Publications & Reports



Preliminary Report On The Use of Neutraceuticals

In The Management of Sickle Cell Anaemia


Background: There is growing recognition of the benefits of nutraceuticals in the management of sickle cell disease but a scarcity of reports on their use. Nutraceuticals are food or parts of food that provide medical or health benefits. They include botanicals, functional foods, and medicinal foods. This is a preliminary report on the use of nutraceuticals in the management of a small cohort of children with sickle cell disease in Nigeria.

Methods: Children, aged 1 to 12 years, presenting with sickle cell anemia were evaluated at baseline and at six months after the commencement of a cocktail of nutraceuticals using an objective grading tool. Changes in weight, hematocrit, and frequency of sickle cell crises were determined.

Results: Ten children with sickle cell anemia were placed on nutraceutical therapy. The average age of the children was 7.4 (range 2-12) years. Aroga immune support was the commonest component of the nutraceutical cocktail given to the children. There was a rise in mean weight (from 21.8 ± 8.9 to 23.0 ± 8.3) and hematocrit (from 22.8 ± 3.9 to 27.2 ± 3.9) at six months compared to values obtained at baseline. There was also a fall in the mean frequency of sickle cell crises at six months compared to values obtained at baseline (from 7.4 ± 6.1 to 3.2 ± 2.8). Overall, eight out of the ten children showed moderate to good clinical improvement. There was no documentation of any adverse reaction to the medications in any of the children.

Conclusion: The results suggest that the use of nutraceuticals may be beneficial in the management of sickle cell anemia in children. However, there is a need for controlled clinical trials for stronger evidence. Such clinical trials of unconventional therapies should be conducted with great care and concern for the safety of the participants.

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Defenseless & Exposed: Sickle Cell and the Immune System

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Introduction: According to statistics, about 70% of children with Sickle Cell Disorder (SCD) die before the age of five. In Nigeria, that’s about 100,000 deaths. This is tragic, but it is also preventable. Did you know that the commonest cause of death in SCD is infection? These infections are also the commonest triggers for a crisis.

In countries like the USA and UK, provision is made for Sickle Cell Disorder (SCD) patients by including antibiotics and prophylaxis (like vaccines) against the frequently occurring infections in this demography.

In Nigeria, there is no such practice, and when you consider the fact that SCD warriors typically have weaker immune systems than their peers, then you can appreciate what a tragedy this truly is.

Having worked with hundreds of SCD warriors at the Foundation, we have been able to demonstrate that strengthening their immune systems can, in turn, significantly improve their quality of life and reduce their crisis frequency and severity. We witness this every week at our free Friday clinics.

Thankfully, there are simple steps we can start taking to address this gap. We recommend safe immune system supplements such as vitamin C, vitamin D3, and zinc. These are all safe, readily affordable, require no prescription, and are widely available.

Most importantly, study after study has shown that most SCD warriors are severely deficient in these three nutrients.


Introduction: A nutraceutical is a pharmaceutical-grade nutrient or nutrient complex that may be used for medicinal purposes. Most nutraceuticals are derived from plants and have been shown to be generally safe when used as food supplements. There is growing interest in the use of these natural products in delaying, ameliorating, and treating acute and chronic diseases. Ong W.Y. and co-editors 2016 edited a special collection of reports on the beneficial effects of nutraceuticals in the management of neurodegenerative diseases and aging. However, there is a paucity of reports of their use in sub-Saharan Africa.

Case reports: Here we describe a case series of some of the children managed at our center using nutraceuticals and other supportive care. Details of the observed effects are described in this report.

Discussion: Globally, there is rising evidence of improved treatment outcomes with the use of nutraceuticals. Our experience in the management of Nigerian children with neurodevelopmental disorders suggests that they may be beneficial and are deserving of well-controlled studies. We hope that this case series will raise the interest of researchers in Nigeria in designing observational studies and clinical trials aimed at generating evidence for or against their use.

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