Can beef make a difference? - ITP Support Assoc...

ITP Support Association

3,641 members1,799 posts

Can beef make a difference?


I have been doing some research over the year's . I have found that me being a vegetarian since age 10 may have something to do with the ITP. I try to eat fresh raw green veggies as much as possible. If you do eat meat beef particularly some say this helps to raise your platelet count. Has anyone found this? A friend on the east coast was told by her Dr to eat lean beef and her count came up. She said without other treatment that the Dr told her there's something in beef that helps. Any opinions on this ?

17 Replies

Well I'm a meat eater and I have ITP so that theory is wrong. Incidentally I never eat vegetables, hate them, so food is not really the cause, more likely environmental. My journey started after a bout of food poisoning but luckily i have it mildly so am never hospitalized. Whenever i have been anaemic (usually during pregnancy) i was told by specialists to eat beef to boost the red cells, never heard of it boosting platelets though.

Being vegetarian will not cause ITP. But if you are ok with eating meat, please try Goat spleen 2-3 times a week, if available in your country. Also Goat or beef liver is good. Luckily in my country this was available in the fresh market, and in fact it was the first time I had when my platelets were down post illness.. I did have other dietary changes along with medication that also helped in elevating the platelets to normal count.. I heard in some villages raw fresh goat spleen is given to kids with blood related issues. That is very extreme, and I did not go for it even when some of my relatives suggested. I got the fresh meat from market and cooked just like any other recipes and it tasted better than liver.

apparently its used in other remote parts of the world as well.. lamb meat also works. No need to eat it raw, as its risky if not fresh.

One thing to keep in mind for those who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet is the potential for the impact it may have on Vitamin B9 and B12 levels.

The following link explains a bit more about that ....

Thanks for your input and suggestion.

Sadly there is no evidence at all that specific diets/nutrition cause or help with ITP. The research just has not been carried out to completely prove anything either way.

Those of us living with ITP should definitely avoid aspirin, ibuprofen and quinine.

What we do know is that a balanced diet of fresh produce containing plenty of vegetables and fruit with lean meat, fish and meals prepared at home is the best we can do for our overall health and our immune systems.

Also important is drinking plenty of water. General guideline amounts here in the UK are about 1.8 litres for men and 1.5 litres for women.

Avoiding too much pre prepared food, take away meals etc can only be a good thing too in that they often contain higher amounts of fats, salts and sugars which are not good for us.

The following links may be of interest..

1. The ITP Support Association - Research by Addenbrookes Hospital Cambridge UK into food and ITP -

2. The PDSA article on ITP and diet/lifestyle -

3. Future Learn - a list of FREE online courses about nutrition -

NickyD in reply to Anthonyh7

Hi Anthony

You are a font of knowledge as ever. Hope you are ok.


Rules out gin and tonic then, as well as bitter lemon to drink. If the anti malarial drug that Trump touted as being effective against COVID is found to work, then that is quinine based.

Yes quinine has been used as an anti malarial treatment for many years, initially by the British in days of Empire. The British mixed gin with it because it was so bitter and in so doing created one of the classic cocktails/drinks.

It is made from the bark of the Cinchona tree, which has often been referred to as the "fever tree" as of course quinine acts as a malaria treatment. In turn a manufacturer of soft drinks, including tonic water and other mixers, here in the UK goes by the name of Fevertree.

Sadly for us ITP folk, quinine lowers the platelet count so we should avoid it.

It is found in tonic water, bitter lemon and some other soft drinks so it is as well to carefully check any labels.

I know....I'm sad about the bitter lemon, as I liked it, but haven't that or anything with tonic for the 25 years I've had this now. I'd also read tahini (a chief ingredient in hummus) can depress platelets.

Yes tahini can be an issue.

Tdeller89 in reply to Anthonyh7

Thank you so much for the information. I greatly appreciate it

Yes thank you. Platelet count 193 last Weds, continuing 500mg twice per day of MMF. Only other meds are Folate and Vitamin B12 supplement. All else in fine fettle.

I have stopped shielding but still very, very cautious and only go out for essentials & to places which are not crowded.

I wear a mask all the time out of the house and of course observe the 2 metres social distancing at all times. On immune suppressing drugs we just can't be too careful.

Hope you are well in what can only be described as the most bizarre year I have experienced, with or without ITP !

Kulu123 in reply to Anthonyh7

I am also have itp.just want to ask you whn u taking this medicine ur WBC also increase or serum glurbin

Tdeller89 in reply to Kulu123

My white cell count is always high. Not by much and hasn't increased anymore then that since I started the medication.

Kulu123 in reply to Tdeller89

Thank you.

Thank you so much for the information and input. I will check those links 🙂

You may also like...