This year, nearly 5 million people will have their lives saved by receiving blood transfusions. The blood is supplied by millions of donors willing to roll up their sleeves for people they will probably never meet. The health benefits are obvious for the patients receiving the donations, but what are donors getting in return?
A lot more than just doing a good deed. Here are the top benefits of blood donation:
- You get to save a life…or 2 million, and that feels good. There aren’t many things in your routine that can save lives. But when you donate regularly, it gives you the opportunity to save multiple lives.
- Burning calories. No, blood donation won’t become a weight loss fad any time soon. However, researchers at the University of California, San Diego have found that you can lose up to 650 calories per pint of blood donated. That’s not a bad deal for kicking back and doing a good deed.
- Lowers the risk of cancer. Offloading a batch of your blood means reducing iron stores in your body. Iron has been associated with cancer causing free-radicals. A study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute followed two groups of men for 4 and a half years. The group that donated a couple times a year lowered their iron levels and therefore their risk of getting cancer compared to the non-donor group.
- Maintains heart health. Another benefit of donating your blood is getting your heart into tick-top shape. Donating lowers the viscosity of your blood which reduces the friction on your arteries and blood vessels. A study in the American Journal of Epidemiology showed that men who donated blood once a year had an 88 percent lower risk of heart attack than men who skipped out.
The Florida Health Department states that donating blood is a win-win for everyone involved. Receivers get a vital substance and donors get to burn calories, lower their risk of cancer and keep their heart healthy. All this while laying back and taking a relaxing 45-60 minutes to do a good deed and save lives!
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