IRON SUPPLEMENTATION FAILS TO ALTER RATE OF HEMATOLOGICAL ADAPTATIONS TO MODERATE ALTITUDE
Minares, C., McGregor, J., Ruth, C., Terry, E., Nelson, J. L., Doan, B. K., & Brothers, M. D. (2009). Effect of iron supplementation on hematological adaptations to moderate altitude among former sea-level females. ACSM 56th Annual Meeting, Seattle, Washington. Presentation number 2363.
"Previous research at the U.S. Air Force Academy (USAFA) has suggested that more than 37 weeks may be required for complete hematological acclimatization to moderate altitude (MA), but this lengthy time may have been confounded by insufficient iron stores and/or intake."
This study investigated the time requirement for hematological adaptations and the effect of iron supplementation at moderate altitude. Females (N = 9 on iron supplementation; N = 9 placebo) were measured for total hemoglobin mass, erythrocyte volume, plasma volume, and total blood volume while living at moderate altitude (2,210 m). It was hypothesized that sea-level females supplemented with iron would display significantly faster gains in total hemoglobin mass and erythrocyte volume compared to the placebo controls.
Ss were provided with either 100 mg ferrous sulfate or placebo (corn starch) upon arrival at the US Air Force Academy to be taken daily. Total hemoglobin mass was assessed within the first 72 hours of in-processing at the Academy, and again after +6 and +10 weeks of chronic moderate altitude exposure. During assessments, a controlled, seated venipuncture was conducted and erythrocyte volume, plasma volume, and total blood volume were calculated.
Both groups displayed a significant increase in total hemoglobin mass and erythrocyte volume following 10 weeks of chronic moderate altitude exposure. There were no significant differences in relative total hemoglobin mass or erythrocyte volume between groups.
Implication. Iron supplementation did not alter the rate of hematological adaptations to moderate altitude over that which occurred in non-supplemented females.
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