From the Journals

Quercetin may reduce iron overload in beta-thalassemia major



Combination quercetin and desferrioxamine could decrease iron overload in patients with transfusion-dependent beta-thalassemia major, according to a randomized clinical study.

Over the course of treatment, quercetin was well tolerated and no major complications were reported. The findings highlight the potential of quercetin to lower ferritin levels in patients with thalassemia major.

“Quercetin is a member of flavone family that mainly exists in apples, onions, tea, red wines, and berries,” wrote Zohreh Sajadi Hezaveh of Iran University of Medical Sciences in Tehran and colleagues. The findings of the study were published in Complementary Therapies in Medicine.

The researchers conducted a randomized, double-blind trial of 84 patients with thalassemia major. Of those enrolled, 71 patients were included in the final analysis.

Study patients were randomly assigned to receive either oral quercetin 500 mg daily or placebo for a total of 12 weeks. At baseline, all patients received desferrioxamine monotherapy. All participants were enrolled in the single-center study from April 2017 to March 2018. The team measured several inflammatory and iron-related markers during the study.

In comparison with placebo, combined therapy significantly improved high sensitivity C-reactive protein (P = .046), ferritin (P = .043), serum iron (P = .036), transferrin (P = .045), and transferrin saturation (P = .008), but not tumor necrosis factor–alpha (P = .310) or total iron-binding capacity (P = .734).

With respect to ferritin levels, a significant decrease was observed in the quercetin group, while patients in the placebo group had a marginal increase in levels.

“Insignificant results for [tumor necrosis factor–alpha] prevents us from making definitive comments [about inflammation],” the researchers wrote.

One key limitation of the study was the significant loss to follow-up seen in the placebo group. As a result, the generalizability of the findings may be limited.

“These results need to be confirmed by studies with larger sample size, longer follow-up period, and different doses of quercetin,” the researchers concluded.

The study was funded by the Iran University of Medical Sciences. The authors reported having no conflicts of interest.

SOURCE: Sajadi Hezaveh Z et al. Complement Ther Med. 2019;46:24-8.

Next Article: