Keep your heart healthy by donating blood

Zee Media Bureau

London: Donating blood could be an easy way to reduce the risk of heart disease, says a study.

It has been noticed that there is a high incidence of heart disease could be due to tiredness of people who work in shifts. Resulting from the disruption to the body's biological clock as jetlag has a severe effect on red blood cells.

These effects makes blood donations a potential therapy for shift workers and can be counterbalanced by fresh, young red blood cells .

"Blood donations in humans also stimulate the generation of new fresh erythrocytes. Therefore, blood donations on a regular basis might be a very simple measure to help decrease the cardiovascular risk in human shift workers," said Margit Egg from University of Innsbruck in Austria.

Scientists worked on a model organism, Zebrafish (Danio rerio) and found out that they are like humans and are active during the day.

Resembling shift patterns common in the industry, the fish were subjected to alternate short (seven hour) and long (21 hour) days.

"Jet-lagged" animals showed higher numbers of aged red blood cells, which accumulated in the blood vessels.

"Normally there is a balance between newly produced red blood cells and old ones which are removed from the blood," Egg noted.

Old cells become stuck in the spleen and liver, where they are engulfed by white blood cells.

They are less flexible as well.

The removal process appears to disrupt jetlag.

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