What do you get when you give blood? You might think it’s the warm fuzzy feeling of helping those in need. Also, that’s certainly one benefit of donating blood. But there are other health-related benefits as well, along with some lesser-known social benefits and financial benefits to consider, too. Here are five health-related, social benefits for blood donation that may not have occurred to you before now as reasons to donate blood.
Is Blood Donating Good For Health? Let’s Find It Out!
1) Reduces The Risk Of Heart And Liver – Benefits For Blood Donation
Each year, someone in India requires about 5 Crore units of blood. We are constantly reminded of the life-saving power of a single donation. But how much do you know about the donation process and its long-term benefits? Research shows that people who have donated blood in the past have a lower risk of heart attack, stroke, diabetes, or high cholesterol and triglycerides – it’s called metabolic syndrome. According to one study, donating blood could reduce your chances of developing these ailments by up to 50%.
2) Reduces The Risk Of Cancer
A major study from Duke University showed that individuals who had donated an average of six times over a lifetime were 45% less likely to develop cancer than those who had never given blood. Researchers believe this may be due to the fact that people with cancer often need more transfusions than those without it, so regular donors may have built up stronger immunity against certain forms of the disease.
An iron deficiency can lead to anemia and iron-deficiency anemia, in turn, puts you at a higher risk for cancer. The treatment for these conditions often includes blood transfusions which will improve your iron levels. So when you donate blood, not only are you helping those in need, but you are also indirectly lowering your risk of developing cancer.
3) Blood Cell Production – Benefits For Blood Donation
Red blood cells carry oxygen to the body’s tissues. Hemoglobin is the iron-containing protein that is combined with oxygen to form the red pigment. In order to release oxygen, heme must undergo a process called oxidation. Where it combines with an electron and releases a molecule of water (H2O). This can occur only when enough hemoglobin is present and there are sufficient amounts of bicarbonate ions (HCO3) in the blood plasma. The rate at which this reaction occurs slows down if you donate your blood often. Every time you donate your red blood cells break down and new ones have are produced by your bone marrow.
4) Prevents Hemochromatosis
Donating blood helps reduce the risk of suffering from hemochromatosis. Hemochromatosis is a disease that causes the body to store iron and over time, these iron stores can damage your organs such as your heart, liver, and pancreas. The best way to prevent this condition is by donating blood regularly.
5) Reduces Harmful Iron Stores – Benefits For Blood Donation
Maintaining healthy iron levels is vital to overall health. But, having too much of it can be equally damaging, as excess iron may build up in the liver and contribute to serious conditions such as cirrhosis and diabetes. Luckily, donating blood can reduce harmful iron stores by way of removing red blood cells. Also, converting them into components that are safe for donation. The body will typically regenerate a new supply of red blood cells within four months. In this time frame, donations can provide relief from high iron concentrations while also aiding the body’s natural recovery process.
It is incredible to know that there are many more benefits for blood donors than just the warm, fuzzy feeling you get from donating. Every time you donate blood, it saves three lives. What does this have to do with you? When you donate blood, not only are you helping other people, but it can also help save your own life!