Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Dietary Supplements and Athletes

You might want to ask your kids if they are taking any dietary supplements.

FROM NBC: Dietary Supplements are popular with athletes, but aren't regulated by the government. Some supplements contain ingredients not listed on the label. Those ingredients could get teen athletes banned from their sport.

Some student athletes use supplements, but doctor Alexander Kulick, an internist in Manhattan, warns parents that some products contain ingredients that could be harmful to your health. Dietary supplements aren't regulated by the government. He says some of the substances, like ephedra, which isn't always listed on the label, if it's in small amounts.

Dr. Alexander Kulick/Internist "Ephedra causes constriction of the blood vessels around the heart, so it's been linked to heart attacks. It contains a small amount of ephedra, it will show up positive on the test and you'll be banned from the sport." The New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association told us it's looking into the case of a student who tested positive for a banned substance after using dietary supplements.

On its website, the association states "many nutritional dietary supplements contain njsjaa banned substances. the use of supplements is at the student athletes own risk."
Parents we spoke with say no to supplements. "I think they age quicker, all these things that can happen. why cause problems?" "We try to give them nutritious meals, a good balance of fruits, vegetables, meat."

Dr. Kulick says the safest approach is really back to basics...a well-balanced diet with vitamins and vegetables. his advice for boosting muscle mass in teens? protein. One and a half grams per kilogram, per day.

If the supplements are legal and over the counter, I bet a lot of high school/college age kids use them. It is probably something to put on the list when you remind your kids not to smoke or do drugs. My son is only 7-years-old and I have heard parents talk about how competitive sports have become. I am not looking forward to that part!

-NewsAnchorMom Jen

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