A. Abstract

Physical exercise is recommended widely as way to improve one’s health and reduce the risk of several diseases. However, intense physical activity has a much greater potential to worsen serum ferritin, which is not good for young fertile women. The purpose of the following research studies was to investigate the relationship between college athletes and non college athletes and their serum ferritin levels. Studies have exhibited a marked reduction in serum ferritin in college athletes in respect to non-collegiate athletes. Low ferritin levels may be due to menstrual bleeding, dietary iron intake, intensity and duration of physical activity and poor intestinal absorption. A serum ferritin concentration of < 12 ug/L is considered to be iron deficient. (1)
  B.   Introduction

There is much speculation about college athletes and non-college athletes having low serum ferritin. The reason for this suspicion is due to an increase in plasma volume which can stimulate erythopoiesis.   Erythopoiesis depends on the production of erythropoietin, which is regulated by the oxygen content of the blood vessels. This volume expansion occurs in athletes at a much more rapid rate and to a greater extent than the increase in red blood cell volume. Therefore it seems to be the reason athletes experience anemic like symptoms. (2)
The most conventional and easy way to improve ferritin is through a balanced diet and planned training. Let’s say you just come back from your off season and your iron and ferritin levels are good, but as soon as you start exercising heavily that volume expansion occurs and if you do not increase the iron in your diet you may get depleted iron stores. A normal ferritin level for women is 12-150 ug/mL and the primary storage form for iron is ferritin that is why ferritin gives good results for total body iron stores. The best sources are heme iron which can come from red meat and is most easily absorbed and non heme iron which can come...