Whenever we talk about nutritional labeling in foods, we think about how much they hide and that this is the only resource that the consumer has to know exactly what they consume. And with sports supplements the same thing happens, as many can be badly labeled and represent a real risk for athletes.
Badly labeled supplements
The use of natural supplements is an extended practice to promote recovery, reduce fatigue or even improve strength or performance depending on what is involved.
However, if we think we eat a totally natural and legal supplement but know that this add -on hides hormones or other unauthorized substances, we may incur risks, not only for health but also for the career of an athlete, as they could be Accused of doping without knowing that they are consuming an unauthorized substance.
A recent study published in the journal Phytomedicine analyzed different supplements of Rhodiola Rosea, a gold root or artic root, an herb that is used to reduce fatigue or stress, and whose active substance is called rosavin. It was concluded that out of 40 commercial products analyzed, one-fifth did not contain rosavine and about 80% had no recorded amounts of the active component or were adulterated with other Rhodiola species that did not produce such an effect.
Apparently adulterated with other spices of the same herb or substances known not is more common than we think when it comes to nutritional supplements and / or sports naturally occurring , as in addition, have investigated used by military supplements and The results actually show poor labeling with erroneous or missing information on complements.
In this case, there were no information on the caffeine content of the supplements , finding 30% of the total analyzed without declaration of the content of this substance, but that they had high proportions of caffeine. In addition, 25% of the products had imprecise statements in which the caffeine content varied by 10% compared to what was stated and only slightly less than half of the supplements indicated an exact amount of caffeine in their label.
The latter tells us about the risk to the body of the consumer, because an excess of caffeine is contraindicated and can produce different negative effects on the body and even, damage performance instead of benefiting.
As if that were not enough, different brands of protein supplements are suffering millionaire demands because of poor labeling in their products that overestimate the amount of protein they offer in order to economize production, even if the supplements have a really high price
In particular, protein supplements have been discovered that replace proteins that are declared on their labeling by cheaper and less effective amino acids. In this case, the danger is not the cause of the problem, but the consumer cheating that seeks results by paying for quality protein when in fact, they are not selling it.
Regulation in this regard
When it comes to food, we know that the key is control and legislation that should define how labeling should be, what should be declared and how different products can or can not be traded, because in this case, regulation can be part of of the problem.
Although the FDA in its Dietary Supplements Labeling Guide states that any component that is present in measurable quantities (greater than 0 grams) must be declared on labeling and that even those ingredients that do not have daily intakes recommendations should be included in the nutritional information , There seems to be little control there.
The FDA sets standards but unlike food, there are no agencies that are strictly dedicated to controlling that regulation is met and this can represent a real risk for athletes or other consumers who claim to benefit from the consumption of supplements , And these can not only be of help but also, hide substances prohibited or dangerous for the body if we do not know that they are ingesting.
Once again, labeling is the only powerful weapon of the consumer and hence the importance of not only food being forced to comply with regulations, but also dietary supplements that, even of natural origin, must present accurate data and Clear about their composition.