Antioxidant vitamins C and E supplementation increases markers of haemolysis in sickle cell anaemia patients: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.

British Journal of Haematology

PubMedID: 23278176

Arruda MM, Mecabo G, Rodrigues CA, Matsuda SS, Rabelo IB, Figueiredo MS. Antioxidant vitamins C and E supplementation increases markers of haemolysis in sickle cell anaemia patients: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Br J Haematol. 2013;160(5):688-700.
Erythrocytes from sickle cell anaemia (SCA) patients continuously produce larger amounts of pro-oxidants than normal cells. Oxidative stress seems to primarily affect the membrane and results in haemolysis. The use of antioxidants in vitro reduces the generation of pro-oxidants. To evaluate the impact of vitamins C (VitC) and E (VitE) supplementation in SCA patients, patients over 18 years were randomly assigned to receive VitC 1400 mg + VitE 800 mg per day or placebo orally for 180 d. Eighty-three patients were enrolled (44 vitamins, 39 placebo), median age 27 (18-68) years, 64% female. There were no significant differences between the two groups regarding clinical complications or baseline laboratorial tests. Sixty percent of the patients were VitC deficient, 70% were VitE deficient. Supplementation significantly increased serum VitC and E. However, no significant changes in haemoglobin levels were observed, and, unexpectedly, there was a significant increase in haemolytic markers with vitamin supplementation. In conclusion, VitC + VitE supplementation did not improve anaemia and, surprisingly, increased markers of haemolysis in patients with SCA and S-ß(0) -thalassaemia. The exact mechanisms to explain this findings and their clinical significance remain to be determined.