The effect of physical training on the serum iron levels of college-age women

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WIRTH, JOHN C., TIMOTHY G. LOHMAN, JOHN P. AVALLONE, JR., TANYA SHIRE and RICHARD A. BOILEAU. The effect of physical training on the serum iron levels of college-age women. Med. Sci. Sports. Vol. 10, No. 3, pp. 223-226, 1978. — Physical training in women has been found to be associated with a significant decrease in serum iron levels suggesting a state of deteriorating iron stores. To further study this phenomenon, seventeen women, aged 19 to 23 years, volunteered to participate in a 10-week physical training program to study the effect of training on serum iron levels. The training consisted of three 20-25 minute exercise bouts per week on a bicycle ergometer with individual workloads equivalent to approximately 70% of each subject's maximum aerobic capacity. Additionally, eight women, aged 19 to 28, volunteered to act as a control group. Assessments of hemoglobin (Hb), hematocrit (Hct), serum iron (SeFe), and maximum oxygen uptake (V̇o2 max) were made on both groups prior to and at the conclusion of the training period. Upon completion of training, V̇o2 max (ml/kg/min) increased by eleven percent (p < .05) whereas Hb and Hct showed no significant changes for the training group with respect to the control group. SeFe levels (ug/100ml) in the training group did not differ significantly from those of the control group in both pre-training (128.8 ± 7.6 vs 103.7 ± 13.7, JOURNAL/masis/04.02/00005756-197810030-00016/OV0398/v/2018-02-08T152447Z/r/image-png ± SE) and post-training (126.6 ± 7.9 vs. 120.9 ± 16.3, JOURNAL/masis/04.02/00005756-197810030-00016/OV0398/v/2018-02-08T152447Z/r/image-png ± SE) conditions. Neither day of menstrual cycle nor use of oral contraceptives nor use of iron supplements was found to have any systematic effect on SeFe levels. The results suggest that short term physical training in college-age women does not significantly lower SeFe levels.


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