Study aim: To assess possible effects of gender and of the level of motor activity on the deficiencies of selected vitamins and minerals in young subjects.
Material and methods: Four groups of physical education (PE) students (n = 15 each) were studied: sedentary men (SM) and women (SF), and physically active men (AM) and women (AF) engaged in endurance sports, all aged 18 - 24 years, were studied. Somatic measurements included body height and mass, and body fat content (by Durnin's method, from 4 skinfolds), the biochemical ones included concentrations of retinol, α-tocopherol, copper, zinc and iron in plasma.
Results: Men had significantly higher retinol (p<0.05) and iron (p<0.01) levels than women. The AM and SF groups had significantly (p<0.05 - 0.01) higher plasma levels of copper and zinc than Group SM. Group AF had lower zinc levels than Groups AM and SF, that latter group having lower α-tocopherol compared with Group SM.
Conclusions: Inasmuch the observed differences could be due to the respective intakes, the effect of motor activity and the associated increased elimination of minerals could not be ruled out.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.