Index to Chiropractic Literature
Index to Chiropractic Literature
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ID 19511
  Title Policies and sports-enhancing supplements in adolescents: could what we don't know hurt them? [review]
Journal JACA Online. 2007 Mar;44(2):Online access only p 7-14
Peer Review Yes
Publication Type Review
Abstract/Notes Introduction: Doctors of chiropractic (DCs) are the most visited of the health care clinicians known as complementary and alternative (CAM) providers. DCs commonly treat athletes and adolescents mainly for musculoskeletal problems such as neck and back pain.There are DCs specifically certified in chiropractic college programs, however, who treat sports injuries.In addition to treatment of injuries, the Job Analysis of Chiropractic, performed by the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners,indicates a high percentage of DCs provide nutritional advice. Walker, et al. found that the majority of doctors of chiropractic they surveyed who reported giving nutritional advice did so in the form of recommending nutritional supplements. This paper is aimed at providing information to DCs and other clinicians about the use of performance-enhancing supplements among adolescent athletes.

Methods: We reviewed various databases and organizational sites for policies or articles about policies on supplement use in adolescents for the enhancement of sports performance.We searched PubMed, MANTIS, SportDiscuss and various organizations for their policy on the subject. Search terms included adolescents and nutritional supplements;sports-enhancing supplements,and youth sports or adolescent athletes in various combinations. We comment on the literature regarding studies on supplement use by these athletes and the policies we could identify.

Discussion: Most people see nutritional supplements as harmless natural substances.5 Because they can be purchased legally at health food stores, drugstores, and on the Internet, these products have become a popular sports-enhancement tool among many adolescent athletes. It is estimated that 60%-80% of adolescent athletes consume supplements.The types of products consumed vary greatly. Creatine, androstenedione, and protein are some of the most common.Reasons for adolescent supplement use include perceived health benefits, illness prevention, energy boost, and increased sports performance. Despite the increased reliance on these nutritional substances, many adolescents are not aware of the potential short-term and long-term risks.

This abstract is reproduced with permission of the publisher. Full text is available by subscription.

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