The aim of this study was to analyze the effect of supplementation with chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa) juice on the levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines, hepcidin, and selected markers of iron metabolism in rowers subjected to exhaustive exercise.
This double-blind study included 19 members of the Polish Rowing Team. The subjects were randomly assigned to the supplemented group (n = 10), receiving 150 mL of chokeberry juice for 8 weeks, or to the placebo group (n = 9). The participants performed a 2000-m test on a rowing ergometer at the beginning and at the end of the preparatory camp. Blood samples were obtained from the antecubital vein prior to each exercise test, one minute after completing the test, and after a 24-hour recovery period. The levels of hepcidin, interleukin 6 (IL-6), tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha), ferritin, iron, uric acid, and myoglobin were determined, as well as the total iron-binding capacity, unbound iron-binding capacity, and total antioxidant capacity (TAC).
Post-exercise, there was a significant increase in IL-6 and a significant decrease in the TAC in both groups, prior to and after supplementation with chokeberry juice. At the end of the experiment, the supplemented athletes showed significantly lower post-exercise levels of TNF-alpha and significantly higher TACs and iron levels than the controls.
Supplementation with chokeberry juice results in an increase in the antioxidant activity of plasma and contributes significantly to reducing the TNF-alpha level.
Exercise, Rowers, Supplementation, Chokeberry, Iron, Interleukin