(HealthyResearch.com) – When is the last time you donated blood? For some people, it’s a rewarding feeling to know that they can help others by giving a small amount of their time and a little bit of themselves.
Beyond knowing that you’ve helped save a life, there are many other reasons to give blood. As it turns out, it may benefit you, too. Learn about five major health benefits of donating blood.
1. Reduces Cancer Risk
Excess iron in the blood can increase free radical damage in the body and may increase the risk of some cancers. For certain people, donating blood regularly may lower the risk of developing these types of cancer:
The Journal of the National Cancer Institute reported that in a recent case study, blood and non-blood donors participated in a group to be monitored for cancer occurrence. One group lowered their iron storage through blood donations twice a year. The second group did not. The blood donors had lower iron levels but also a lower risk of cancer and overall mortality.
2. Improves Cardio Health
Donating blood often may improve cardiovascular health. By reducing the amount of iron, the risk of stroke and heart attack may also be reduced. The American Journal of Epidemiology reported that men who donated blood once annually had an 88% reduction in cardiovascular-related events.
3. Eliminates Hemochromatosis
Hemochromatosis is a buildup of excess iron in the blood. It may lead to a myriad of health issues and target major organs rapidly, leading to organ failure when it’s not treated. For those who have this condition, donating blood might help ward off the effects of the condition. Regular donation potentially provides a major health benefit to donors in this sub-group and aids in treatment as well.
4. Provides a Free Blood Work Check
One huge health benefit of donating blood is that you get a free blood analysis to screen for some conditions. If you are without health insurance or you can’t pay for your blood work, this is a great option. You’ll be screened for conditions like hepatitis B and C and HIV, Zika virus, West Nile virus, human T-lymphotropic virus and bacterial contamination. These tests may identify health issues your healthcare team might not routinely look for.
5. Burns Calories
Believe it or not, donating blood may burn some extra calories. Most people will burn up to 650 calories per donation of one pint of blood. Blood donation should not be considered a method to lose weight, but it is an added benefit to giving.
As if helping others and replenishing the available blood supply isn’t enough motivation to give blood, the health benefits might tip the scales. If you’re looking for a way to help your fellow human and maybe even get paid to do so, this might be one of the best things you can do. The gift of blood is the gift of life.
~Here’s to Your Health & Safety!
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