This study compared the iron status of middle-distance runners consuming meals providing low-medium iron availability (LMIA) or medium-high iron availability (MHIA), and determined the effect of a 4-week intervention on iron status in LMIA participants. Seventeen university-aged competitive runners and eight inactive controls participated. Mean serum ferritin levels were significantly greater in the MHIA group (58.7 ± 9.7ng·mL-1) than in the LMIA group (43.6 ± 10.9 ng·mL-1). Significant (p < 0.05) correlations were noted between absorbable dietary iron and serum iron (r = 0.639), total iron binding capacity (r = -0.636) and hemoglobin (r = 0.523). The mean absorbable dietary iron was significantly greater following the intervention in LMIA males (Test 1, 0.97 ± 0.3 mg·day-1; Test 2, 1.54 ± 0.5 mg·day-1; p < 0.05). Dietary advice did not improve iron status. These data suggest that meal composition may influence the amount of iron available for absorption and for maintaining iron status over time.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health