Several weeks ago, I received a question about dietary supplement safety for teenagers. This is a very good question since a number of teenagers are using supplements without fully understanding what they may be taking.
From what I’ve witnessed in our health and fitness studio and in the local gym, the most popular reasons for teen use of supplements include gaining a competitive edge in sports, increasing strength and muscle, and losing weight.
While the motivation for supplement use continues to grow among teens, so does the number of products developed and sold each year. Because the growing number of supplements flooding the shelves each year is difficult to monitor, it is a cause of concern, especially when teenagers have easy access to them and may be unaware of what they are or what they do, never mind the product quality.
In addition, ever since the FDA released a statement in 1998 that, “we as consumers, along with manufacturers, are responsible for the safety and efficacy of dietary supplements”, it has become very important for parents and teens to understand what may or may not be safe or effective.
Since researching the supplement industry is not an easy task, I’ve attempted to help parents and teenagers learn about dietary supplements by creating an informative Spolight:Supplements series of articles on our True Health Unlimited, LLC website. The Spotlight:Supplement articles describe the industry and provide information about various types of supplements, list their claims and purported use, show examples of products that are tested and true, list selected potential side effects, selected drug Interactions, and suggested dosage.
The most recent Spotlight:Supplement articles provide helpful information about creatine and branched chain amino acids (BCAAs), which are commonly sought after by many teenage athletes looking for muscular strength and development gains.
In the future, the Spotlight:Supplement series will feature nutrition bars, nutrition drinks and powders, weight loss accelerators, and mood boosters. All of this information can be accessed at the bottom of our website by subscribing to our free “on Inspired Living” Newsletter.
In addition, I hope to help inform more folks in the community on Wednesday May 23, 2012 at 7pm, when I will be giving a free presentation Spotlight:Supplements – An Informed Approach at Vernon’s Court House Fitness & Wellness.