Blood Donation Day is observed globally on 14th June. The event serves to raise awareness about the need for blood donation and acknowledge the donors. If you have not been a part of this exercise before, you can come forward and contribute to your community.
Human blood cannot be made in laboratories, thereby making blood donors the only help for those in need. The donated blood helps treat patients suffering from diseases like cancer, bleeding disorders, anemia, and other blood-related abnormalities. But did you know that donating blood, besides saving one’s life, betters the donor’s health as well?
As per research conducted by Mayo Clinic, one in every 200 people is affected by a condition called ‘hemochromatosis,’ which is caused by iron overload in the body. This disease can either be hereditary or caused by excessive consumption of narcotic substances or alcohol. By donating blood regularly, you can reduce the risk of hemochromatosis or excessive iron stores in your body.
Multiple studies link blood donation to a decreased risk of certain types of cancers, particularly of the liver, lungs, colon, and throat. This is because when you donate blood, it results in a reduction of oxidative stress (which is responsible for cancer) and the release of excessive iron from the bloodstream.
Excessive iron deposits in the body, caused by the intake of iron-rich foods, can lead to heart, pancreas, and liver-related ailments. This, in turn, increases the risks of diseases like cirrhosis, liver failure, damage to the pancreas, and other heart abnormalities. By donating blood periodically, you can maintain the iron level in your body, and keep the risks of developing such conditions in check.
Should you consume more calories than you require, the body then changes the excess calories to fat. Excess fat can lead one to become overweight and develop obesity and other related conditions. According to a study by the University of California, donating one pint of blood can burn almost 650 calories. Therefore, blood donation also keeps weight in check, helps in weight management, and prevents obesity.
That being said, if you are overweight, don’t rely on donating blood to cut the excess kilos. Instead, follow better dietary habits, exercise regularly and get more sleep.
A 2017 study by a leading research database found that regular blood donation helps to keep the risks of heart diseases in check, by maintaining favourable cholesterol levels. Besides, donating blood periodically helps to regulate blood pressure, thereby further reducing the dangers of developing heart-related disorders.
Donating blood is not only an act of kindness, but it’s also replete with a plethora of health benefits for the donor. That being said, doing this more than what may be required can have adverse effects on the body. As per experts, you must donate blood once in at least six months.
Consult a doctor, to know about vital factors like blood pressure and RBC count that can tell you if you are fit to donate blood or not. Also, make sure you are drinking enough water and eating a low-fat meal before you turn up at the donation center.