The Blood is Red Because

hitherto unnoticed details …  experiments … and more

An exciting paper by Adrie A. M. van der Hoeven, Cold Acid Postmortem Blood Most Probably Formed Pinkish-Red Heme-Madder Lake on Madder-Dyed Shroud of Turin has just been published in the Open Journal of Applied Sciences (published 30 November 2015).

The abstract reads:

imageThe Turin Shroud was extensively scientifically investigated in 1978. In its pinkish red bloodstains, normal features of human blood were found, but also seemingly anomalous ones. In the present study, hitherto unnoticed details of the data are presented, Shroud data and more modern reference data are compared, and the results of a few experiments with linen, madder dye and blood are shown. It turns out that the Shroud’s ‘anomalous’ data are strong consistent evidence that its bloodstains contain acid heme-madder lake, of which the heme derived from cold acid postmortem blood and the madder had been applied to the Shroud at manufacture. It implies that the bloodstains were formed on the Shroud before the still not reproduced body-image was. Several other ‘red-color’ hypotheses for the Shroud’s bloodstains are discussed and dismissed.

Taken from the conclusion:

The anomalous features of the Shroud’s bloodstains, instead of being evidence against their authenticity, turn out to be very strong evidence for their authenticity…

This, too:

A few experiments confirmed that much serum can drain from human blood on a cold surface and that human blood is able to form pinkish stains on starched and madder-dyed linen that remain pinkish while simultaneously formed bloodstains on pure linen turn brown. New scientific investigations on the Shroud of Turin with more modern methods and techniques may further corroborate these conclusions.


Note:  You can download the PDF from the above link.

12 thoughts on “The Blood is Red Because”

  1. Here an excerpt from
    what yesterday
    I wrote on this blog:

    >… I wanted to link the words about
    bloodstains with the last interesting work
    Adrie A. M. van der Hoeven
    (Utrecht, The Netherlands):
    “Cold Acid Postmortem Blood Most Probably
    Formed Pinkish-Red Heme-Madder Lake on
    Madder-Dyed Shroud of Turin”
    PDF (Size:9161KB) PP. 705-746

    >In other words:
    >What is the exact difference for
    “the pinkish red bloodstains” of the
    Holy Shroud with respect the bloodstains
    present on Oviedo’s Cloth?

    >I think this requires a new work…
    >Or not?
    >What say your researches on the
    exact “color difference for the blood
    of the Shroud with respect color of
    the blood of the Shroud of Oviedo”?

    — — *** — —

    Another argument (connected with that paper).

    I think that Adrie van der Hoeven indicated us
    an interesting problem.
    Perhaps this problem can be depicted
    with the following words:
    “metabolic acidosis and Crucifixion (and renal failure)”

    What was the (probable) exact pH for the blood
    of Jesus, just after the Crucifixion and the death?
    …and …
    What was the difference (pH) after the treatment
    (of the Face) with Oviedo’s Cloth and few
    presumed (or possible) “partial washings”?
    — —
    I have found the pH values of
    6.712 and 6.745 (and “the intoxication
    in either case was non-lethal”!!!)
    reading following reference:

    “Is it possible to survive metabolic acidosis
    with pH measure below 6.8?
    A study of two cases of inedible alcohol intoxication”
    [Article in Polish]
    Kostek H, Kujawa A, Szponar J, Danielewicz P,
    Majewska M, Drelich G.

    Przegl Lek. 2011;68(8):518-20.

    From the abstract:
    >… The first case is of a male, 45, who was
    diagnosed glycol concentration at 283.3 mg/dl,
    with the lowest pH value obtained in the
    gasometric examination of capillary blood at 6.712.
    >The other case is of another male, 54, who
    had probably drunk condenser liquid.
    >Ethylene glycol and methanol’s concentration
    were 535 mg/dl and 37.5 mg/dl correspondingly,
    whereas the lowest capillary blood pH value
    was recorded at 6.745.
    >Both men had been addicted to alcohol
    for many years. … ! …

    So… as we can read, in our epoch
    is possble to survive at pH = 6.7…
    in other words at a pH value not too
    far from the limit (pH = 6.8).


    But this article seems to be useless
    in order to find an interesting solution
    to our case…

    Then there is again to solve the unsolved problem:
    Which were the deviations of blood pH during
    and after the Crucifixion (…and postmortem)?

    Where are the useful forensic data?

  2. Errata corrige:
    >is possible to survive at pH = 6.7…

    instead of :
    >is possble to survive at pH = 6.7…
    — — — —
    “metabolic acidosis and Crucifixion (and renal failure)”

    See also:
    “the renal acidification mechanisms”…

    I have read that estimates of the
    glomerular filtration rate (GFR) may
    replace the measurement of serum
    creatinine as the primary tool for
    the assessment of kidney function. …

    Assessing Kidney Function — Measured
    and Estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate

    Lesley A. Stevens, M.D., Josef Coresh, M.D., Ph.D.,
    Tom Greene, Ph.D., and Andrew S. Levey, M.D.

    N. Engl. J. Med. 2006

    — —
    I think, that before [unfortunately],
    I tried to enter in a “forbidden medical area”
    (because I have no degree in this area of knowledges)…

    In any case
    “The ABC of Acid-Base Chemistry”
    provides physiologists, medical students,
    and physicians with an intelligible outline
    of the elements of physiological acid-base chemistry.


    But I don’t believe that “hematohidrosis”
    (Sudor cruentus ?) was taken into account
    in that “ABC” text…
    — — —
    At the end…
    In my opinion, the first thing worth to deepen
    seems to be the possible difference about
    the pH of blood/bloodstains (on the Shroud):
    not postmortem versus postmortem blood…

    I wrote an excess of words off
    the “simple dyeing problem” …and
    then see also the problem (to adequately
    test) to control the ageing for the strange
    “madder-heme lake” (submitting a set
    of treated linen samples to the “ageing test” )!

  3. Would die Jesus before what
    really happened on the cross
    if He had been suffering from
    “Renal tubular acidosis”?

    >Renal tubular acidosis (RTA) is a medical
    condition that involves an accumulation
    of acid in the body due to a failure of
    the kidneys to appropriately acidify the urine. …

    >When the blood pH is below normal
    (7.35), this is called acidemia. …


    Then see also:
    “Renal tubular acidosis and DNA”
    (= difficult analyses on ancient DNA
    and Genetic illnesses).

    — — *** — —

    Regarding the extinction coefficients
    of various heme products vs pH
    (and see also: acid methemoglobin
    and hemichrome),
    Adrie v. d. Hoeven indicated us :
    “Wintrobe’s Clinical Hematology”,
    John P. Greer MD (Author, Editor),
    and this seems to be a costly textbook…

    Am I wrong in my too
    ingenuous idea?

    1. Methemoglobin is a form of hemoglobin
      that contains ferric [Fe3+] iron and has
      a decreased ability to bind oxygen.

      Signs and symptoms of methemoglobinemia
      (methemoglobin level above 1%) include
      shortness of breath, cyanosis, mental
      status changes (~50%), headache,
      fatigue, exercise intolerance, dizziness
      and loss of hairlines.
      I think the “last words of Christ on Cross”
      are not in favor of this clinical picture.
      Therefore it would seem there was not present
      the iron III (= Fe3+ in methemoglobin) and
      thus A.v.d.H. seems to have another card
      in his favor …

      In the book (that describes drugs of abuse,
      chemical structures, analytical methods,
      clinical features, and treatments of these
      drugs of abuse. From Club Drugs to
      Sedative Hypnotic Drugs, Anesthetics, etc.
      … etc.):
      “Medical Toxicology of Drug Abuse:
      Synthesized Chemicals and Psychoactive Plants”
      by Donald G. Barceloux
      (1064 pages, April 2012)
      we can read about a case (an intentional
      ingestion of Sodium Nitrite!) of an autopsy:

      >…The postmortem blood methemoglobin
      concentration was 90%. …
      — — —
      If I am right in my findings (obtained
      with “Google”) Calcium alizarate is a
      birefringent bright red product.
      — — —
      Here a very old reference (…near
      useless), if you want to know something
      other on “Alizarin lakes”:

      “The Physical Chemistry of Color Lake
      Formation. V. Hydrous Oxide – Alizarin Lakes”
      H. B. Weiser
      J. Phys. Chem., 1929, 33 (11), pp 1713–1723
      Publication Date: January 1928

      Instead there is another old paper
      (perhaps it’s more useful):
      “Alizarine-Iron Lakes”
      A. W. Bull, J. R. Adams
      J. Phys. Chem., 1921, 25 (8), pp 660–664
      Publication Date: January 1920


      Another less important old paper
      (= starch as possible reducing agent):
      “Influence of the anions of the mordant on the
      shade of Alizarin-red lake.”
      P. P. V IKTOROV (J. Soc.
      Dyers and Col., 1928, 44, 336—341).

      >…The products of acid hydrolysis of
      the starch thickening present in a
      printing paste in which free acid has been formed
      as a result of hydrolysis of the mordant may also act
      as reducing agents and so favourably influence the
      resulting shade.
      >Hence, starch would be preferable
      to gum as a thickening agent were
      it not for the fact that the inferior
      reducing properties of the gum are
      more than counterbalanced by its
      greater penetration into the cotton…

  4. Now we’ll go to the “boring review” of
    Dyeing Chemistry and Biochemistry…

    The primary madder species from which
    Alizarin historically has been obtained is
    Rubia tinctorum.

    The reaction of Alizarin with different mordants produces different kind of color:
    aluminium (= red), ferrous iron (= deep violet), ferric iron (= brownish black)…
    I don’t know what is the result from the reaction Alizarin + blood.
    Is the deep violet obtained with ferrous iron?

    >…To be absorbed, dietary iron can be absorbed
    as part of a protein such as heme protein
    or iron must be in its ferrous Fe2+ form.
    >A ferric reductase enzyme on the enterocytes’
    brush border, duodenal cytochrome B (Dcytb),
    reduces ferric Fe3+ to Fe2+…

    >…Structure of Heme b; “Fe” is the chemical symbol of
    iron, “II” indicates its oxidation state. …


    >…Heme (American English) or haem (British English)
    is a cofactor consisting of an Fe2+ (ferrous) ion
    contained in the centre of a large heterocyclic
    organic ring called a porphyrin, made up of four
    pyrrolic groups joined together by methine bridges. …


    Each heme ring in hemoglobin encloses
    an atom of iron. Hemoglobin is 95 percent protein.
    Hemoglobin is the protein in the red cells of
    the blood that carries oxygen from the lungs …

    >The iron of hemoglobin is normally
    in the reduced or ferrous state, in both
    oxyhemoglobin and deoxyhemoglobin.
    >If the iron itself becomes oxidized to
    the ferric state, hemoglobin is changed
    to methemoglobin, a brown pigment
    incapable of transporting oxygen.
    >The red cells contain enzymes capable
    of maintaining the iron in its normal state,
    but under abnormal conditions large
    amounts of methemoglobin may appear in the blood.


    and then, now
    I’ll go further elsewhere with
    this “communication”:

    I think that I’ll never use madder and
    blood to dye linen pants …
    It’s a truly disgusting work!

    1. Common Madder (rubia tinctorum)
      is a small herbaceous plant,
      native to Asia and Southern Europe.
      Lake colours are pigments made
      by fixing a dye onto an insoluble base,
      such as hydrate of aluminium, etc. …

      Perhaps we can think
      (but… where is the useful description
      about exact dyeing conditions??
      See also the “blood pH” [near 7
      = …too high, IMHO]) that the
      almost “pink-violet shade”
      was obtained with ferrous iron
      coming from blood…

      But we must remember that Alizarin
      with ferric ion (and thus see the iron of
      methemoglobin) produces a brown color …

      >Methemoglobin (English: methaemoglobin)
      (pronounced “met-hemoglobin”) is a form of
      the oxygen-carrying metalloprotein hemoglobin,
      in which the iron in the heme group is in
      the Fe3+ (ferric) state, not the Fe2+ (ferrous)
      of normal hemoglobin.


      Then we have to detect where is located
      a mix of brown color with a pink-violet shade…

      In the paper A.v.d.H. indicated us the study by
      de Villiers KA, Kaschula CH, Egan TJ, Marques HM:
      “Speciation and structure of ferriprotoporphyrin
      IX in aqueous solution: spectroscopic and diffusion
      measurements demonstrate dimerization,
      but not mu-oxo dimer formation.”
      J. Biol. Inorg. Chem. 2007 Jan;12(1):101-17.
      Epub 2006 Sep 14.

      Please, pay attention:
      there is no ferrous iron in that
      ferriprotoporphyrin (Fe 3+)…

      With what other iron byproduct we have to deal?

      I tried to see something under:

      = “Redox Reactions of Myoglobin”
      author: Mark P. Richards
      Antioxid Redox Signal.
      2013 Jun 10; 18(17): 2342–2351.

      >- Significance:
      >Failure to maintain myoglobin (Mb) in
      the reduced state causes the formation
      of metMb, ferryl Mb species, and
      cross-linked Mb.
      >Dissociation of ferriprotoporphyrin IX from
      the globin and release of iron atoms can
      also occur as oxidized Mb accumulates.
      >These modifications may contribute to
      various oxidative pathologies in muscle
      and muscle foods.
      >- Recent Advances:
      >The mechanism of ferryl Mb-mediated
      oxidative damage to nearby structures
      has been partially elucidated.
      >Dissociation of ferriprotoporphyrin IX
      from metMb occurs more readily
      at acidic pH values.
      >The dissociated ferriprotoporphyrin IX
      (also called hemin) readily
      decomposes preformed lipid
      hydroperoxides to reactive oxygen
      >Heme oxygenase as well
      as lipophilic free radicals can
      degrade the protoporphyrin IX
      moiety, which results in the
      formation of free iron…

      But this seems to be
      “enough too far” from what we require in order
      to be able to clearly understand the issue…
      — — —
      Here another technical question.
      If the cloth was starched before it was dyed
      [and this is an idea by A.v.d.H.],
      What was the probable subsequent thickness
      of “thin dyed layers” on linen?

      The formation of the body image was also
      blocked by serum haloes, as can be seen
      from the UV reflectance photographs of
      the Shroud.
      I would be curious to observe the results
      obtained from experiments with a previously
      dyed (with madder) linen in order to show
      what is the true color produced and its
      intensity (…using Applied Colorimetry =
      evaluation from delta E measurements).
      — — —
      Other information of minor weight:

      >Rose Madder is the commercial name
      sometimes used to designate a paint
      made from the pigment Madder Lake
      – a traditional lake pigment, extracted
      from the common madder plant Rubia tinctorum.
      >Madder Lake contains two organic red dyes:
      alizarin and purpurin…


      The determination of purpurin lake ratio
      in a mixture of purpurin and alizarin is
      important for provenance studies…

      Now… “that’s enough”!
      In other words:
      I hope to discuss the arguments
      (previously indicated in a rough manner)
      with the other bloggers…

      1. A.v.d.H. indicated a pH 5.5 about
        the acidic conditions of heme solutions…

        However you might think that the pH
        of sweat (or other postmortem emission)
        can have a certain impact
        on presumed “dyeing conditions” …
        Instead, unfortunately, on this fact
        we cannot read any inherent
        appropriate consideration…

        1. …apart the interesting case of a
          postmortem blood (ph = 5.5)
          that has been measured in
          the body of a deceased person,
          20 hours after the death…

        2. Natron and the paper by AvdH.

          >Natron is a naturally occurring mixture
          of sodium carbonate decahydrate
          (Na2CO3·10H2O, a kind of soda ash)
          and about 17% sodium bicarbonate (also
          called baking soda, NaHCO3) along with
          small quantities of sodium chloride and
          sodium sulfate. …


          >C34) Natron (sodium carbonate) was found in the dusts aspired from the back surface of the TS (Riggi 1982)
          “Evidences for Testing Hypotheses about the Body Image” (2005)
          by Fanti and other researchers

          >The presence of natron on the Shroud…
          William Meacham
          “The Rape of the Turin Shroud: How Christianity’s
          most …”

          Instead L. Garza-Valdes (“The DNA of God”)
          indicated us that:
          >…One of the bacteria I found on the Shroud, an extreme haloalkaliphilic bacterium that grows on natron, a mixture of sodium carbonate and
          sodium bicarbonate…

          = the natronococcus…

          So, we have to know what is the level of possible interference caused by natron…

        3. Here I want to continue my strange
          (and too lonely!) monologue referring about
          the natron…

          I think it would be interesting to be able to observe
          in a better manner the “chromatographic areas” around the waterstains and the comparisons for that effect obtained in an alkaline environment (obtained from natron dissolution) respect to the neutral environment (= different pH).
          So, I don’t believe is too difficult to realize some easy experiment with madder and Sodium carbonate on linen strips (and possibly also with and without saponin [= soapwort. Thus to verify: Saponaria officinalis versus Madder])… and then see also the probable
          useless proofs obtained adding myrrh.

          What is your opinion?

      2. I wrote (message dated
        December 2, 2015 at 11:17 am):
        >…The formation of the body image was also
        blocked by serum haloes, as can be seen
        from the UV reflectance photographs of
        the Shroud.
        >I would be curious to observe the results
        obtained from experiments with a previously
        dyed (with madder) linen in order to show
        what is the true color produced and its
        intensity (…using Applied Colorimetry =
        evaluation from delta E measurements).

        Here two words about the partial
        “logical failure” of my speech in regard
        to the layer of serum that blocked
        the formation of the Image on linen:
        I immediately realized that it was not
        entirely correct … but I had not been able
        to correct the message on the grounds
        of lack of time available.

        However I see that the problem
        (of the possible nuances, etc.)
        remains unresolved:
        What if the supposed color of the cloth
        (or dyeing linen cloth), made based madder,
        it is covered by the layer of serum?
        So what color do you get to the end (after
        an adequate aging treatment)?
        Until now
        I have not yet seen any proper experiment …
        — — —
        Also I do not see appear useful
        informations about possible interferences
        or influences of the alleged layer madder
        in the BIF process (BIF = Body Image Formation).
        Then, see also:
        the possible set of experiments to do.

  5. Congratulations to Adrie van der Hoeven
    (= A.v.d.H.).
    I can only share what A.v.d.H. hoped at
    the end of her study:
    I agree about the need of further improved controls.
    Therefore …
    I would conclude in the following manner:
    I expect to then see some flowers
    flourish from the seeds …

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