4 surprising health benefits of donating blood

4 surprising health benefits of donating blood

  • Healthy living is not only a lifestyle but it also about being positive. Doing good deeds for others can have great benefits on your health.
  • Donating blood is a good deed that can go a long way as it truly can save someone’s life.
  • According to American Red Cross, “every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood.”
  • Donated blood is used in blood transfusions for sickle cell patients, cancer patients, or car accident victims, to name a few.
  • American Red Cross also notes that blood cannot be manufactured – it can only come from donors.
  • Most people donate blood to help others. However, only 10 percent of eligible donors in the U.S. actually donate every year.
  • Most people don’t give blood because they don’t like needles, or they never thought about it. “It may be time to start thinking about it today, or muster up the courage to overcome your fear of needles, as giving blood doesn’t only help others… it helps you too,” says Dr. Joseph Mercola, a leading physician, and health & nutrition expert.
  • Let’s take a look at four surprising benefits of donating blood.
  • 1. Regulates iron levels in blood:
  • Iron is an essential nutrient for our blood. For each unit of blood donated, you lose about 1/4 gram of iron. This may sound like a bad thing, especially because a lack of enough iron in the blood can lead to iron-deficiency anemia.
  • But most people don’t realize that too much iron in the blood is even worse and is more common.
  • A study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology shows that blood donors were found to be 88 percent less likely to suffer a heart attack. “Because high body iron stores have been suggested as a risk factor for acute myocardial infarction, donation of blood could theoretically reduce the risk by lowering body iron stores,” the researchers explain.
  • 2. Improved blood flow:
  • Smoking, radio frequencies, toxic electromagnetic forces, high-diet, anxiety and high cholesterol all have one thing in common: They make the blood thick and decrease blood flow. This can increase risk of blood clots or stroke.
  • Frequent blood donations may improve blood flow and may limit damage to the lining in blood vessels. “What is clear is that blood donors seem to not be hospitalized so often and if they are, they have shorter lengths of stay… And they’re less likely to get heart attacks, strokes, and cancers,” Phillip DeChristopher, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Loyola University Health System blood bank, told TIME.
  • 3. You get a mini physical:
  • Before donating blood, all donors receive a mini physical. Temperature, blood pressure, pulse, and hemoglobin are all checked. Your blood is also tested for serious infectious diseases, including HIV, hepatitis B and C, West Nile Virus, and syphilis.
  • Donating blood is certainly not a replacement for medical care, but it does give you a (free) glimpse into your health (as well as notice if you’ve been exposed to an infectious disease without knowing),” explains Mercola.
  • 4. Longer lifespan:
  • Donors who volunteer to give blood to help others are shown to have a longer lifespan than those who do it for self-centered reasons.
  • A study published in Health Psychology showed that selfless donors had a significantly reduced risk of mortality.
  • “This could mean that people who volunteer with other people as their main motivation may be buffered from potential stressors associated with volunteering, such as time constraints and lack of pay,” the lead author stated.
  • Take a healthy living step and donate blood! You can save a life.
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