Higher Altitude - Greater Depression/Suicide

Light

Member
Joined
Oct 5, 2018
Messages
304
Yes there are clearly befefits to high altitude, that's why I was surprised to find all the negative reports.
So far I've learned 2 things that might help explain this:
1) People with low Iron levels don't get the benefits of high altitude training,
presumably because you can't make red blood cells without adequet Iron.
That seems to be corrected easily with supplements.

2) I found a review of blood gasses in altitude that seem important:
https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/2354/8c3f9eb98aab32ffcb7bac4301a581384767.pdf
It says two things:
A. "...hypoxia stimulates spleen and bone marrow leading to: (1) progressive increase of circulating hemoglobin over a period of several months
(but the advantage of increased blood O2 capacity are set off by increased blood viscosity)"

Think of what we know about viscosity - its assocciated with old age and Estrogen, while the healthy substances like Progesterone and Aspirin
cause a thinner blood.
I don't yet know why the blood becomes thicker at altitude but this seems like it's worth paying attentyion to.

B. "...At metabolic level, although mitochondria and cellular oxidative machinery are slightly more plentiful in some animals native
to altitude than in sea level controls, the importance of this adjustment in humans is questionable and general consensus is now a
gainst this possibility
[9].

And the reference is to the article: Muscle structure and performance capacity of Himalayan Sherpas.
Muscle structure and performance capacity of Himalayan Sherpas. - PubMed - NCBI

So these are people who have lived in altitude for generations.
I can only see the abstract:
"The volume density of mitochondria was 3.96 +/- 0.54%, significantly (P less than 0.05) less than the values found for any other investigated group, including sedentary subjects at sea level (4.74 +/- 0.30%). It is concluded that Sherpas, like acclimatized Caucasian climbers, are characterized by 1) facilitated convective and diffusive muscle O2 flow conditions and 2) a higher maximal O2 consumption-to-mitochondrial volume ratio than lowlanders despite a reduced mitochondrial volume density."

So they actually have fewer mitochondria, that just work alot better than sea level dwellers.

But why?
And what if you have a mitochondrial condition that prevents the functional improvement
of the mitochondria, while you still have less of them?


*** Edit - BTW, the same abstract also says that the Shepras have smaller muscle mass but their muscles get more blood supply
 
Last edited:

Light

Member
Joined
Oct 5, 2018
Messages
304
Actually, training at altitude (or at least spending a few week at elevation of at least 4,000 feet) is a widely-recognized and practiced method for improving athletic performance. The number and size of your mitochondria skyrocket when you spend at least 2 weeks at such altitude so when you descend you have much higher performance for the next 7-10 days until your body adapts again to lower altitude living and decreases mitochondria. Many world records have been shattered with this approach, especially in "endurance" disciplines like swimming, running, rowing, and even group sports like basketball and soccer.
Google "training at altitude" or "high altitude training".
Yep, this was even mentioned in the Documentary "Bigger Stronger Faster," in the section on Floyd Landis. They even talk about how Landis slept in an altitude chamber to mimic the effects of high elevation.




The seminal article about altitude training seems to be this one:

“Living high-training low”: effect of moderate-altitude acclimatization with low-altitude training on performance
https://www.physiology.org/doi/full/10.1152/jappl.1997.83.1.102?url_ver=Z39.88-2003&rfr_id=ori:rid:crossref.org&rfr_dat=cr_pub=pubmed


"Numerous anecdotal reports since the 1940s have suggested that endurance athletes may achieve some benefit from altitude training for sea-level performance (3, 12, 15). However, incomplete characterization of athletic performance, lack of appropriate controls, and small subject numbers have complicated the interpretation of the majority of previous studies of altitude training (3, 11, 12, 15, 17, 18). When appropriate control groups have been included, living and training at altitude have not been proven to be advantageous compared with equivalent training at sea level (1)."

They see the greatest benefits from living in altitude - or sleeping in altitude, but then going down to sea level to train, just like Floyd Landis.
But constantly being in altitude is different, and i'm trying to understand why.
Because i'm getting a hypoxic generator in a few weeks to sleep with, and i'm trying to figure out the best way to use it for health and energy.

Another thing from another article I read a few days ago that I can't find now, they saw that at 2,500m they got better results than at around 2,000m,
but that going up to 2,800m made things worst than at 2,500m, not better.

And one more thing - the same researcherss who did "Living high-Training low" looked back at the data from their original study, and found that while some people did a lot better using this approach, some didn't improve much and some even got worse,
and they can't explain why.
I wanna know why.
(They already knew to give them Iron before the study, so that wasn't it).

There's more nuance to this than altitude=good, sea level=bad.
 

tankasnowgod

Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2014
Messages
8,131
They see the greatest benefits from living in altitude - or sleeping in altitude, but then going down to sea level to train, just like Floyd Landis.
But constantly being in altitude is different, and i'm trying to understand why.

They did not go down to Sea Level to train in the so called "Live High Train Low" group.

"After the last time trial at sea level, athletes were then matched for gender, 5,000-m time trial performance, and training history into groups of three and then randomized (balanced randomization) to1) “high-low” [living at moderate altitude (2,500 m) and training at low altitude (1,200–1,400 m); n = 13; 9 men, 4 women; primary experimental group];2) “high-high” [living at moderate altitude (2,500 m) and training at moderate altitude (2,500–2,700 m); n = 13; 9 men, 4 women; typical altitude-training control group]; or3) “low-low” [living at sea level (150 m) and training at sea level (150 m);n = 13; 9 men, 4 women; sea-level control group]. Moderate-altitude living occurred in Deer Valley, Utah, with training on trails and roads in the Wasatch and Uinta mountain ranges. Low-altitude training occurred nearby, an ∼30-min drive, in Salt Lake City, Utah. The sea-level training camp took place at the US Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista (San Diego)"

The so called "Low Altitude" training took place at an elevation of 4,226 feet.

The lowest elevation in Deer Valley, Utah is 6,570 feet. It goes as high as 9,570. This is what the article refers to as "Moderate" elevation.
 

Light

Member
Joined
Oct 5, 2018
Messages
304
They did not go down to Sea Level to train in the so called "Live High Train Low" group.

"After the last time trial at sea level, athletes were then matched for gender, 5,000-m time trial performance, and training history into groups of three and then randomized (balanced randomization) to1) “high-low” [living at moderate altitude (2,500 m) and training at low altitude (1,200–1,400 m); n = 13; 9 men, 4 women; primary experimental group];2) “high-high” [living at moderate altitude (2,500 m) and training at moderate altitude (2,500–2,700 m); n = 13; 9 men, 4 women; typical altitude-training control group]; or3) “low-low” [living at sea level (150 m) and training at sea level (150 m);n = 13; 9 men, 4 women; sea-level control group]. Moderate-altitude living occurred in Deer Valley, Utah, with training on trails and roads in the Wasatch and Uinta mountain ranges. Low-altitude training occurred nearby, an ∼30-min drive, in Salt Lake City, Utah. The sea-level training camp took place at the US Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista (San Diego)"

The so called "Low Altitude" training took place at an elevation of 4,226 feet.

The lowest elevation in Deer Valley, Utah is 6,570 feet. It goes as high as 9,570. This is what the article refers to as "Moderate" elevation.
You're right, it's under 1,500m but not sea level.
Do you suggest that that's high enough altitude to get some benefits?
In the instructions for using the hypoxic generator (the machine used for altitude training) they suggest to start accclimatizationat 1,500m, because most people don't have any reaction to that.
And in the study I couldn't find, they only got good results when the altitude was in the range of 2000-2500m, above that and under that was less than optimal.
 

Lejeboca

Member
Joined
Jun 19, 2017
Messages
1,031
You're right, it's under 1,500m but not sea level.
Do you suggest that that's high enough altitude to get some benefits?

I have heard Dr. Peat saying in an interview(cannot dig out now which one... maybe the one with Andrew about Altitude) that the benefits appear at the altitude of 1,000 feet already.
Since then, I consider this number as "high altitude" :):.
 

Light

Member
Joined
Oct 5, 2018
Messages
304
I have heard Dr. Peat saying in an interview(cannot dig out now which one... maybe the one with Andrew about Altitude) that the benefits appear at the altitude of 1,000 feet already.
Since then, I consider this number as "high altitude" :):.
Really?
That's really low, I would never think of it as altitude,
it would be really nice to start getting results so soon, and probably with fewer side effects.
I'll try searching that quote.
 

tankasnowgod

Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2014
Messages
8,131
You're right, it's under 1,500m but not sea level.
Do you suggest that that's high enough altitude to get some benefits?
In the instructions for using the hypoxic generator (the machine used for altitude training) they suggest to start accclimatizationat 1,500m, because most people don't have any reaction to that.
And in the study I couldn't find, they only got good results when the altitude was in the range of 2000-2500m, above that and under that was less than optimal.

I would think so. If you google around, you will see a lot of people talking about how going from near sea level places to Salt Lake City impacted their running ability and such. And how they blazed through workouts just after returning. Of course, baseline is different for people. The altitude in Tucson is about 2400 feet, Phoenix 1000, and LA near zero. So residents of those cities visiting SLC will have different effects.

Another thing I was trying to point out was that in the study, the "Live High Train Low" group was AT LEAST at 4200 feet elevation for the entire 4 weeks, while living and recovering at closer to 8,000 (likely spending most of their time at that elevation). There might be benefits to this approach, but even the 4200 feet is quite high. It could also have something to do with better training facilities in SLC as compared to the top of a mountain. There might be some unique benefits to cities like SLC and Albuquerque where you could have a set up like this and train rather easily, especially for an off season athlete.
 

Mauritio

Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2018
Messages
5,288
When I've been to high altitude I also noticed depression /anhedonia ,which was very quickly alleviated by eating lots of salt . My friend always told me not to ,but I felt good doing that.

I was doing it actually mainly because I was taking acetazolamide and a side effect of it is that you excrete more minerals...

So if acetazolamide and high altitude have similar effects ,high altitude could just be a chronic salt/ magnesium / mineral deficiency.

Makes sense ?
 

Lejeboca

Member
Joined
Jun 19, 2017
Messages
1,031

JohnHafterson

Member
Joined
Apr 5, 2016
Messages
275
Location
Chicago
When I've been to high altitude I also noticed depression /anhedonia ,which was very quickly alleviated by eating lots of salt . My friend always told me not to ,but I felt good doing that.

I was doing it actually mainly because I was taking acetazolamide and a side effect of it is that you excrete more minerals...

So if acetazolamide and high altitude have similar effects ,high altitude could just be a chronic salt/ magnesium / mineral deficiency.

Makes sense ?
Interesting regarding salt/magnesium.

Do you think the salt and/or magnesium gave you any performance improvement at elevation?

I mountain bike at low elevation ( 600 - 800 ft above sea level ) but will be going to bike at higher elevation in a few weeks ( 7,000 - 11,000 ft ) for 2 weeks.

I won't have a long acclimatization period.

Looking for something to improve performance.

I'll take some B1, Niacinamide, Methylene Blue, Aspirin.
 

Mauritio

Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2018
Messages
5,288
Interesting regarding salt/magnesium.

Do you think the salt and/or magnesium gave you any performance improvement at elevation?

I mountain bike at low elevation ( 600 - 800 ft above sea level ) but will be going to bike at higher elevation in a few weeks ( 7,000 - 11,000 ft ) for 2 weeks.

I won't have a long acclimatization period.

Looking for something to improve performance.

I'll take some B1, Niacinamide, Methylene Blue, Aspirin.
Yeah definetly. But it has to be a lot of salt, not just a pinch. B1 and acetazolamide are helpful as well.
 

Kyle970

Member
Joined
Jun 24, 2022
Messages
108
Location
United States
Aha! Thats right where I am, the end of the rockies, and Sangre de Cristos. Daily walk and chores hoping to make hikes easier, but still sleeping overmuch due to uncontrollable sleepyness daytimes. Increase protein? Water? Getting two quarts milk a day with maple syrup over ice which I love. Have been offfered a blood panel workup but prob just the basics plus thyroid. Hmmm, what to ask for...
How did you like living there? Qurious if it's a healthy area to live, I see affordable land pop up sometimes.
 

akgrrrl

Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2018
Messages
1,628
Location
Alaska
How did you like living there? Qurious if it's a healthy area to live, I see affordable land pop up sometimes.
It was just OK. But I am biased because such diversity of landscape and climates here. So much beach to walk here, with jade, agates,, polished egg granites washing up after big tides. Mountains (REAL ones, hillcountry, flats with 70ft trees and pockets of rainforest. Overall the whole state 5x the size of Texas has pure glacier water wells, pristine crisp air, lush landscapes, many edible plants, berries, shrooms unlike arid NM. Birdlife and wildlife is pretty darn interesting. Clean moosemeat and deepColdwater salmon that return after growing for 5 years, more organic cow and goat farms, everybody has someone who raises chickens or keeps bees. It's not really fair to compare.
 

Kyle970

Member
Joined
Jun 24, 2022
Messages
108
Location
United States
Wow. Yes, I see what you mean. I watch a lot of homesteading shows up there, looks like what you describe.
How do you combat the lack of winter sun/vitaminD? Sometimes I wonder if a non toxic environment requires less.
 

akgrrrl

Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2018
Messages
1,628
Location
Alaska
Wow. Yes, I see what you mean. I watch a lot of homesteading shows up there, looks like what you describe.
How do you combat the lack of winter sun/vitaminD? Sometimes I wonder if a non toxic environment requires less.
Hey good surmise, I hadnt considered that I might need less in a nontox environ. But I put the same intent into my house: 100% wool carpets, no synth fabric only wool silk cotton linen, no glued composite wood, only metal, glass, leather and American crafted wood furniture and household. I use two redlights from LifeGiving store and IdeaLabs vitD and K2, amongst a few others, plus clean meat Moose and deepcoldwater Red Salmon. I have a fabulous library of old books published before the last reset, and I wouldnt trade that time immersed in study with a crackling woodstove and a cup of coffee for anything. There is always something to do, even if that is dressing in layers to be outside shoveling snow and hear the woodland sounds or the soft whir of ravenswings overhead. Listening to and feeling the crunch of snow underfoot while hauling and stacking wood to my porch feels like the most organic thing.
 

Kyle970

Member
Joined
Jun 24, 2022
Messages
108
Location
United States
@akgrrrl you have books from before last reset? My kind of people! I'm looking at those lights on HN and idealabs d/k now, good tip. In winter months, not much sun at 10k ft because of the tall mountains. I'm trying to figure something out there.

I read this article again, seems to reference SSRIs useage often. Would be interesting to compare suicide rates now, to before these chemicals existed.
 
Red Light Therapy - Hydrogen Water Generators - Cascara Sagrada - Nano Soma - Homemade Soap - Pau D'arco - Natural Desiccated Thyroid - Vitamins, Minerals & Supplements - Grass Fed Organs & Glandulars

Similar threads

Back
Top