by Louise Jensen
1) You get to save lives. One blood donation is broken down into several components and can save three lives.
2) You get the opportunity to have a basic health scan at every donation. These may include blood pressure, body weight, haemoglobin levels and temperature.
3) Donating blood removes some of the iron it contains. Not only does this help conditions where too much iron is a contributing factor but is now believed to reduce your risk of heart disease. Studies are currently being carried out to support the theory that high blood iron levels increase the risk of heart disease. Iron has been shown to speed the oxidation of cholesterol, a process thought to increase the damage to arteries that ultimately leads to cardiovascular disease. Several small studies have already been carried out to support this theory and researchers are planning to conduct large studies comparing the heart disease risks of those who regularly give blood with those who don’t.
4) There are mental health benefits to helping others. Donating can instil feelings of happiness, peace and a sense of purpose and self-worth.
5) Preliminary studies from Germany show people who regularly donate blood experienced a reduction in blood pressure. Trials are planned to see if sufferers of high blood pressure can reduce and stabilise their blood pressure long term by regularly donating.
6) Regular blood donors (donate over years) have an 88% lower risk of heart attacks and a 33% lower risk of severe cardiovascular events such as a stroke.
7) Regularly donating blood lowers your risk of cancer. Removing high iron levels which stimulate the formation of free radicals which are responsible for causing damage to body cells and tissues.
8) Your body replaces blood volume within 48 hours. All red blood cells you donate are completely replaced within 4-8 weeks. This process of replenishment helps the body to stay healthy and work more effectively and productively.
9) Your blood is screened for diseases such as Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Syphilis, HIV, Aids and Malaria. You will be notified if your blood is unusable and why.
10) Oh, last, but by no means least, you get a biscuit – awesome!