According to a report from The Daily Mail, blood donations don’t just benefit those who need a transfusion, but the donors themselves as well.

One study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology reveals that those who donate blood may lower their cardiovascular risk by as much as 88 percent, while another study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute proves that those who give blood twice a year may decrease their chances of developing cancer.

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Experts say that donating blood lowers your blood’s iron levels, which in turn, keeps the blood from getting too thick and reduces free-radical damage associated with cancer. Low levels of iron in the blood may also prevent the acceleration of cholesterol oxidation, which may lead to more friction in the blood vessels, resulting in a higher risk of cardiovascular problems.

Donating blood sounds like a scary concept, but if you’re worried about losing too much blood, you’ll be glad to find out that the body recuperates-- burning approximately 650 calories while doing so – by replacing the blood lost in two days and red blood cells in one to two months.

(Photo by Cesar Astudillo via Flickr Creative Commons)

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