Iranian Journal of Medical Sciences

Document Type: Brief Report(s)


1 Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, Babol University of Medical Sci-ences, Babol, Iran

2 Department of Committee of Gym-nastics, Babol University of Medical Sci-ences, Babol, Iran

3 Department of Pediatrics, Babol University of Medical Sci-ences, Babol, Iran


Although, iron depletion is a common disorder among athletes, little data exist regarding the effect of gymnastic training on iron status. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of gymnastic exercise on body iron status and hematologic profile. The present investigation involved 35 male gymnasts aged from 6 to14 yrs. Serum ferritin level, total iron binding capacity (TIBC), iron and transferrin saturation, along with hematological indices (RBC, Hb, Hct, MCV, MCH, MCHC) were analyzed in venous blood samples before starting the exercise course and 10 weeks later. The second readings of serum ferritin level, RBC, Hct, and Hb were decreased significantly (p<0.05) as compared to the baseline values, whereas TIBC increased significantly (p<0.02). We concluded that gymnastic training is associated with a reduction in the body iron stores, leading to early stages of iron depletion which might compromise the health and performance of athletes.