The Use of Erythropoietin EPO in Sports Essay
The use of erythropoietin (EPO) by athletes in recent years has made the headlines of
sports pages around the world. In this essay we will look at the evidence of EPO use
in sport. What leads athletes to using it? We will also look at the advantages and
disadvantages of its use for someone who wishes to do so.
Athletes are continually seeking an added edge to attain better performances and
results. Many are prepared to use pharmaceutical agents to achieve their goals. They
don't have to look far as there are numerous ergogenic drugs available to them.
Recombinant EPO is one of the most prominent. The statistics of rhEPO
production worldwide paints a grim …show more content…
cycling is confounding.
How does rhEPO boost performance?
Erythropoietin (EPO) is a glycoprotein hormone secreted naturally, by the cells of the
peritubular capillary endothelium of the kidneys but also to a very small extent in the
liver. It is usually secreted in response to hypoxia in the renal arterial circulation. Its
release stimulates bone marrow to increase its production of red blood cells
(erythropoiesis), and facilitate an increase in the oxygen carrying capacity of blood.
Red blood cells are limited in their ability to unload all their oxygen at a muscle site.
By increasing the number of red blood cells you increase the amount of oxygen being
delivered to muscles. Increased oxygen delivery to working muscles improves aerobic
performance. Indirectly, increasing oxygen delivery allows for increased use of fat for
energy at greater workloads.
Blood carries 20ml of oxygen per 100ml of blood in the arteries. At rest the body
releases 4--5ml of oxygen per 100ml of blood. The rest remains bound to the
hemoglobin. During intensive aerobic exercise about 15ml of oxygen per 100ml of
blood can be released to the active muscles. The normal hematocrit (proportion of
RBC) is between 40-54% in males and 37-47% in females. So a person with