Not only can donating blood or plasma help save other people’s lives, it can even help with your own health too.
The new surprising benefit comes from a recent clinical trial published in journal JAMA Network Open.
The study shows that blood donations can reduce toxic “forever chemicals” known as perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) from the body. Firefighters exposed to high levels of forever chemicals through their work volunteered in the study.
PFAS was introduced in 1954 in nonstick teflon pans and are widespread in many everyday items such as clothing, plastic, food packaging, and electronics. Several studies have shown that exposure to PFAS may cause cancer and may stay in the body for a lifetime.
The authors mention “that regular blood or plasma donations result in a significant reduction in serum PFAS levels … plasma donations reduced levels more quickly than blood donations.”
More research is needed to study the effectiveness of donations in other population groups, as well as regulation of these chemicals from government agencies.