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 October 25, 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 October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) The World Health Organization said on Friday that millions of doses of two experimental Ebola vaccines could be ready for use in 2015 and five more experimental vaccines would start being tested in March. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) An emergency room doctor who recently returned to the city after treating Ebola patients in West Africa has tested positive for the virus. He's quarantined in a hospital. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
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