About the study
Wasting is a common and significant problem in sickle cell anaemia (SCA) that correlates with
poorer clinical outcome such as frequent painful crises, acute chest syndrome and sub normal
resistance to infection. Thus, improvement of nutritional status in SCA holds the potential
of ameliorating the course of the disease. Elevated haemolysis and its effects are associated
with hypermetabolism and have resulted in higher rates of protein breakdown and synthesis,
and energy expenditure. Offering more food has not optimized nutritional status and metabolic
performance in free-living patients with SCA. Moreover, appetite might be suppressed.
Supplementation with β-hydroxy-β-methylbutyrate (HMB), which is produced in the body from
leucine, has been shown to have inhibitory effect on protein breakdown and to promote lean
tissue synthesis in humans with sarcopenia. Also, HMB has been implicated as an ergogenic
tool to promote exercise performance and skeletal muscle hypertrophy. Therefore, the
investigators hypothesize that in individuals with SCA, an intervention of resistance
exercise with HMB supplement will have a greater enhancing effect on muscle mass and strength
compared to receiving resistance exercise without HMB.