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Thursday, May 14, 2009

SI Looks At Supplements

If you're like me -- know nothing about "nutritional supplements" beyond multivitamins and fish-oil capsules -- this Sports Illustrated article titled What You Don't Know May Kill You is fascinating and frightening.

This sidebar item is not something NBC wants you to know:
David Jenkins won an Olympic silver medal in 1972 as part of the British 400-meter relay team. Fifteen years later he pleaded guilty to his role in a major smuggling operation that brought approximately $70 million worth of steroids across the border from Mexico into the U.S. While awaiting sentencing he started selling protein powders from home. Jenkins was sentenced to seven years in prison but got out in six months and in 1993 founded Next Nutrition, based in Carlsbad, Calif. One of the company's most popular products was Ultimate Orange, the supplement containing ephedra that two teammates of Northwestern football player Rashidi Wheeler said he took about an hour before he collapsed on a practice field and died in August 2001. Today the company, renamed Next Proteins, makes Designer Whey, the official protein supplement of NBC's weight-loss reality show, The Biggest Loser. Jenkins is Next Protein's president and CEO.
Biggest Loser trainer Jillian Michaels has called this stuff "garbage" on her weekly radio show (she didn't call it out by name since her employment might be jeopardized by doing so).

I had no interest in nutritional supplements before I read the article, but now I wouldn't touch them with a 10-foot pole.

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