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Donating Plasma on paleo/mostly meat diet?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created September 21, 2010 at 3:41 PM

being in college and short on money, I have looked into donating plasma for a little extra cash.

So doing some research, all looks good except that most tips for donating mention avoid eating high fat/cholesterol meals before donating. The only explanation for this is because it makes the plasma cloudy and harder to work with in the lab. They also recommend taking in lots of water, which shouldn't be a problem for me.

If it is too cloudy, they will reject the donation and you don't get paid.

Other thoughts - they recommend eating within 3 hours of donation. Again, my only concern is going in having just loaded up on some fatty meat or eggs and not being able to donate/get paid.

I have just recently increased my consumption of meat, eating almost only meat (considering trying meat/fish only - just a little experiment I want to do).

So what are your thoughts? Stick to my usual diet and just down some veggies/fruit before going in? Stick to usual diet and just try going in a couple hours after eating?

Anyone have any experience donating plasma?

Thanks!

(Also, Been between 100% and 80% paleo for about 6 months now)

D5d982a898721d3392c85f951d0bf0aa

(2417)

on June 13, 2012
at 02:37 AM

Please consider writing full words and sentences - some of us sit at computers all day (sigh) and our eyes and brains just are too tired to visually make sense of text-speak. And some folks just plain don't know the abbreviations. Just a well intended thought.

5de2fffda92c0bf2be7ede10cad55546

(1781)

on September 22, 2010
at 08:52 AM

Just to add to my post above, I have read that it can be advantageous to donate blood regularly as it can help keep iron (ferritin) levels down.

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on September 22, 2010
at 08:17 AM

Re-opened given the thoughtfulness of the answers.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on September 21, 2010
at 10:57 PM

Interesting article here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC292474/pdf/jcinvest00250-0113.pdf Looks like fat intake increases turbidity short term in healthy people. In unhealthy people, turbidity does not clear. "No fat" diets mean less turbidity short term, but long term, triglicerides are much higher. Elements that cause the turbidity are diff in the healthy vs the unhealthy. Interesting stuff. THese old articles seem to be more scientific and less full of 'spin' which is nice.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on September 21, 2010
at 10:08 PM

Too bad, I found this issue of plasma turbidity to be very interesting as it has to do with fat digestion, something I would like to understand better. I am thankful to Fox for bringing up the question.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on September 21, 2010
at 06:47 PM

While I agree that the media spectacle discussed in that post was biased and unscientific, there is ample evidence that eating fat results in temp turbidity of blood plasma, even in the absence of carbs. Dr Mike is a smart guy but he does not know everything. All the hypothesizing in the world does not change that studies have shown that fat, all by itself, results in temp turbidity of blood plasma. The exact mechanisms behind how/why may be up for more debate, but the turbidity is easily seen with naked eye so not up for debate.

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on September 21, 2010
at 06:42 PM

Something about this question bugs me, so I am closing it. Fox, don't take that personally.

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8 Answers

4
4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

on September 21, 2010
at 04:24 PM

I donate regularly, am 80-90% high fat carnivore, no issues

3
0d2dec01a5ed9363a9915e111ae13f7e

on September 21, 2010
at 03:59 PM

A good expose on what makes your blood "cloudy" with fat:

http://www.proteinpower.com/drmike/saturated-fat/abcs-big-meal-propaganda/

Surprise! It's the highly refined carbs!

My personal experience (as I eat a paleo meat and vegetable/greens based diet) in blood donation is that my blood is fine and they like taking it down at the blood bank. My veins are easy to see and stick, too, thanks to Paleo Nutrition. I often give on 12-14 hour fasts, and always bring my own Paleo foods to eat while waiting to be "released". There is a short period they want you to wait before leaving, and they serve ice cream, sodas, juice and candy, cookies and crackers to all the metabolic train wreck donors!

Just go in and donate, it's not big deal, and you'll likely be a fine donor.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on September 21, 2010
at 06:47 PM

While I agree that the media spectacle discussed in that post was biased and unscientific, there is ample evidence that eating fat results in temp turbidity of blood plasma, even in the absence of carbs. Dr Mike is a smart guy but he does not know everything. All the hypothesizing in the world does not change that studies have shown that fat, all by itself, results in temp turbidity of blood plasma. The exact mechanisms behind how/why may be up for more debate, but the turbidity is easily seen with naked eye so not up for debate.

2
7f07328150510634c5f4da4a6b9f693e

on November 09, 2010
at 04:09 AM

Drinking 1 gallon of water the night before you donate will make the plasma come out quicker and make your time in the chair shorter.

1
Dbb8666905796a86f1dba08860555756

on June 23, 2012
at 12:51 PM

I have been donating plasma twice a week for the last 5 weeks. So far no adverse effects, but I would like to know if anyone has any information on long term effects.

1
4246554f23807fda8fe1aa1adb9fc232

(10)

on July 22, 2011
at 09:53 PM

you must remember that the more water you drink the lower your hermatocrit is!!!! if that number goes below 38 than you can not donate!!! you need to drink water.. i drink 1/2 gallon daily! all week, not just before plasma.. but u need to go on a regular basis and find whats good for you!!! not ENOUGH water will cause u to dehydrate and can cause ur veins to collapse! I donate 2 days a week, I'm overweight.. I do eat healthy! but I don't change my diet for donation, i just eat well!!!! less junk food, fats are good, but more mono and poly unsatuarated fats (avocado's nuts peanutbutter olive oils fish turkey) and LESS saturated and trans fats (deep fried, cookies, sugar, whole milks, cheeses Beef) eat veggies daily anyway, its good for u! and if u wanna keep ur hermatocrit up.. eat high iron foods, Peanutbutter/greens... the more u do the more u learn the easier it gets, and its better for u! :)

D5d982a898721d3392c85f951d0bf0aa

(2417)

on June 13, 2012
at 02:37 AM

Please consider writing full words and sentences - some of us sit at computers all day (sigh) and our eyes and brains just are too tired to visually make sense of text-speak. And some folks just plain don't know the abbreviations. Just a well intended thought.

1
5de2fffda92c0bf2be7ede10cad55546

(1781)

on September 22, 2010
at 08:48 AM

While I haven't donated plasma I have had a few blood tests and looking quite closely at the blood in the tube it looks like nice bright red blood to me. One time the Doctor told me to come back because I was at the end of a 36 hour fast and she said it was too long. ?? Go figure.

5de2fffda92c0bf2be7ede10cad55546

(1781)

on September 22, 2010
at 08:52 AM

Just to add to my post above, I have read that it can be advantageous to donate blood regularly as it can help keep iron (ferritin) levels down.

1
62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on September 21, 2010
at 06:28 PM

The blood bank never told me anything about my diet before donating plasma. Maybe they are less whiny if the plasma is given free and without payment, than if they are paying you money for it. However, I no longer donate plasma cuz my veins tend to collapse when they are trying to put the leftover blood back in. So now I just give blood instead.

Anyway, there exists plenty of research that eating fat results in temporary turbidity of blood plasma. I saw one piece of research going back to 1907 in which they fasted people for 12 hours and then fed them cream and butter. The outcome was plasma turbidity for a few hours and then it cleared. Foods without fat did not do that.

But I don't see any research showing this turbidity is bad for your health, although some might assume so because of their bias against fat in general. So I would not be worried about the turbidity from a health perspective. It's probably just one more natural event that happens in the body. No one ever freaks out about blood glucose going up a bit after eating (although of course you don't want it to go TOO high) because it's a natural event. You eat food, and your body reacts in various ways. In a healthy body, the turbidity goes down after a few hours, just as in a healthy body, your blood sugar also goes back down again in a few hours. THe only people who's turbidity did not abate after a few hours were sick poeple with kidney disease, diabeties, etc.

However, if the researchers say this is a problem for their specific research, then I see no problem with just avoiding the fat for part of the day on one day. You can always eat your fat right after you donate. I doubt they will let you donate often so it will be an infrequent event anyway.

1
13c5a9f1678d75b93f269cdcf69f14d5

(2339)

on September 21, 2010
at 04:02 PM

I think the advice to eat is to keep your blood sugar steady. On the Paleo diet, yours should be steady. I would try donating shortly before you planned to eat. Plasma donations are pretty quick. There's a Active Low Carber Forum with plenty of Paleo eaters there, many long timers. Perhaps they would have advice for you.

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