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Keywords:

  • sickle cell;
  • zinc;
  • male hypogonadism

Abstract

Previously, we have documented primary testicular failure in adult male subjects with sickle cell anemia. We have also reported the occurrence of zinc deficiency and suggested that androgen deficiency may be related to zinc deficiency in such patients. In this study, we present data with respect to the effect of oral zinc supplementation on serum testosterone levels in adult male patients with sickle cell anemia. An increase in serum testosterone, neutrophil zinc, and neutrophil alkaline phosphatase activity was observed in the zinc-supplemented group in comparison with the group on placebo. Additionally, body weight increased and serum lactic dehydrogenase activity decreased in response to zinc supplementation. We conclude that androgen deficiency in adult male subjects with sickle cell anemia is correctable with zinc supplementation and that the determination of neutrophil zinc and alkaline phosphatase activity in the neutrophils may be utilized as good indicators of body zinc status in such subjects.