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Original Research

Open Access Special Issue

Effects of natural iron supplement intake on EPO, Hp, and iron metabolism during rapid weight loss in university wrestlers

  • Jun-Young Sung1,†,
  • Tea-Woong Oh2,*,†,
  • Soon-Gil Lim3

1Department of Aero Fitness, Republic of Korea Air Force Academy, 28187 Chungcheongbuk-do, Republic of Korea

2Department of Sports Leisure, YongIn University, 17092 Gyeonggi do, Republic of Korea

3Department of Physical Education, YongIn University, 17092 Gyeonggi do, Republic of Korea

DOI: 10.31083/j.jomh1805114 Vol.18,Issue 5,May 2022 pp.1-8

Submitted: 11 November 2021 Accepted: 22 December 2021

Published: 31 May 2022

(This article belongs to the Special Issue Weight maintenance in men)

*Corresponding Author(s): Tea-Woong Oh E-mail:

† These authors contributed equally.


Background: The purpose of this study was to determine the changes in erythropoiesis and iron metabolism indicators in order to improve the maintenance of athletic performance during rapid weight loss. Methods: The subjects were 23 university wrestlers (13 male, 10 female). The first measurements in the male and female groups after natural iron supplement intake indicated weight decreases of 6.2% and 5.8%, respectively. After the 3-week washout period, the weights in the male and female groups decreased by 6.1% and 6.2%, respectively. Results: Males in the intake group experienced changes in iron metabolism after weight loss, as shown by increases in the iron indicators (Fe, p < 0.041; transferrin, p < 0.004; total iron binding Capacity (TIBC), p < 0.031), whereas the female group showed no significant changes. Both groups experienced decreases in erythropoietin (males, p < 0.021; females, p < 0.027) and VO22max (p <0.001) after weight loss. Blood lactate in the intake group decreased after maximal exercise immediately after the test for the male group (p <0.031) and during resting time and immediately after exercise in the female group (p < 0.001 and p < 0.050, respectively). Conclisions: These findings suggest that a 7% loss in weight does not positively affect athletic ability. Further research on methods for iron supplement intake, weight loss, and training is necessary to confirm our conclusions.


rapid weight loss; athlete nutrition; exercise performance; iron supplements

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Jun-Young Sung,Tea-Woong Oh,Soon-Gil Lim. Effects of natural iron supplement intake on EPO, Hp, and iron metabolism during rapid weight loss in university wrestlers. Journal of Men's Health. 2022. 18(5);1-8.


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