What to eat to aid in red blood cell reproduction?

  1. I'm going to turn 17 soon, the legal age at which one can donate blood in my state, and I plan on donating blood soon thereafter. Being that I've never done it before, and I'm not tremendously active (thus don't have a particularly strong heart, thus figure that losing a relatively small amount of blood might make me operate very poorly), I figured that along with trying to exercise a bit more than usual in the intervening time, I should figure out a meal plan that will help me in the reproduction of red blood cells. I know to drink lots of fluids after the procedure, and I assume that animal protein in general will help, but are there any special substances that I should make a concious effort to eat, like vitamins which are used in the production of red blood cells but aren't actually found in the cells?

    Thanks alot,
    Jacob
     
  2. jcsd
  3. brewnog

    brewnog 2,793
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Giving blood? Good for you.

    Get eating your liver, (not your own liver, obviously). Blood donation is a good excuse to drink lots of Guinness, although you shouldn't really drink alcohol for a while before donation. Have a good meal and drink lots of fluids before you go. They take less than a pint of blood, you probably won't notice the difference unless you smoke or drink alcohol afterwards, in which case the effects can be, urm, stronger than usual. :smile: When they offer you free biscuits, have them all, - they're free!
     
  4. adrenaline

    adrenaline 274
    Science Advisor

    Folic acid..... it helps red blood cell production by carrying the carbon molecule to the larger heme molecule, ( which is the iron-containing part of hemoglobin or the oxygen-carrying molecule of the red blood cells) etc, and thus helps in making new blood cells.
     
  5. Eh? Is there something about Guinness that helps you make extra blood cells, or is it just that nearly anything is a good excuse to drink lots of Guinness?
     
  6. adrenaline

    adrenaline 274
    Science Advisor


    Guinness has a high iron content. In the not so distant past, (back during the Marcus Welby era) doctors would tell pregnant women to drink some guinness for its iron content .... of course that is no longer recommended with our knowledge of fetal alcohol syndrome if the expectant mom gets carried away :wink:
     
  7. For red blood cell production, one would need to consume iron since red blood cells contain a prodigious amount of hemoglobin which each require 4 iron or heme groups.
     
  8. Monique

    Monique 4,700
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Eat lots of spinach, it will make you strong! :biggrin: (and it is a good source of iron)
     
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