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Thalassemia is an group of inherited blood disorders where the gene for hemoglobin production is defective. Specifically, Thalassemia Minor is where the defective gene is inherited from only one parent, so there is one normal gene and one defective gene present. People with Thalassemia minor usually have mild anemia.

More severe forms of Thalassemia (for example Thalassemia Major) are treated with folic acid supplements

Doctors use three standard treatments for moderate and severe forms of thalassemia. These include blood transfusions, iron chelation (ke-LAY-shun) therapy, and folic acid supplements. Other treatments have been developed or are being tested, but they're used much less often.

While looking for information online about Thalassemia Minor I found several reports of people with Thalassemia Minor being prescribed folic acid supplements by their doctors. Some people even claim folic acid is beneficial or needed for patients with all forms of Thalassemia, including Thalassemia Minor. (Examples: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

"Folic acid, which is needed to produce red blood cells. A person with thalassemia needs folic acid supplements because red blood cells are destroyed faster than normal. As a result, the body often uses up its stores of this vitamin. "

Wikipedia says

Thalassemia may co-exist with other deficiencies such as folic acid (or folate, a B-complex vitamin) and iron deficiency (only in thalassemia minor).

But that line doesn't have a citation.

Most research I saw was on folic acid supplements in Thalassemia Major patients, not Minor.

My question is, is there any actual evidence that people with Thalassemia Minor should be taking folic acid supplements? Is there any evidence people with Thalassemia Minor need more folic acid then healthy people? Is there any evidence that folic acid supplementation results in any reduction in anemia or anemia related symptoms in Thalassemia Minor patients? Has this even ever been studied?

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-1: This is a pretty personal medically oriented question. You may not have Thalasssemia yourself, but because bad advice on here can lead to very severe side-effects, I'd prefer it if you asked a qualified physician who handles Thalassemia cases. –  MCM Oct 29 '12 at 22:41

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