An open-label, randomized, parallel-group comparative study of the efficacy of sorghum bicolor extract in preoperative anemia

Nutrition. 2017 Jan;33:113-117. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2016.05.005. Epub 2016 May 18.


Objective: Anemia in patients presenting for elective surgery is associated with increased morbidity, allogeneic blood transfusion, and delay of surgery. Extract of sorghum bicolor has been shown to have hemopoietic, immune-stimulating, and antioxidant effects in rats and in patients with HIV. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of the extract in patients with preoperative anemia booked for myomectomy.

Methods: Consenting patients (N = 66) were randomly assigned to two groups. The test group (n = 34) was given folic acid 5 mg/d, 200 mg iron tablet three times daily, and 500 mg/d of the extract. The control group (n = 32) was given the same doses of folic acid and iron for a period of 3 wk. Blood samples were taken at baseline and weekly for full blood cell count and liver and kidney function tests. Participants were screened for tuberculosis, HIV, hepatitis, and sickle cell anemia.

Results: Increases in red blood cell count, hematocrit, and hemoglobin concentration in participants in the test group were highly significant (P < 0.0002, P < 0.0001, and P < 0.0001, respectively). Participants in the control group had a significant increase in the hemoglobin concentration (P > 0.04). The changes in liver enzymes, urea, and creatinine for participants in the test group were within the normal ranges.

Conclusion: The addition of the extract of sorghum bicolor to routine hematinics is superior to the use of routine hematinics alone. Although the difference is not statistically significant, the extract will correct preoperative anemia in an additional 15% of the patients.

Keywords: Erythropoiesis; Hematinics; Myomectomy; Preoperative anemia; Sorghum bicolor.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anemia / complications
  • Anemia / drug therapy*
  • Blood Transfusion
  • Creatinine / metabolism
  • Elective Surgical Procedures
  • Erythrocyte Count
  • Female
  • Folic Acid / pharmacology
  • Folic Acid / therapeutic use
  • Hematinics / pharmacology
  • Hematinics / therapeutic use*
  • Hematocrit
  • Hematologic Tests*
  • Hemoglobins / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Iron / pharmacology
  • Iron / therapeutic use
  • Liver / drug effects
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Middle Aged
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use
  • Preoperative Care*
  • Sorghum*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Urea / metabolism
  • Uterine Myomectomy
  • Young Adult


  • Hematinics
  • Hemoglobins
  • Plant Extracts
  • Urea
  • Folic Acid
  • Creatinine
  • Iron