G6PD is an X-linked gene that provides instructions for making an enzyme called glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase. This enzyme, which is active in virtually all types of cells, is involved in the normal processing of carbohydrates. It plays a critical role in red blood cells. This enzyme helps protect red blood cells from damage and premature destruction.
Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase is responsible for the first step in a series of chemical reactions that convert glucose to ribose-5-phosphate. This chemical reaction produces a molecule called NADPH, which plays a role in protecting cells from potentially harmful reactive oxygen molecules. Reactions involving NADPH produce compounds that prevent reactive oxygen species from building up to toxic levels within cells. The production of NADPH by glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase is essential in red blood cells, which are particularly susceptible to damage by reactive oxygen species because they lack other NADPH-producing enzymes.
Who needs this test?
Anyone receiving high dose Vitamin C or who has never had high dose Vit C. Males are at greater risk than females because it is carried on the X gene. Required if Male AND of African, Asian or Middle Eastern descent.