Image courtesy of girlsgonestrong.com
In the time that we spent as a vendor booth at the 2013 CrossFit Games, we were approached by tons of supplement companies with hopes of us partnering with them. We certainly think that for the majority of our clients they can get the majority of their nutrition through appropriate diet.
But for some folks, supplements do help and are even necessary. In doing our research about the industry in general, however, I've become basically horrified at my research results! There are literally no rules protecting the consumer against what is in these supplements, the claims of what they do, or whether there is anything illegal in them.
An article from the July 25 issue of USA Today brought most of this to light. See here.
For all intents and purposes, the only time the FDA is allowed to investigate any of these companies is when something horrible happens. At that point, the FDA is in the position of proving a negative. In the words of Daniel Fabricant, director of the Food and Drug Administration's Dietary Supplements Division, it's a a very difficult position to scientifically prove at that point. The article focuses mostly on one really bad dude named Matt Cahill, who has put amphetamine-like substances and even an insecticide into one of his pills, which ended up killing a 17 year old girl. The even crazier thing is that while being investigated and sued for these things, HE'S STILL MAKING AND SELLING SUPPLEMENTS. The FDA, as we have talked about before, doesn't always do a great job at their job. But they still have a job to do, and it's clearly not getting done here.
Essentially, be very careful when purchasing supplements to enhance your nutrition and performance and know that anything that we endorse we have used ourselves and vetted completely. Have a good week.