There are too many instances when I’ve read nonsense about certain anabolic agents in the mainstream media and in some science journals. Let me report on one utterly irresponsible piece of work that emanated from the Department of Family Medicine, University of Michigan Health System.1 This manuscript reviewed “non-steroidal” strength-enhancing aids. To quote a passage from the paper:
“These agents, including creatine, HMB, chromium, human growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor are popular, easily accessible, sometimes impossible to detect and (in some cases, i.e., creatine) not banned by official sports organizations. They are purported to be natural and safe because they are not anabolic steroids, have at least a theoretic basis for potential benefit, and in some cases, have data suggesting athletic improvement in certain controlled conditions. They also have significant potential for causing at least bothersome, if not dangerous, adverse effects. Studies to date have generally addressed efficacy, with little data to support effectiveness in unmonitored, uncontrolled use. Human growth hormone is banned. In general, none of these agents can be recommended at present.”
Wo! What a mouthful of gibberish. First, let’s try to figure out what the hell these authors are saying, point by point. As for the first sentence, when did human growth hormone and IGF-1 suddenly become “supplements?” Last time I checked, these were drugs, and they were not available at your local health food store. Whether a sports organization bans a substance only matters to the athletes who compete within the rules of the respective organization. Are these authors suggesting that because creatine isn’t banned, somehow this implies it should be?
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