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Regular aerobic exercise reduces efficacy of iron supplementation

13 Jan 2018

Aerobic training on a regular basis lessens the apparent effectiveness of iron supplementation in improving serum ferritin (sFer), leaving doubts on whether conventional measures of iron status accurately reflect iron metabolism in physically active, nonanaemic women, suggests a study.

Individuals in both the iron-supplemented trained and untrained groups, compared with either of the placebo groups, had significantly improved sFer, soluble transferrin receptor (sTfR) and body iron values following treatment. Trained participants also had significantly greater aerobic fitness measures than untrained participants.

The sFer response to supplementation changed with training (p=0.07), with the iron-supplemented trained group showing significantly lower sFer than the iron-supplemented untrained group at week 8 (mean, 31.8 and 47.6 μg/L, respectively; p=0.042). However, no significant difference was observed between the placebo trained and untrained groups (mean, 21.3 and 20.3 μg/L, respectively; p=1.00).

The authors enrolled 72 iron-depleted, nonanaemic Chinese women (sFer <25 μg/L and haemoglobin >110 g/L) in an 8-week, partially blinded, randomized controlled trial with a 2x2 factorial design including iron supplements (42 mg elemental Fe/day) or placebo and aerobic training (five 25-min sessions/week at 75‒85 percent of maximum heart rate) or no training.

They examined the association between supplement type, training and changes in iron over time (measured by sFer, haemoglobin, sTfR and estimated total body iron) using linear mixed models.

“Despite its known detrimental effects, iron deficiency remains the most common micronutrient deficiency in the world. Many interventions that aim to improve iron status involve physically active populations. Intense aerobic exercise training negatively affects iron status,” the authors said.

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Most Read Articles
18 Apr 2018
Higher intake levels of coffee appear to be associated with reduced risk of developing chronic kidney disease, according to data from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study.
Jairia Dela Cruz, 6 days ago
Infants delivered via caesarean section may be at increased risk of developing acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, according to a US study. Altered microbiota colonization is a possible explanation for this risk, although clear biological mechanisms have yet to be established.
6 days ago
Treatment with danegaptide does not improve myocardial salvage in patients with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) undergoing primary percutaneous coronary intervention, according to the results of a phase II study.
Pearl Toh, 3 days ago
Tai Chi may be equivalent to pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) in improving health status of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a recent study shows.