By William Misner, Ph.D.
William Misner, Ph.D.
From 1996 until his retirement in 2006, Dr. Bill worked full-time as Director of Research & Development at Hammer Nutrition. Among his many accomplishments, both academically and athletically, he is an AAMA Board Certified Alternative Medicine Practitioner and the author of "What Should I Eat? A Food-Endowed Prescription For Well Being".
How does food and supplements effectively increase EPO namely the body's oxygen carrying capacity?
There is a distinct difference between unethical, harmful EPO-blood doping interventions and safe nutrition that effectively increases individual oxygen carrying capacity without compromising the athlete's health or integrity.
EPO levels up to 48% safely improve performance in males, however beyond this level, the risk of compromised health increases. What nutritional protocol safely increases natural production of EPO?
ERYTHROPOIETIN (EPO) is a naturally occurring hormone that stimulates the production of red blood cells (RBC). Erythropoietin is a glycoprotein hormone produced in the kidneys containing a 165-amino acids structure. Most erythropoietin is produced by the kidney's renal cortex. But some is also produced in the liver (mainly in the fetus), the brain and uterus. Erythropoietin production is stimulated by low oxygen levels in interstitial cells of the peritubular capillaries in the kidneys. Following its production in the kidneys, EPO travels to the bone marrow where it stimulates production of red blood cells. In the absence of erythropoietin, only a few RBC's are formed by the bone marrow. EPO increases the blood-oxygen carrying capacity but only up to a point, but beyond, it may compromise health and hinder blood flow dynamics with performance-limiting implications.
EXCESS EPO CAN BE LETHAL
The margin between effective and lethal quantities of EPO is very narrow. EPO use can be LETHAL (many athletes seeking to derive its performance-enhancing effects have died from incorrectly-administered EPO...Inappropriate use of exogenous Erythropoietin can cause elevated Hematocrit levels (i.e. thickened blood is difficult to pump). Elevated EPO increases the risk of heart attack (due to the increase in hematocrit). Exogenous EPO is totally cleared from the urine within 48 hours of its administration and is cleared from the blood within 72 hours of its administration (although its physiological effects prevail for several months).