Have you donated blood recently?
Having heard about the health benefits of giving blood, Tim and I went along to the mobile blood clinic on Caroline Bay, Timaru, and each donated a unit of blood. Whilst I believe this is an important contribution towards saving lives, the life and health you save may also be your own…
Historically bloodletting was used to “treat” a wide range of diseases. More recently in history this was carried out by barbers.. The red-and-white-striped pole of the barbershop, still in use today, is a symbol from this practice.
Why do men over 50 suffer more heart attacks and cardiovascular disease than women ?
It is thought this may be related to the fact that men’s blood is usually ‘thicker’ than women’s due to a higher red blood cell count.
As we age our blood cells also age, and they become stiff and less pliable. This also depends on lifestyle.
Anti-ageing expert Dr Jonathan Wright http://wrightnewsletter.com/about found that most cardiovascular disease occurs at either junctions or bends in blood vessels.
As the blood circulates, the stiffer blood cells damage the interior lining of the blood vessels, especially in these junctions, according to Dr Wright. This damage causes inflammation and calcification to build up and eventually block the interior of the blood vessels.
We know a woman’s risk of cardiovascular disease rises after menopause, and this is thought to be in someway due to the cessation of menstruation.
Statistics also now show those who regularly give blood are less likely to have a heart attack.
It is possible then, that when the body is forced to produce new, fresh blood cells to replace blood lost through either menstruation or donation, the risk of damage from older, stiffer blood cells is reduced.
It’s a double bonus!! By making the time to give blood we help others, but the big pay-off is that we help ourselves by creating newer, younger blood cells.