Tuesday, 20 June 2017

World Blood Donor Day: Donate blood and live longer, haematologist urges Nigerians

donate blood

Delivering a lecture to mark the event in LUTH where corporate orga­nizations and individuals who have been voluntarily donating blood to the hospital over the years were honoured and award­ed, among whom were Mansard, Airtel, Managing Director, Cos­charis Group, Cosmas Maduka, Akanmu stated that an indi­vidual who has been donating blood consistently for a period of 10years or more and meets what is called Returning Blood Donor (RBD), is very unlikely to suf­fer from diseases
related to iron overload.
According to him, “when you give blood, there is what is called compartmentalization of iron in the human body. The iron that is in circulation is about 70 per cent of the total volume of iron that you have in the body. Then, you have iron in storage, and that is in the liver and in the spleen. You also have tissue iron, i.e. irons that are present in the enzyme. Let me tell you that the neuro-transmitter enzyme, that is those things that make you think, if iron is much depleted, those en­zymes will not work and you will not be able function intellectu­ally. Iron is so key to life that the enzyme that you require to form new cell cannot be formed in the absence of iron because that en­zyme that deposits that requires iron.
“The point we are raising here is that when iron is in excess in the human body, it is also so deleterious to the human body because it destroys the tissue and makes it to become fibrotic and the fibrosis in the heart causes the so called variety of heart diseases. The fibrosis in the liver also causes variety of chronic liv­er diseases. Fibrosis in the pan­creas causes problems with the pancreas- enzocryme pancreas, malabsunction syndrome and the endocryme pancreas causes diabetes mellitus for people. You also have fibrosis of what we call… organs that produce hor­mones- endocryme organs; not being able to produce hormones that will help you perform as a man which leads to impotency because you will lose your libido. These are things excess iron in the human body can cause.
“So we are saying that a high number of people with these diseases are suffering from them because they have excess iron in their system. If you let out your blood, you let out these irons because when iron enters into the human body, there is no biochemical pathway to bring it out. Once it gets to the body, it remains there permanently.
“So the only way one can ac­tually let iron out is when you let out your blood. For instance, women live longer than men be­cause they menstruate and lose iron gradually through it. They rarely have excess of iron in their body and this makes them lead a healthier life than men and out­live their husbands by several years. This is because their tis­sues don’t age as a result of little iron in their body occasioned by their monthly menstruation. If you have women who don’t menstruate out, you will see them behave like men.
“So, men are more likely to develop cardiac, pancreas related diseases and others, but regular voluntary donation of blood can help you let out a lot of iron in the human body.”

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