00:00 June 26, 2014

 Supplements are quite common nowadays; dietary, beauty and performance enhancing being the most common. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates the dietary ingredients as well as the finished supplement products, however the manufacturers and distributors must comply with a firm set of rules mandated by the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA). Consumers that report adverse effects to the FDA are the voices behind the pulling of products from shelves, but Government has taken steps to prevent those non-approved supplements from ever hitting the market in the first place. The Dietary Supplement Safety Act (DSSA) was put into place in 2010 much to the chagrin of suppliers that don't like regulation placed on the sale of their unscientific medical drivel. Below is a letter from GNC to it's supplement purchasing customers during the introduction of the DSSA:
“On February 3, 2010, Senators John McCain and Byron Dorgan introduced S. 3002, a bill entitled, The Dietary Supplement Safety Act. The supposed purpose of the bill is to make dietary supplements "safer." This is ironic because dietary supplements are already hundreds of times safer than either prescription or over-the-counter drugs.
The real purpose of this bill is to limit your access to dietary supplements. The government would tell you, the consumer, what dietary supplements you could and could not buy. There is little doubt that if this bill becomes law your choices will be drastically reduced, and many of the supplements you take today will become illegal. This misguided bill affects ALL dietary supplements, including vitamins, minerals, herbs, sports and diet products.
But, who is behind this bill? The answer is simple: big time sports leagues, especially Major League Baseball, which in recent years have been plagued by steroid scandals. Fearful that Congress will end their lucrative anti-trust exemption and require real drug testing, they have decided to make the supplement industry their scapegoat. When one of their players tests positive for steroids, they'd like people to think it must have been an adulterated dietary supplement.
Unless you want the government to tell you what supplements you can and cannot take, and unless you want to see your freedom of choice drastically reduced, you need to make your views known to your United States Senators. Tell them to oppose this terrible piece of legislation.
To make your views known, you can go to the Save Our Supplements website ( to send a note in opposition to S. 3002 directly to your two Senators or you can use the website to get information to construct your own personal letter. Either way, you need to act immediately. Do not let Congress take away your right to buy and use dietary supplements.”
You can drive a point only so far with the words 'misguided' and 'freedom' when medical research has formed no evidence to support statements alleging safety or physical benefit. The news unveiling cyclist Lance Armstrong's steroid use didn't help the professional sports industry's stance regarding the petition. As a [former] winner of 7 consecutive Tour de France races he would have gone down in history as one of the top athletes of all time. The former endorser of supplement maker The FRS Company was analyzed for the dismissed putative case in which Plaintiffs claimed, “Armstrong’s endorsement of FRS and certain FRS slogans like “Secret Weapon” misled consumers into believing that FRS products were “closely associated” with Armstrong’s “legendary” athletic achievements.” For a young man that started out as an acclaimed triathlete with only a diet and exercise based regimen, it was hard to believe the high school swimming champion had morphed into a doping cancer survivor. Mike Anderson, Armstrong's bike mechanic and personal assistant for two years at the height of his career, confessed to finding a box of Androstenedione (the famous steroid also found in could-have-been star baseballer Mark McGwire's locker) while clearing the athlete's apartment in Spain. Sponsors dropped the cyclist overnight and the world watched his career deteriorate as teammates uncovered the sophisticated blood transfusion system Armstrong integrated into his daily routine. Tour competitor and legal scrutiny mounted to the effect of the International Cycling Union enforcing heftier stipulations on approved drugs as well as adding various natural supplements to the list of already banned substances.
Truth is, there are no better health supporting courses of action than clean eating and exercise. Removing toxins, excess sugars, etcetera is the most elemental approach. As organic beings, the best things to put in the body are derived naturally from the Earth. Putting a product that is so shelf stable you can forget it in the pantry for 12 months and it still be within it's expiration date doesn't bode well with most. Maurice McNeal is a personal trainer in New Orleans. The self proclaimed wellness coach admits to teaching a lifestyle rather than just a fitness program. He emphasizes the importance of having protein with every meal and institutes a regimen ensuring his clients receive the minerals, vitamins, healthy fats and omega 3's necessary for total nutrition.
“Clean eating has been my best method thus far. It wasn't until I started to investigate what the food I was eating had also eaten that I understood the nourishment my body receives.”
The Marine has done everything from total body exercises, target area programs, to cross-fit, a routine made popular in the early 2000's which he says has been integrated into workouts from the beginning of time. “I focus on the goals my clients present. We do basic to compound movements and cardio every time we train. I employ a system that you can't see results without: resistance/free weights, cardio and nutrition. You have to include all 3; it's the trinity for guaranteed success.”
When discussing supplements he swore to a product he cherishes for it's optimal health benefits. “I've been taking Moringa Oleifera, a supplement packed with 50 antioxidants, chlorophyll, 18 amino acids, etc; when I take it in the morning I've gotten more nutrition during breakfast than most people get in a full day. I took GNC products for over a decade and never built the physique I have now. I attribute how I look and feel at 37 to the clean eating, level of physical activity, and research I've conducted on supplements. I could run circles around my 18 year old self today.” McNeal is a loyal customer of Whole Foods partly, if not solely, due to the ease of discussing the origin of their meats and seafood with the staff.
The Herb Import Co. carries a plethora of natural oils and supplements derived from oregano, maca root, papaya enzymes, to bee pollen. Vegetarian blends are available for those committed to abstaining from animal by-product supplements and capsules while the health conscious dog or cat owner can peruse the expansive selection of natural pet care products. Biological products may best suit the skeptic, but it's not to say some of the major brands out there don't beget the results their labels and testimonials claim to produce. You simply cannot rely on a one pill or powder solution; fitness is hard work. Creating it comes from a combo of diet, exercise, proper sleep and hydration. You wouldn't continuously drive your car on empty and not change your oil for a year, so why treat the most important engine of all as if it were a lemon on loan?
Mr. McNeal ends our conversation on this note, and I share, “The body is amazing if you take care of it. What you feed it fuels it, and it's just as important to rest it as it is to run it.”

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