Iron supplementation improves progressive fatigue resistance during dynamic knee extensor exercise in iron-depleted, nonanemic women

Tom D. Brutsaert, Sonia Hernandez-Cordero, Juan Rivera, Tracey Viola, Gail Hughes, Jere D. Haas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

129 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Tissue iron depletion may negatively affect endurance performance and muscle fatigability. Objective: We investigated tissue-level iron depletion and progressive fatigue of the quadriceps during dynamic knee-extension exercise in young women. Design: Twenty iron-depleted (serum ferritin < 20 μg/L), nonanemic (hemoglobin > 110 g/L) women (x ± SEM age: 29.1 ± 1.2 y) received iron (iron group) or placebo (placebo group) for 6 wk in a randomized, double-blind trial (n = 10 per group). A protocol integrating 2-3-s maximal voluntary static contractions (MVCs) with dynamic knee extensions was used to assess fatigue. Results: No significant differences between the groups in baseline iron status, MVC at rest, or MVC at the end of the protocol were observed. After treatment, serum iron and transferrin saturation increased significantly in the iron group (P = 0.02 and P = 0.03, respectively). Serum transferrin receptor concentrations increased significantly in the placebo group (P > 0.01) but not in the iron group. After treatment, the rate of decrease in MVC was attenuated in the iron group but not in the placebo group (P = 0.01). In the iron group, MVC at the sixth minute of the fatigue protocol and MVC at the end of the protocol were ≈15% (P = 0.04) and ≈ 27% higher (P < 0.01), respectively, after treatment. These improvements were not related to changes in iron-status indexes or tissue iron stores, although power was low (< 0.50) to detect these relations. Conclusions: Iron supplementation was associated with a significant improvement in muscle fatigability. Interpretation regarding the direct role of tissue iron status is limited by the study's low power to detect relations between tissue iron improvement and decreased muscle fatigue.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)441-448
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Volume77
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2003
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Endurance
  • Iron deficiency
  • Leg kick
  • Mexican women
  • Mitochondrial respiration
  • Oxidative capacity
  • Quadriceps femoris

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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