Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Increasing Blood
Name: Stuart
Status: Student
Age: 16
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: N/A 

How do you increase the levels of red blood cells in the blood?

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.
Assistant Director
PG Research Foundation, Darien, Illinois

Click here to return to the Molecular Biology Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (, or at Argonne's Educational Programs

Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory