Donated blood and blood products are vital to the health and well-being of thousands of people a day.
People need donated blood for all sorts of reasons. Sometimes they have a condition that causes their blood levels to drop. In this case, there will not be enough oxygen or other nutrients to keep their important organs functioning.
In other situations, it could be due to someone getting into an accident or illness.
But donating blood can have some benefits for the person who donates it. It can make you feel good knowing you can help save someone’s life.
There may also be some health benefits that come from donating blood. One possible health benefit people wonder about relates to cholesterol. Some think that they can lower their cholesterol level by donating blood.
But is this true? Does donating blood lower cholesterol? Read on to find out.
Does Donating Blood Lower Cholesterol?
The short answer is that it might, but scientists aren’t 100% sure yet.
There are some other health benefits to donating blood. For example, it can reduce your heart rate, blood pressure, and weight. All of which are beneficial to your health.
And some research that shows regular blood donation can reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Donating blood appears to be an effective method for reducing lipid levels. In fact, when you donate blood, you are also contributing to the lipids within it.
In 2015, scientists examined the blood pressure of 292 blood donors. Each donor gave blood between one and four times per year. About half of them had high blood pressure.
Overall, the blood pressure values of those with high blood pressure improved. The more often a person donated blood, the greater the improvement.
Regular blood donation may reduce iron reserves, according to a 2013 study. This may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. It is considered that high iron reserves increase the risk of a heart attack.
One study measured the levels of total cholesterol, triglycerides, HDL (“good”) cholesterol, and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol in 52 regular donors and 30 non-donors. Triglyceride, total, and LDL cholesterol levels were all lower in regular blood donors.
Nonetheless, there are still some questions about these findings.
If all studies agreed that donating blood lowered cholesterol, you can bet many doctors would recommend that patients with high cholesterol should donate blood.
Yet, there is very little research addressing the impact of blood donation on lipid levels. And the research that does exist is contradictory and outdated.
It’s known that donating blood every six weeks reduces the oxidation of LDL (oxidized LDL). According to some research, this is connected to the development of atherosclerosis.
Though some studies suggest that excessive iron levels may play a role in this oxidation. This is likewise reduced by regular blood donation, the evidence is inconclusive.
But, the majority of these studies did not observe a large reduction in LDL cholesterol or triglycerides. , although one study did observe a modest decrease in both blood lipids.
Blood donation to lower cholesterol levels may be deceptive and not a genuine physiological response, according to a 2017 study.
A 2017 study reveals that regular blood donation is connected with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, probably due to elevated cholesterol levels.
In conclusion, it is possible for blood donations to lower cholesterol, but more concrete studies are needed.