Hemolysis Is Responsible for Elevation of Serum Iron Concentration After Regular Exercises in Judo Athletes

  • Rina Nishiie-Yano
  • Satoshi HirayamaEmail author
  • Masahiro Tamura
  • Takumi Kanemochi
  • Tsuyoshi Ueno
  • Akiko Hirayama
  • Atsushi Hori
  • Tomohiko Ai
  • Nobuyoshi Hirose
  • Takashi Miida


Serum iron concentration increases in marathon athletes after running due to mechanical destruction of red blood cells (hemolysis). This study was performed to examine whether serum iron concentration increases after regular Judo exercise, and if so, whether such post-exercise iron increase is caused by hemolysis. We examined biochemical parameters related to red blood cell and iron metabolism in 16 male competitive Judo athletes before and after traditional exercise training composed of basic movements and freestyle matchup. The parameters were adjusted for changes in plasma volume based on simultaneously measured albumin concentration. The red blood cell count, hemoglobin concentration, and hematocrit levels decreased significantly, by 6.0–8.4%, after Judo exercise. The serum iron concentration and transferrin saturation increased significantly, from 87 ± 34 μg/dL to 98 ± 29 μg/dL and from 27.1 ± 9.7% to 31.2 ± 9.0%, respectively. Furthermore, the serum free hemoglobin level increased by 33.9% (p < 0.05), and haptoglobin concentration decreased by 19.2% (p < 0.001). A significant negative correlation was observed between Δ haptoglobin concentration and Δ serum iron concentration (r = − 0.551, p = 0.027). The results of this study indicate that serum iron concentration increases significantly after Judo exercise due to hemolysis.


Hemoglobin Hemolysis Iron Martial arts Transferrin 



Body weight


Creatine kinase


CK muscle-brain


Electrochemiluminescence immunoassay


Free hemoglobin






Mean corpuscular hemoglobin


Mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration


Mean corpuscular volume


Mean platelet volume


Molecular weight


Platelet distribution width




Red blood cell


Red cell distribution width


Standard deviation


Transferrin saturation


Total iron-binding capacity


Unsaturated iron-binding capacity


White blood cell


Funding Information

This study was supported by a grant from High Technology Research Center Grant, Strategic Research Foundation at private universities (SH and TM).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rina Nishiie-Yano
    • 1
  • Satoshi Hirayama
    • 1
    Email author
  • Masahiro Tamura
    • 2
  • Takumi Kanemochi
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Tsuyoshi Ueno
    • 1
    • 4
  • Akiko Hirayama
    • 1
  • Atsushi Hori
    • 1
    • 5
  • Tomohiko Ai
    • 1
  • Nobuyoshi Hirose
    • 2
  • Takashi Miida
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Clinical Laboratory MedicineJuntendo University Graduate School of MedicineTokyoJapan
  2. 2.Department of Sports ScienceJuntendo University Graduate School of Health and Sports ScienceChibaJapan
  3. 3.Toho Junior and Senior High SchoolTokyoJapan
  4. 4.Clinical Laboratory, Juntendo Tokyo Koto Geriatric Medical CenterTokyoJapan
  5. 5.Center for Genomic and Regenerative MedicineJuntendo University Graduate School of MedicineTokyoJapan

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