Obsessed with getting huge? A lot of people are, especially in our age group.. and I'm not saying I'm not part of that group, however I'm starting to look into the negative aspects of this obsession. Frequently, mostly males of our age group, take supplements that claim to have extreme results, take a few pills and make a few mixed drinks and one week later your as big as this guy and no, it isn't photoshopped. This guy is Ronnie Coleman, he was Mr. Olympian and uses steroids, but that still doesn't take away from the fact that this guy is amazing.


            My problem with this though, is that science in this case could be killing people, just like we talked about in the past. There are a few supplements that people can take, with relative safety and get positive results. Those supplements are creatine and protein (specifically whey). But some people go on supplement overload-- they take nitric oxide and any other GNC brand and stuff their bodies full with it without considering the consequences. A lot of people think since its not steroids it couldn't be bad for you, but clearly thats not right.

            A lot of kids read what is on the label, which mostly consists of all capital letters saying HUGE MUSCLES, FAST, RESULTS, GET RIPPED, which of course everyone follows. The problem with this though, is that there is no science backing up the big claims. The FDA does not approve any of the products listed, which isn't a good sign, so the only faith you have in Jack3d or N0 EXPLODE or 1MR, is the review that some bodybuilder was paid to write. There are no good studies done on the products. The companies themselves do the majority of the studies, and they are not performed well. So these college kids pump their bodies full with chemicals like Riboflavin, Niacin, Thiamin, and Pantothenic acid hoping to get huge muscles at their next work out and it may help, but what happens years from now? When your liver really couldn't process all of those chemicals.. Do I really need 3,333% of my daily value of Thiamin? Probably not... but according to this box it says ill get huge muscles!! 


I think this case really shows the importance of science, and that not enough quality science is being done here.


As this ABC News article states, one of the major side effects of creatine is muscle cramping. One thing that science should look into with this use of creatine is whether or not this muscle cramping could be leading to more severe issues, such as an unhealthy and unnatural breakdown of muscle fibers or susceptibility to injuries. I don't really know much about supplements but I think that anything that gets put into the body to "enhance" some aspect of physicality could carry some risks. If it hasn't already been done, maybe some scientists should follow a groups of athletes, one on creatine one not, and see if any health affects arise. My concern about this supplement is the fact that younger and younger people are now taking them which raises the question of whether or not there are increased health risks for someone who's body is still growing?

There have been studies on creatine, the one i posted was a blind placebo trial and showed enhanced results. Its not creatine so much that worries me, there are better forms of creatine like creatine hydrochloride that has none of the side effects that creatine monochloride has (such as water retention and muscle cramping) but it all starts at creatine and the whole idea of supplementation. There are so many other chemicals and supplements out there that people willingly put in their bodies with no data backing the claims. There are some pretty intense supplements out there and most of them people have no idea what the long term or even short term negative side effects will be.

Liam, I just learned in my nutrition 100 class that companies for diet pills, workout supplements, etc. are allowed to plaster statements such as "GET HUGE" or "HUGE MUSCLES" on their product even though they are NOT FDA approved. They can do this because they are not making a health claim. In this case they are making a structure function claim. For example, health claims can link their product to reducing the risks of diseases. Structure function claims CANNOT state a product will "diagnose, treat, or cure a disease." Whole grain cereals may say "PROMOTES A HEALTHY HEART" but an FDA approved health claim could say "REDUCES HEART DISEASE." Even though they may not be FDA approved the layman would not notice the difference and take a structural claim as fact.

This article discusses in depth the difference between a health claim and a structure function claim.

and here the FDA defines structure function claims by their standards

I know that they are allowed to post these claims even though they are not FDA approved. My point is that a lot of these claims are not based in science, and people do not really know what these chemicals are doing to their bodies. The FDA point was just proving even more that no one really backs these products besides the companies selling the products, so clearly its biased. These products are misleading and i believe more research needs to be done. But you bring up a good point that i had not thought about before, i did not know there was a difference between structural and functional claims, its easy to get mixed up in the advertising of all of these products.

Some of the information from this blog surprised me, like the part about these different supplements not even being approved by the FDA, that's kinda scary actually. In an article I read on I learned that although these supplements have positive benifits, in the end they can cause serious damage. Steroids enhance bad cholesterol, increase blood pressure, and can change heart structure. This cardiac impact steroids can have on the body was described in a 2010 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology. This article on livestrong also said steroids can lead to cardiac arrest. Being that these serious conditions come with taking steriods, one should think twice before deciding to take them for their appearance now due to risks it can have on your body in the future.

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