By David Bell LA.c
Reduce Heart attack Rates.
When your blood is thinner the chances of a heart attack and stroke goes down. That is why many people with various heart conditions are given blood thinner medication. Donating blood can also achieve this by reducing the amount of iron in the blood which also reduces the stress on your blood vessels. “If blood has a high viscosity, or resistance to flow, it will flow like molasses,” says Phillip DeChristopher, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Loyola University Health System blood bank. That may explain why the American Journal of Epidemiology found that blood donors are 88% less likely to suffer a heart attack.
“What is clear is that blood donors seem to not be hospitalized so often and if they are, they have shorter lengths of stay,” Dr. DeChristopher says. “And they’re less likely to get heart attacks, strokes, and cancers.”
An adult male usually has about 5 grams of iron in his body which is mostly in the form of red blood cells and bone marrow. When a unit of blood is donates you loose about a quarter of a gram of iron which is eventually replenished through the food you eat. Many americans in the US eat way too much protein containing iron and they eventually bioacumulate more iron than their body needs as well as more calories that is needed. Over time this accumulation of iron puts stress on the body’s organ systems such as the liver heart and blood vessels. “The statistics appear to show that decreasing the amount of iron in otherwise healthy people over the long run is beneficial to their blood vessels, and diseases related to abnormalities in blood vessels, such as heart attack and stroke,” Dr. DeChristopher says.
Most women who are of childbearing age and do have a menstrual cycle usually do not accumulate too much iron.Women who haven’t hit menopause yet may find it hard to donate blood, too. “Pre-menopausal females can be somewhat iron depleted with blood counts just under the lower limit,” Dr. DeChristopher says. If you have low iron and you still want to be a donor, taking an oral iron supplement may help you re-qualify, he says.
“Pre-menopausal females can be somewhat iron depleted with blood counts just under the lower limit,” Dr. DeChristopher says. If you have low iron and you still want to be a donor, taking an oral iron supplement may help you re-qualify, he says.
Traditional Chinese doctors have been using blood letting techniques for years. In acupuncture there are many conditions that call for blood letting. In the classic chinese medicine text the Lingshu states “For a hot disease with frequent frights, convulsions, and madness, treat the blood channels. Use the number four lance needle. Quickly disperse when there is an excess. When there is insanity and a loss of hair, treat the blood and the heart.”
There is also a big correlation in the western medicine community between heart health and depression and anxiety, therefore donating blood could also boost your mental health.