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Jack Medina Logo Adolescents, Steroids, and Nutritional Supplements
by Jack A. Medina, M.A. and
Roy E. Vartabedian, Dr.P.H.
In This Issue
Anabolic Androgenic Steroids
The Research
Research/Survey Results
Meaning of the Study Results
Fueling the Body for Peak Performance
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   February 9, 2009
Jack Medina In this issue, I would like to discuss the results of a study entitled "Nutritional Supplementation and Anabolic Steroid Use in Adolescents" (Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, Hoffman, J., et. al. 40(1):15-24, 2008).
Anabolic Androgenic Steroids
Steroids and Baseball Anabolic Androgenic Steroid (AAS) use has been, and still is, a hot topic. One of the main reasons for the public outcry is that the general public and politicians believe that if children see their sports heroes use drugs, they will too. But is AAS the only concern? In light of the lack of scientific support for nearly all nutritional supplements in regard to sports performance enhancement, it merits concern. After all, research shows that many vitamins do not contain what the label claims, some vitamins can be toxic and nearly 20% of all sports supplements sold in the USA are tainted with banned substances.
The Research
Researchers from the College of New Jersey and Florida State University teamed up to identify the actual prevalence of supplements and AAS use among teenagers. Ergogenic (performance-enhancing) aids extend beyond just nutritional supplements and drugs, but it's these two areas that have received the greatest degree of public and media attention. And this attention is warranted due to the medical risks and ethical considerations associated with many of these substances. Many sports now have strict regulations in place governing the use of supplements and drugs; the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) bans protein beyond a certain amount and AAS are nearly universally banned.
NCAA research seems to suggest that those athletes who do take steroids start while they are in high school. Research suggests that between 65 and 89% of intercollegiate athletes use some type of nutritional supplement and that 31% of high school athletes do, with 13% using more than one supplement.
Research/Survey Results
3,248 high school students in 12 states within the continental United States were surveyed. Males represented 48% and females 52%.
Results Summary:
  • 71.2% of respondents used at least one supplement.
  • The most popular supplement used was a multivitamin (59.3%), followed by high-energy drinks (31.5%).
  • The use of supplements that increase body mass, such as protein powder, amino acids, weight-gain powder, and creatine, was reported by 17.3%.
  • Supplements that reduce body mass, such as fat burners, high-energy drinks, ephedra, and caffeine pills, were used by 35.1
  • The use of protein powder, weight gain powders, and high-energy drinks increased from grade 8 to 10.
  • The use of AAS and creatine increased from 8th to 12th grade.
  • As the children matured, they increased the number of supplements used.
  • Males who used body-mass-enhancing supplements tended to use more AAS.
  • For both genders, teachers (36%) and parents (16.2%) were the primary sources of education and AAS.
  • As students matured, friends, coaches, athletic trainers, and internet sites replaced parents as educational sources.
  • Adolescents willingness to take a supplement, even if it could harm their health or shorten their life, increased from 8th to 12th grade. Males were more willing to take this risk than females.
  • As students matured, their belief that use of AAS can help achieve their athletic dreams increased.
  • The goal of AAS users who participated in a fitness program were to look better (78.7%), get stronger (74.5%) and get bigger (72.3%).
Meaning of the Study Results
The survey confirmed that use of supplements and AAS tended to increase with age. The scary part was that some teenagers were willing to risk taking the supplement even at the expense of their health and a shortened life. Sadly, teenagers tend to underutilize some of the most effective educational resources available to them such as physicians and athletic trainers.
More educational efforts must be undertaken to reduce the use of anabolic androgenic steroids and other potentially dangerous supplements.
Fueling the Body for Peak Performance
Natural Healing with Herbs Book To get peak performance from your body--it makes sense that you need the best quality fuel available. The Nutripoints™ Program tells you how to get the most nutritional bang per calorie (and per buck as well!). Combine that with Juice Plus+whole food-based concentrates of 17 fruits, vegetables and grains--and you have everything you need to increase your nutritional intensity at the cellular level. Delivering this kind of fuel to your body guarantees peak performance (with training, of course!) the "natural" way!
For more details on fueling and training the body for peak performance, check out the links to our publications at the top left of this newsletter.
Best wishes for fitness and health,

Jack A. Medina, M.A.
Designs for Fitness
1-866-204-8786 Toll-free Order Line
9-5 M-F (PST - Oregon)

Roy E. Vartabedian, Dr.P.H.
Designs for Wellness
1-888-796-5229 Toll-free Order Line
9-5 M-F (PST - California)

Author/speaker and an expert in Sports Performance Enhancement”. Jack Medina is available for speaking engagements, consultation and personal training of athletes in various sports, professional and amateur. Jack has written a new book, “The Winning Edge: Fueling & Training The Body For Peak Performance” with Dr. Roy Vartabedian, an internationally known New York Times Best Selling Author of the “Nutripoints” program for optimal nutrition. Both books are available online at Jack also has a monthly ezine (newsletter) available free which can be subscribed to on his website. All subscriber’s addresses will be confidential and not sold or given to any other organization or group.

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