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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 4-11

Iron Balance in β-thalassemia: Maintaining an Antioxidant / Oxidant Ratio

1 The Pharmaceutical Research Institute at Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Rensselear, NY, USA
2 King Abdel Aziz University, Faculty of Medicine, Hematology Department, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Shaker A Mousa
Professor of Pharmacology, Vice Provost, Executive Vice President and Chairman, Pharmaceutical Research Institute at Albany College
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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ί-Thalassemia is a genetic disorder affecting approximately 1.5% of men and women worldwide. Many affected individuals die by the age of 30 years as a result of cardiac complications caused by iron overload. Iron overload can lead to increased oxidative stress and iron deposition in vital organs such as the heart, liver, and endocrine glands. In contrast, excessive removal of iron can lead to infection and other complications. Hence, iron hemostasis is essential for the balance of the redox system. An extensive literature search was conducted using PubMed for studies on iron chelation therapy and antioxidant use in ίthalassemia. The search parameters included the period from 1997 to the present along with specific key words. The key words searched included "antioxidants", "iron chelation", and "complications in beta thalassemia". Iron overload in patients with ί-thalassemia should be managed by a combination therapy that includes iron chelation and antioxidants, to better manage thalassemia complications and optimize the benefit/risk ratio of iron chelation therapy. Adjunct therapy with antioxidants such as zinc, vitamin D, CoQ10, and vitamin E should be considered. ί-Thalassemia patients are at risk of increased oxidative stress. Antioxidants in conjunction with chelation therapy would play a key role in restoring the antioxidant / oxidant balance while maintaining iron hemostasis.

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