Re: Notes from "Living to 100"

From: Jeff Davis (
Date: Sat Dec 09 2000 - 18:01:56 MST

Chris hibbert writes:

>I've heard before of the idea of donating blood to reduce iron. Are there
>any studies that show it's successful? The blood centers usually remind
>you that you replace the whole blood fairly quickly.

If the blood donation offloads a certain finite quantity of iron in
hemoglobin, then to replace that hemoglobin, it has to get iron from
somewhere, either an onboard organic source, or an external nutritional
source. Is there a specific place where 'excess' iron hangs out? We often
hear that "liver is rich in iron". Logically, this iron reallocated by
incorporation into hemoglobin is then no longer available for mischief.

In any event, I second Chris's request for empowering information, and push
it a bit further. What iron level is optimal? Or, more to the point, how
often should I donate blood to maintain that level?

Donating blood is weird: needles and all. Then to sit idly by while your
"life's blood", its primal redness screaming "danger!" through the
transparent plastic tubing, flows--or should I say ebbs--paradoxically,
treacherously, unopposed, while the white-garbed angel-of-mercy vampire
donut dolly assistants stand around all smiles. Instinct and reason
hunkered down, seething, in the trenches of the subconscious, in sight of
the neocortex, intermittantly glimpsed, through the shifting mists of Maya.

I've given blood often in the past. Time to start up again.

                        Best, Jeff Davis

           "Everything's hard till you know how to do it."
                                        Ray Charles

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