Camille Skarvan '08

Iron status in female cross country runners and response to iron supplementation

In collaboration with R. Lingor and N. Jayanthi, M.D.  University of Loyola, Chicago

Iron deficiency in the absence of anemia is associated with decreased running performance; female runners are at particular risk for iron deficiency.  Eight female Division I College distance runners  were assessed for iron status  and those with serum ferritin (sFer)  values < 30 µg/L  were provided iron supplements for 12 weeks.  Hemoglobin, hematocrit, and ferritin levels were measured one week before first competition and again at the end of the season.  Seventy-five percent of runners were iron deficient (20.2 µg/L ).  Supplementation with 27mg iron per day increased sFer to a mean of 40.2 µg/L and was associated with improved performance in 5000m distance runners.

Research advisor: Amy Olson, PhD, RDN, LD