The purpose of the present study is to determine the effect of eight weeks zinc supplementation on the erythrocyte and leukocyte counts and other hematological parameters in male kick boxers. Twenty-four subjects were included in the study. They were equally divided into three groups as follows: Group EZ, training and receiving 2.5 mg/kg zinc supplement per day; Group SZ, receiving the zinc supplement but no training and Group E, who exercised but received no supplement. Erythrocyte, platelet and leukocyte counts, hematocrit, hemoglobin and the mean corpuscular volume (MCV) were determined in blood samples taken from each participant at rest and exhaustion. The erythrocyte count of group EZ was significantly higher than in the E and SZ groups, p < 0.001. The number of leukocytes was higher in the two groups that trained. The hemoglobin and hematocrit levels were increased in the EZ group (p < 0.05).The platelet number increased with exhaustion in the E and EZ groups (p < 0.001). The MCV values were lower in Group EZ as compared to the other two groups. The E and EZ subjects had higher neutrophil counts (p < 0.05).These results suggest that the combined effects of exercise and zinc supplementation have a positive effect in the hematological parameters of athletes, which may result in better performance and increased endurance.
Key words: Kick boxers, male athletes, exhaustion, zinc-supplementation, blood parameters.
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