Today is World Blood Donor Day! Not only does donating blood save lives, it has a ton of health benefits for the donor. There is an increased demand for rare subtypes such as Ro which are more common in Black people. The Ro subtype is a variation of the Rh positive blood type and is one of the rarest ones, however the demand for it grows 10-15% every year whilst currently only 2% of donors in the UK have it (Blood.co.uk). It is 10 times more common amongst those of African and Caribbean backgrounds and is important that more donors have this subtype so that donated blood matches the diverse population. For those who are already donating blood - thank you! And for those considering it or needing a little push, here are 3 reasons why you should.
Great for weight loss
Did you know that donating a pint of blood helps your body lose around 650 calories? We don’t encourage donating blood as your weight loss plan (nor will your doctor) but we have to admit, it’s a nice reward for doing something good!
It may reduce the risk of a heart attack
Donating blood just once a year can reduce your risk of a heart attack by 88% according to a study conducted by the American Journal of Epidemiology, this is due to elevating the body’s extra iron stores which can cause oxidative damage and accelerate risks of heart attacks, strokes and so forth.
Promotes new blood cell production
Donating blood stimulates the production of new blood cells, after you donate, your body kicks into work to regenerate the lost red blood cells and they’re replaced within the span of 30 to 60 days. By donating blood you’re maintaining great health and allowing your body to work to the best of its ability.