Meldonium fails to run faster and longer

"Meldonium fails to run faster and longer." What a dope found Sharapova?

The drug meldonium-mildronate, which is found in the doping trial of Maria Sharapova, you can easily buy in the usual Russian pharmacy. Packing with 40 capsules costs about 270 rubles.

The fact that mildronat not developed in a secret laboratory for military or athletes. In 1975, it created the professor Ivar Kalvins, he now heads the Department of Medical Chemistry of the Latvian Institute of Organic Synthesis (Riga).

First mildronat ordered the Defense Ministry, then the Ministry of Health made the drug for medical use. By 2013, Latvia was selling it at EUR 70 million per year - about 0.7% of total exports.

In sports mildronat (or meldonium) are most commonly used in Russia. Last year, when the drug was not banned, it was found in 17% of the doping tests Russian athletes. Among the athletes from other countries the percentage is almost 8 times less - 2.2%.

I contacted the creator mildronata this morning at 10 with a small Riga time. "As long as I say in Russian," - said the professor immediately.

- How do you set up a drug?

- I just wanted to know that the human body is depleted by prolonged stress. I found a substance whose biosynthesis resources are depleted - a gamma-butyrobetaine. The gamma-butyrobetaine molecule one carbon substituted on one nitrogen so that it is not decomposed and was useful as a carrier signal from the central nervous system to the periphery of the cells in the reflex. That's all. This is meldonium.

- How about the fact that your drug is banned from 1 January?

- Negative. Because if we forbid athletes to take care of health, it is a violation of human rights. No one today with the help of double-blind, randomized clinical trials have not shown that the application of meldonium improving physical fitness, increases endurance, increases strength, and so on. There are no jobs, so it is an unproven assertion that improves the ability meldonium or - have a good English word - performance athlete.

- What does he do?

- During training, athletes often work to limit or close to the limit the possibilities. If you do this while taking meldonium, athlete's heart is protected from the occurrence of unsafe ischemia or lack of oxygen - after which the cells begin to die. But this does not mean that the athlete because the drug can do something bigger and better than others. Meldonium simply protects against the devastating effects of work at full capacity.

Here we have the mayor of Riga Nil Ushakov decided that he could run a long distance race on the traditional two days in a row. And in the end? I almost died. to do on the background of meldonium - likely would not have been such problems.

- Nevertheless, World Anti-Doping Agency has banned the drug. It is believed that it helps to adapt to stress, increases stamina.

- When you eat proper nutritious diet, you also adapt to increased loads, because you have more energy capacity. There are a list of drugs that proved - at the same steroids will better develop the muscles, against doping, you can show a better result than without it. But this does not apply to meldonium: when used during the competition, he is likely to give the opposite effect.

- Why?

- Yes, the athlete will be protected from the harmful effects of ischemia, it will not have a heart attack or stroke, but run longer or faster than he can. The energy produced from the substrates that are used for this - it is either fat or glucose. Meldonium slows down oxidation of fatty acids, which means that for each gram of substrate brought use less fat. With each gram turns out more than half the energy and blood after all no longer fed. As you can burn what is not?

- But athletes actively used your product - that the Soviet Union, in Russia. For something because he was needed.

- The fact that it was used, I knew. This, in my opinion, correct. They should be used during exercise such drugs. Before the competition, 10 days, probably should not be used to avoid the influence of meldonium the oxidation of fatty acids. During the competition's okay - if you want, you can risk your health. And during the training necessary to protect the athlete.

To gain a good shape, athletes train hard, and if you suddenly have a problem with the heart and muscles - everything he lost, would not be an athlete. Meldonium called - cytoprotector, ie protector of cells against the harmful effects of lack of oxygen.

- Then why it is widely used by the military?

- Because when the air is not enough oxygen, ischemia occurs when a globally - hypoxia. When it comes hypoxia, your mind is cloudy, you can not shoot either, nor to fly a plane, you have to somehow manage to use all the energy reserves that you have had. Meldonium activates the utilization of glucose, which is a substrate for energy production more profitable for oxygen consumption.

It turns out, the energy from each gram less, but requires less oxygen per molecule of ATP produced. It does not improve the performance and capacity of your performance in watts or kilowatts, so to speak. The drug simply allows you to not die when the oxygen deprivation begin. You survive, just with less ability to perform some physical work.

As far as I then heard from the military, those who received meldonium survived in Afghanistan and other mountain areas. And those who did not get - well, there's no oxygen, what can you do?

P.S. Maria Sharapova explained 10-year use mildronata health problems. In 2006, tennis players found the first signs of diabetes, for which she has a family history. Also, there were problems with the lack of magnesium, ECG results were unstable.