CBoost energy, lose weight, beat stress, improve performance, and reduce wrinkles! Do these phrases sound familiar? These are just a few of the promises found on the labels of vitamin and mineral supplements. But can vitamin and minerals really live up to these claims, or is it more hype than truth? Is there evidence that a vitamin or mineral supplement really can turn a bad diet into a healthy one, melt pounds away, or put the zip back in your step? Experts and bodbuiding masters say there is definitely a place for vitamin or mineral supplements in our diets, but their primary function is to fill in small nutrient gaps. They are " supplements" intended to add to your diet, not take the place of real food or a healthy meal plan. WebMD takes a closer look at what vitamin and mineral supplements can and cannot do for your health.
Vitamins and other dietary supplements are not intended to be a food substitute. They cannot replace all of the nutrients and benefits of whole foods. "They can plug nutrition gaps in your diet, but it is short-sighted to think your vitamin or mineral is the ticket to good health -- the big power is on the plate, not in a pill," explains Roberta Anding, MS, RD, a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association and director of sports nutrition at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston who support some of the opinions of the bodybuilding masters It is always better to get your nutrients from food, agrees registered dietitian Karen Ansel. "Food contains thousands of phytochemicals, fiber, and more that work together to promote good health that cannot be duplicated with a pill or a cocktail of the bodybuilding supplements."
United States federal law enforcement officials have expressed concern about AAS use by police officers. "It's a big problem, and from the number of cases, it's something we shouldn't ignore. It's not that we set out to target cops, but when we're in the middle of an active investigation into steroids, there have been quite a few cases that have led back to police officers," says Lawrence Payne, a spokesman for the United States Drug Enforcement Administration. The FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin stated that “Anabolic steroid abuse by police officers is a serious problem that merits greater awareness by departments across the country". It is also believed that police officers across the United Kingdom "are using criminals to buy steroids" which he claims to be a top risk factor for police corruption
Following the murder-suicide of Chris Benoit in 2007, the Oversight and Government Reform Committee investigated steroid usage in the wrestling industry. The Committee investigated WWE and Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA), asking for documentation of their companies' drug policies. WWE CEO and Chairman, Linda and Vince McMahon respectively, both testified. The documents stated that 75 wrestlers—roughly 40 percent—had tested positive for drug use since 2006, most commonly for steroids
AAS are frequently produced in pharmaceutical laboratories, but, in nations where stricter laws are present, they are also produced in small home-made underground laboratories, usually from raw substances imported from abroad. In these countries, the majority of steroids are obtained illegally through black market trade. These steroids are usually manufactured in other countries, and therefore must be smuggled across international borders. As with most significant smuggling operations, organized crime is involved. In the late 2000s, the worldwide bodybuilding trade in illicit AAS increased significantly, and authorities announced record captures on three continents. In 2006, Finnish authorities announced a record seizure of 11.8 million AAS tablets. A year later, the DEA seized 11.4 million units of AAS in the largest U.S seizure ever. In the first three months of 2008, Australian customs reported a record 300 seizures of AAS shipments. In the U.S., Canada, and Europe, illegal steroids in the bodybuilding stores are sometimes purchased just as any other illegal drug, through dealers who are able to obtain the drugs from a number of sources. Illegal AAS are sometimes sold at gyms and competitions, and through the mail, but may also be obtained through pharmacists, veterinarians, and physicians. In addition, a significant number of counterfeit products are sold as AAS, in particular via mail order from websites posing as overseas pharmacies. In the U.S., black-market importation continues from Mexico, Thailand, and other countries where steroids are more easily available, as they are legal