Nutritional supplements were the hot topic of discussion at the recent meeting of the American Academy of Pediatrics. George Phillips, a pediatrician from Iowa City, was one of the speakers at the meeting. Phillips says supplements are pushed as the cure all, but he says you can’t fall for those claims. He says it’s important to recognize that supplements are not regulated as strictly as medications, and are not even regulated as food. Phillips says supplements can also backfire on you. He says when used improperly or in conjunction with other medicines, there can be some real dangers involved. Phillips says junior high and high school kids are a target of supplements and that’s a concern. He says it’s student athletes who’re looking to increase their performance, but he says the supplements are not tested for kids under the age of 18, so we don’t know their long-term effects. Phillips says there are better ways than supplements for young athletes to improve. He says the keys for any athlete are proper nutrition, cross training for aerobics and fitness, and general principles of good health. He says the research shows kids taking everything from vitamin C all the way up to creatine.
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