Our studies were the first to report that sickle cell disease adult patients were zinc deficient. This was mainly due to persistent loss of zinc due to hemolysis and hyperzincuria. We related growth-retardation, hypogonadism in adult males, decreased cell medicated immune disorder, repeated infections and pain crises, to zinc deficiency. Zinc supplementation improved the above clinical manisfestations. A recent Cochrane review confirmed our observation and concluded that proper therapuetic levels of zinc supplementation was the only modality which decreased the incidences of infection and pain crises in sickle cell disease patients.
Prasad, A.S., Beck, F.W.J., Kaplan, J., Chandrasekar, P.H., Ortega, J., Fitzgerald J.T., Swerdlow, P. Effect of zinc supplementation on incidence of infections and hospital admissions in sickle cell disease (SCD). Am. J. Hematol. 61(3):194-202, 1999.