The Health Benefits of Giving Blood

January 28, 2015

 

Over 40,000 blood donations are needed every day, someone in the US needs blood every two seconds. Blood donation takes approximately 45 minutes to an hour, and one donation can save as many as three lives. While the health benefits of recipients who receive donated blood are clear, blood donors can reap great health benefits.

 

You reduce your blood viscosity by donating blood on a regular basis eliminating iron that may oxidize in your blood, and can be damaging to your cardiovascular system. Regular blood donation reduces the risk of heart attacks and strokes. In a recent study, those who donated blood a minimum of once a year had an 88 percent lower risk of heart attacks than those who did not donate.

 

The reduction of iron stores and iron in the body while giving blood can reduce the risk of cancer. Iron has been thought to increase free-radical damage in the body and has been linked to an increased risk of cancer and aging. The Miller-Keystone Blood Center says that the consistency of blood donations is associated with lower risks of cancers including liver, lung, colon, and throat cancers due to the reduction in oxidative stress when iron is released from the bloodstream. A person burns about 650 calories per donation. To donate blood the American Red Cross requires donors to weigh at least 110 pounds and maintain healthy iron levels in the body.

 

At each donation, donors are tested for blood pressure, syphilis, HIV, hepatitis, and other diseases. Testing indicates whether or not you are eligible to donate based on what is found in your bloodstream, and you will be notified if there are any adverse findings.

 

Please join me in making regular donations, both for yourself and for others.

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