemia minor, which explains my slight anemia blood results. I would like to know if there are other Paleos with this condition and what kinds of supplements, physical exercise and food works best for their condition.

Eecc48184707bc26bce631485b5b7e34

(4764)

on November 25, 2011
at 03:59 PM

I haven't found relief/benefit for the fatigue from any of the aforementioned supplements but do take many of the recommendations - though not all. I wouldn't take beta carotene, E, folic acid..

Eecc48184707bc26bce631485b5b7e34

(4764)

on November 25, 2011
at 03:18 PM

I haven't found relief/benefit for the fatigue from any of the aforementioned supplements but do take many of those for other reasons and totally agree with your recommendations - even if for different reasons.

Eecc48184707bc26bce631485b5b7e34

(4764)

on November 25, 2011
at 03:17 PM

I have it as well. I use supplements as needed for whatever is going on; nothing has been specifically helpful for the thalessemia. For me, the fatigue is best mitigated by a high potassium intake - it's not ever been improved by supplementing folic acid, b6, or anything else that might/may influence rbc production though I take many of those supplements for other reasons (good link from Navaeh http://i.imgur.com/VZJrc.png)

Eecc48184707bc26bce631485b5b7e34

(4764)

on November 25, 2011
at 03:14 PM

Food sources of folic acid are much preferred. In terms of risks of supplements, folic acid is one that is consistently risky.

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3 Answers

3
Eecc48184707bc26bce631485b5b7e34

on November 25, 2011
at 04:52 PM

I think there are a lot of good reasons to

  • eat 3 oz liver once a week (folate, vitamin A, copper, b complex vitamins)
  • eat 16 oz seafood a week (iodine, selenium, magnesium)
  • eat 1-2 servings oysters per week (50+ mg zinc per serving)

Reasonable intake goals from food and supplements combined:

  • 30-50 mg zinc per day and 2-3 mg copper per day (10-15:1 Zn:Cu)
  • 200-300 mcg selenium
  • a weekly dose of 25,000 (ish) IU vitamin A - liver preferred due to the nutrient density

Consider supplementing:

  • 100-300 mg CoQ10 (divided doses if over 150-200 mg)
  • vitamin D as needed to maintain serum levels around 40-60 ng/mL

Avoid supplementing:

  • Vitamin E (except maybe 60 IU max in combo with tocotrienols and mixed tocopherols)
  • folic acid (except for 100mcg max as part of a b complex supplement. 5-methyl tetrahydrofolate may be an exception though I'm not certain)
  • iron (except as indicated by low ferritin)

Regarding folic acid supplementation:

http://www.ajcn.org/content/80/5/1123.short

http://cebp.aacrjournals.org/content/16/7/1325.short

Paul Jaminet writing on folic acid:

http://perfecthealthdiet.com/?s=folic+acid

Folic acid and iron ??? two nutrients we regard as dangerous and recommend not supplementing ??? both elevate mortality, as we would expect."

Multivitamins slightly increase mortality, a result that has been found before and that we acknowledge in the book. This is probably due to (a) an excess of folic acid,

Chris Kresser on folic acid supplementation: http://chriskresser.com/9-steps-to-perfect-health-4-supplement-wisely

Folic acid is another example. The naturally occurring form of folate is not folic acid, a compound not normally found in food or nature, but tetrahydrofolate. While folic acid can be converted into folate, that conversion is poor in humans. It???s also important to note that unlike natural folate, folic acid does not cross the placenta. This is significant because folate is a crucial nutrient for pregnancy, and while folic acid can prevent neural tube defects it doesn???t have the other beneficial effects of folate. What???s more, several studies have shown that folic acid ??? but not natural folate ??? increases cancer risk. Unfortunately, folic acid is what???s often used in multivitamins, because it???s significantly cheaper than natural folate.

--

3
1a21b91e9cb3bb70242b0487af3fbd61

on November 11, 2011
at 04:32 PM

I too have beta thalassemia minor like you, and have researched a bit on how to deal with it. First of all you have to realize that our thalassemic condition was actually meant to be a defense mechanism against malaria. Normally, people with beta thalassemia minor don't experience symptoms. That was the case with me as a child, I was perfectly healthy and active, but as I grew older bad nutrition and poor exercise habits caused some symptoms like fatigue to manifest.

I have compiled some supplement advice from some of the posters from the Thalassemia Patients and Friends forum. http://i.imgur.com/N4ICU.png There are 2 promising drug trials currently in development, the HQK-1001 and ACE 536 for beta thalassemia.

The fatigue from the slight anemia was significantly reduced after I took supplements and followed a paleo diet. It is important not to consume processed foods or wholegrains/milk/rice/beans that contains chemicals like Leptin and Gluten that causes gut irritation.

I also checked my vitamin D levels and had 27.3, and the optimal levels are around 50. So I've been taking liquid vitamin D supplements of at least 5000IU every day, and will be rechecking my levels soon.

As for exercise, since our gene defects affects the production of beta globin proteins which results in excessive destruction of red blood cells, we need to reproduce them more rapidly. The process is called Erythropoiesis, which is regulated by the hormone erythropoietin. About 2.4 million new erythrocytes are produced per second for a normal person, the number is probably higher for us. There are some supplements that could help boost erythropoietin, click on this link: http://i.imgur.com/VZJrc.png

Testosterone is known to boost erythropoiesis and hemoglobin production as well. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18160461 So it makes sense to exercise your entire body during each workout to elicit a maximal hormonal/testosterone response. http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/2007/04/29/from-geek-to-freak-how-i-gained-34-lbs-of-muscle-in-4-weeks/

Please note that I am not an expert, these are just my personal experiences. Hope this helps!

Eecc48184707bc26bce631485b5b7e34

(4764)

on November 25, 2011
at 03:18 PM

I haven't found relief/benefit for the fatigue from any of the aforementioned supplements but do take many of those for other reasons and totally agree with your recommendations - even if for different reasons.

Eecc48184707bc26bce631485b5b7e34

(4764)

on November 25, 2011
at 03:59 PM

I haven't found relief/benefit for the fatigue from any of the aforementioned supplements but do take many of the recommendations - though not all. I wouldn't take beta carotene, E, folic acid..

2
59e818af2184847f09c8a63a45adcdbb

on November 25, 2011
at 05:55 AM

I'm in the same boat. Ive started supplementing with folic acid, this seems to be the most recommended supp for this condition. Get your blood work results - haemoglobin and iron levels especially. My iron levels were very high, so i avoid iron supps.

Eecc48184707bc26bce631485b5b7e34

(4764)

on November 25, 2011
at 03:14 PM

Food sources of folic acid are much preferred. In terms of risks of supplements, folic acid is one that is consistently risky.

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