Often donating blood has a hidden advantage that we didn't know existed

According to this Australian study, donating blood regularly would help lower PFAS levels in the donor's blood.

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Donating blood is an action that helps save many lives, including that of the giver. In fact, in addition to helping those who need a transfusion (with a very small gesture for us, which can mean a lot for those who are sick or injured), the donation of blood is also an advantage for us, if done regularly.

According to this study, frequent donation of blood would reduce the amount of PFAS present in our blood. The perfluoroalkyl substances, commonly called PFAS, are chemical substances present in many objects of daily use (soaps, dishes, paints, clothing ...) and harmful to our health: they are in fact endocrine disruptors, and are involved in the development of cancer.

The greatest danger of these chemicals is given by the fact that they do not degrade quickly in the environment, but can "resist" even for years and accumulate in ecosystems - or even inside our body, multiplying the harmful effects for our health.

A team of Australian researchers carried out blood tests on 285 firefighters on duty at Fire Rescue Victoria and who donated their plasma and blood multiple times over a twelve-month period. Firefighters, for their profession, are regularly exposed to the PFAS contained within the fire fighting foam, and the levels of these substances in their blood are higher than those of the rest of the population.

Of the sample examined, 95 firefighters donated blood every 12 weeks, another 95 donated plasma every 6 weeks and another 95 donated no blood or plasma. From the analyzes carried out after a year in which the firefighters had repeatedly donated blood and plasma, it was seen that the levels of PFAS present in the blood were significantly reduced compared to the samples taken from a group of firefighters who never donated blood.

(Read also: Donating blood: 10 good reasons to do it)

But not only that: although both blood and plasma donations both contribute to the reduction of PFAS levels, plasma donations appear to be more effective, with a decrease in chemicals of up to 30%. We know that PFASs bind to serum proteins in the blood: therefore, a reduction in this blood component can help reduce PFAS levels.

This is an initial study, which needs further investigation. However, already from these first results it can be seen that donating blood is an effective method of reducing PFAS concentrations in the blood - without the need for any type of drug treatment or medical intervention. A gesture that is based exclusively on an act of generosity for the benefit of others and which can also help those who give to feel better.

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Source: JAMA Network

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