Influence of Dietary Supplements on Body Composition
This chapter highlights some of the most important influences of supplements on body composition. The creative claims of endocrine-based effects of dietary supplements are entertaining but are also easily debunked. A classic target of dietary supplement claims has been promotion of testosterone actions without directly providing Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-regulated testosterone products. A wide variety of dietary supplements have been promoted for weight loss. Dietary supplements may influence energy balance but they may also work through endocrine mechanisms. Large changes in energy balance even without the use of dietary supplements produce marked regionally specific changes in fat, muscle, and bone. Modest weight loss produced through dietary restriction and increased exercise affects specific fat depots differently. Dietary supplements are touted for growth hormone releasing capabilities. Dietary supplements are heavily marketed for bone health purposes. These include products that are known to be important for bone mineral accretion such as calcium and Vitamin D.