FTP #41 – Ketogenic diets, carbohydrate availability and iron regulation in endurance athletes

FTP #40: Rachel McCormick & Peter Peeling – Iron deficiency in endurance athletes: from diagnosis to treatment strategies
January 4, 2021

FTP #41 – Ketogenic diets, carbohydrate availability and iron regulation in endurance athletes

Adapted from McKay et al. 2020
Alannah McKay, PhD
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In 2020, Alannah has completed her PhD titled “The Effect of Dietary Manipulation on Iron Metabolism and the Immune System in Elite Athletes”, which occurred in partnership with the Australian Institute of Sport, Western Australian Institute of Sport and the University of Western Australia. Recently, Alannah started as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research at Australian Catholic University. Her research explores the impact of diet and exercise on a range of performance and health outcomes in athletes, with a specific interest in iron metabolism. 

Peter Peeling, PhD
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Peter received his PhD from the University of Western Australia (UWA), where he investigated the impact of exercise on various mechanisms associated to iron deficiency in endurance athletes. This work highlighted the influence of exercise-induced inflammation on the transient increase of the hormone, hepcidin, which plays a regulatory role in controlling dietary iron absorption in the gut. Over the decade that followed this work, Peter has continued to explore the impact of exercise on iron metabolism, with a focus on practical strategies that can optimise iron stores in active populations. Currently, Peter is the Director of Research at the Western Australian Institute of Sport (WAIS), where he oversees the WA High Performance Sport Research Centre. Additionally, Peter holds a teaching and research role at UWA, in the School of Human Sciences, where he teaches courses in applied sports physiology, and supervises several graduate student research programs.

On this episode:

  • Revisiting the role of hepcidin on iron regulation
  • Acute and chronic CHO restriction on iron metabolism
    • Post exercise CHO intake
    • CHO feeding during exercise
    • Implications of acute CHO restriction
  • Implications for long term CHO manipulations
  • Periodized CHO on iron metabolism
  • LCHF ketogenic diets on iron metabolism
  • Poor iron status and altered hepcidin activity with LEA

Articles mentioned during the episode:

McKay, A. K., Pyne, D. B., Burke, L. M., & Peeling, P. (2020). Iron metabolism: Interactions with energy and carbohydrate availability. Nutrients12(12), 3692.

McKay, A. K., Heikura, I. A., Burke, L. M., Peeling, P., Pyne, D. B., van Swelm, R. P., … & Cox, G. R. (2020). Influence of periodizing dietary carbohydrate on iron regulation and immune function in elite triathletes. International journal of sport nutrition and exercise metabolism30(1), 34-41.

Mckay, A. K., Peeling, P., Pyne, D. B., Welvaert, M., Tee, N., Leckey, J. J., … & Burke, L. M. (2019). Acute Carbohydrate Consumption On The Iron-regulatory Response To Exercise In Elite Keto-adapted Endurance Athletes. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise51(6), 771-771.

McKay, A. K., Peeling, P., Pyne, D. B., Welvaert, M., Tee, N., Leckey, J. J., … & Burke, L. M. (2019). Acute carbohydrate ingestion does not influence the post-exercise iron-regulatory response in elite keto-adapted race walkers. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport22(6), 635-640.

McCormick, R., Sim, M., Dawson, B., & Peeling, P. (2020). Refining Treatment Strategies for Iron Deficient Athletes. Sports Medicine, 1-13.

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