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Hematology/ITP and Hemp Protein Powder


Hi Dr. Kulkarni,
I am a 42 y/o male who enjoys bodybuilding as a hobby. I was diagnosed with ITP when I was 37.  Cause unknown.  My platelet count cycles between very low and the normal range. I have never had any health problems at all, other than occasional bruises and patches of red dots coming and going on my body and mild hemorrhoids. I eat a clean diet and exercise regularly. I supplement my protein with Whey Isolate protein powder. I recently stopped eating meat (I still eat fish & eggs) and drinking milk, and I want to stop using Whey protein too, but I need a substitute. Hemp looks like a great option because it is a complete protein with all of the essential amino acids. However in my research on line I see that hemp might inhibit platelet aggregation. Do you know anything about this?  With all of the other "possible" dietary or environmental factors that could be causing or contributing to my ITP, does it make sense to NOT use Hemp protein powder because it "might" inhibit platelets?  Thanks, Hank

Hello Hank,
Warm welcome to you!
Its been wel-established that Poly unstaurated Fatty Acids (PUFA) are known to reduce the platelet aggregation thus reducing cardiac risk. And Hemp contains good amount of PUFA. Considering the fact that you are a known case of ITP its not suggested to use Hemp for body building purpose. May be a normal person with ITP could include hemp in diet as a dietary source of protein. But since you want to use it as a substitute for whey, it could produce life threatening adverse effects. Because the more hemp you consume to grow muscle mass, your body is filled with more PUFA putting you at the potential risk. So try to avoid Hemp is my recommendation.

Thanking you!


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Dr.Shrinidhi Kulkarni


I can answer all questions related to hematology. RBC, WBC, Platelet and blood forming organs etc and related questions. hematology also includes blood proteins, hemoglobin and disorders related to clotting abnormalities. So questions about all aspects of hematology are welcome!


Working as a Doctor in Primary Health care Centre.

KIMS Banglore

MBBS, Internship in Internal Medicine

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