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Monday, December 26, 2005
Sunday's New York Daily News had a long piece called Beating the heat detailing the mess left behind by the 1994 law, the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA), which deregulated this diet supplement industry. The article sums up the litany of charges brought against this law and this industry, with its high-powered lobbyists:
There is nothing in DSHEA that protects the public from buying the health products of a convicted drug dealer, nothing to assure them that his "natural" supplements are healthy, safe or that they even work. The law says that you don't have to prove natural supplements are safe or effective before you market them; the government has to prove that they aren't after the fact.
The article also has a section on some of the currently popular supplements being used to replace substances like ephedra and andro, and their dubious claims of effectiveness.
The New York Daily News article did not discuss creatine, which is particularly popular in some combat sports circles. An article on the web page of the Baltimore Sun, however, does.
This piece is called The benefits and dangers of using creatine and discussed the pro and cons of creatine with Dr. John Emmett, a surgeon, bodybuilder, and author of Turning Back the Hands of Time.
Dr. Emmett concluded, "Above all, be smart. Creatine is NOT for young athletes, meaning high school students, nor is it for any athlete who may have liver, kidney, gastrointestinal or electrolyte problems. If you choose to take the supplement, use it as directed, with plenty of water, and consult your physician."
I have also heard harsher pronouncements against creatine.
So take great care when using any of these unregulated supplement products, and seek out the opinions of experts in this field who are NOT on the payroll of one of these companies selling this stuff.