Why was this study done?

Iron depletion is common female athletes and may be common in male athletes. Reasons for lowered iron status in athletes are unknown, but hypothesized to be a result of red blood cell destruction, or increased iron uptake by myoglobin and other enzyme systems. This study was designed to see the effects of multivitamin supplementation (including 18 mg iron) or taking a multivitamin without iron on iron status in athletes.

What did the study find?

The study found no significant differences in iron status (hemoglobin, hematocrit, ferritin) in those taking a multivitamin versus those taking a multivitamin with iron.

Training for cross-country skiing and iron status
Haymes EM, Puhl JL, Temples TE. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1986 Apr;18(2):162-7.
PubMed Citation PMID: 3702643.
PDF Manuscript: Med Sci Sport Exerc, 1986.