Thins your blood to a higher level

Why Sherpas don't suffer from altitude sickness

Not all mountain dwellers can cope with the altitude as well as the Sherpas in the Himalayas. Researchers have long suspected why this is so. This now turned out to be wrong

The porters around the Himalayan massif do hard work every day. With a lot of load, you conquer vertical meters after vertical meters without having to worry about altitude sickness. But why don't Sherpas suffer from it?

Because their blood is naturally very thinned. This not only distinguishes them from people who live in the lowlands, but also from other mountain dwellers: in the Andes, for example, many people suffer from chronic altitude sickness. It is associated with excessive production of red blood cells, also called erythrocytes. In the thin mountain air, the body builds up these vital transport cells in order to supply muscles and organs with sufficient oxygen. An undesirable side effect: the blood becomes thicker. This increases the risk of a heart attack or stroke.

New study refutes previous assumption

The Sherpas in the Himalayas do not have this problem. So far, it has been suspected, among other things, that genes reduce erythrocyte production in them. An international study has now come to a different conclusion: According to it, the blood of Tibetans does have elevated erythrocyte levels. At the same time, however, a particularly large amount of plasma, i.e. cell-free blood fluid, flows through their veins. If the red blood cells are so diluted, they are less likely to be a danger.