Document Detail

Exercise, training and red blood cell turnover.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  7740249     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Endurance training can lead to what has been termed 'sports anaemia'. Although under normal conditions, red blood cells (RBCs) have a lifespan of about 120 days, the rate of aging may increase during intensive training. However, RBC deficiency is rare in athletes, and sports anaemia is probably due to an expanded plasma volume. Cycling, running and swimming have been shown to cause RBC damage. While most investigators measure indices of haemolysis (for example, plasma haemoglobin or haptoglobin), RBC removal is normally an extravascular process that does not involve haemolysis. Attention is now turning to cellular indices (such as antioxidant depletion, or protein or lipid damage) that may be more indicative of exercise-induced damage. RBCs are vulnerable to oxidative damage because of their continuous exposure to oxygen and their high concentrations of polyunsaturated fatty acids and haem iron. As oxidative stress may be proportional to oxygen uptake, it is not surprising that antioxidants in muscle, liver and RBCs can be depleted during exercise. Oxidative damage to RBCs can also perturb ionic homeostasis and facilitate cellular dehydration. These changes impair RBC deformability which can, in turn, impede the passage of RBCs through the microcirculation. This may lead to hypoxia in working muscle during single episodes of exercise and possibly an increased rate of RBC destruction with long term exercise. Providing RBC destruction does not exceed the rate of RBC production, no detrimental effect to athletic performance should occur. An increased rate of RBC turnover may be advantageous because young cells are more efficient in transporting oxygen. Because most techniques examine the RBC population as a whole, more sophisticated methods which analyse cells individually are required to determine the mechanisms involved in exercise-induced damage of RBCs.
J A Smith
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Sports medicine (Auckland, N.Z.)     Volume:  19     ISSN:  0112-1642     ISO Abbreviation:  Sports Med     Publication Date:  1995 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1995-06-07     Completed Date:  1995-06-07     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8412297     Medline TA:  Sports Med     Country:  NEW ZEALAND    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  9-31     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Physiology and Applied Nutrition, Australian Institute of Sport, Belconnen, ACT.
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MeSH Terms
Anemia, Iron-Deficiency / blood
Erythrocyte Aging / physiology*
Erythrocyte Deformability / physiology
Exercise / physiology*
Hemolysis / physiology
Iron / blood
Lipid Peroxidation / physiology
Osmotic Fragility / physiology
Reg. No./Substance:

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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