May 5, 2021
(WASHINGTON, D.C.) — “Dietary supplements support the foundations of optimal fitness,” said Chris D’Adamo, Ph.D., assistant professor, University of Maryland School of Medicine, and director of research, Center for Integrative Medicine, at the 32nd Congressional Dietary Supplement Caucus briefing, held last week on Capitol Hill. Speaking before an audience of nearly 100 Congressional staffers and guests, Dr. D’Adamo, a nationally-recognized nutrition research expert, presented a scientific perspective on advancements in sports nutrition and the role supplements play in optimal health and wellness. Dr. D’Adamo also provided luncheon attendees with helpful hints for navigating pitfalls that may interfere with improving health and achieving fitness goals.
“There is no shortcut to success,” advised Dr. D’Adamo. “However, dietary supplements can play a vital role in fitness regimens of all levels.” Providing an overview of the most popular supplements in the sports nutrition space, Dr. D’Adamo noted four ways these products support the foundations of optimal fitness: enhancing physical performance, providing micronutrient support, helping to avoid injury and promote recovery, and fostering restorative sleep.
“The overwhelming majority of sports nutrition supplements are safe,” continued Dr. D’Adamo. “But if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is! ‘Fitness in a bottle’ is a concept exploited by shady supplement manufacturers, but every responsible athlete knows hard work and dedication are the only ways to reach your fitness goals—supplements play a supporting role.”
Dr. D’Adamo shared ways to identify dangerous or illegal products marketed as sports nutrition supplements and noted red flag ingredients, including Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators (SARMs). This portion of the presentation echoed recent warnings from both FDA and responsible industry that products tainted with SARMs or other unapproved drugs that are illegally marketed as dietary supplements, pose serious health risks to consumers and can sabotage the careers of athletes.
The luncheon concluded with Dr. D’Adamo highlighting best practices for consumers looking to make evidence-informed decisions when shopping for dietary supplements. “There are three major steps you can take,” advised Dr. D’Adamo. “First, obtain clarity on the contents of products by looking closely at the supplement facts label. Second, understand the evidence supporting the use of individual ingredients and consult peer-reviewed research on finished products. Third, ensure the purity of product ingredients by looking for a third party seal or certification.”
Continued Dr. D’Adamo, “Remember: there are no shortcuts around the cornerstones of fitness, but working with your healthcare practitioner to develop a supplement regimen that’s right for you can help you reach your fitness and wellness goals.”
The educational event was sponsored by the bipartisan, bicameral Dietary Supplement Caucus with help from trade associations representing the dietary supplement industry—the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA), the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA), the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), the Natural Products Association (NPA), and the United Natural Products Alliance (UNPA).
Founded in 1881, the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) is the national trade association representing the leading manufacturers and marketers of over-the-counter (OTC) medicines, dietary supplements, and consumer medical devices. Every dollar spent by consumers on OTC medicines saves the U.S. healthcare system more than $7, contributing a total of $146 billion in savings each year. CHPA is committed to empowering consumer self-care by preserving and expanding choice and availability of consumer healthcare products. www.chpa.org
The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) is the national trade association and voice of the herbal and botanical products industry. AHPA is comprised of more than 300 domestic and foreign companies doing business as growers, processors, manufacturers, and marketers of herbs and herbal products, including foods, dietary supplements, cosmetics, and non-prescription drugs. Founded in 1982, AHPA's mission is to promote the responsible commerce of herbal products. Website: www.ahpa.org.
The Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), founded in 1973, is a Washington, D.C.-based trade association representing 150+ dietary supplement and functional food manufacturers, ingredient suppliers and companies providing services to those manufacturers and suppliers. In addition to complying with a host of federal and state regulations governing dietary supplements and food in the areas of manufacturing, marketing, quality control and safety, our manufacturer and supplier members also agree to adhere to additional voluntary guidelines as well as to CRN’s Code of Ethics. Visit www.crnusa.org. Follow us on Twitter @CRN_Supplements and LinkedIn.
The Natural Products Association (NPA) is the trade association representing the entire natural products industry. We advocate for our members who supply, manufacture and sell natural ingredients or products for consumers. The Natural Products Association promotes good manufacturing practices as part of the growth and success of the industry. Founded in 1936, NPA represents approximately 1,000 members accounting for more than 10,000 locations of retailers, manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors of natural products, including foods, dietary supplements and health/beauty aids. Visit www.npanational.org.
The United Natural Products Alliance (UNPA) is an international trade association representing more than 100 leading natural products, dietary supplements, functional food, scientific and technology and related service companies that share a commitment to provide consumers with natural health products of superior quality, benefit and reliability. Founded in Utah in 1992, UNPA was instrumental in the passage of the 1994 Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) and continues to take a leadership position in legislative and regulatory issues and industry best practices. Visit www.unpa.com.