The risk and benefits of dietary supplements

Posted at 10:48 PM, Jul 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-24 23:48:02-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn (WTVF) — A Tennessee Titans player out for multiple games this season. Taylor Lewan has been suspended for taking a banned substance he says he didn't know was in a dietary supplement he was using.

It's raising questions about the safety of supplements and what's in them? Nutrition Faktory was created with one goal in mind, to give its customers the absolute best experience they've ever had in a nutrition store.

"We want to give people the best brands at the best pricing at a local store," said founder Michael Bires.

Bires has locations all across Middle Tennessee and you can find supplements for just about everything from losing weight to gaining nutrients.

"There's protein supplements if you don't have enough time to eat protein, there's supplements that can help in recovery, energy endurance, stuff like that," Bires said.

The FDA says dietary supplements include such ingredients as vitamins, minerals herbs, amino acids and enzymes.

"If I'm going to put something in my body, I'm going to talk to somebody at the store but I'm also going to do my own research," said Bires

Despite the many health benefits Bires says supplements like many other products can come at a risk.

"You got to be careful, there's a lot of brands out there that are in it for the wrong reasons and they're just trying to make money and they're launching products that may be unsafe," he said.

Dr. Andrew Gregory with Ortho-Sports Medicine at Vanderbilt says," If you eat a balanced diet then you really don’t need to worry about taking supplements. Prescriptions are a different matter as they have to hold themselves to the standard set by the FDA. Recently the purity/ contamination of generic medications produced overseas has also been brought into question. Athletes should only take supplements that have been independently tested so as to be sure they do not contain banned substances."

Dr. Gregory went on to tell Newschannel 5 that supplement manufacturers are not monitored by the FDA and therefore don't have to be concerned about purity or contamination. He said, "bottom line is that you can never be sure exactly what you are getting. Most are manufactured in Mexico or China."

So Bires urges consumers to always do your homework.

"We try to get rid of what we don't know about and bring in what we do know about to be on safe side, " Bires said.