April 16, 2012
What is G6PD? How does it affect the infant?How is it associated with Heena?
G6PD – Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency is an inherited condition,and any infant who is diagnosed with this condition MUST NOT have henna. It is a recessive x-chromosome sex-linked inheritable trait.The most common medical problem associated with glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency is hemolytic anemia, which occurs when red blood cells are destroyed faster than the body can replace them.
If males have that trait on their x chromosome, they will be affected. If both of a female’s x chromosomes are G6PD deficient, they will be affected.The populations that have this trait are mostly in the Middle East and North Africa.Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency is a genetic disorder that occurs most often in males. That might be the reason why men rarely have henna,extensivly or in small applications, while women have extensive and frequent henna in those regional traditions.
Henna can cause severe anemia in G6PD deficient infants by penetrating their thin, fragile skin of infants and causing oxidative haemolysis of their blood cells. Hennaing a newborn is NOT a safe practice it can cause hyperbilirubinemia- a serious risk to newborns, potentially causing brain damage, and anything that tends to raise
bilirubin levels should be avoided! Henna has Lawsone dye, 2-hydroxy-1,4 napthaquinone. The structure of this molecule is similar to one of the naphthalene metabolites, 1,4 napthoquinone, a strong oxidant of G6PD-deficient red cells.So Its not safe to heena the infants because henna may be absorbed through the thin fragile newborn skin and destroy blood cells. The liver of a newborn is not able to create new blood cells as easily as that of an older child. Older children are not at risk for hyperbilirubinemia as are newborns, because their skin and livers are more completely developed. Henna is NOT a sterile product, it is a plant leaf, harvested and powdered, and some henna’s are contaminated as one might expect of an uncleaned agricultural product.Therefore, a cautious person should avoid hennaing an infant.
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