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ISSA Nutritionist Chapter 16: Supplements 1

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    Chapter Goals:

    • Be able to discuss the delivery methods of supplemental nutrition.
    • List the types of diet supplements available to the public.
    • Know the general uses of the more common supplements. 

    Introduction

    Deficiencies may still happen in nutrients when the food supply and the nutrient-rich foods are readily available. 

    These possible deficiencies are even more so when the communities are restricted in some way in their food supplies.

    Hidden hunger is a term used for nutritional deficiencies in people that consume enough calories but not enough micronutrients. 

    The average American diet lacks in some way in the number of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and micronutrients that are needed to ward off chronic illnesses and other very bad health concerns. 

    The nutrient requirements will be higher for those that are involved heavily in sport and training.

    More than half of all Americans take a nutritional supplement of some form, and these are mostly for vitamins and minerals. 

    What is a Dietary Supplement?

    Dietary supplements were defined in the 90s as a product that is taken by mouth and has a dietary ingredient that is intended to supplement the diet and may include the categories of vitamins, minerals, herbs, botanicals, amino acids, enzymes, or extracts.

    Supplements are not actually drugs, as drugs are regulated by the FDA and they are used to diagnose, treat, or cure a disease, while supplements are simply used for providing more nutrients. 

    Supplements are also not food nutrition, as they are not used for helping the energy needs of the body.

    Some of the types of supplements we see used are:

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    •  Vitamins and minerals
    • Botanicals
    • Sports nutrition
    • Weight management
    • Specialty

    Supplement forms and delivery are things like:

    • Tablets
    • Capsules
    • Soft gels
    • liquids and tinctures
    • powders
    • bars
    • beverages
    • extracts

    Liquid capsules come in the form of either hard or soft shell capsules. Tablets are made from granulated powder ingredients that are tightly pressed together to make a hard pill form.

    Vitamins and Minerals

    These may be in several forms like single vitamin, single mineral, or multiple vitamins. 

    The multiple vitamin supplements are often referred to as multivitamins. These are what are commonly taken on a daily basis by so many people. 

    Botanicals

    Botanical or herb supplements are starting to become more common and widely available. These will be made from herbs and other plants that are thought to be used to improve health. 

    The classification of specialty supplements include the ones claiming to boost energy levels, reduce stress, and improve the health of joints and function of the immune system.

    Sports Nutrition

    In sports nutrition, anabolic steroids, creatine, and protein supplements are the most referenced. 

    Amino Acids and Protein

    Proteins are broken down continuously throughout the body, transformed, and then rebuilt.

    Proteins consist of 20 amino acids, and 9 of them are essential amino acids. The other 11 are nonessential amino acids since we can form them in the body. 

    The primary role of amino acids is to build proteins the body needs.

    The supplementation of Branched-chain amino acids is popular, as the three amino acids are vital and perhaps the most important of the amino acids. 

    Protein supplementation comes in three forms: protein concentrates, protein isolates, and protein hydrolysates.

    Creatine

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    This is a naturally occurring compound produced in the body to help the muscles to generate energy. It helps with the ATP in the muscles and increasing the stores of it.

    Supplementing creatine has been shown to increase lean muscle mass and improve athletic performance. 

    Anabolic Steroids

    These are synthetic hormones that resemble testosterone and are used for the increase of muscle mass, strength, and speed. 

    These have been found to reduce the recovery time after working out and the intensity at which the body can work for long periods of time. 

    Common steroids used are things like testosterone, Winstrol, Deca Durabolin, and Dianabol.

    The side effects of steroids often are enough to deter many people, but the benefits are clear and proven.

    Weight Management

    A nutrition coach can recognize weight management as one of the more common goals of nutrition and fitness programs.

    The most common weight management supplements are going to be known as thermogenic supplements, and these will work to increase the total body temperature by 1 – 2 degrees to increase the number of calories burned. 

    Some other weight management supplements work to suppress the appetite. 

    ISSA Nutritionist Chapter 16: Supplements 2
    ISSA Nutritionist Chapter 16: Supplements 3
    ISSA Nutritionist Chapter 16: Supplements 4

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