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Effects of Iron Supplementation in Female Athletes with Low Serum Ferritin Concentration
14 March 2008 (online)
Low serum ferritin concentrations are commonly found in female athletes. By studying the effects of an 8-week iron or placebo supplementation in 31 female athletes (aged 17-31 years), with an initial serum ferritin concentration ≤ 25µg/1 and blood hemoglobin 120 g/1, we investigated whether low serum ferritin values hinder aerobic Performance. Serum ferritin concentration in-creased from 14 (25th and 75th percentile: 11,21) to 26 (18, 36) µg/1 in the iron-supplemented group, but remained at a low 11 (9, 17) µg/1 in the placebo group (group difference after supplementation: p = 0.001). Before supplementation, blood hemoglobin concentration was not different in the two groups. After supplementation, however, the concentration in the iron group was 139 (135, 144) g/1 and 128 (126, 134) g/1 in the placebo group (group difference: p = 0.001). Iron supplementation did not affect blood lactate concentration or V̇O2max during an incremental ergometer test. Hence, aerobic Performance was not impaired in nonanemic female athletes with serum ferritin 25 µg/1.
Blood lactate - female athletes - ferritin - iron Status - iron supplementation - physical Performance