Dangerous Supplements and Advantageous Supplements

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The last FitBit has a synapse of the Consumer Reports findings that many of the most popular selling Protein supplements had toxic levels of heavy metals. Please review it if you have not already. This month, Consumer Reports analyzed other popular supplements and again reported alarming results in terms of both safety and effectiveness, including: 1. Bodybuilding supplements that contained synthetic steroids or steroid like substances (80 in the last 2 years as reported by the FDA) 2. 50 sexual enhancement products containing Viagra or other erectile dysfunction drugs 3. 40 weight-loss supplements containing Meridia and other drugs These products have lead to very serious risks, injuries, and legal hazards (athletes testing positive for steroids because they were taking “a natural supplement). These hazardous ingredients have lead to dangerous changes in blood pressure, serious liver injury, kidney failure, heart attack, stroke, and even death in adults and children. Unfortunately, unless you’re a ‘star-professional-athlete’, the news rarely takes notice and the general public remains subliminally ignorant of the risks of these products. For detailed information please read Consumer Reports, September 2010. In the meantime, AVOID the following 12: -Aconite -Bitter Orange -Chaparral -Colloidal Silver -Coltsfoot -Comfrey -Country Mallow -Germanium -Greater Celandine -Kava -Lobelia -Yohimbe Consumer Reports always listed FDA findings that of the 1,500 estimated supplement manufacturers, the FDA only inspected 55 for good manufacturing practices (less than 4%). Of the 55, 170 supplements were found to have hidden drugs and steroids. Equally concerning is the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database (NMCD) showed that only 33% of the supplements in their database had scientific evidence of efficacy and are likely safe! The 11 supplements Consumer Reports considered to be safe and effective are: -Calcium -Cranberry -Fish Oil -Glucosamine Sulfate -Lactase -Lactobacillus -Psyllium -Pygeum -SAMe -St. John’s Wort -Vitamin D On the Multivitamin Supplement front, Consumer Reports provided new research verifying what you have already learned in the IFPA Sports Nutrition Certification Course: “Real Nutrition comes from Real Food!” The research reported that people taking vitamins were no-more healthy than those who did not! The only exceptions: There are some people that the scientific evidence proves that they do need vitamin supplementation:

  1. Women who are pregnant, breast feeding or trying to conceive
  2. People in restricted diets (defined as people consuming 1,200/day or less, or cutting-out entire food groups: protein, carbs or fats)
  3. People with a condition that depletes nutrients

Advice on how to choose a multivitamin from consumer reports is the same as the IFPA Sports Nutrition Certification Course: 1. Avoid mega-doses (look for no more than 100% of the FDA’s daily value) 2. Ignore special claims 3. Consider a multivitamin age and gender appropriate 4. Look for the USP Verified Seal 5. Make sure it can pass the “dissolution test” Best regards, Dr. Jim Bell, CEO IFPA

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