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Abracadabra... Just A Short Bike Ride!

CONTACT ME: editor@rajeun.net

Welcome to Ellis Toussier-Ades Bigio-Antebi's

A Bicycle Rider and EPO

by Animal (anonymous)

Commentary by Ellis Toussier

LEA ESTA PAGINA EN ESPAÑOL

Introduction:

This article was submitted by Animal, anonimous, in early September of 1999. It has been edited to make it readable, without changing Animal's folkloric language. This article is for educational purposes only and does not provide any medical advice.


Disclaimer: From hear on out I/me/my/mine are referring to SOMEONE ELSE. I just chose to write this in first person because it is easier. I don't know where to get EPO nor do I sell it. I WILL NOT divulge dosages of EPO or glycerol, either, because I won't be responsible for other's stupidity, nor will I further their understanding and willingness to plagiarize my work.

From the results that I have gotten, I find it rather amazing that more hasn't been out there in print about this stuff. Probably because most of the users are idiots and only do what the doctors tell them to do and they don't know nor are they smart enough to write about it. It also seems to me that there is more happening in the body than just increased blood cells. From the recovery side which is most important to me, EPO is very steroid-like and in fact is BETTER than steroids.

Ok, all that being said, I took 'some' EPO EOD for 2 weeks before yesterday. My last dose was 5 days ago. I was on nothing else. No hGH, no IGF-1, no AS, nothing. 4 days after my last RWR dose I tested my BP (Blood Pressure) and it was 143, 144, and 139 on consecutive days. My heart rate was 83, 77, and 66. On the 7th day from my last RWR dose my blood pressure dropped to 133 and 130 and my heart rate was 53 and 50. All those readings were taken within the same hour every day.

I think the RWR is more than stanazolol and that sure as shit sounds like hyperthyroid conditions, but that is another story. So, the good part was that my BP wasn't going up on the EPO. The literature says that you most likely won't notice an increase before 2 weeks, but remember, that is dealing with sick people.

Note: neither of the races I did had any money in them so I was not taking away anything from anybody. 10 days after my first dose of EPO, I did a race that I hadn't expected to do, but I figured why not? Might as well see if this stuff is working. Did the race and we averaged over 30mph for 50K. This was the fastest race anyone who raced it did all year for that distance. The guy I raced with was a pro and finished in the top 10 at the US nationals road race this year and he was surprised at the speed. In other words, he can ride VERY LONG distances at the Tour de France level with no problem. He could have won this particular event with any old crappy rider on his team, but he got me! It was a team event and we won with no problem and we set a crushing pace. I didn't have my computer working so I couldn't tell how fast we were going at the time. We got off the front a couple times while lapping the field and I was happy to' hang on' and take my share of the work.

Two days later, I was talking to my team manager and he said, 'Rider 'X' said you rode a helluva race the other night. Rider 'X' tried to drop you and went as hard as he could several times and when he looked back he couldn't believe you were still there and then you pulled through!' AHAHAHA and it gets better. Reports from the rest of the field said we were doing 35mph plus in the process of lapping the field. That's only 10 days after the first dose and a day after the last dose.

The point of EPO, however, is recovery and the ability to do that kind of work within a couple days or even the next day. Had a hundred mile race 3 days after. Some of the better guys who raced were still shelled 3 days later and I was ready to go. After 50 miles those same riders were pretty much useless for the rest of the race.

Did I win? No as there were a couple of problems. One was with my team support car. They were supposed to meet me at mile 50 and re-supply me with water for the next 50 miles. Right about 50 a break went away, but my water was nowhere to be seen. This is big time worry for me because I have trouble with cramps in long races. Also, there was no way in hell I was going to be busting my ass without water while on EPO.

For about 5 miles I worked and we held them within a couple hundred yards and the pack was big with 70 or so riders so this was no problem. UNTIL a dumbass pulled out of the paceline into another riders front wheel. Instantly 10 guys go down at 28mph. (At the end of the race the word was that 3 guys never got up from that crash and got a trip to the hospital, not a safe sport!) I was able to avoid it, but then we sped up to 30 for a few miles and that dropped the chase group to 35 or so.

Still no sign of my water at mile 60 and then a fucking truck with a boat on it pulls out in front of us and forces us to slow down to 5-10 mph. (Thanks Mr. State Trooper who is supposed to stop all traffic!) Well, kiss that break goodbye, now and it was. The sad part is that the break only averaged around 26 mph and finished the race 4 minutes ahead of us. My water showed at mile 63 or so, but was a point when we were doing 30 mph so there was no way in hell I was going to be grabbing a bag with 2 water bottles and a coke in it at that speed. I yelled, 'Get in the car and get me that water!' 2-3 miles later they caught up and at least I wouldn't be dying on the side of the road due to dehydration and EPO induced heart attack.

Getting a hand-up from a car is always fun, when you can do it, too. You are riding at around 25-27mph and you pull over and ride on the yellow line. They pull up and hand over the goods and you hand over your empties and then bust your ass at about 30 to catch back up, but it doesn't feel bad because you know you can make it now.

Over the next 10 miles I finished 24 oz of water and was working on the second bottle. That puts us at 75 miles and I'm feeling incredibly good. The pack is looking dogged so I went around to a couple guys that I knew and asked if they were up for a break. They said no and maybe would try at 15 or 10 miles to go if I was still up to do it. I said, 'Yea, ok.' I knew I couldn't catch the break myself, but what a bunch of losers. There was no money in this race and nobody knows who finishes second! There were 7 guys up the road and all they want to do is 'sprint in with the pack'. WHO FUCKING CARES ABOUT 8th PLACE YOU STUPID FUCKS! What a bunch of losers.

12 miles to go comes up and I'm sick of this shit. I'm going to make this bunch of losers hurt, now and this is where the EPO was it's best and where I noticed it most. I attacked this bunch of wheel suckers about 10 times over those 12 miles. I went off the front at about 30mph and made them chase like hell. Then when they slowed to 25 or so I went again and again. Each time I would say to the guys in the front, 'Time to suffer!'.

Hahaha! I didn't win, but it was fun to have people come up to you at the end of the race and say, 'That was a damn good race you son of a bitch! You beat the hell out of us over the last part of the race!' At least I got some satisfaction.

After the race, the driver of my 'team' car says to me, 'So why didn't you make your own break' I said, 'Right, You are supposed to be there at mile 50 and don't show until 60. I'm on EPO and I'm out of water and don't know if I'm getting more and you want me to put out that type of effort. GET A CLUE, GOOF!'

Ok, so where does all that lead us re: EPO. The recovery from the previous race was great! The recovery during the race was awesome. I could literally go until I had 'substrate exhaustion', yet my legs never burned! When I returned to the group it was only 1-2 minutes before I was recovered and was able to go again. Never experienced anything like that and even blood buffers haven't kept my legs from burning. Additionally, lactic acid makes me really tired and my eyelids even feel heavy after a few of this type of exertions, but I had none of that!

Next day. I had no intention of riding, but I did, and I felt great! I couldn't even tell that I did 100 miles yesterday. That is kick ass and I have never ridden the day after this race. Furthermore, I was able to ride at normal training pace!

This is why I think there is more to EPO than we are lead to believe. 24 hour recovery from energy exhaustion can't come from increased oxygen in the blood. I also had no soreness, and no tiredness or heavy legs. Imagine if you could recover like this after doing sets of hundreds. Cost aside, this could be a good diet drug and that leads to one of the only problems I had. After eating after workouts and after the races I would get slightly nauseated to the point of taking some 'anti-nausea medicine.'

This could be part of why those cyclists are such sticks. You just don't feel like eating and when you do you get a little sick.

Well, that's about it except for the fact that this was only 2 weeks after the first dose of EPO. I'm not dead yet, so I plan to race again next week to see if the hematocrit levels keep going up as I expect it will. The highlights of this are: No burning, able to work to total failure, able to recover from that type of exertion in a very short time, no lactic acid symptoms such as sleepiness or heavy limbs, no muscle soreness and nearly much total recovery within 24 hours.

From an endurance recovery standpoint, I don't see how HGH and/or IGF-1 could beat this. Imagine adding some AS and thyroid to the mix. Hmmm?

EPO is tested for by measuring your hematocrit level. In my sport a positive test would be anything over 50%. There is no way to test for EPO in itself. For one, its half life is 5-6 hours and its effects last longer as I have found. 2nd is that it is the same molecule as what the body produces. I think this could help after or in between cycles or in during dieting when you are doing aerobics. I mean, anything that will let you work out harder and be less sore would be great.

Furthermore, this could apply to general Body Building as well. In my first post you see that I 'attacked' over and over. That means I went off the front at 35 and then would hold 30 mph. That is anaerobic and then aerobic with no burning. It seems to me that weight training which is mostly anaerobic would benefit and if you didn't start to burn during a set you would get all that much more work. Of course, if you didn't recognize the signs of substate failure you could drop the weights on your head, too.

As for the chemistry questions that is another book. I told a doc on this and he said this sounds like oxygen therapy whereas increased oxygen under pressure speeds healing. They use this on burn patients in some cases. As for the ability to do higher aerobic work... I always thought the anaerobic threshold was set by the cells and their ability to carry away lactic acid as well, but this appears to not be true.

If you can get more O2 into the cell it appears to be an entirely different ballgame. Granted, more oxygen will keep you from going anaerobic at the same exertion level, but going anaerobic AND NOT HAVING anaerobic symptoms indicates that the limit is the o2 level and not the ability to remove acids or convert them to energy.

Note: EPO, or erythropoietin, a drug produced to treat kidney disease, is used to increase oxygen-carrying red blood cell levels which enhance endurance.

Animal


A long distance runner wrote (Nov. 2002):

I just wanted to get back to you to confirm that everything is going ok. I'm actually only 6 days past 6 doses and I can tell the huge change in performance when running. My muscles don't get sore when doing the kinds of runs that would normally force me to have a recovery day on the next.


"The first order was fantastic. I am just under 1/2 through that order. I have tested and there is a couple of points increase. Very slow and very nice."- (e-mail received March, 2003)


Note: If you liked this article, don't miss reading Ellis Toussier's:

Hemoglobin, Hematocrit, Senility, and EPO

(it is un-be-lievable...)

The Big Five (anti-aging hormones)



"Unfortunately, EPO has some serious dangers associated with it. It is suspected to be the cause of over half a dozen deaths amongst a circle of elite Dutch cyclists. "

Ellis: YES, THIS OCCURRED IN THE EARLY 1990's AND IT IS VERY SAD. THEY MIGHT HAVE GONE OVERBOARD, RAISED THEIR HEMATOCRIT WAY ABOVE WHAT THEY SHOULD HAVE, PROBABLY WAY ABOVE 70%.

EPO has a dramatic effect on hematocrit which is the percentage of red blood cells in blood. A hematocrit of 40 means that 40% of the volume of blood is composed of red blood cells which is about normal.

Ellis: YES, 40% IS IN THE NORMAL RANGE, BUT IT IS BELOW AVERAGE AND IT IS CERTAINLY NOT OPTIMAL. MANY DOCTORS JUST LOOK AT THE RANGE OF BLOOD VALUES IN A LAB REPORT, AND IF IT IS WITHIN THE UPPER AND LOWER BOUNDS, THAT IS ALL THEY SEE AND THEY NEVER STOP TO THINK IF IT IS GOOD. THEY DON'T DISTINGUISH BETWEEN "NORMAL" AND OPTIMAL. 40% IS CLOSE TO THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION'S DEFINITION OF ANEMIA, WHICH IS HEMATOCRIT BELOW 40, OR 39%... DOCTORS WILL NOT PRESCRIBE EPO UNTIL IT FALLS TO 30%, BY WHICH TIME THEIR PATIENT IS ON HIS WAY TO SENILITY, (ACCORDING ONLY TO ME.)

Athletes not uncommonly have a higher-than-average hematocrit.

Ellis: AVERAGE FOR THE POPULATION IS 45%... 5% OF THE POPULATION HAS ABOVE 50% AND 1% OF THE POPULATION AT SEA LEVEL HAS ABOUT 54%. IN LA PAZ, BOLIVIA, AND IN THE HIMALAYAS, IT IS COMMON TO FIND HEMATOCRIT ABOVE 60% WITH NO HEALTH PROBLEM. (TOURISTS ARE THE ONES WHO HAVE A PROBLEM AT THESE ALTITUDES, BECAUSE THEY ARE "ANEMIC" COMPARED TO THE PEOPLE WHO LIVE AT THESE ALTITUDES.)

When an athlete injects EPO, their hematocrit can rise as much as 40%.

Ellis: YES, YOU CAN RAISE IT 40% OR EVEN 100% OR 200% OR MORE IF YOU NEVER FINISH... BUT YOU CAN'T ACCIDENTALLY RAISE IT BY 40%, FROM 40% TO 56%!!!

EACH STANDARD DOSE RAISES HEMATOCRIT ABOUT ONE THIRD OF ONE PERCENT, ie, .33%. SO IF A PERSON HAS HEMATOCRIT OF 40% AND INJECTS 3 SHOTS OF EPO, HE THEN HAS 41%... AFTER 12 SHOTS IN ONE MONTH, HE WOULD RAISE IT TO 44% or 45% AT THE END OF THE SERIES, WHICH IS STILL BELOW AVERAGE. OR IF A PERSON HAS AN AVERAGE 45% HEMATOCRIT, AT THE END OF THE SERIES HE WOULD HAVE 49% OR 50% WHICH IS CLOSE TO OPTIMAL, BUT STILL FAR FROM BEING DANGEROUS. IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO RAISE FROM 40% TO 56% IN ONE SHOT, AS YOU IMPLY IN YOUR STATEMENT, AND EVEN IF YOU COULD, IT WOULD STILL BE SAFE AT 56%. THE ONLY WAY TO GO FROM 40% TO 56% WOULD BE TO TAKE 48 STANDARD DOSES IN ONE DAY, AND THAT WOULD HAVE TO BE ATTEMPTED SUICIDE! I AM DEFINITELY AGAINST SUICIDE BY EPO!

SO THAT IS SIMPLY UTTERLY OUT OF THE QUESTION. IT IS ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE TO ACCIDENTALLY OR INTENTIONALLY SUICIDE BY EPO.

This results in an especially high concentration of red blood cells. The danger sets in when this hematocrit level gets too high.

Ellis: YES. AGREED... WHEN HEMATOCRIT GETS "TOO HIGH"... DO YOU KNOW WHERE THAT IS?

At this point,

THIS POINT HAS TO BE FAR ABOVE 60%, WHICH IS KNOWN TO BE SAFE AND COMMON IN LA PAZ, BOLIVIA, AND IN CITIES AND TOWNS IN THE HIMALAYAS.

blood could literally 'clog up' an artery leading to a vascular disaster in the form of a heart attack stroke, cardiac failure, or a condition called pulmonary edema; this is a form of water logging of the lungs because of left ventricular failure.

Ellis: THIS IS ANALOGOUS TO SAYING THAT DRINKING 40 GALLONS OF WATER WILL KILL YOU, SO DRINKING WATER IS DANGEROUS.

The potential for arterial accidents becomes even greater when an athlete gets dehydrated. Obviously, marathon runners and cyclists lose large amounts of fluid during competition. This loss of fluid can raise the concentration of hematocrit even more, increasing the risk of a fatality.

Ellis: THE SIMPLE WAY TO AVOID THIS IS TO MONITOR HEMATOCRIT. MY OWN HEMATOCRIT IS AT 53%, WHICH IS BELOW THE 55% WHICH I WANT TO REACH AND MAINTAIN.

EPO use is most widespread amongst endurance athletes yet a number of weightlifters have been experimenting with it.

Not to be used for more than 6 weeks.

Ellis: NOT CORRECT. YOU HAVE TO MONITOR HEMATOCRIT AND KNOW WHERE YOU ARE. YOU CAN USE IT FOREVER IF YOU WANT TO, AS I AM DOING, AS LONG AS YOU MONITOR HEMATOCRIT TO REMAIN AT A SAFE HEMATOCRIT.

Will start seeing effects after week 2.

Street Price: I don't have a clue on the street price of this compound. The late Dan Duchaine did say in his Underground BodyOpus book that the cost was more than Growth Hormone - oouch!!!

Ellis: MORE BULLSHIT. FOR MANY YEARS I DIDN'T TAKE GROWTH HORMONE BECAUSE I HAD READ THE SAME MISINFORMATION, THAT INJECTIBLE GROWTH HORMONE COSTS THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS PER MONTH AND ONLY THE VERY WEALTHY CAN AFFORD IT... WHEN I ACTUALLY BEGAN TO TAKE IT, A GOOD DOSE COST ME LESS THAN $400 PER MONTH AND TODAY THE COST HAS EVEN COME DOWN BELOW THAT.

EPO COSTS A LITTLE OVER $100 PER MONTH TO ELEVATE HEMATOCRIT, AND ABOUT HALF AS MUCH TO MAINTAIN IT AT A HEALTHY LEVEL. note that I wrote: "at a healthy level"...

The American College of Sports Medicine: "Any blood doping procedure used in an attempt to improve atheletic performance is unethical, unfair, and exposes the athelete to unwarranted and potentially serious health risks.

Ellis: I DON'T KNOW IF IT IS UNETHICAL OR UNFAIR, BUT I AGREE THAT IT EXPOSES THE ATHLETE TO UNWARRENTED SERIOUS HEALTH RISKS... IF HEMATOCRIT IS RAISED TOO HIGH. IT SEEMS TO ME THAT THIS IS A GOOD REASON WHY EPO SHOULD BE PERMITTED IN SPORTS, SO THAT ATHLETES CAN CONSULT WITH MEDICAL DOCTORS, SO THAT THEY WILL USE EPO SAFELY.

"Blood doping can improve the athelete's ability to perform submaximal and maximal endurance exercise. In addition blood doping can help reduce physiologic strain during exercise in the heat and perhaps altitude." - American College of Sports Medicine

Ellis: YES, I KNOW IT CAN IMPROVE AN ATHLETE'S ABILITY TO PERFORM ANY SPORT, EVEN CHESS, WHICH IS NOT A PHYSICAL SPORT. SO WHAT'S YOUR POINT?

YOU ARE AGAINST ATHLETES TAKING ANY MEDICINES THAT ARE POTENTIALLY SERIOUS HEALTH RISKS, AND SO AM I.

ARE YOU ALSO AGAINST THE SAFE USE OF A NATURAL SUBSTANCE THAT YOU CORRECTLY POINT OUT CAN IMPROVE THE ATHLETE'S ABILITY TO PERFORM SUBMAXIMAL AND MAXIMAL ENDURANCE EXERCISE? WHY ARE YOU AGAINST ATHLETES USING MEDICINES THAT CAN BE VERY SAFE IF THEY ARE USED CORRECTLY, UNDER THE WATCHFUL EYE OF A DOCTOR? ATHLETES ARE GOING TO USE EPO ANYWAYS, AND YOU CAN'T STOP THEM FROM DOING SO BECAUSE YOU CAN'T DETECT IT, AND IF THEY DON'T USE IT THEY KNOW THEY WILL LOSE. SO IF ALL LOSERS DON'T USE EPO, AND ALL WINNERS USE EPO, AND YOU KNOW THIS IS A FACT, WHY DO YOU INSIST ON FORBIDDING EVERYBODY FROM HAVING AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY? IT IS YOU WHO ARE RESPONSIBLE THAT ATHLETES CANNOT TAKE A SAFE HORMONE WITH THE WATCHFUL HELP OF A DOCTOR.

ATHLETES ARE TAKING THESE SUBSTANCES BECAUSE THEY WANT TO WIN AT THEIR SPORT... THAT IS WHY THEY ARE ATHLETES. THEY EAT THE BEST FOOD, THEY DRINK THE BEST VITAMINS, AND THEY TAKE THE BEST HORMONES OR MEDICINES THAT CAN IMPROVE THEIR PERFORMANCE. BUT YOU ARE FORCING THEM TO BUY THEM "UNDERGROUND" WHERE THEY ARE EXPOSED TO FAKE OR EVEN DANGEROUS MEDICINES. WHY DON'T YOU CHANGE YOUR RULES TO FIT THE REALITY, SO YOU CAN REALLY HELP MAKE THEIR SPORT SAFE?

I AM NOT AN ATHLETE, BUT EPO IS A NECESSARY HORMONE IN MY OWN ANTI-AGING PROGRAM. IT CAN, AND DOES, IMPROVE THE NON-ATHLETE'S ABILITY TO PERFORM SUBMAXIMAL AND MAXIMAL ENDURANCE EXERCISE, TOO. IT MIGHT ALSO HELP TO AVOID SENILITY, BY GETTING MORE OXYGEN TO THE BRAIN. I AM NOT INTERESTED IN BEATING ANYBODY ON THE TRACK FIELD, OR BREAKING ANY RECORDS. I AM ONLY INTERESTED IN KEEPING MY MIND YOUNG AND MY BODY HEALTHY, AND I CAN DO THIS WITH GROWTH HORMONE, TESTOSTERONE, AND EPO, TO NAME A FEW...

YOU SEEM TO ALSO BE AGAINST MY KEEPING MY BODY AND MIND YOUNG AND HEALTHY... SO I WOULD LIKE TO ASK YOU TO PLEASE MIND YOUR OWN BODY, AND LEAVE MY HEALTH CHOICES FOR MY OWN BODY UP TO ME, AND DON'T WRITE ANY MORE MISINFORMATION, LIKE YOU ALREADY HAVE... - Ellis

I read an article that says that higher hematocrit is related to HIGHER death rates among end stage renal, and heart attack patients.

I read that article too... The heart attacks are most likely attributable to the stents that these people have to have implanted for dialysis. It makes sense, if your blood is thicker it is more likely to clot around some piece of plastic, then it might flick off and head for the heart. That situation would not be an issue in a normal healthy person.

The striking part of that article is that the patients with higher hematocrits reported higher scores in "overall well being"...even two years out... -Ellis

A bicycle racer wrote: Everyone likes to point to the Dutch cyclists who died in their sleep as a reason why EPO is dangerous. First off, those guys were using EPO when it first emerged, and they didn't know how to use it. They were pushing their hematocrit levels into the 70's!!!!!!!!

Then they were going out and doing 5-6 hour races and getting terribly dehydrated. Then they would go home and go to sleep and their heart rates were going down to their very-fit nighttime rates of 30 to 40 beats per minute. If that doesn't spell disaster, I don't know what does.

I read a report that suggested that at one point the entire professional cycling circuit in Europe was using EPO regularly. The current reports suggest that 70% are still regularly using it to stay pegged at the 50% limit set by the UCI. - anonymous

I have heard that the Federations know that 100% of all top cyclists use EPO... (of course, this is only hearsay... I cannot prove it...) or else they simply could not be among the top cyclists... instead of changing their rules to fit the reality, they keep their bad rules and try to toughen the controls with urine and blood tests... But this makes all top cyclists cheaters... it also means all athletes cannot go to a doctor to take EPO, so they cannot be under the better care they could have if they went to a doctor. - Ellis


A FRIEND WROTE THIS:

I am now curious what rise in hematocrit one might see in a long endurance event due to water loss. I think the 50% cycling federations set is ridiculously low, as some people at sea level have 50-52% naturally. What about those people from altitude (some of them you said could have 60%)? Or sea-level folks who go to altitude for the beneficial blood profile effects?

Also, Ellis, there is a hypoxic altitude tent system now for athletes. They sleep in an altitude-simulated environment and gain points in hematocrit due to natural EPO release from hypoxic conditioning.

Ellis: yes, but I don't like the idea of taking oxygen OUT of the air I breathe... I much prefer to take EPO... sleeping in an oxygen poor atmosphere must definitely be BAD for our health, although maybe it really is only equivalent to climbing up a mountain to sleep... I prefer EPO...

I'm just not convinced the 50% limit is the "safe" level. My opinion is that it is artificially low.

I commend you on all the work you have done. You are truly committed to better yours and others' well-being. I too believe in many of your theories (glucose theory of aging...). I am especially interested in the relationship between diminishing hematocrit and senile dementia. I really think you're on to something there. I have discussed it with several "accredited" doctors and even those skeptical ones were intrigued.

As for iron raising hematocrit... iron itself won't raise hematocrit in healthy individuals. Iron only helps in cases of iron-deficiency anemia. I know an athlete who lost substantial iron levels, as measured by his low Ferritin score - a measure of stored iron, the iron your body needs to produce new red blood cells. This happened due to a combination of bad factors: 1) He was cutting calories to lose weight and didn't eat enough iron-rich foods, 2) He was exercising in extreme summer heat - your body sweats out iron, and 3) He was losing some red blood cell mass due to hemolysis - the crushing of red blood cells when the muscles contract during exercise (runners are susceptible to this due to the crushing of RBC's each time their foot hits the pavement).

The combination of all of these factors led him into an anemic state. Interestingly, EPO is not beneficial unless there are adequate stores of iron already in the system. Iron enters the system very slowly and at a terribly poor absorption rate. Note this: Prior to starting a patient on Procrit(r) the patient's iron stores should be evaluated. Transferrin saturation (serum iron divided by iron binding capacity) should be a least 20% and ferritin 100 ng/mL. Virtually all patients receiving Procrit(r) will eventually require supplemental iron therapy to increase or maintain transferrin saturation to levels which will adequately support erythropoieses stimulated by Procrit(r).

He was at 28 ng/mL for ferritin, so no amount of EPO would have helped him then.

Ellis, one more thing I'd like to share with you about iron... While iron is necessary for the body, it is a necessary evil! It is highly toxic and must be used carefully as a supplement. I found this online:

If you need to take iron supplements, never take ferrous sulfate. In spite of the fact that many physicians and pharmacists still recommend it, ferrous sulfate should be regarded as a poison. As soon as ferrous sulfate dissolves in your stomach, the iron component becomes a pure free radical and begins doing damage. Some antioxidant vitamins will attack and neutralize this free radical iron, but then they are not available for counteracting other free radical damage.

Ferrous fumarate and ferrous gluconate are a somewhat better choice as an iron supplement; but some iron supplements have been designed to minimize the potential of free radical damage. Cardiovascular Research sells bovine ferritin. Since ferritin is a protein, it will be partially broken down in the digestive tract, but much of the iron in the Cardiovascular Research product should remain bound to protein, and should not cause as much free radical damage as conventional iron supplements.

The safest iron supplements are probably the iron-polysaccharide complexes: essentially iron bound up in a complex sugar molecule. Two pharmaceutical companies sell this type of iron supplement, which was specifically designed to minimize the free radical problem. One of these supplements is NIFEREX-150, made by Central Pharmaceuticals of Seymour, Indiana. NIFEREX-150 contains 150 mg. of elemental iron. Central also makes an excellent multi-vitamin and mineral supplement called NIFEREX Daily Tablets, which contains 18 mg. of elemental iron in the iron-polysaccharide complex, along with other important nutrients. Mayrand Pharmaceuticals of Greensboro, N.C. also makes an iron-polysaccharide complex called NU-IRON-150.

Both of these iron-polysaccharide complex products are available without a prescription, although few stores carry them in stock. Most pharmacies can special order either product. NIFEREX is generally easier to obtain than NU-IRON.

The important thing to remember about iron is that too little or too much can cause devastating health problems. One should be more concerned, though, if serum iron and ferritin levels are a little high than if they are a little low. As stated earlier, the generally accepted "normal" ranges of serum iron and ferritin are higher than what they should be for optimal health. If iron or ferritin levels are slightly high, the best therapy may be to simply donate blood occasionally.



Don't miss my incredible page: Hemoglobin, Hematocrit, EPO, and Senility:

http://www.rajeun.net/hb.html

- Ellis Toussier

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