I believe that nutritional supplements should be used for two basic purposes.
1. Avoiding Deficiencies:
In my opinion, everyone should take a high quality vitamin and mineral supplement daily as basic health insurance. After all, given the existence of depleted soils and pollutants in our air, water and food, making sure you have the basics, along with a fair share of antioxidants and other ingredients, is not really a leap of faith.
It's just common sense. And it's supported by some epidemiological and other studies showing that people who take a multi have fewer problems down the line.
2. Improving Health:
The second reason for taking nutritional supplements is to try and improve certain aspects of our health and functioning. In this way nutritional supplements can be thought of as natural drugs that result in not just physiological but pharmacological (drug-like) effects.
But then this is also not a leap of faith since many drugs are derived from natural sources, and many natural plants and substances that we consume on a daily basis (such as coffee) have drug like properties.
In this mode nutritional supplements can be used for the purpose of achieving specific results including for example decreasing insulin resistance, inflammatory markers in the body and serum homocyteine levels, and improving serum lipids, body composition, and athletic performance.
Three Basic Areas
In fact nutritional supplements are usually used to provide some effect in one or more of three basic areas.
- Health, Beauty and Anti-Aging.
- Body Composition (weight and fat loss, muscle gain).
- Exercise Performance.
Most nutritional supplements have an effect in one or more of these areas. Some nutritional supplements cover all three. For example supplements that help you to lose weight often have beneficial effects on health, beauty and anti-aging, and also sports performance.
These effects can be due to the weight loss per se, or both weight loss and the beneficial effects of the ingredients in the weight loss supplement.
While this double duty effect may not be the case with many nutritional supplements on the market today, there's no reason why properly formulated supplements should not have beneficial effects in all three categories even though the supplement is targeted for just one category.
For example a weight/fat loss product should produce significant health benefits as a result of the ingredients used, not just because of the weight and fat loss it may produce.
A good example of this is MD+ LipoFlush. It's formulated to increase weight and fat loss and improve body composition, but it also improves health and can increase exercise performance.
There are a few dozen other examples in the products that make up my MD+ Nutritional Supplement line.
You'll also get the lowdown on the products, including how the individual ingredients work, and how they act synergistically to get the desired effects.
Targeted Multi-Ingredient Formulations
The most effective nutritional supplements by far are the ones that use multiple ingredients to achieve a specific effect. These multiple-ingredient supplements are targeted for a specific effect by affecting the various pathways in the body that will produce that effect.
The ingredients used in the formulation work additively and synergistically to direct the body's response to the overall supplement. A good example of this is TestoBoost. The various ingredients in TestoBoost are meant to affect the hypothalamic-pituitary-testicular axis (see figure below) to maximize endogenous testosterone production.
As well, TestoBoost is also meant to improve sexual drive and performance so it has additional ingredients that work on the various pathways involved in this aspect of its effects.
Since this article is not the place to go into details about any one supplement and how it works, for more information on how TestoBoost does all of this go here.
Product Safety & Purity
But there's more to the story about supplement formulations than just listing the ingredients. You also have to make sure that the product is safe with minimal side effects, and that it contains pure ingredients.
In order to do this you first of all have to have quality ingredients, and then you need to check these ingredients for impurities and contaminations to make sure that the product doesn't cause any short or long term problems. For example there have been cases where ingredients were tainted by heavy metals, and cases where ingredients ended up in the product that weren't listed on the label, including allergens.
In both cases the problem is due to a lack of quality control when purchasing and using the products.
First of all as a manufacturer you have to make sure that you check the ingredients you use for purity, bioavailability, label accuracy, and you have to use good manufacturing practices when producing the product.
For example I use the highest quality, and unfortunately more expensive, ingredients in my products. Although these ingredients are analyzed as having the highest purity by the manufacturers, I double check the ingredients I use for my products for any contaminants, such as heavy metals and the presence of other ingredients that shouldn't be there.
The next step in my process to make sure I'm getting safe, pure and uncontaminated product is that I have all my products manufactured in a pharmaceutical grade facility that strictly follows current Good Manufacturing Practice guidelines.
And to top it all off, I then have each lot checked by GC/MS to make sure that for the sake of drug tested athletes, there are no banned substances present in any of the supplements that are meant to be used by drug tested athletes.
| What Does "GC/MS" Mean?
Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) is a method that combines the features of gas-liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry to identify different substances within a test sample. Applications of GC-MS include drug detection, fire investigation, environmental analysis, and explosives investigation. GC-MS can also be used in airport security to detect substances in luggage or on human beings. Additionally, it can identify trace elements in materials that were previously thought to be disintegrated beyond identification.
The results, even though it's more expensive than having the supplements done at less exacting facilities and using less exacting ingredients, is a product that is guaranteed to have in it what's on the label, and nothing else.
And because I operated my business on a shoestring, I'm able to bring these high level products to you at a bargain price. If any other company was selling these products to you they would have to charge twice as much just to stay in business.
Testing For Contamination
With any nutritional supplement there is the possibility of testing positive in a drug test. That's because there's a possibility of contamination of the ingredients that are purchased, especially if the ingredients come from labs that also manufactures other ingredients such as ephedrine, prohormones and even anabolic steroids, and that don't follow strict Good Manufacturing Practices.
There's also the possibility that the supplement manufacturer also manufactures supplements that may contain banned ingredients/drugs and because of poor cleaning practices, these supplements contaminate their other products.
So even if the labels don't list any banned substances, they could still be in the supplement. The only way to be 100% sure is to have each batch of product tested for banned drugs using the same strict protocols and machinery as is used by the IOC accredited labs that process most of the drug tests done on athletes world wide.
Unfortunately this is only done by a handful of companies world wide, and even then on a small number of products.
In an unprecedented move, MD+ has had the present batch of all of its nutritional supplements analyzed using WADA/USADA/IOC/USOC compatible drug testing protocols. The GC/MS analytical results show unequivocally that the following products are free of all banned substances, including anabolic steroids, prohormones and stimulants, for the following federations.
The differences in the list of safe products for different sporting bodies are due to differences between the WADA/IOC banned substance list, which most amateur and professional sports adhere to, and the NCAA, which bans one of the ingredients in LipoFlush, and possibly Resolve as it has a caffeine limit, and the NFL which bans one of the ingredients in LipoFlush.
Because of the differences in the different sporting bodies, I've listed which of my supplements are 100% safe for various athletes to use.
MD+ List Of Tested & Safe Nutritional
Supplements For Drug Tested Athletes
WADA/USDA/IOC/USOC Certified Supplements:
The current batches of the following MD+ supplements have been found to be free of any banned drugs and completely safe for Olympic and other athletes that are governed by the IOC and USOC with drug testing done using WADA and USADA protocols.
This includes all professional sports with the exception of the NFL, and all amateur sports with the exception of the NCAA.
NFL Certified Supplements:
The only difference between IOC and NFL banned drugs is that synephrine is banned (contained in citrus aurantium, zhi shi, bitter orange) by the NFL but not the IOC.
The current batches of the following MD+ supplements have been found to be free of any banned drugs and completely safe for NFL athletes.
NCAA Certified Supplements:
- Creatine Advantage
- Joint Support
- MRP LoCarb
- Myosin Protein
- Power Drink
- Resolve Competition
Caffeine levels are considered positive for doping if the concentration in urine exceeds 15 micrograms/ml. Synephrine is banned (contained in citrus aurantium, zhi shi, bitter orange).
The MD+ store is in the process of building separate sections for IOC, NCAA and NFL drug tested athletes containing only the items that have been analyzed as safe for that athlete.
The links below can be used to get information on present drug testing documents from the various sporting bodies.
WADA/IOC/USADA/USOC [ online ]
- 2005 Prohibited List.
- 2006 Prohibited List - comes into effect January 1, 2006.
- Summary of Major Modifications for 2006.
- [ online ]