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The Incredible Health Benefits of Donating Blood

Donating blood can not only help the lucky recipient, it can also help you achieve better health. Here’s how.

It only takes about an hour out of your busy schedule and it may save a life. Donating blood may not only benefit the person who received the blood cells but may also improve the health of the donor. What are the potential health benefits of donating blood?

While the most obvious health benefit of donating blood is the wonderful feeling derived from giving something vital to someone who needs it, the benefits of donating blood may extend far beyond this to having a positive impact on the donor’s health.

Studies have shown that, in general, Americans tend to consume more iron on a daily basis than is necessary for good health. Ingestion of quantities of iron beyond a certain quantity can promote formation of free radicals in the body. Free radicals have justly earned their reputation for causing cellular changes which can disrupt normal cell function and increase the risk of certain chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer. This is more likely to be a problem for men and post menopausal women since women of child bearing age shed excess iron through regular menstrual cycles. If a person happens to be a red meat eater, the risk for iron overload can be even higher.

How does blood donation help with iron overload? Blood donation removes some of the excess iron which can cause free radical formation in the body. In fact, studies have shown that men who donate blood on a regular basis have a lower risk of heart disease. With heart disease being the number one cause of death in males, this is, indeed, an important health benefit of donating blood.

How can you be sure you’re not giving away too much iron? Before you’re allowed to donate blood, your hemoglobin level, a rough measure of your iron levels, will be checked. If it’s deemed too low, you won’t be allowed to donate that day. Your hemoglobin level will be monitored closely every time you present for donation and you’ll only be allowed to donate every eight weeks to prevent too much iron from being removed from your body. It’s a free and easy way to keep track of your iron levels.

When you consider the potential health benefits of giving blood along with the joy of giving to others in need, it’s no wonder the donation of blood has become so popular. An hour spent relaxing in a chair every two months is all it takes to benefit both your health and the health of a lucky recipient. Somewhat out there someone is waiting for your generous gift of life.

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  1. Where are the studies on the effects of donating related to other blood cells? Or the effect on the body’s need to replace frequently. The body wears out. Do frequent donations affect over all health? Resistance to infection? Longevity?

  2. I just wanna ask if what would happen to a person if she had been transfused with other type of blood??..’coz my cousin, with a blood type of ‘O’ had been transfused with a blood type of ‘b -’ due to the human error of the medical technician. What would happen to the blood in the body of that person, will that became harmful to her condition??..thanks!!..

  3. My girl friend & I both have o- blood type, will this have a negative effect on our children if we decide to get married and have kids?

  4. To son: If a person is type O and they received type B, it could potentially cause death, depending on how much was received.

    To Damian: There is not a problem when two O neg people have children. Your children will both have O neg blood. The potential problem is an O neg woman and an O pos man. However, there is an injection given now that stops any problems.

  5. Is there any consequenses of donating blood other than just the benefits in the long run?

  6. I have low blood platelets.100,000 range
    Will giving blood build new, or more platelets?
    Is there any benefit to platelets?

  7. If your blood shows some type of problem – are you informed when you give blood?

  8. I just donated my first pint. it’s a good feeling and I have overcome my fear of donating blood.

    read about my experience in my blog

    http://johnnie-insearchof.blogspot.com/

  9. Give blood man, wicked feeling dudes xxxxx

  10. Hi! is it a good combination for a blood type ‘o’ woman and blood type ‘b+’ man when they’re having kids in the future? is there any problem?

    2nd; is it ok to donate blood for this month while am planning to have a baby at the end of this year?

    tnx so much!

  11. thanks doc

  12. IS IT USEFUL TO OUR HEALTHTO DONATE BLOOD?? WHAT ARE THE POSSIBLE CAUSES?

  13. That is not possible your cousin should have died. If she is type O than she can only receive O. if she is B- then she can receive O.

  14. My personal experience with regular blood donation over the past year hasn’t been that positive. I became severely anaemic, and during the 14 months that I donated blood (every 8 weeks), I got 4 colds in a row.

    I no longer donate blood. It isn’t for everybody.

  15. pls register as a proud blood donor in http://www.RTIBLOODINFO.org as join the cause

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  17. Please donate blood at least once a year

  18. i love your article. it is very informative:)

    i wrote an article about this also. have a read:)
    http://healthmad.com/health/the-incredible-health-benefits-of-donating-blood/

  19. Does the blood donation helps in lowering the blood cholesterol level? explain how?

  20. To my friends: Though you are not a creator you can save a creation by gifting a pint of your blood.

    Be a Donner

  21. i think blood donation is a very good thing ..so i decided to donate blood on friday.

  22. Donating blood is a relaxing feeling for the donor, and it extends the life of the one in need. It is something that you let go from your body and when its gone it relaxes your stressed muscles and one is feeling so light like a feather, good that if there will be a blood bank anywhere people can actually donate their blood and lessen the possibility of health risks but we shall be having a healthier community in the future. If you may anyone who is concerned a bout this idea, may encourage a creation of a blood letting centre in their locality. God bless you Doctor for having published this article it surely have informed a lot.

  23. I love to donate my blood to save a life. But as my hemoglobin levels are always low, each time it is monitored, I have not had a chance to donate my blood so far.

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