Measurement of iron bioavailability and utilization before and during a period of exercise activity.


Iron is an in important component of red blood cells, which transport oxygen in our body. Regular exercising athletes tend to have lower iron status than non-exercising individuals, and the reasons for this are not clearly understood.

The aim of this study is to measure how efficiently our body absorbs and utilizes an iron dose during training and a control phase. The measurement allows to quantify iron bioavailability during exercise and to investigate regulatory factors (Fe metabolism and Blood volume influencing hormones) which influence iron absorption during physical activity. On the long term such studies will help to investigate iron metabolism during exercise and will help defining successful Training schedules. 

Requirements for participation
· You are generally healthy
· Male sex, between 18-50 years old
· Non-smoker
· You have a Body Mass Index (Calculation: Weight (kg)/Height (m2) between 20 und 25 (can be calculated here
· You are not exercising multiple times a week, but you do practice some physical activity (1-2 x per week, not more than 1 h per week)
· You do not take Vitamin and Mineral supplements, or you are willing to discontinue taking them during the course of the study (two weeks before start and during the 5 weeks study duration).
· You did not participate to studies with Stable iron isotopes in the past and you did not participate to other clinical trials in the last 30 days.
· Availability in Between 7/8 August until 11/12 September 2012

Time involvement
From 7/8 August until 11/12 September 2012
The study in divided in two phases and lasts for a total of 36 days.
a) Control or resting phase (14 Days) und
b) Activity phase (22 Days).
In total 6 visits to the Laboratory of Oxygen transport of the University Zürich are planned (three of which during the resting phase and three of which during the exercise phase).

Control phase: In fasting state (no food after 20.00 , no drink after 24.00 the evening before) consumption of an iron supplement and an intravenous iron infusion, measurement of blood volume.

The active training phase consists in 10 exercise bouts, to be conducted on alternative days, of 8Km. These will be actively and passively supervised (duration ca. 1h; Location: Irchel).

There is no direct benefit in volunteering for this scientific study.
As a compensation for participation, a personal Polar RS300 Training computer incl. Wear Link in value of approx. CHF ≈140 will be donated to the participants completing the study.
Furthermore, participants will receive information about their personal fitness, and iron status and blood volume and hematocrit levels.

If you are interested in participating please reply to this email by writing to 

Thank you for your interest!

Christian Bacher and Diego Moretti
Laboratory of Human Nutrition
Schmelzbergstrasse 7, LFV E 19.2
8092 Zürich

More information:

David Spichiger, SCS