Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Hair Follicles Can Manufacture Blood-Doping and Life-Saving Substance, Erythropoietin

Date:
September 25, 2007
Source:
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
Summary:
A stunning discovery may make blood doping and the treatment of severe anemia as easy as washing your hair. Researchers show that hair follicles on people's head have the potential to become erythropoietin factories. EPO, the hormone responsible for the creation of red blood cells, is used illegally to enhance athletic performance and legally to treat severe anemia associated with kidney failure and chemotherapy.

A stunning discovery by German scientists may make blood doping and the treatment of severe anemia as easy as washing your hair.

Related Articles


In the October print issue of The FASEB Journal, researchers show that the estimated 100,000 hair follicles on each person's head have the potential to become erythropoietin (EPO) factories. EPO, the hormone primarily responsible for the creation of red blood cells, is used illegally to enhance athletic performance and is used legally to treat severe anemia associated with kidney failure and chemotherapy.

"The ultimate hope is that we'll be able to up the production of natural EPO in our hair follicles whenever we need it, safely and at a low cost," said Ralf Paus, senior author of the study. "Our study also highlights that ancient hormones are engaged in many more activities than conventional medical wisdom has assigned to them."

Normally, EPO is created and released by the kidneys. When the kidneys fail, or when someone undergoes chemotherapy, this process is disrupted and severe anemia occurs. Today, most people are treated using synthetic EPO to bring red blood cells back to normal levels, but synthetic versions of this hormone are relatively expensive.

Blood-doping athletes use synthetic EPO to help their bodies bring red blood cells to above-normal levels. This increased concentration of red blood cells allows the blood to deliver more oxygen to muscles than normal, significantly improving endurance and performance.

The major danger in boosting the number of red blood cells above normal is that as the blood thickens with red blood cells, the possibility of heart attack increases.

"This study opens doors to an entirely new approach for treating EPO-related anemia," said Gerald Weissmann, MD, Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal. "The study also is important because it suggests that there is still much to learn about 'well known' processes in the body."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. "Hair Follicles Can Manufacture Blood-Doping and Life-Saving Substance, Erythropoietin." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 September 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070920111345.htm>.
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. (2007, September 25). Hair Follicles Can Manufacture Blood-Doping and Life-Saving Substance, Erythropoietin. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070920111345.htm
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. "Hair Follicles Can Manufacture Blood-Doping and Life-Saving Substance, Erythropoietin." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070920111345.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Christmas Kissing Good for Health

Christmas Kissing Good for Health

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) Scientists in Amsterdam say couples transfer tens of millions of microbes when they kiss, encouraging healthy exposure to bacteria. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) Cambridge scientists have unravelled the genetic code of a rare tapeworm that lived inside a patient's brain for at least four year. Researchers hope it will present new opportunities to diagnose and treat this invasive parasite. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A touch-free phone developed in Israel enables the mobility-impaired to operate smart phones with just a movement of the head. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) Polish scientists isolate bacteria from earthworm intestines which they say may be used in antibiotics and cancer treatments. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins