In this articles, researchers assumed a reverse association between plasma zinc concentration and incidence of infection and oxidative stresses in SCD patients. The experiment was performed as randomized controlled trials (RCT) with parallel design. The participated SCD patients were all adults (from 18 to 47 year-old) with low plasma zinc level. They were equally divided into two groups, where one intervention group was treated with supplements Zinc Acetate, while another control group received placeboes. This was done in double-blinded manner. Patient’s blood and body statues were closely monitored during the experiment. The trial last three months in total, and the outcomes clearly supported the hypothesis. As the plasma zinc level increased significantly in intervention group, the number of infection incidences and oxidative stresses were all significantly decreased comparing to those in control group.
Since it is known that sickle cell disease (SCD) patients are particularly vulnerable to infectious factors and oxidative stresses, I find that the trial evidence indeed showed and emphasized the importance of zinc supplement in SCD patients. Besides this, it also provided a potential possibility to develop a new treatment scheme for the disease. It should also be appreciated that authors pointed out the risk of copper deficiency as side effect due to long-term zinc supplements intake. However, there are few drawbacks exist. For example, the total experiment duration is too short, which might result in the conceal of some underlying risks or crucial information. Additionally, the patient age group could be considered narrow since it only contained adults. Together these would contribute to potential minor bias on the result. Nonetheless, according to the research results, the conclusion that zinc supplement can be beneficial to SCD patients is undeniable.