The Status of Micronutrient Elements in Adolescent Athletes: A Gastronomy City Example
Sports Medicine Department, Dr. Ersin Arslan Training and Research Hospital, Gaziantep, Turkey
Keywords: micronutrients, season, gender, training area
Objective: Adolescent athletes are individuals who require special attention. Health problems related to nutritional deficiencies and associated loss of performance must be prevented in this group who are still continuing to grow and develop. The aim of this study was to make a retrospective examination of the micronutrient element status of adolescent athletes.
Materials and Methods: The hospital records of adolescent athletes aged between 12 and 17 who were admitted for pre-participation examinations were collected. The time frame was designated as twelve months. The athletes were separated into 2 groups; according to the time of admission. Group 1: 1st April -31st August, Group 2: 1st September -31st March. The test results of micronutrient elements were selected from the blood analysis of the athletes.
Results: The test results of 166 athletes were retrieved from the digital archives of the hospital. 111 (67%) of them were belonging to male athletes and 55 (33%) were to females. There were no significant differences between the groups in terms of demographic data and duration of training (p>0.05). Hemogram results revealed no significant difference between two groups. Iron deficiency anemia was determined in 10 (18%) female athletes and in 1 (1%) male athlete. Serum ferritin levels were low in 20 (15%) athletes; 15 (33%) were belonging to females and 5 (6%) to males. Anemia due to vitamin B12 or folic acid deficiency was not detected, but 10 (7%) athletes had severe vitamin B12 deficiency and 6 (4%) had severe folic acid deficiency. A statistically significant difference was determined between the groups in respect of serum 25 (OH) vitamin D concentration (p<0.05). In both of the groups, the female athletes and those who trained indoors had lower serum 25 (OH) vitamin D levels. Age showed a negative correlation with Vitamin B12 levels and folate levels, whereas a positive correlation detected with ferritin levels (p<0.05) in male athletes.
Conclusions: Factors such as age and gender, the training area and seasonal factors can affect the micronutrient element status during adolescence. All athletes should be evaluated in terms of personal risk factors and adolescent athletes should be closely monitored to prevent micronutrient deficiencies.
Cite this article as: Ercan S. The status of micronutrient elements in adolescent athletes: A gastronomy city example. Turk J Sports Med. 2018;53(4):182-94.