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I.P. Zaitseva Ph.D. (Biol.), Associate Professor, P.G. Demidov Yaroslavl State University E-mail: A.A. Tinkov Ph.D. (Med.), Engineer-Researcher, P.G. Demidov Yaroslavl State University; Junior Research Scientist, RUDN University (Moscow); Orenburg State University E-mail: V.Yu. Detkov Ph.D. (Med.), Honored Doctor of Russia, Chief Doctor, Children's City Hospital № 19 named after K.A. Rauhfusa (Saint-Petersburg) Е-mail: A.V. Skalny Dr.Sc. (Med.), Professor, Head of Laboratory, P.G. Demidov Yaroslavl State University; Head of Department, RUDN University (Moscow); Institute of Bioelementology; Orenburg State University E-mail:

The intense physical activity significantly impacts iron metabolism of the organism. Consequently, the athletes and persons ex-posed to high physical load are characterized by a high rate of the iron metabolism disturbances. Therefore, the objective of the pre-sent study is the review of the world scholarly published articles devoted to the investigation of the iron metabolism in the athletes based of routine markers assessment. Assessment of iron status in athletes in the articles was performed using two approaches: 1) analysis of ferritin concentrations and, less frequently other markers like transferrin saturation and serum iron, and their comparison to the reference (or cut-off) values; 2) comparative analysis of iron metabolism markers in comparison with the control values. Using various cut-offs for serum ferritin it has been revealed that the majority of athletes are characterized by low iron stores. At the same time, a number of studies demonstrated that the incidence of iron deficiency in athletes is not different from the background levels in the population. A comparative analysis of iron status in the athletes and control values provided more heterogenous data. In particu-lar, despite the fact that the majority of studies has indicated the presence of iron deficiency, a significant number of studies demon-strated the absence of significant group difference as compared to the controls, and, moreover, higher values of iron status as com-pared to the control group. Review of studies dealing with iron status assessment using chemical analysis of hair, saliva and other sub-strates also revealed multidirectional trends. The association of iron status with physiological parameters of athletes is discussed. De-spite being rather contradictory, the existing data indicate the tendency to iron deficiency in the organism of athletes. At least partial-ly, the observed contradictions may be mediated by the use of various markers and substrates. Therefore, the combined analysis of the different methods for iron status monitoring, including a chemical analysis of the iron in various substrates and assessment of iron-binding proteins concentration is recommended. At the same time, the decision on the necessity of iron supplementation should be based on the results of personalized diagnosis, taking into account the possibility of iron overload and subsequent toxicity.

iron deficiency

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