-Urges Gatekeepers to Assist in Effort-
WASHINGTON, D.C., November 13, 2002-The Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), one of the dietary supplement industry's leading trade associations, has released "Guidelines for Young Athletes: Responsible Use of Sports Nutrition Supplements" to provide educational assistance to young athletes, their gatekeepers, health care professionals, and industry.
According to John Cordaro, president and chief executive officer, CRN, "Our member companies manufacture a range of sports nutrition products, from basic vitamins and minerals to energy bars to muscle recovery agents. Our members recognize that not all sports supplements are appropriate for all people and must be used in accordance with label directions. CRN intends these guidelines to encourage parents, coaches and trainers to provide oversight for appropriate use, or in some cases non-use by young athletes, of these products. The dietary supplement industry is stepping up to the plate by providing this useful information to those who can influence young athletes. Sports authorities and health professionals are urged to support and distribute these guidelines. Together, we can help ensure that our young athletes balance the desire to win with the need for proper use of sports nutrition products."
Mr. Cordaro continues, "Sports nutrition supplements can play an important and positive role for athletes. But they must be used as supplements, not substitutes, to an overall healthy regime that includes a well-balanced diet, proper exercise and conditioning, dedication, and hard work."
The guidelines urge all athletes to engage in the proper use of sports nutrition supplements, including following label directions such as dosage information and cautions. In addition, the guidelines suggest that parents, guardians, coaches and health care professionals play a role in providing oversight and that young athletes follow the advice from those gatekeepers. The guidelines also point out that governing bodies for various sports may have different and more specific guidelines for many products, including sports nutrition supplements, and that athletes should familiarize themselves with those rules.
The guidelines classify sports nutrition supplements into three categories for young athletes-green, yellow and red.
John Cardellina, vice president, botanical science and regulatory affairs, CRN, explains the "traffic light" format of the guidelines, "In the green light category, CRN has placed products, like fluid or electrolyte-replacing beverages, protein powders and energy bars, that are used as part of a normal diet as an additional source of protein and calories. The green light category also includes basic nutritional vitamins and minerals, since athletes may deplete stores of these vital nutrients during exercise and exertion. It was important to include a yellow light category for products that contain ingredients that affect muscle function or recovery, like creatine. There is no substantiated safety concern for creatine, but its use should be monitored and directions for use carefully followed, as the long-term effects have not been sufficiently studied in younger athletes. CRN has placed products containing ephedrine alkaloids and steroid hormone precursors in the red light category because they clearly should not be used by individuals under the age of 18."
The guidelines were first presented in a preliminary draft to participants at a January 2002 conference on performance-enhancing products co-sponsored by the Office of Dietary Supplements at the National Institutes of Health and CRN. With the official release of the guidelines, CRN is urging athletic organizations and associations, sports authorities, health care professionals, and government agencies to aid in dissemination of the information.
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The Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), founded in 1973, is a Washington, D.C.-based trade association representing ingredient suppliers and manufacturers in the dietary supplement industry. CRN members adhere to a strong code of ethics, comply with dosage limits and manufacture dietary supplements to high quality standards under good manufacturing practices. The dietary supplement industry is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Trade Commission as well as by government agencies in each of the 50 states.