Is Michele Ferrari recommending bloodtranfusions as treatment on his webpage???

Oct 17, 2012
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I read this article on 53x12.com. I am no expert but to me it looks like Michele Ferrari is recommending the bloodtransfusions, that made him so infamous, not only to athletes, but also to regular people like you and me. Am I right? And what does this say about him? Is he implying that what he does is acutally healthy for the athletes involved and that more people should try it?

http://www.53x12.com/do/show?page=article&id=114

It is well known that the donation of a unit of blood (450ml) stimulates the natural production of erythropoietin (hEPO), which doubles or triples for the duration of 2-4 weeks, until the Hb-mass recovers the initial values.

........

Patients with neurological disorders such as schizophrenia, multiple sclerosis, premature births have shown significant improvements in cognitive and neurological disorders after treatment with rhEPO.
A recent study with healthy volunteers showed improved memory function after a single dose of rhEPO (J Neurosci 2007, 27:2788-2792), later confirmed by studies by Miskoviac that observed activation in brain areas related to short and long term memory a few days after the administration of rhEPO (Exp Brain Res 2008, 184:313-321).
The same author has also demonstrated improvements in mood in healthy subjects treated with EPO (Neuropsycopharmacology 2008, 33:611-618).


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Recent studies have demonstrated the significant protective effects of EPO in case of ischemic heart disease and chronic heart failure, through stimulation of mitochondrial biogenesis in cardiac cells (Circ Res 2010, 106:1722-1730) and angiogenesis (formation of new blood vessels).

The subjective improvements in memory, mood, psycho-physical efficiency and motor coordination, which are often reported by individuals who have donated blood or stayed in the mountains in the weeks before, confirm the results of research in recent years and may be used by authorities to promote blood donations.

Athletes too may benefit from blood donations, as the effect is similar to the stay at altitude, with a much lower economic cost, even though under the scrutiny of Sports Authority as a "hematologic manipulation"...
 
Sep 21, 2012
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No, he's saying a donation to a blood bank has the same short term effect as training at altitude.
Daily natural production of hEPO can double.
 
Oct 17, 2012
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ValleyFlowers said:
No, he's saying a donation to a blood bank has the same short term effect as training at altitude.
Daily natural production of hEPO can double.
Is that considered doping?
 
Sep 21, 2012
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It's not considered doping. Doubtful it will replace training at altitude except for those on really tight budgets.
 
Oct 17, 2012
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Is what he is describing related to blooddoping? The reason I ask is that to me, a layman, he sounds like a drugdealer talking about the positive effects of marihuana or halluconigenic drugs. It looks like the article isn't just information about the wonders of donating blood.
 
Sep 21, 2012
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Baroh1488 said:
Is what he is describing related to blooddoping?
Donating blood or training at altitude are not 'banned practices'.

WADA: Questions & Answers on Blood Doping

What is blood doping?

Blood doping is the misuse of certain techniques and/or substances to increase one’s red blood cell mass, which allows the body to transport more oxygen to muscles and therefore increase stamina and performance.

What are the most widely known types of blood doping?

There are three widely known substances or methods used for blood doping, namely, erythropoietin (EPO), synthetic oxygen carriers and blood transfusions.

Each is prohibited under WADA’s List of Prohibited Substances and Methods.
 
Jun 22, 2009
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cocteau_ireland said:
So, how many days before a race should I donate blood to achieve maximum effect?
i can't view his site right now because it's blocked/filtered at my work for some reason.

i can almost certainly say that donating blood before competition is a bad idea in terms of performance. it's probably a good idea in the sense you are helping someone else who is potentially very sick but it's going to slow you down for awhile. it's not a win-win.

from memory, it takes about 5-6 weeks for the body to replace 1 unit's worth of red blood after donation. ashendon did a study to determine exactly this fact, among other things. if i cared more i'd link to it.

if he's suggesting otherwise, it's a new level of quackery even for ferrari.
 
He leaves something out of those statements though. Donating blood reduces your hemotacrit/hemoglobin levels.

So one would think that although you may have more red blood cells (hEPO), the hemotacrit will be lower possibly offsetting any gain? Since the lower hemotacrit means the red blood cells are now further apart from each other, not as tightly packed.

Hence, I'm thinking this is partly why they again will do a phlebotomy, then later transfuse blood that is rich in good EPO and has a higher hemotacrit level they took out a week/two previously and stored (since over several days of exertion, the hemotacrit will drop) and then get a gain/bump back up to where they were several days previously in their performance from the transfusion.

So, EPO, get hemotacrit levels up high, phlebotomy, store the blood. Race, hemotacrit goes down, fatigue. Transfuse stored blood to restore high hemotacrit, tightly packed red blood cell levels up to the 50% threshold.

Researchers? Experts?

Need some pubmed articles on this.
 
Sep 21, 2012
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cocteau_ireland said:
So, how many days before a race should I donate blood to achieve maximum effect?
A VeloNews article on donating:Ask the Doctor – with Prentice Steffen
"So here’s what I’d advise to different groups of cyclists:
Elite amateur and professional: Do not give blood. The detriment to performance is too great. Even during the off-season, you don’t need this. As well an out-of-competition blood test would certainly turn up suspicious results due to alterations of serum EPO levels and reticulocyte counts. You really don’t need this.
Competitive amateur: Off-season blood donations would be fine. I’ve long had a somewhat New Age theory that it would be good to donate blood because it would create sort of a cleansing turnover effect. I’ve seen nothing scientific written to support this idea.
Serious recreational: There is no reason that I can see not to donate blood on a regular basis. Blood centers advise every eight weeks maximum. Giving blood every 12 weeks might be more reasonable for this group.
Casual: Get out there and give every eight weeks to help make up for the fanatic riders described above!
General advice about the actual blood donation:On the day before, do whatever you want. I usually time a donation to fall the day after a fairly hard series of workouts.Don’t do any workout the day of the donation.An easy spin the day after should be fine and perhaps beneficial.Hydrate well the day before, the day of and days following your donation."
 
I don't get it. The paper says that elevated EPO production stops when Hb mass recovers to its initial value. Unless there is a temporary supercompensation effect that causes Hb mass to overshoot the initial value then you are right back where you started. Meanwhile you cannot train as hard because you are down half a liter of blood. The positive effects of elevated EPO production mentioned do not seem to be relevant to athletic performance.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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I was reading between the lines and for some odd reason tossed out my gallon of Orange Juice :eek:
 
Sep 29, 2012
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Sep 29, 2012
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BroDeal said:
I don't get it. The paper says that elevated EPO production stops when Hb mass recovers to its initial value. Unless there is a temporary supercompensation effect that causes Hb mass to overshoot the initial value then you are right back where you started. Meanwhile you cannot train as hard because you are down half a liter of blood. The positive effects of elevated EPO production mentioned do not seem to be relevant to athletic performance.
Roflcopters. Exactly.

EPO itself - I believe - is not performance enhancing at all.
 
Jan 30, 2011
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Dear Wiggo said:
EPO itself - I believe - is not performance enhancing at all.
Sorry I might have missed the irony, is that your opinion, or are you just quoting from someone else?
 
Sep 29, 2012
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peterst6906 said:
Sorry I might have missed the irony, is that your opinion, or are you just quoting from someone else?
I'll clarify:

A blood transfusion is directly performance enhancing. You need nothing else.

EPO does not get used by the body to transport oxygen or help your performance per se.

EPO triggers reticulocyte production in your bone marrow. An increase in EPO (via injection) leads to an increase in reticulocyte production. Reticulocytes themselves are not performance enhancing. After a while, reticulocytes mature into hemaglobin. An increase in hemaglobin is performance enhancing.

If you are deficient in iron, B9 or B12, increasing EPO will not necessarily result in an increase in reticulocytes. Regardless of how much EPO you take - if you do not have enough iron (B9 or B12) stores to make more Hgb (mature retics), EPO will not lead to a performance enhancement whatsoever.

So EPO by itself, injected into your body, I believe, is not performance enhancing per se. Yes, it can lead to a performance enhancement, but only after the body has used it in its biological processes.

Therefore: go read Ferrari's post, and Brodeal's response, to work out why I am saying:

if you withdraw blood, you now have less Hgb, but gradually you will have more EPO. But the Hgb is the bit that enhances performance, so regardless of how much more EPO your body produces, it in no way makes up for the loss of Hgb. EPO does not enhance performance. Hgb does.
 
Jan 30, 2011
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Dear Wiggo said:
...EPO does not get used by the body to transport oxygen or help your performance per se...

...

So EPO by itself, injected into your body, I believe, is not performance enhancing per se. Yes, it can lead to a performance enhancement, but only after the body has used it in its biological processes.
That's a significiant deconstruction of the process.

Once you begin a chain of events by injecting rhEPO into the body, can that chain of events, which ultimately leads to performance enhancement, be broken or is there an expectation that injecting rhEPO will lead to a performance enhancement?

The whole purpose of injecting rhEPO is to produce an effect on the body and that certainly isn't expected to be a reduction or even a stasis in performance.

The whole process is a single event, involving a series of deterministic steps. The end result can't be separated from the beginning step.

So the flip side (and more common view) is that EPO is performance enhancing.

Not disagreeing with your absolute logic, but I think you're out on a limb with that view.
 

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