Does giving blood on a regular basis confer any health benefits on the donor?
I have this notion that maybe humans (and men particularly) evolved to bleed more often than we actually do in our safe surburban lives, and that a bit of blood loss now and again might actually be good for us. I’m thinking in terms of (for men) reduction of iron concentrations in the blood, and maybe reduction of blood pressure. (There may be other potential benefits not occurring to me.) But I don’t know enough about physiology to know whether this idea holds any water.
Any thoughts? If I go down to the blood bank on a regular basis, am I doing myself any favors, health-wise?
I’m thinking of benefits to men more so than to women since: a) women bleed regularly anyway, and b) in a primitive society, I’m guessing men would have been exposed more often to potentially bleeding-inducing activities such as hunting and warfare, and so might have had a greater evolutionary incentive to develop a physiology adapted to regular blood loss.