Dengue patients who struggle with a rapidly dipping platelet count might find hope in Vitamin E,usually found in dry fruits like almonds.
A study by Lucknow doctors brought forward the first evidence that Vitamin E tablets can help boost the platelet count in patients suffering for the vector-borne illness. The study was published in the international medical journal The Annals of Tropical Medicine and Public Health and was conducted by doctors from King Georges Medical University (formerly Chhatrapati Shahuji Maharaj Medical University).
The study showed that platelet count of the patients given Vitamin E rose twice as fast as that of the control group.
Dr Arvind Vaish,HoD Medicine and corresponding author of the study,said: Vitamin E has strong anti-oxidant properties,and no side effects. Platelet drop,characteristic of dengue,is responsible for most complications including Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever that causes internal bleeding and could lead to death.
Dr Vaish said till now there was no known method of increasing the number of platelets,except for blood transfusion. Shortage of blood or not getting the patients blood group could have serious consequences in such a scenario.
During the study,66 patients were divided into two equal groups one was given a single dose 400 mg tablet of Vitamin E for four days along with standard treatment,and the second was only given the standard treatment.
Among patients in the experimental arm,platelets went up to over 1 lakh in 64.5 per cent people,while the control arm only saw 39.28 per cent people reporting a rise in platelets.
In group given Vitamin E tablets,only two patients 6 per cent required platelet transfusion on the seventh day. In the control group,five patients or 15.15 per cent needed transfusion.
The mean platelet count in both the groups was similar at the start,but regular monitoring showed the average count increased significantly in the group that was given Vitamin E.
Dr Vaish said: The results have shown that not only does Vitamin E help increase the platelets when the count is low,but it also restricts the drop. Thus,early intervention can help.