Kelsey Rehwaldt '10

Iron Status of Division III Male Cross Country Runners: A Follow-up Study

College-aged males are seldom iron-deficient; however, cross country runners have an increased risk for iron deficiency due to the stress of running. This stress causes damage to erythrocytes and blood loss from the gastrointestinal and urinary tracts.  Last year, a study identified iron deficiency in 21% of Division III cross country runners.  We reexamined this population by measuring serum ferritin and hemoglobin levels twice during the season. Iron deficiency is defined by low serum ferritin levels (an indicator of iron stores) accompanied by normal hemoglobin levels (13.5-16 g/dL). Diet records, analyzed using Diet analysis Plus Version 9.0, were collected and provided an estimate of daily dietary iron intake. The study was approved by the Institutional Review Board and 35 subjects signed informed consent forms.  The diets of all subjects met the RDA [RDA 8 mg]. This year only one of the 35 [3%] subjects was iron deficient which may reflect an increased awareness due to testing and the individualized feedback regarding labs/diet given during the study last year.

Kelsey presenting her research at the Northland Chapter of the American College of Sports Medicine, April, 2010.
Kelsey presenting her research at Scholarship and Creativity Day, April 28th, 2010.

Research Advisors:  Amy Olson, PhD, RDN, LD and Manuel Campos, PhD, Biology