Donating blood is not a recent phenomenon–the oldest recordings of blood donation date back to Egyptian civilization some 3,000 years ago. We celebrate those who donate blood this month (National Blood Donor Month). In light of that, here are a few of the lesser-known perks of donating.
Donating Blood May Reduce the Risk of a Heart Attack
Some studies suggest that donating blood on a regular basis lessens the hardening of arteries, and, therefore reduces the likeliness of a heart attack.
Donating Blood Reduces Occurrence of Illness
The iron found in blood is beneficial to the body, but too much of it can support sickness. Studies suggest that bacteria need iron to survive and multiply. Therefore, if you have an excess of iron in your blood, and a bacterium has entered your system, it will attach itself to the iron and use it to multiply. When you donate blood, excess iron is withdrawn from the body along with your blood, minimizing supporting factors for harmful bacteria growth.
Donating Blood Reduces Blood Viscosity
Blood viscosity means thickness. When blood is too thick, it has a harder time pumping nutrients to various parts of the body. When you donate blood, blood viscosity is reduced which means nutrients can flow easier through bloodstreams.
Men are more prone to blood viscosity. This may be due to the fact that they do not experience monthly menstruation as women do.
What’s more, donating blood makes you feel good because you’ve just performed a greatly needed service. Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood, but only 10 percent of Americans donate. To fill an ever-present need, find a blood donation center near you by visiting www.redcross.org.