ISSA Explains How To Protect Yourself Against Fraudulent Supplement Claims

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Although nutritional supplements are viewed as an important component of the International Sport Sciences Association's overall integrated approach to personal training, these products should not be taken without doing the proper research first. The International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA) reminds consumers of a few easy rules to remember in order to protect yourself against fraudulent supplement claims.

Nutritional supplements are big business in the U.S. And while most Americans know that taking these products is not without risk, the FDA estimates that 38 million Americans have used a fraudulent health product within the past year. Though a recent FDA ruling will "ensure the quality of dietary supplements so that consumers can be confident that the products they purchase contain what is on the label," per an FDA spokesperson, consumers will still not be assured of the efficacy or safety of dietary supplements under the new ruling.

While supplementation is an integral part of the International Sports Sciences Association's Nutrition Approach, we remind consumers that the supplement industry thrives on individual hopes and dreams for life-altering changes. Desperation to fill the mold of the perfect body places many in a vulnerable position. This vulnerability manifests itself as trust in the manufacturers' claims. As a result, each year, Americans spend billions on the health and fitness industry in search of these easy results. Unfortunately these "easy" results rarely seem to be delivered.

That said, scientific studies show that in addition to well-known benefits of maintaining proper health, certain supplements on the market truly can enhance your physical and mental performance. Supplements are viewed as an important component of the overall ISSA integrated approach to personal training.

A few easy rules to remember with regard to supplementation are:

1. Supplement only for what you feel is lacking from a traditional diet - for instance, if you drink alcohol, you're depleting B vitamins, and if you smoke, your need for anti-oxidants is higher than average.

2. Gather all the information you can about a supplement you'd like to try. Always try to find a summary of the latest scientific thinking on the supplement, concentrating on those that have demonstrated a track record of reliability and integrity. The ISSA recommends referring to the following sources:    

http://www.ajcn.org/
http://www.consumerlab.com/
http://www.fda.gov/ and
http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=1200010

3. Review all the information you have gathered, asking yourself two essential questions:

a. Is this supplement safe? If it's not, no matter how effective it might be (or appear to be), don't take it! If it is safe, move on to the next question.

b. Is this supplement effective? Remember that unless there is independent evidence that a supplement is effective, it's probably a waste of money.

4. Most importantly, Dr. Sal Arria, CEO of the ISSA warns, "Do not take the advertising hype you see in all of the magazines as gospel. Often times, articles have been authored by a doctor that's been hired by the supplement company so that illegal claims can be made 'safely.' Self-education is the best protection against fraudulent claims."

About ISSA
Since 1988, the International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA) has provided certification and continuing education to over 80,000 fitness professionals. ISSA certifications are recognized worldwide. The ISSA offers nine specialization certificates, including Specialist in Performance Nutrition, and dozens of continuing education courses. For more information on the ISSA, please visit: http://www.issaonline.com

To schedule an interview with a representative of ISSA, please contact:

Sabeen Sadiq
Director of Public Relations for the ISSA
Toll-free: 1-800-892-4772
International: (805) 745-8111

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