Wednesday, March 01, 2006

[Cyclelicious] 3/01/2006 11:57:55 AM

Had me worried there, for a minute! Synthetic EPO or natural, there are long term risks associated with it, like the Heart attack duem to blood turbidity(TOO THICK) as well as Haemopoiesis cycle damage and production and release of immature blood cells leading to an eventual degradation of O2/CO2 exchange. Here's an extract from

EPO is also known as Epoetin or Erythropoietin it is the best known of this class of drugs, which stimulate erythropoiesis which is the formation of red blood cells.

EPO enhances athletic performance by increasing the supply of oxygen to muscle tissue and is in particular useful in endurance sports such as long distance cycling, distance running, cross country skiing. It also enables the athlete to recover faster from an endurance event.

While this substance is naturally produced in the body and it can also be made by recombinant DNA technology. It is pharmacologically classified as a haematopoietic growth factor which means it promotes the growth of red blood cells in the body. Red blood cells carry oxygen through the body. EPO is used clinically in the management of anemia associated with chronic renal failure in dialysis and predialysis patients, in conjunction with other treatments for HIV and as a part of a drug-treatment regime for those undergoing chemotherapy.

The abuse of EPO by athletes can have particularly serious consequences as its abuse can result in changes in thickness of the blood thus affecting the rate at which blood flows through the body. This can be further exacerbated by dehydration potentially leading to a life-threatening situation for the athlete. The effects of EPO is often measured by a haematocrit reading which is a measure of the volume percentage of the red blood cells in blood. Haematocrit readings above 55% have been reported to result in coronary and cerebral circulatory problems.

Other side effects include iron overload, flu-like symptoms such as headache and joint pain and high blood pressure.


Erythropoietin, or EPO, is another steroid alternative used in the international sports community although it has seen limited abuse in the United States. EPO, approved for treating anemias associated with chronic renal failure and zidovudine (AZT) therapy in HIV-infected patients, stimulates bone marrow to produce red blood cells. The hormone appeals to athletes because they tire less easily when taking it and because it is undetectable by tests presently used.

"It (EPO) increases the red blood cell count, and therefore the athlete is able to absorb more oxygen and increase stamina- the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood system is just unbelievable," Leggett says.

But EPO use is not without risk. As the body's red blood cell count rises and the blood thickens, blood clots, heart attack, or stroke could result. Abuse of EPO is especially risky among marathoners and long-distance bicyclists. As these athletes compete, Leggett explains, they lose body fluids, including blood fluids. Reducing blood fluids concentrates the already abnormally high red blood cell count, which can lead to polycythemia, an abnormal increase in circulating red blood cells. "EPO can turn their blood to the consistency of Jell-O," he says.
Severe Penalties

Here are some potential health effects of drugs and other substances-ranging from the mildest to the most severe-used as alternatives to anabolic steroids.

* greasy skin
* headache
* severe acne
* premature balding
* bloating associated with water retention
* dizziness
* chills
* drowsiness
* nausea
* vomiting
* muscle tremors
* fever
* fast heart rate
* slowed heart rate
* bloody diarrhea
* seizure-like movements
* lowered blood pressure
* breathing difficulty
* breathing cessation
* blood clots
* cardiovascular problems
* liver disease
* cancer
* heart attack
* stroke
* death

Sorry about the lengthy comment, but I think it needed to be shown. I normally don't metablog on others blogs!

Posted by Tom Stormcrowe to Cyclelicious at 3/01/2006 11:57:55 AM