A Comparison of Markers of Iron Status between Vegetarian and Non-Vegetarian Female High School Cross Country Runners. Is Routine, Pre-Season Screening Warranted?
Date of Degree Completion
Master of Science (MS)
Ethan A. Bergman
Second Committee Member
Third Committee Member
Fourth Committee Member
The purpose of the present study is to determine whether the circulating markers of iron status differ between vegetarian or non-vegetarian adolescent female high school cross-country runners. Fifteen non-vegetarian and six vegetarian female cross-country runners completed questionnaires used to obtain anthropometric data, health history, menstrual status, diet history and training history. Dietary intake was determined by self-report, using a food frequency questionnaire and a 3-day diet record. Blood samples were analyzed for serum iron, total iron binding capacity, serum ferritin, and transferrin saturation. No significant difference was found between vegetarians and non-vegetarians for serum iron or transferrin saturation. However, TIBC was significantly higher in vegetarians (p < 0.05). Ferritin was lower in vegetarians, trending toward significance (p < 0.10). Study results suggest the need for routine pre-season iron screenings as well as nutrition education, aimed at improving iron status for vegetarian and non-vegetarian adolescent female endurance athletes.
Callahan, Edward J. Jr., "A Comparison of Markers of Iron Status between Vegetarian and Non-Vegetarian Female High School Cross Country Runners. Is Routine, Pre-Season Screening Warranted?" (2015). All Master's Theses. 140.