Systemic iron homeostasis in female athletes: hepcidin, exercise and sex influence
Archivos de Medicina del Deporte
Iron is necessary for adequate deliver oxygen to the tissues since it is an essential component of the haemoglobin. However, iron deficiency remains a common problem among athletes, particularly for women experiencing the menstrual bleeding every month. The iron losses through menstrual blood loss during the early follicular phase (or menses) and an inadequate dietary intake of iron are two important factors contributing to this disease. Furthermore, the large hormonal changes that women
... nce along the menstrual cycle, especially in oestrogen and progesterone may influence on the optimization of iron absorption. Iron absorption is mainly mediated by hepcidin hormone, which seems to be affected by several stimulus and factors such as oestrogen and progesterone concentrations. Moreover, the regular practice of exercise is another important modulator of this hormone. Therefore, premenopausal active females are the most susceptible population to develop an iron deficiency or iron deficiency anemia, affecting their health and performance due to the less iron availability within the body and consequently a reduction of haemoglobin which compromise the oxygen transport. To date, most studies have not explored the acute post-exercise hepcidin response taking endogenous and exogenous sexual hormones influence into account. This narrative review will focus on how iron homeostasis is modulated by different factors mainly influenced by exercise and female sexual hormones.