Thick, viscous blood is linked with heart disease development and blood clots. Learn how to assess your blood viscosity and ways to reduce it.
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About Today's Show
The practice of bloodletting has taken place since at least 500 BC.
Back then, the ancient sages suggested that if a fever lasted more than two days, phlebotomy (a procedure in which a needle is used to take blood from a vein) was indicated.
During this COVID-19 era, there may be a role for prophylactic blood donation—especially in men and post-menopausal women with high hemoglobin and hematocrit levels.
After recently contracting omicron, my hemoglobin rose to over 19 g/dL! (This is quite high and is associated with a hypercoagulable state.)
Here are more details on blood viscosity and blood donation considerations:
We discuss more about:
-Simple blood tests that help approximate blood viscosity
-Why blood viscosity is a problem, especially with COVID-19
-Who should consider donating blood and why
-How blood donation helps you and others
00:05 Therapeutic phlebotomy may benefit high ferritin and hemoglobin in men and in post-menopausal women.
00:30 Donating blood once or twice a year brings down stored iron.
00:35 Iron overload and iron excess can drive the process of cardiovascular disease.
01:35 Iron depletion by phlebotomy improves insulin resistance in patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
01:45 Insulin and hyperinsulinemia cause changes in iron metabolism, iron absorption and iron physiology, and ferritin metabolism.
02:41 Excess iron gets stored in your liver, pancreas, and heart, and can impact your brain.
03:35 More than diet influences iron levels.
06:00 You need iron to transport oxygen in your hemoglobin.
07:18 Iron and ferritin are acute phase reactants.
08:45 COVID 19, even the omicron variant, may increase blood viscosity/thickness.
09:35 Free iron accelerates the process of the oxidation of LDL.
11:15 Ferritin stores iron. It is amino acids that hold molecules of iron.
12:50 Exercise helps with iron metabolism and your cardiovascular system.
14:15 High ferritin and high hemoglobin and hematocrit mean that there is a lot of free iron floating around.
17:50 Phlebotomy therapy for study participants with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease showed improvements in ferritin, hemoglobin, liver enzymes and markers of insulin sensitivity.
21:40 High frequency blood donation is protective against cardiovascular disease and reduced relative risk of having a heart attack.