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Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency,no legumes,no effect with soy products,effect of anabolic steroids

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2010
Answered : 157 Questions
First off, this question likely suits a someone in the field of blood work (hematologist) or possibly a geneticist, or someone studying in this field.

Some background knowledge first, im 28yr old male of mediteranian decent suffering from g6pd deficiency, i dont consume any legumes although I have had many soy based products with no ill effect (although I do avoid ingesting them on there own as a bean or as soy milk) I have bread which usually contains soy flour as do most other products and have no ill effect on me. so i presume my g6pd deficiency is somewhat mild.

Question time

Can someone with g6pd deficiency take anabolic steroids without having a hemolytic crisis, if so which steroids, what about HGH (somatropin)? if not, why not, a scientific explanation of what occurs when anabolic agents are introduced to a g6pd deficient individual would be much appreciated.

Please note: I'm not interested in an opinion if steroids are good or bad for you or if i should take them, I have no intention on taking them presently I just wish to stay informed, incase they are needed in future to treat anemia, testosterone deficiency etc...

Thank you.
Posted Sat, 5 May 2012 in Medicines and Side Effects
Answered by Dr. Sunil.N 8 hours later
Hi ,

Thanks for your query.

There has been no recorded contraindications to take Anabolic steroids in G6PD Deficiency. But a Doctor's advice is must as all the drug interactions are not studied in detail.

Anabolic steriods are used medically :

1.To treat anemia (low red blood cell count);
2. To control breast cancer in women;
3.To improve weight loss due to severe illness, and to
4.To treat osteoporosis (bone loss).

Use of this for non-medical reasons poses serious, life threatening consequences.

Hope I have answered your query. If you have any follow up queries I will be available to answer them.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency,no legumes,no effect with soy products,effect of anabolic steroids 30 hours later
Thank you so much for your answer, I'm happy to accept your answer because at the very least you answered my question, however as my question stated I was hoping for an explanation of what occurs, additional info would be great or info on who would be the most appropriate person to ask in regards to how the drugs interact with a g6pd deficient individual would be much appreciated. My local GP is not a very helpful individual so pointing me in the right direction is a great help.

Thank You.
Answered by Dr. Sunil.N 16 hours later
Hi again,

Thanks for following me up,

G6PD is an enzyme involved in one of the starting reactions in HMP ( Hexose Monophosphate Shunt )a chemical pathway involved in production nucleic acids DNA/RNA) .G6PD converts glucose-6-phosphate into 6-phosphogluconolactone in here it produces a bi product called NADPH (active form of Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate) which is involved in various reaction and functions like :

1)Biosynthesis of fatty acids and Steroids
2)Synthesis of certain amino acids (building blocks of proteins)

More importantly

3) In RBC's , it is involved in antioxidant reactions. Reducing ( killing) the free radicals produced after metabolism of many drugs like primaquine,sulfonamides,dapsone,quinine,chloroquine, nalidixic acid, nitrofurantoin and menadione.These free radicals not only interfere with cell functioning but also destroy the cell organells by oxidative reactions.

NADPH maintains the concentration of Glutathione ( a amino acid ) in the Rbc which is very essential in maintaining the cell membrane integrity, in the absence of which the cell membrane is presented unopposed to free radical injury and thus the hemolysis occurs.

Also NADPH is necessary in keeping the ferrous iron in the hemoglobin in reduced state so that accumulation of methemoglobin (Heinz bodies) is prevented.

4)NADPH is also involved in detoxification of drugs with the help of Cytochrome P450(an enzyme)

Hence in G6PD deficiency there is inadequate formation of NADPH which makes the cell vulnerable to oxidative injuries brought about by certain drugs.

Anabolic steroids are not known to produce free radicals during there metabolism hence , there are no records of hemolysis with anabolic steroids.

I hope, I answered your query completely.

Wish you Good health.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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