3 years ago

Efficacy of iron supplementation may be misinterpreted using conventional measures of iron status in iron-depleted, nonanemic women undergoing aerobic exercise training.

Laura M Pompano, Jere D Haas
Background: 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; however, the impact of regular moderate aerobic exercise on the effectiveness of iron supplementation remains unclear.Objective: This study aimed to determine whether aerobic training modifies the assessment of the effectiveness of iron supplementation in improving conventional iron status measures.Design: Seventy-two iron-depleted, nonanemic Chinese women [serum ferritin (sFer) <25 μg/L and hemoglobin >110 g/L] were included in an 8-wk, partially blinded, randomized controlled trial with a 2 × 2 factorial design including iron supplements (42 mg elemental Fe/d) or placebo and aerobic training (five 25-min sessions/wk at 75-85% of maximum heart rate) or no training. Linear mixed models were used to evaluate the relation between supplement type, training, and changes in iron status over time, measured by sFer, hemoglobin, soluble transferrin receptor (sTfR), and estimated total body iron.Results: After treatment, both the iron-supplemented trained and untrained groups showed significantly improved sFer, sTfR, and body iron values compared with either of the placebo groups. Similarly, trained participants had significantly higher aerobic fitness measures than untrained participants. Training modified the sFer response to supplementation (training by supplement interaction, P = 0.07), with the iron-supplemented trained group having significantly lower sFer than the iron-supplemented untrained group at week 8 (mean ± SD: 31.8 ± 13.5 and 47.6 ± 15.7 μg/L, respectively; P = 0.042), whereas there was no significant difference between the placebo trained and untrained groups (21.3 ± 12.2 and 20.3 ± 7.0 μg/L, respectively; P = 1.00).Conclusions: Regular aerobic training reduces the apparent effectiveness of iron supplementation in improving sFer and calls into question whether conventional measures of iron status accurately reflect iron metabolism in physically active, nonanemic women. This trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT03002090.

Publisher URL: http://doi.org/10.3945/ajcn.117.152777

DOI: 10.3945/ajcn.117.152777

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