|It's sort of funny that the mental fatigue is reduced, but the physical performance stagnates w/ iron supplementation.|
To put this results into perspective I will briefly recap the main message of a corresponding review of the "sense and non-sense" of antioxidant supplementation in athletes from the University of Florida to kick off today's installment of the Short News that will then turn towards the beneficial health and anti-obesity effects of AGE-reduced diets and the need for iron supplementation in physically active women.
- Antioxidant supplementation in athletes, sense or non-sense? The bottom-line of the latest review of the literature appears to be clear: Non-sense! Why? Well, according to Powers & Sollanek (2014)...
- Regular bouts of endurance exercise will increase the endogenous antioxidant enzymes in the trained skeletal muscles. In view of the fact that this translates to an improved ability to protect against exercise-induced oxidative stress in skeletal muscles, supplements appear to be less useful for athletes than they are for sedentary individuals, anyways.
- In contrast to fruits and vegetables, the ingestion of megadoses of antioxidant via dietary supplements (e.g., vitamin E) can increase the risk of toxicity and the associated possibility of negative health consequences.
- An AGE restricted diet reduces serum AGE and indices of body fat, study shows. In a 12 week randomized, controlled study scientists from the Universidad Guanajuato observed that the consumption of an AGE-reduced diet alone and in conjunction with exercise lead to a decrease in serum advanced glycation end product (AGE) levels and body fat - the addition of exercise provided additional benefits and lead to significant reductions in blood lipid levels.
Figure 2: Changes in weight, waist, fasting blood glucose and blood lipids after 12 weeks on AGE reduced diet, exercise and exercise + AGE reduced diet (Macías-Cervantes. 2014)
- Iron supplementation improves indicators of iron status and
emotional fatigue in female offiers-in-training, study shows. Researchers who are working for the US military have recently been able to show that the exercise-induced decrease in iron-status in female officers during military training can be ameliorated by supplements with 18mg of iron that were consumed on a daily basis over the course of the 13-week study (Boot. 2014).
Figure 3: Changes in selected markers of fatigue in iron vs. placebo supplemented women (Booth. 2014)
What is somewhat surprising, though, is that the effects on physical fatigue parameters were neither significant, nor positive.
- Booth, Christine K., Julia E. Carins, and Iain K. Robertson. "Randomised double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of iron supplementation attenuates fatigue and declining iron stores for female officers-in-training." RegisteR Now! 22.3 (2014).
- Paulsen, G., et al. "Vitamin C and E supplementation alters protein signalling after a strength training session, but not muscle growth during 10 weeks of training." The Journal of Physiology (2014).
- Powers, Scott K., et al. "Dietary antioxidants and exercise." Journal of sports sciences 22.1 (2004): 81-94.
- Powers & Sollanek. "Endurance Exercise And Antioxidant Supplementation: Sense Or Nonsense?-Part 1." Sports Science Exchange 27.137 (2014): 1-4.