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Lowering Your Cancer Risk by Donating Blood

Back in the early 1980s, a pathologist in Florida suggested that the reason premenopausal women are protected from heart disease is that they have lower stores of iron in their body. Since oxidized cholesterol is “important in atherosclerosis, and oxidation is catalyzed by iron,” might the lower iron stores of menstruating women reduce their risk of coronary heart disease? “The novel insight suggesting that the longevity enjoyed by women over men might relate to the monthly loss…of blood is remarkable,” but is it true? I discuss this in my video Donating Blood to Prevent Heart Disease?.

The consumption of heme iron—the iron found in blood and muscle—is associated with increased risk of heart disease. Indeed, “an increase in heme iron intake of 1 mg/day appeared to be significantly associated with a 27% increase in risk of CHD,” coronary heart disease. But, heme iron is found mainly in meat, so “it is possible that some constituents other than heme iron in meat such as saturated fat and cholesterol are responsible” for the apparent link between heme iron and heart disease. If only we could find a way to get men to menstruate, then we could put the theory to the test. What about blood donations? Why just lose a little blood every month when you can donate a whole unit at a time?

A study in Nebraska suggested that blood donors were at “reduced risk of cardiovascular events,” but another study in Boston failed to show any connection. To definitively resolve the question, we would really have to put it to the test: Take people at high risk for heart disease, randomly bleed half of them, and then follow them over time and see who gets more heart attacks. Maybe it could turn “bloodletting” from the past into “bleeding-edge technology.” In fact, that was actually what was suggested in the original paper as a way to test this idea: “The depletion of iron stores by regular phlebotomy could be the experimental system for testing this hypothesis…”

It took 20 years, but researchers finally did it. Why did it take so long? There isn’t much money in bloodletting these days. I suppose the leech lobby just isn’t as powerful as it used to be.

What did the researchers find? It didn’t work. The blood donors ended up having the same number of heart attacks as the non-donor group. Something extraordinary did happen, however: The cancer rates dropped. There was a 37 percent reduction in overall cancer incidence, and those who developed cancer had a significantly reduced risk of death. An editorial in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute responded with near disbelief, saying the “results almost seem to be too good to be true.” “Strikingly,” they started to see cancer reduction benefits within six months, after giving blood just once. As the study progressed, the cancer death rates started to diverge within just six months, as you can see at 2:46 in my video, but this is consistent with the spike in cancer rates we see within only six months of getting a blood transfusion. Is it possible that influx of iron accelerated the growth of hidden tumors?


I continue this wild story in my video Donating Blood to Prevent Cancer?.

What if you feel faint when you give blood? Don’t worry. I’ve got you covered. Check out How to Prevent Fainting.

What might iron have to do with disease? See The Safety of Heme vs. Non-Heme Iron and Risk Associated with Iron Supplements.

In health,
Michael Greger, M.D.

PS: If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my free videos here and watch my live presentations:

Discuss

Michael Greger M.D., FACLM

Michael Greger, M.D. FACLM, is a physician, New York Times bestselling author, and internationally recognized professional speaker on a number of important public health issues. Dr. Greger has lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, the National Institutes of Health, and the International Bird Flu Summit, testified before Congress, appeared on The Dr. Oz Show and The Colbert Report, and was invited as an expert witness in defense of Oprah Winfrey at the infamous "meat defamation" trial.


72 responses to “Lowering Your Cancer Risk by Donating Blood

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  1. The leech lobby just isn’t as powerful as it used to be.

    This is an interesting one. My mind will be playing back and forth about the heme being associated with increased risk of heart disease, but… well, I guess… for heart disease… it is just a bio marker.

    For cancer, it is a “thing” where it is the iron itself.

    That is how my mind is currently processing the information.

    1. ‘Heme iron may contribute to the development of atherosclerosis by catalyzing production of hydroxyl-free radicals and promoting low-density lipoprotein oxidation.’

      ubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23708150-is-heme-iron-intake-associated-with-risk-of-coronary-heart-disease-a-meta-analysis-of-prospective-studies/

    1. While there are no doubt risks involved in receiving a blood transfusion, the risk of not having one when needed is often much greater, ie death. That was certainly the case when I had one. No choice. And since that time eating wfpb having anemia every 2 years or so. Taking a low dose non heme iron supplement in hopes my levels return to ok.

  2. I joke with the people who draw blood when I go in for lab work at the VA, by asking them to take much more than the four vials they normally draw.

    Being male, it is not for the sake of lowering iron, but instead for jump starting my bone marrow to push more stem cell created blood into my system.

    I don’t know this for a fact but I suspect the hematopoietic stem cells add young proteins to the blood that instruct organs to repair. Normally those proteins wear out about our mid-thirties.

    In the past I’ve had a young person’s plasma transfusion (7 units) done to replace those worn out proteins. I’ve also had a 2 cc injection of cord blood. The plasma transfusion seemed the most benefical.

  3. Is there anything to be drawn from the research to date about frequency of blood donation? 1x-2x /month? Quarterly? I’m down for giving it a try (and helping out my local blood banks).

    1. Robert,

      Your question caused me to look up what the Red Cross says about donating blood and their answer was that it depends on what type of blood donation you are giving.

      I am wondering which type of donation affects heme iron or if they all do.

      Their guidelines are to wait at least eight weeks between donations of whole blood and 16 weeks between what they call Power Red donations whatever that means. Platelet apheresis donors may give every 7 days up to 24 times per year.

      Apheresis, to me, is the loss of a sound or sounds at the beginning of a word.

      The platelets become latelets.

  4. although phlebotomy is an option, keeping GGT under 20 and Ferritin under 80 via a
    nutritional protocol, has demonstrated a more significant solution, to lowering cardio
    risk.

  5. I wonder if giving blood will lower one’s risk in the stock market?

    I asked a friend who I have coffee with weekly, if he would go halves on renting a room atop an historic hotel in my town. It is the tallest… come to think of it… the only tall building in town. He asked why and I said so we can jump out the window like they’ve done in previous crashes?

    He smiled weakly but didn’t say he would go halves. I suspect he could no longer afford half the bill, and I certainly can’t afford the whole bill… so I guess we’ll have to wait for better times to commit stock market suicide.

  6. Speaking Tour Update

    Given the level of reported community transmission and the prospects of flattening the pandemic curve by preventing unnecessary public gatherings, I’m postponing my speaking tour until we have a better handle on the prevalence and spread after sufficient testing is completed.
    ——————————————————————————————————–
    Kudos to you DR.

      1. Good call, Dr. Greger.

        It would have been bad if all of the for-profit NBA and NCAA and Major League baseball and every parade and rodeo and concert in America canceled and the non-profit doctor didn’t.

        That had to be soooo hard. There is a timing thing that it didn’t happen during the writing of “How Not to Diet” instead of during the book tour.

        We would like to have Dr Greger alive for the writing of “How Not to Age” and not actively involved in putting elderly at risk.

          1. And, just so you know, I love you and all the work you do, but if you hadn’t, eventually I would have started playfully heckling you.

  7. So if I need a transfusion, can I request blood from a Vegan? Will Vegan blood become the gold standard? Just a thought.

    1. Ornish did an experiment in which ‘vegan’ blood was dripped on prostate cancer cells. Compared to blood from ‘non-vegans’

      ‘he growth of LNCaP prostate cancer cells (American Type Culture Collection, Manassas, Virginia) was inhibited almost 8 times more by serum from the experimental than from the control group (70% vs 9%, p <0.001). Changes in serum PSA and also in LNCaP cell growth were significantly associated with the degree of change in diet and lifestyle.'
      https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16094059-intensive-lifestyle-changes-may-affect-the-progression-of-prostate-cancer/

      So that idea of seeking blood from vegans may be a very good one.

  8. I donate platelets every couple weeks. Can you get the benefits from plasma and platelet donations, as opposed to whole blood donations?

    1. From several credible sources I reviewed the answer appears to be no if looking specifically at biological response (because you are not losing that harmful heme iron) However, even though the health benefits of platelet donation are focused on the recipients you so generously help you can look at it as an emotionally rewarding experience. When you do things that make you feel better about yourself you do indeed boost your emotional AND physical health (not to mention the potentially stress-relieving rest while you donate.
      Thank you for donating and best of health to you.

  9. This is interesting and warrants further studies…What if blood draw donations were taken from those eating WFPBD and those seating SAD and /or Paleo and track the results on cancer outcomes for those recipients w cancer? .. or other conditions?

  10. Twenty one years ago, after having widespread prostate cancer, melanoma as well as pre-cancers in my stomach and bowel, i gave up meat and transitioned to a whole food plant based diet. After years of standard therapy, my prognosis had remained poor, but all of the cancers and pre-cancers fully resolved. Possibly stopping the heme iron and other benefits of the diet had helped though, fortunately for me, I had always loved and consumed large amounts of fruits, vegetables, legumes, and nuts. I just turned 71 and had a nice surf today, tennis tomorrow, as well as walks on the beach. I am very thankful to Dr Campbell, Dr Ornish, Dr Greger, Dr Barnard, and others for the scientific nutritional guidance. I read How Not to Die and presently reading How Not to Diet, the great section on dietary fibre. As an MD myself, you help me advise others. Thank you.

  11. Robert,

    I am wondering about your immune system. Have you noticed a change?

    Dr. Fuhrman put out of a video that long-time Nutritarians don’t have to worry about this virus and I am sure that the WFPB population will have less of it than other populations, but I am not convinced that we are fully protected by nutritional intake. It would surely be a good time for a study though.

    I wonder though how many people who eat properly and exercise also prepared themselves with hand sanitizer and clorox or other methods of disinfecting.

    One of my part-time workers has health vulnerabilities was talking today about how he couldn’t even find Clorox wipes on Amazon or other ordering sites. Hand sanitizer is like that, too. Toilet paper, even.

    How many people didn’t stock their pantry and aren’t disinfecting their cell phones and are going to have to drive from place to place looking for toilet paper?

    We have it all on-hand for him at work, but he just wasn’t taking it seriously enough.

  12. And I don’t mean to put him down.

    My father just got surprised by the stock market.

    Is everybody understanding that prices might change soon?

    Again, do you have supplies?

    Did you stock your pantry for a few weeks?

    Maybe make some broccoli soup and put it in the freezer?

    Maybe have enough toilet paper and soap because people are already panicking?

    1. Deb, by the time you were comparison shopping for steam cleaners, face masks, wipes and hand sanitizer were long gone here, and toilet paper quickly followed suit.
      https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/coronavirus/the-psychology-behind-why-toilet-paper-of-all-things-is-the-latest-coronavirus-panic-buy-1.4846008

      Buying stuff in advance gives people a feeling of control in a chaotic situation apparently. I have been sick a lot in the past year or two, and though I can not guess what coronavirus would feel like to me, the last thing I wanted when sick was food. I would have eaten junk food if it was available and required no cooking.

    2. My solution for eliminating coronavirus risk is simple and costs nothing. It even saves money.

      Just stop drinking fancy Mexican beer.

      1. Just stop drinking fancy Mexican beer.
        ——————————————————–
        I’ve heard their sales have actually been falling. ‘-)

  13. And I know that when I was mentally processing everything all this time, I really became annoyingly communicative and I am sorry about that. I think without realizing it, I was manipulatively trying to get people to get ready for coronavirus and hadn’t really expressed that to myself yet.

    Chicken Little.

  14. Mostly, Italy was a few weeks ahead of many of us and suddenly people are quarantined for a whole month.

    I am hoping and praying everybody is ready.

    1. But I read an account on bbc from a northern Italy town where people were healping each other. They were not ‘locked up’… people were going shopping for themselves, and they helped buy and deliver groceries for elderly neighbours. Smaller groups were let in the stores to shop without crowding. Streets were quiet, but people were cognizant of the needs of others (and willing to help ) as we should be.

  15. I went and checked for myself and there was no toilet paper, Kleenex, paper towels, bleach, Lysol or Clorox sprays or wipes, hand sanitizers, ammonia, bathroom wipes, etc at all.

    I have some Kleenex and toilet paper and bathroom wipes and I have lots of ways of sanitizing and I did buy Clorox wipes and spray and hand sanitizer and my coworker said, “I think I would have been disappointed if you hadn’t over-prepared.”

    But I decided that I will be buying more toilet paper and more lentils and beans and rice and things to make soup. Those are starting to be what people are eyeing.

  16. Coincidentally, just hit 37 units of blood donated at my current Blood Center yesterday. And yes, one can donate every 8 weeks without anemia on a plant based diet with no iron supplementation.

    1. Coincidentally, just hit 37 units of blood donated at my current Blood Center yesterday. And yes, one can donate every 8 weeks without anemia on a plant based diet with no iron supplementation.
      —————————————————————————————————————
      I admire this message.

    2. Good job Darryl. I’ve made 5 or 6 donations per year for the past 40 years. The only time I was rejected for low hemoglobulin (iron?) was when I was still eating meat.

  17. They were pretty low on rice, zero lentils, zero no-oil hummus.

    Lines were like Black Friday.

    The thing is, I have enough for a few weeks, but if there is a quarantine, I could start running out of beans and rice and lentils.

    I will have to trade them for Clorox wipes.

    I am not as ready as I thought because I have already eaten a few weeks worth since I stocked up.

    They didn’t even have the mixed bean soup.

    Dr Greger must be successful in his message.

    1. Great, YR, ty. Not sure if you watched this one YR, https://www.drfuhrman.com/elearning/eat-to-live-blog/183/coronavirus-and-the-flu-five-ways-to-protect-yourself
      It’s fairly short, but there was a couple of things it brought to mind. (I am no fan as you know, but I set that side because really, who cares? not the discussion for this forum).

      The points that I found interesting are ,
      1. preparedness is best accomplished by eating well and maintaining good health at all times. Basic good sense.
      2. Obesity is a risk factor for death from the flu / coronavirus. I never considered this one, other than obesity makes other underlying health conditions more likely ie heart disease, diabetes, cancer, breathing issues perhaps… and poor nutrition likely.
      3. Fasting as useful tool for increasing immunity during illness. Here is my question… would it be useful to engage in some fasting prior to being ill? Would it help stave off illness in other words? Practitioners would have us believe it would. This is what I am considering atm.

      1. 2. Obesity is a risk factor for death from the flu / coronavirus. I never considered this one, other than obesity makes other underlying health conditions more likely ie heart disease, diabetes, cancer, breathing issues perhaps… and poor nutrition likely.

        3. Fasting as useful tool for increasing immunity during illness. Here is my question… would it be useful to engage in some fasting prior to being ill? Would it help stave off illness in other words? Practitioners would have us believe it would. This is what I am considering atm.
        ——————————————————————————————————————
        In re: #2, it is my understanding that obesity allows for more mutations of the virus in fat cells and that’s what makes it more dangerous.

        As for #3, that is a very good question. My understanding of fasting is that it causes the body to change over to burning fat into ketones after the body has used up glucose levels. Also, and I seem to remember this from reading Valter Longo research, the body “cleans up” in-effective white blood cells and re-constitutes the immune system into a lean, mean biological machine.

        Just offering myself as a sounding board to your question “would it be useful to engage in some fasting prior to being ill?”

        I’m wondering if being caught up in the bodily change-over and being infected by the illness would be a problem. I’m thinking probably not since as someone has pointed out, when an animal gets sick they do not eat.

        So I’m not so sure fasting as protection would stave off an illness, but it probably would make the illness less deadly.

        I was thinking how Deb was concerned about having only two weeks of food on hand. My first thought was this was her opportunity to get her weight under control… by fasting now and desiring to eat less food after the fast.

        She could stretch that two weeks of food into a month easily. ‘-)

        (I’ve been a faster and eat less food now… probably due to enhanced metabolism.)

        1. Thanks for your thoughts on this Lonie. I agree that perhaps fasting could conceivably done at a ‘wrong time’, I don’t know. Marilyn does it semi regularly and it’s working for her. I was contemplating 3 to 4 days per month, and staying on semi isolation. When I had the flu this year, I ate very little and recovered quickly.

          Lonie, another point that came to mind in discussing vulnerable populations was the difference around the world populations regarding ‘underlying’ disease processes and how they impact the course of coronavirus complications. When I saw the list of, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, elderly etc, I thought.. geesh! that’s 30% of adults in north america! (i don’t know the true numbers)
          Btw, I have been reading about full recovery in all ages of people, including a 90 yr old. Great tenacity of spirit speaks bunches.

          1. I was contemplating 3 to 4 days per month, and staying on semi isolation. When I had the flu this year, I ate very little and recovered quickly.
            ————————————————————————
            I’ve no idea what frequency is best… mine was based on major holidays… that is, when others were feasting I was fasting.

            But I haven’t fasted for over a year. My last fast was longer than my norm of 3 to 4 days. I fasted for a full 5 days.

            The reason I stopped fasting was because that last one caused a loss of muscle… either that or I had more fat hiding my muscle so it appeared to be a loss of muscle. ‘-)

            But there were other things going on at the time of the fasting. One was I had previously undergone a 2 cc infusion of cord blood stem cells. Instructions were to not do anything to hold down inflammation, as that was what caused the stem cells to go where needed.

            Also was informed the stem cells increased exponentially every 8 days and that after 8 wks they stopped increasing. That meant I abstained from fighting inflammation in my usual ways for at least a couple of months.

            Another thing was during my 5 day fast, I spent time daily in a sun heated clear plastic “tent” like structure. It would get very hot in there even in January and though I kept water handy to re-hydrate, when I left the structure and went back to the house I would be very weak.

            In retrospect, this may have been something I should have done independent of my fasting period. The three day ones I would spend in front of the computer streaming You Tube entertainment to help me pass the time and keep my mind off of food.

            For me anyway, this was a better experience than exercising during a fast.

          2. Barb,

            I’ve read that the fatality rate is about 10% (of confirmed COVID-19 cases) among the elderly. (At this time, anyway, world-wide) Which means that a high percentage of elderly with the virus do survive. We tend to lose track of that.

            1. Looking at the virus strictly by the numbers without taking in to consideration any personal family/friend loss…we may actually come out ahead, or at least be a wash health-wise.

              Think about how much better our exposure to vehicle exhausts, factory emissions, crowd noise etc. we’ll have to deal with.

              We may be afforded an extra x number of days of better health for those of us who come out none-the-worse on the other side. I guess there is no way of knowing for sure… just trying to find a silver lining as I am won’t to do.

              Sorry if my musings have offended anyone.

      2. Would it help stave off illness in other words?
        ————————————————————-
        Revisiting this of your original questions.

        In thinking back over my own experience, I don’t remember being ill… maybe a little bit off sometimes but not really ill… since my occasional holiday fasts.

        And my sinuses have stayed clear for the most part. (I bought a grapefruit seed nasal spray years ago, to open up my nose… but it only made things worse. I am now using that same spray daily… not because I need to open up my nose but to provide nasal nutrition.)

        And it seems my cognition my be improved but this could either be a recency bias or even something attributed to the many supplementary things I take for brain-sustain. ‘-)

  18. And just so you know, I am not really anxious at all about getting sick or about most things.

    I did find a few packs of toilet paper & 2 boxes of kleenex and 1 pack of paper towels to distribute to my elderly relatives and poor friends who can’t stock anything.

    I left a pack or 2 of toilet paper behind and a woman showed up while I was walking out of the store and she said, “Is there any left?”

    I said, “You better hurry.”

    I know my cousin couldn’t get out to get things like toilet paper.

    Places being out of every variation of beans and lentils did cause me to wonder if I am ready.

    My coworker thinks that I am over-prepared but countries could go bankrupt and we don’t even have adequate supplies of toilet paper and beans and rice to make it through this first week.

    People don’t have enough money to not go to work for a month and retail places like Bed Bath & Beyond were already in trouble enough that they were talking “death knell.”

    I know that sounds like I am worried, but I already know that my wealthy relatives have lost ridiculous amounts of money in the stock market and my poor relatives will end up homeless but first they will end up having this weekend without toilet paper or hand sanitizer.

  19. What I realize is that I need to be talking about this at the other community but I have a love for this one.

    Don’t get caught with your pants down.

    This same thing happened in Australia.

      1. Lonie, you were talking about stocks earlier. Invest in terlit paper? Or not?
        ———————————————————————————————-
        Haven’t read your link yet (but I will)… but I would say “or not.”

        TP is a non perishable item and if manufacturers ramp up production, when things settle down there will be a huge over supply.

        I am unfazed by the TP run. When alive, my sister would buy me a large pkg of either TP or paper towels when she shopped at the big box store… so I am well supplied.

      2. Follow-up: Remember when Johnny Carson made a joke on air about their being a shortage of toilet paper?’-)

        Suddenly there was a run on toilet paper and there really was a shortage of toilet paper.

        I suspect one could go back and see how that turned out for paper product companies in re: investment.

    1. What’s that about having lived in the UK? Does that disqualify one as a blood donor for some serious reason? Is that a rule in the US? I live in Central Europe (28 years) but lived in the UK from 1998-1990. Did I catch a blood disease I’m unaware of?

      1. I’m a regular platelet donor in the U.S. I know the travel and lived abroad questions are asked at the Vitalant (formerly LifeSource) donor center I go to (see below). Since they don’t apply to me, I’m not sure if someone could be deferred as a donor if the response is “yes” to any.

        In the past 3 years, have you been outside the United States or Canada?

        From 1980 through 1996, did you spend time that adds up to 3 months or more in the United Kingdom?

        From 1980 to the present, did you spend time that adds up to 5 years or more in Europe?

        1. From 1980 through 1996, did you spend time that adds up to 3 months or more in the United Kingdom?
          —————————————————————–
          Is this related to the variant creutzfeldt-jakob disease? (mad cow disease)

          Since that is a misfolded protein disease and the timeline is appropriate to the disease… plus, plasma contains proteins from the donor it would make sense to exclude anyone from time and place as a donor.

    1. We don’t know, the evidence is no, its not safe. And there are other problems with the impossible burger. Its highly processed (not good). Its high in sodium (not good). Its high in fat (not good). Its high in saturated fat (not good). Full disclosure: I love the impossible burger, and eat it on my occasional cheat days once in awhile, which is probably hazardous to my health.

  20. Would giving blood really have much cancer impact for someone on a whole foods plant based diet? The people in these studies were likely eating typical North American diets including red meat. Whereas there is likely a much smaller benefit if any, for someone whose diet is wfpb. Perhaps some researchers tried correlating the cancer reduction with heme iron consumption, but I haven’t seen it.

  21. Also which types of cancer was giving blood found to help lower the risk for? All types or only certain ones? I’m particularly concerned about melanoma because my mother had stage-four of that cancer.

    1. Joe- It appears all types of cancers were counted in reviewing results for those who gave blood. However, as a nurse, i do want to point out that this study while promising is not showing that giving blood could be a treatment for cancer, especially advanced cancer. In fact blood donation is generally restricted for five years or more after cancer diagnosis. did not show that giving blood can lower there may be an association between lowering heme iron levels and risk of specific cancers but alas much as we might wish it, we cannot assume blood donation will be treatment modality for cancer.
      I’m glad you are viewing this website and helping your mother eat and live as healthfully as she can to help her medical condition. Best of health to both of you.

  22. Giving blood is normally a pint = 460ml whereas blood testing is much less than 50ml. Typical Menstruation is 10-35ml and heavy menstruation is 80ml. One pound of red meat has 1-5ml of blood, but some of the heme iron could be outside the blood.

    1. Harry Ploss,

      “Myoglobin is the heme iron containing protein that gives meat its color..

      The more myoglobin content meat contains the darker red it will appear in color. Myoglobin content is higher in beef and lower in poultry with lamb and pork having intermediate amounts. The age of an animal will also impact the myoglobin content of the muscles with older animals having more myoglobin and darker meat. Muscles that are used for movement also have more myoglobin content than muscles used for support. Along with water from muscle, myoglobin is what is found in meat packages that leaks out of the muscles during storage and most people think is blood. Almost all of blood is removed from muscle at the time of slaughter.“

      https://www.canr.msu.edu/news/the_color_of_meat_depends_on_myoglobin_part_1

  23. Donating blood cleanses the blood. The body makes new blood to compensate for the blood loss. As a result, the new blood is fresh, clean, and un contaminated resulting in a healthier and more thin blood which, I might add, prevents clots, strokes, and heart attacks. So, we see that the cleansing of the blood is a major component of cancer prevention as well.

  24. Are there new health risks for a long time vegan who receives blood transfusions from non-vegan donors given that there will be different kinds of iron, proteins, and other possible contaminants in the donor blood? My hematologist scoffed when I asked him.

  25. Joyce,

    Perhaps expanding on this consider allergies ? Show him this publication to start: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/article-abstract/755785 Yes there is a transference of other constituents that influence the receipient.

    Or the clear association between red blood cells of those on a high fat diet causing endothelial dysfunction: https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/full/10.1161/circulationaha.115.017313

    Or perhaps talk about the age of the stored blood products: Nutritional Supplementation of Donors May Improve Outcomes Following the Transfusion of Stored Red Blood Cells https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/19390211.2016.1272660 and recognize that those from someone with a higher level of antioxidants (read better diet would make a difference)

    I was not able to find a more definitive publication on diets of donors and outcomes however; it is clear that there is an association which makes sense and should be considered, when possible.

    Trust this sheds some light on the subject for your doc.

    Dr. Alan Kadish moderator for Dr. Greger http://www.Centerofhealth.com

    1. Thanks; I read the articles.  I guess if/when I start needing transfusions I’ll just have to be even more careful with my diet and antioxidants since I can’t depend on the health of donors or age of stored blood.  I don’t want to undo 10+ years of healthy eating due to transfusion-caused weight gain and heart disease.

    2. If you are recovering from Lymphoma and Chemo and have received blood transfusions, I assume you should not give blood until your red and white blood cells are normal and 5 years after Cancer??

      1. My father and I are regular donors. When he was diagnosed with prostate cancer, he was deferred from donating for five years. He went back to donating five years after his treatment was completed.

        Sent via the Samsung Galaxy S8, an AT&T 5G Evolution capable smartphone

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