Acute hypoxic exercise does not alter post-exercise iron metabolism in moderately trained endurance athletes
- First Online:
This study measured the influence of acute hypoxic exercise on Interleukin-6 (IL-6), hepcidin, and iron biomarkers in athletes.
In a repeated measures design, 13 moderately trained endurance athletes performed 5 × 4 min intervals at 90 % of their peak oxygen consumption velocity (vVO2peak) in both normoxic [NORM, fraction of inspired oxygen (FIO2) = 0.2093, 15.3 ± 1.7 km h−1] and simulated hypoxic (HYP, FIO2 = 0.1450, 13.2 ± 1.5 km h−1) conditions. Venous blood samples were obtained pre-, post-, and 3 h post-exercise, and analysed for serum hepcidin, IL-6, ferritin, iron, soluble transferrin receptor (sTfR), and transferrin saturation.
Peak heart rate was significantly lower in HYP compared with NORM (p = 0.01); however, the rating of perceived exertion was similar between trials (p = 0.24). Ferritin (p = 0.02), transferrin (p = 0.03), and IL-6 (p = 0.01) significantly increased immediately post-exercise in both conditions, but returned to baseline 3 h later. Hepcidin levels significantly increased in both conditions 3 h post-exercise (p = 0.05), with no significant differences between trials. A significant treatment effect was observed between trials for sTfR (p = 0.01), but not iron and transferrin saturation.
Acute exercise in hypoxia did not influence post-exercise IL-6 production, hepcidin activity or iron metabolism compared with exercise at the same relative intensity in normoxia. Hence, acute exercise performed at the same relative intensity in hypoxia poses no further risk to an athlete’s iron status, as compared with exercise in normoxia.
KeywordsIntermittent hypoxic training Altitude training Iron deficiency Hepcidin
Analysis of variance
Coefficient of variation
Fraction of expired oxygen
Growth differentiation factor-15
Graded exercise test
Hypoxic inducible factor
Hypoxic exercise trial
High-intensity interval running session
Normoxic exercise trial
Rating of perceived exertion
Soluble transferrin receptor
Peak oxygen consumption
Velocity attained at peak oxygen consumption
Volume of expired gas (Atmospheric temperature and pressure saturated)
Volume of expired gas (Standard temperature and pressure dry)
- WCX-TOF MS
Weak cation-exchange time-of-flight mass spectroscopy
- Ashby DR, Gale DP, Busbridge M, Murphy KG, Duncan ND, Cairns TD, Taube DH, Bloom SR, Tam FWK, Chapman R, Maxwell PH, Choi P (2010) Erythropoietin administration in humans causes a marked and prolonged reduction in circulating hepcidin. Haematologica 95:505–508PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Cohen J (1988) Statistical power analysis for the behavioural sciences. Lawrence Erlbaum, Mahwah (NJ)Google Scholar
- Hintze KJ, McClung JP (2011) Hepcidin: a critical regulator of iron metabolism during hypoxia. Adv HematolGoogle Scholar
- Peeling P, Dawson B, Goodman C, Landers G, Trinder D (2008) Athletic induced iron deficiency: new insights into the role of inflammation, cytokines and hormones. Eur J Appl Physiol 103:381–391Google Scholar
- Piperno A, Galimberti S, Mariani R, Pelucchi S, Ravasi G, Lombardi C, Bilo G, Revera M, Giuliano A, Faini A, Mainini V, Westerman M, Ganz T, Valsecchi MG, Mancia G, Parati G (2010) Modulation of hepcidin production during hypoxia-induced erythropoiesis in humans in vivo: data from the HIGHCARE project. Blood 117:2953–2959PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Robach P, Recalcati S, Girelli D, Gelfi C, Aachmann-Andersen NJ, Thomsen JJ, Norgaard AM, Alberghini A, Campostrini N, Castagna A, Vigano A, Santambrogio P, Kempf T, Wollert KC, Moutereau S, Lundby C, Cairo G (2009) Alterations of systemic and muscle iron metabolism in human subjects treated with low-dose recombinant erythropoietin. Blood 113:6707–6715PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Robach P, Recalcati S, Girelli D, Campostrini N, Kempf T, Wollert KC, Corbella M, Santambrogio P, Perbellini L, Brasse-Lagnel C, Christensen B, Moutereau S, Lundby C, Cairo G (2013) Serum hepcidin levels and muscle iron proteins in humans injected with low- or high-dose erythropoietin. Eur J Haematol 91:74–84PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar