Dangerous Supplements

One of the more dangerous supplements is GBL/GHB (Gamma butyro-lactone and gamma hydroxy butryric acid), which is marketed as Rest-Eze, Blue Nitro, Revivarant G, Ecstasy, GH Revitalizer, GHR, Remforce, Renewtri-ent, and Gamma G. As of December 2002, use of these products has resulted in three deaths and one hundred adverse reactions, including coma and breathing difficulties.

The potential harmful effects of yohimbe, ephedra, and excessive caffeine intake have already been mentioned. Kava is an herb used to treat anxiety, but it may cause liver failure. In addition, individuals on prescription or over-the-counter medications should be wary of supplements, as there may be adverse interactions.

Athletes at all levels should have their supplement use carefully monitored. Coaches, parents, or others working with athletes should ask what they take and in what dosage and frequency. Labels should be examined, and all information should be documented in the medical record. It is best if athletes try only one product at a time, and supplement use should be discontinued if any unusual dizziness, stomach upset, or headaches occur. All coaches should be familiar with the available supplements and their dangers. see also Dietary Supplements; Sports Nutrition.

Leslie Bonci

Bibliography

Medical Economics Company (2001). PDR for Nutritional Supplements. Montvale, NJ: Medical Economics.

Williams, Melvin. The Ergogenics Edge: Pushing the Limits of Sports Performance. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

Internet Resources

Alternative Medical Foundation. "Electronic Herbal Database." Available from <http://www.herbmed.org>

ConsumerLab.com. "Product Reviews" and "Natural Product Encyclopedia." Available from <http://www.consumerlab.com>

Gatorade Sports Science Institute. "Dietary Supplements." Available from <http:// www.gssiweb.com>

National Center for Drug Free Sport. "Drug and Supplement Education." Available from <http://www.drugfreesport.com>

National Institutes of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements. "What Are Dietary Supplements." Available from <http://dietary-supplements.info.nih.gov>

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