Effects of Red Guava Juice on Hemoglobin and Hematocrit Levels in Female Adolescent Students with Anemia
Background: Anemia is a major public health problem. Iron deficiency anemia is the most common form of anemia due to malnutrition especially in developing countries. Adolescents are one of the major groups of risk for anemia. The condition can lead to impaired brain functions resulting to a decrease in learning ability and academic performance. Medicinal foods, in particular, red guava, have been used for decades to treat several ailments of humans. There is paucity of human data on the effects of red guava on anemic conditions. The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of red guava juice on hemoglobin and hematocrit levels with iron supplementation in adolescent female students with anemia.
Methods: The study was approved by the Ethical Committee of the Dharma Husada Institute of Health Sciences, Bandung, Indonesia. The study was conducted among high school students of Tomo Secondary School, Sumedang, Bandung, Indonesia. Out of 236 female adolescent students, a total of 32 (15-18 years, mean age ± standard deviation, 16.45 ± 3.12) had iron deficiency anemia. The anemic students were randomized into two groups: red guava group (n=16) and iron supplementation group (n=16).
Results: Both red guava and iron supplementations resulted in a significant increase in both hemoglobin and hematocrit levels. The effectiveness of both was not different each other.
Conclusion: The results of this study suggest that red guava juice was effective as iron supplementation in increasing hemoglobin and hematocrit levels.