Hemolysis Is Responsible for Elevation of Serum Iron Concentration After Regular Exercises in Judo Athletes

Rina Nishiie-Yano, Satoshi Hirayama, Masahiro Tamura, Takumi Kanemochi, Tsuyoshi Ueno, Akiko Hirayama, Atsushi Hori, Tomohiko Ai, Nobuyoshi Hirose, Takashi Miida

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Serum iron concentration increases in marathon athletes after running due to mechanical destruction of red blood cells (hemolysis). This study was performed to examine whether serum iron concentration increases after regular Judo exercise, and if so, whether such post-exercise iron increase is caused by hemolysis. We examined biochemical parameters related to red blood cell and iron metabolism in 16 male competitive Judo athletes before and after traditional exercise training composed of basic movements and freestyle matchup. The parameters were adjusted for changes in plasma volume based on simultaneously measured albumin concentration. The red blood cell count, hemoglobin concentration, and hematocrit levels decreased significantly, by 6.0–8.4%, after Judo exercise. The serum iron concentration and transferrin saturation increased significantly, from 87 ± 34 μg/dL to 98 ± 29 μg/dL and from 27.1 ± 9.7% to 31.2 ± 9.0%, respectively. Furthermore, the serum free hemoglobin level increased by 33.9% (p < 0.05), and haptoglobin concentration decreased by 19.2% (p < 0.001). A significant negative correlation was observed between Δ haptoglobin concentration and Δ serum iron concentration (r = − 0.551, p = 0.027). The results of this study indicate that serum iron concentration increases significantly after Judo exercise due to hemolysis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)63-69
Number of pages7
JournalBiological Trace Element Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Hemoglobin
  • Hemolysis
  • Iron
  • Martial arts
  • Transferrin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical
  • Inorganic Chemistry

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