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Blood's main role is to transport oxygen throughout your body, although it also plays a role in fighting off infections and carrying waste out of your cells. Blood also:

Regulates your body's acidity (pH) levels Regulates your body temperature (increased blood flow to an area adds warmth)
Supplies essential nutrients, such as glucose and amino acids, to cells Has specialized cells that promote blood clotting if you are bleeding
Transports hormones Has 'hydraulic functions,' helping men to maintain an erection, for instance

There are four blood types, and your blood type may be either positive or negative, depending on the presence or absence of Rh factor (about 85 percent of people are Rh positive). It's thought that different blood types developed as a way to help protect humans from infectious disease. For instance, cells infected with malaria don't 'stick' as well to type O or type B blood cells, which means a person with type O blood may get less sick if they're infected with malaria than someone with a different blood type. Perhaps not coincidentally, regions with high burdens of malaria, such as Africa, also have a high rate of type O blood.

Blood Transfusions Are Often Life-Saving

According to the BBC:"Human blood is an extraordinary substance that manages simultaneously to nourish, sustain, protect and regenerate our bodies, but despite decades of research we are only just beginning to exploit its full potential." While researchers continue to explore ways your own blood may contribute to your longevity and well-being, one of the most important uses of blood currently is for transfusions.

Someone in the US needs blood every two seconds, so if you're up for doing a good deed, donating blood is a phenomenal choice. More than 41,000 blood donations are needed each day, but although about 38 percent of Americans are eligible to donate blood, less than 10 percent actually do so each year.The two most common reasons why people don't donate blood are fear of needles or simply not thinking about it. On the other hand, those who choose to donate most often do so in order to help others (which it does in spades, as one donation may save the lives of up to three people).

So, if you can spare an hour or so of your time, your donated blood may save the life of someone in an emergency (or the countless other scenarios in which blood transfusions are necessary). Finally, if your iron levels are high, donating your blood is a safe, effective and inexpensive solution, as one of the best ways you can get rid of excess iron is by bleeding. Men as well as post-menopausal women, in particular, may be at risk of elevated iron, so I encourage you to have your iron levels checked regularly.

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Using Your Own Blood to Promote Your Body's Natural Healing Process

PRP is a component of whole blood that contains a number of growth factors that takes advantage of your body's natural healing process. After your blood is spun to separate and concentrate the specific platelets and growth factors sought, the PRP is then injected into the site of injury to help jumpstart the natural healing process.

According to one of the largest multi-center studies to date on the use of PRP treatment for lateral epicondylar tendinopathy ("tennis elbow"), 84 percent of patients reported significantly less pain and elbow tenderness at six months following the treatment, compared to those who received a placebo.7

The treatment has also garnered some attention for its potential in treating problems such as:

Osteoarthritis of the knee Shoulder injuries Hip, spine and neck injuries
Rotator cuff tears Chronic plantar fasciitis Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries
Ankle sprains Tendonitis Ligament sprains