How do you increase the levels of red blood cells in the
Legally? Or illegally?
The legal way is to increase your level of cardiovascular activity. That
will boost your hematocrit somewhat. So will living at a higher altitude,
where the partial pressure of oxygen is less than at sea level. Your body
accommodates the increased oxygen demand, or decreased supply, by making
more hemoglobin and red cells, which carry oxygen to the tissues.
The illegal way is to take erythropoetin, EPO. This stimulates your body to
make more hemoglobin. It can also thicken your blood enough to cause
serious health problems.
Richard E. Barrans Jr., Ph.D.
PG Research Foundation, Darien, Illinois
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Update: June 2012