Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency (sometimes also called G6PD deficiency, or favism) is a hereditary disease. This means it is passed on through the genes from a parent to the child. It leads to a form of anaemia. There are some means to treat it, though the focus of the doctors now lies on prevention (avoiding parents passing it on to their child). As it is linked to the X chromosome, most people who suffer from it are male.
Sufferers can not make the enzyme glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase. This will mean the circulation of sugar in their body is different. More red blood cells will be destroyed because of it. About 400 million people suffer from this condition. Very often, it can be found in regions where there is also malaria. This is because the red blood cells found in people with favism are not targeted by malaria.
This condition may result from an allergy to alkaloids in Vicia faba (Faba Bean, Broad bean, Windsor bean).