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boucatry

Autohemotherapy and WBC count

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Some acquaintances of mine have been trying to convince me to try autohemotherapy (also called autologous blood therapy), which is a practice that consists of extracting venous blood and re-injecting into the muscle and (from what they've told me) has the goal of either curing skin conditions or strengthening the immune system. I've read online about it and it sounds pretty much like quackery; it was even banned in Brazil for a lack of scientific support to it.

Anyway, with the aim of proving to me its efficacy and refute the accusations of pseudoscience they showed me the results of two complete blood counts taken with a difference of one day. One is before taking the therapy and the other is the day after, having taken it. The tests show an increase in RBC and WBC count with a decrease in platelet count while still staying within normal boundaries. How could this data be interpreted? Is there a variation that could naturally happen within that time period?

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13 minutes ago, boucatry said:

The tests show an increase in RBC and WBC count with a decrease in platelet count while still staying within normal boundaries. How could this data be interpreted? Is there a variation that could naturally happen within that time period?

So there's a consideration of statistical significance and clinical significance.

As you state, there are natural fluctuations in serum biomarkers, even over the space of minutes let alone a day. To prove this increase/decrease in various biomarkers is not simply a result of these natural fluctuations you would need to repeat the test numerous times until you can be reasonably sure that the role of chance has suitably diminished. This is statistical significance. Related issues include multiple hypothesis testing (in this case there are three biomarkers being measured, i.e. 3 hypotheses being tested, unless they are clustering them somehow) and cherry picking (maybe they measured 20 biomarkers but only reported the ones they liked).

Even if statistical significance can be established, is the the finding clinically relevant? So maybe the procedure bumps up your RBC  a tiny bit - from within the normal range to a bit higher within the normal range - so what? It might be relevant for high altitude climbers and other niche activities, but for general health i'm not aware of it making any difference.

Also well worth considering are any side effects of the treatment - any treatment must weight potential benefits against potential harm. You need to know about both to make an informed decision.

Banned by Brazil, eh? The place that doesn't even listen to the WHO? Doesn't sound promising.

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 As you state, there are natural fluctuations in serum biomarkers, even over the space of minutes let alone a day.

Well more than stating I was asking, because they said they didn't need to do any more tests because the difference was too great to be one of those fluctuations. I don't have the knowledge to verify that. The WBC count increased in 900/mm3.

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in this case there are three biomarkers being measured, i.e. 3 hypotheses being tested

Not really, they are just interested on the WBC count, I added the other data for context in case it could mean anything else.

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Even if statistical significance can be established, is the the finding clinically relevant?

Right now it's about trying to prove it can help the immune system to a point in which it could prevent getting COVID-19.

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Banned by Brazil, eh? The place that doesn't even listen to the WHO? Doesn't sound promising.

In Brazil because that's where it first became popular. https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=&sl=pt&tl=en&u=https%3A%2F%2Fpt.wikipedia.org%2Fwiki%2FAuto-hemoterapia%23Perigos%2C_cr%C3%ADticas_e_ilegalidade

Is there an easy way it's efficacy could be proven or disproven?

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13 hours ago, boucatry said:

The WBC count increased in 900/mm3.

In one person? 100? 1000?

WBC fluctuates more than that during the course of a normal day. 

Even if true, does it translate to more resistance to covid-19? You'd probably want to measure coronavirus antibodies to make that claim.

 

13 hours ago, boucatry said:

Is there an easy way it's efficacy could be proven or disproven?

Unfortunately not - medical science progresses slowly for a reason. But they claim to already have data - ask to see it and post it here.

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Yup, one person, and they didn't measure coronavirus antibodies, just the cell types.
Do you have any articles or any materials that talk about the variations of WBC during a day? like, a source I could cite?
I'll ask them for more info on this.

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This is the only one i could quickly find with healthy people. Modern ones focus on fluctuations in the presence of some condition. Use terms in that paper to search for more papers if you like.

This has all the hallmarks of charlatanism though, so personally i wouldn't waste time on it. 

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DONT DO IT! I did autohemotherapy in 2017 and it messed up my body ! I developed eczema on my hands and leaky gut syndrome shortly after !! It will mess with your immune system! It’s dangerous 

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