Give Blood and Prevent Cold Feet and Heart Attacks and Strokes

Give Blood and Prevent Cold Feet and Heart Attacks and Strokes


Men over 40, post-menopausal women: Pay Attention if you want to prevent heart attacks and strokes. Give blood!

Blood going into the bag!


Last week, it was time again. Time for my 6 monthly bloodletting! I have been doing that since reading an article in the April 2013 Nutrition & Healing Newsletter from Dr. Wright. called: Why do 40-year-old men die of heart attacks, but 40-year-old women don’t?.

It is clear, than men and women are different. Women bleed (reminds me of Alice Cooper’s Only Women Bleed)

Title: Alice Cooper – Only Women Bleed
Owner: AliceCooperVEVO

That is the point – women renew their blood on a monthly basis – men don’t. Women have less red blood cells per total volume then men, and therefore less thick, or viscous.  And, because of the 50-100 ml blood loss per month, women have 80% more younger red blood cells, and 85% less old cells than men. Newer cells are more flexible and less likely stick (clot) to impede blood flow. Increased red blood cell aggregation is a key risk factor for heart disease*. Women lag about 10 years behind men in the incidence of heart disease, one death per minute vs 10 deaths per minute in 2008, and the gap diminishes with age.

So men’s platelets (red blood cells) grow old and every 100-120 days have to be broken down by the spleen. That causes higher hemoglobin in the blood, that inhibits the blood vessel dilation effects of nitrous oxide (NO), resulting in blood vessel constriction, less blood flow. Less NO is linked to hypertension and atherosclerosis. Postmenopausal women have higher levels of fibrinogen, hematocrit and blood viscosity then pre-menopausal women.

This came to mind when I heard that our 84-year neighbor suddenly was confronted with thrombosis in her leg, making it swell up like a balloon. Obviously, she gets the standard heparin and hyaluronidase therapies, however, which doctor would think about bloodletting with postmenopausal women? I went over and explained it to her – she does not want to confuse the situation a present and will follow the standard therapy. I still urged her to start “giving blood” as soon as she is out of the critical situation. I wondered. Wasn’t she lucky? The clot could have gone to her heart or head – both pretty dismal outcomes.

Nutrition & Healing suggests: follow nature’s way and lose some blood on a regular basis. Two studies are mentioned:

  1. A prospective study on 2,682 middle-aged men, followed for 5 years, showed that heart disease risk is lowered by 85% **.
  2. A study of 400 men who had given blood in the previous 3 years showed about half the risk of myocardial infarction or stroke, compared to men who did not give blood***.

So this results in wider, more dilated blood vessels, as there is less free hemoglobin released from less red blood cells, so more NO available!

I noticed all this in real life. Before I started doing this, I used to have really cold feet in bed. Sounds familiar? Well, that is practically gone. I also feel less cold outside. But I do not know, whether my iodine therapy is playing a role in that – which would be likely!

In my case, it is a bit complicated. Having lived in the UK for longer than 6 months in the time of the Mad Cow disease – blood transfusion centers do not want my really exclusive AB+ blood. Luckily, my GP knows the head of the blood transfusion service in Basel, who was really interested in the articles quoted and donated the transfusion bags. Regrettably, they simply go in the biological waste – after we dismissed making blood sausage or freezing it in case of need in the future.

Another challenge is the doctor’s ignorance about these well-researched facts. Imagine, what trouble we could prevent. Do you have family members who suffered a heart attack or stroke? Considering the demographics – who can you expect to have one?

So, highly recommended, for men over 40 and any postmenopausal women!!

You may have to bring an article or two to convince your doctor of this example of the McNamara Phallacy – because we have a treatment – we forget about most obvious prevention! Particularly now we know, heart disease is less about eating fat or cholesterol

Richard’s Blood letting April 2015

Some pictures from Richard’s bloodletting series…

13.7.2016 What anyone over 50 should be doing to prevent stroke and heart attacks

29.08.2018 What anyone over 50 should be doing to prevent stroke and heart attacks

23.2.2018 What anyone over 50 should be doing to prevent stroke and heart attacks

11.8.2017 What anyone over 50 should be doing to prevent stroke and heart attacks




* Lowe, G.D., et al., Blood viscosity and risk of cardiovascular events: the Edinburgh Artery Study. Br J Haematol 1997;96(1):168-73.

** Meyers, D.G., et al., Possible association of a reduction in cardiovascular events with blood donation. Heart, 1997. 78(2): p. 188-93.

*** Tuomainen, T.P., et al., Cohort study of the relation between donating blood and risk of myocardial infarction in 2682 men in eastern Finland. BMJ 1997;314(7083):793-4.



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About the Author

I seek the difference that makes the difference for challenges in life. For me, that means learning, getting out of the comfort zone, often rocking the boat with sacred cows. Pharmacist with IT business degree and certified coach, trainer, hypnotherapist. Dutch born Swiss Citizen.

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