Starring role for ISEH in BBC blood documentary 

26/03/2015 00:00 
UCLH's Institute of Sport Exercise and Health (ISEH) set the scene for a revealing BBC documentary looking at the extraordinary abilities of blood to adapt and keep us alive.

The Wonderful World of Blood, which aired on BBC4 on Wednesday, saw presenter Michael Mosley examining blood and its role in the human body, and looked at some of the many ways that blood can be changed by food, environment, exercise and training.
He visited UCLH's Institute of Sport, Exercise and Health (the ISEH), a collaboration between leading health, academic and sports organisations – UCLH, UCL, British Olympic Association, English Institute of Sport and private hospital group HCA – which have come together to provide patients with care and expertise previously only available to elite athletes.

Dr Daniel Martin, of UCL, tested Michael's V02 max - the maximum rate that the body can pass oxygen to the body's muscles - by putting him through his paces in the ISEH's exercise laboratory. Michael then took to the ISEH's hypoxic chamber, an isolated room which recreates low altitude, low oxygen environments to aid research into the effects of different atmospheres on the body.

Hypoxic chambers have been used for some time in top-flight sports training to test athletes’ limits. The chamber allows researchers to reduce oxygen levels to examine in-depth how the body takes on and uses oxygen, providing valuable insights such as how intensive care patients – who have lower oxygen levels – can be helped in the future.

Dr Ned Gilbert-Kawai, who like Dr Martin has worked on the Xtreme Everest expeditions to research the effect of high altitude on the human body, then illustrated the rate of blood cell movement around the presenter's body with a capillary scan.

Professor Fares Haddad, UCLH consultant orthopaedic surgeon and Director of the ISEH, said: "The meeting of the latest research on sport and exercise and new thinking around ways to apply those findings to healthcare is exactly what the ISEH is all about. We're translating innovative research to provide valuable insights into how we can improve treatment and recovery for patients in the future. "

You can watch the full programme below.

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