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Kathryn L. Beck, Sarah Mitchell, Andrew Foskett, Cathryn A Conlon and Pamela R. Von Hurst

Ballet dancing is a multifaceted activity requiring muscular power, strength, endurance, flexibility, and agility; necessitating demanding training schedules. Furthermore dancers may be under aesthetic pressure to maintain a lean physique, and adolescent dancers require extra nutrients for growth and development. This cross-sectional study investigated the nutritional status of 47 female adolescent ballet dancers (13–18 years) living in Auckland, New Zealand. Participants who danced at least 1 hr per day 5 days per week completed a 4-day estimated food record, anthropometric measurements (Dual-energy X-ray Absorptiometry) and hematological analysis (iron and vitamin D). Mean BMI was 19.7 ± 2.4kg/m2 and percentage body fat, 23.5 ± 4.1%. The majority (89.4%) of dancers had a healthy weight (5th-85th percentile) using BMI-for-age growth charts. Food records showed a mean energy intake of 8097.3 ± 2155.6kJ/day (48.9% carbohydrate, 16.9% protein, 33.8% fat, 14.0% saturated fat). Mean carbohydrate and protein intakes were 4.8 ± 1.4 and 1.6 ± 0.5g/kg/day respectively. Over half (54.8%) of dancers consumed less than 5g carbohydrate/kg/day, and 10 (23.8%) less than 1.2 g protein/kg/day. Over 60% consumed less than the estimated average requirement for calcium, folate, magnesium and selenium. Thirteen (28.3%) dancers had suboptimal iron status (serum ferritin (SF) <20μg/L). Of these, four had iron deficiency (SF < 12μg/L, hemoglobin (Hb) ≥ 120g/L) and one iron deficiency anemia (SF < 12μg/L, Hb < 120g/L). Mean serum 25-hydroxy vitamin D was 75.1 ± 18.6nmol/L, 41 (91.1%) had concentrations above 50nmol/L. Female adolescent ballet dancers are at risk for iron deficiency, and possibly inadequate nutrient intakes.

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Allan H. Goldfarb, Stephen W. Patrick, Scott Bryer and Tongjian You

Vitamin C supplementation (VC) (either 500 or 1000 mg/d for 2 wk) was compared to a placebo treatment (P) to ascertain if VC could influence oxidative stress. Twelve healthy males (25 ± 1.4 y) were randomly assigned in a counter-balanced design with a 2-wk period between treatments. Data were analyzed using repeated measures ANOVA. Exercise intensity measures (VO2, RER, RPE, HR, lactate) were similar across treatments. Resting blood oxidative-stress markers were unaffected by treatment. Exercise decreased total blood glutathione (TGSH) and reduced glutathione (GSH) and increased oxidized glutathione (GSSG) (P < 0.01) independent of treatment. Protein carbonyls (PC) increased 3.8 fold in the P (P < 0.01). VC attenuated the PC exercise response in a dose-dependent manner (P < 0.01). Thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) was not influenced by exercise (P = 0.68) or VC. These data suggest that VC supplementation can attenuate exercise-induced protein oxidation in a dose-dependent manner with no effect on lipid peroxidation and glutathione status.

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Leslie N. Silk, David A. Greene and Michael K. Baker

Research examining the preventative effects of calcium and vitamin D supplementation has focused on children and females, leaving the effects on male bone mineral density (BMD) largely unexplored. Thus, the aim of this systematic review and meta-analysis is to examine the efficacy of calcium supplementation, with or without vitamin D for improving BMD in healthy males. Medline, EMBASE, SPORTDiscus, Academic Search Complete, CINHAHL Plus and PubMed databases were searched for studies including healthy males which provided participants calcium supplementation with or without vitamin D and used changes to BMD as the primary outcome measure. Between trial standardized mean differences of percentage change from baseline in BMD of femoral neck, lumbar spine, total body and total hip sites were calculated. Nine studies were included in the systematic review with six references totaling 867 participants contributing to the meta-analysis. Significant pooled effects size (ES) for comparison between supplementation and control groups were found at all sites included in the meta-analysis. The largest effect was found in total body (ES = 0.644; 95% CI = 0.406–0.883; p < .001), followed by total hip (ES = 0.483, 95% CI= 0.255–0.711, p < .001), femoral neck (ES = 0.402, 95% CI = 0.233–0.570, p = .000) and lumbar spine (ES = 0.306, 95% CI = 0.173–0.440, p < .001). Limited evidence appears to support the use of calcium and vitamin D supplementation for improving BMD in older males. There is a need for high quality randomized controlled trials, especially in younger and middle-aged male cohorts and athletic populations to determine whether supplementation provides a preventative benefit.

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Steven R. McAnulty, David C. Nieman, Lisa S. McAnulty, Worley S. Lynch, Fuxia Jin and Dru A. Henson

Consumption of plant flavonoids, antioxidants, and n-3 fatty acids is proposed to have many potential health benefits derived primarily through antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities. This study examined the effects of 1,000 mg quercetin + 1,000 mg vitamin C (QC); 1,000 mg quercetin, 1,000 mg vitamin C, 400 mg isoquercetin, 30 mg epigallocatechin gallate, and 400 mg n-3 fatty acids (QFO); or placebo (P), taken each day for 2 wk before and during 3 d of cycling at 57% Wmax for 3 hr, on plasma antioxidant capacity (ferricreducing ability of plasma [FRAP], oxygen-radical absorbance capacity [ORAC]), plasma oxidative stress (F2-isoprostanes), and plasma quercetin and vitamin C levels. Thirty-nine athletes were recruited and randomized to QC, QFO, or P. Blood was collected at baseline, after 2 wk supplementation, immediately postexercise, and 14 hr postexercise. Statistical design used a 3 (groups) × 4 (times) repeated-measures ANOVA with post hoc analyses. Plasma quercetin was significantly elevated in QC and QFO compared with P. Plasma F2-isoprostanes, FRAP, and vitamin C were significantly elevated and ORAC significantly decreased immediately postexercise, but no difference was noted in the overall pattern of change. Post hoc analyses revealed that the QC and QFO groups did not exhibit a significant increase in F2-isoprostanes from baseline to immediately postexercise compared with P. This study indicates that combining flavonoids and antioxidants with n-3 fatty acids is effective in reducing the immediate postexercise increase in F2-isoprostanes. Moreover, this effect occurs independently of changes in plasma antioxidant capacity.

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Paula J. Ziegler, Judy A. Nelson and Satya S. Jonnalagadda

The present study examined the prevalence of dietary supplement use among elite figure skaters, gender differences in supplement use, and differences in nutrient intake of supplement users versus non-users. Male (n = 46) and female (n = 59) figure skaters completed a supplement survey and 3-day food records. Descriptive analysis, chi-square test, and independent t tests were used to analyze the data. Sixty-five percent of male (n = 30) and 76% of female (n = 45) figure skaters reported use of supplements. Forty-seven percent of males and 55% of females reported daily use of supplements. Multivitamin-mineral supplements were the most popular dietary supplements consumed by figure skaters. Significant gender differences were observed in the use of multivitamin-mineral supplements (61% males vs. 83% females, p < .05). Echinacea and ginseng were popular herbal supplements used by these skaters. The 3 main reasons given by male figure skaters for taking supplements were: to provide more energy (41%), to prevent illness or disease (34%), and to enhance performance (21%). Among female figure skaters, the 3 main reasons given were: to prevent illness or disease (61%), to provide more energy (39%), and to make up for an inadequate diet (28%). Significant differences (p < .05) were observed in protein, total fat, saturated fat, polyunsaturated fat intakes, and % energy from carbohydrate and total fat of male supplement users versus non-users, with supplement users having higher intakes except for percent energy from carbohydrate. Sodium was the only nutrient significantly different (p < .05) among female supplement users versus non-users, with supplement users having lower intakes. Given the popularity of dietary supplements, it is important to understand the factors influencing athletes’ use of supplements, their knowledge and attitudes regarding supplements, dosage of supplements used, and the effectiveness of these dietary supplements in meeting the goals of the athletes.

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Nancie H. Herbold, Bridget K. Visconti, Susan Frates and Linda Bandini

This study examined the traditional (single and multivitamin/mineral supplements) and nontraditional supplement (herbals, botanicals, and other biologic and nutrient supplements) use by female athletes. Frequency, reasons for use, and sources of supplement information were assessed with a self-report questionnaire. Participants were 162 collegiate female varsity athletes. More than half of all athletes used some type of supplement at least once a month (65.4%). Thirty-six percent (n = 58) of the sample used a multivitamin and mineral with iron. Twelve percent (n = 19) reported amino acid/protein supplement use and 17% (n = 29) used an herbal/botanical supplement. The most frequently cited reason for supplement use was “good health” (60.1%). A major source of information on supplements reported was family (53%). With the general rise in supplement use, nutrition education on the use of traditional and non-traditional supplements is warranted.

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Column-editor : Kathleen M. Laquale

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Martin Kristiansen, Ryna Levy-Milne, Susan Barr and Anne Flint

The purpose of this study was to assess reasons for and prevalence of supplement use among varsity athletes and nonvarsity athlete students (controls) at a Canadian university. A questionnaire, distributed to 247 varsity athletes and 204 controls, included variables regarding sports participation, supplements used, reasons for usage, perceived effects, and areas of interest about supplements. Response rates were 85.5% among varsity athletes and 44.6% among controls. Supplements were used by 98.6% of varsity athletes and 94.3% of controls. Varsity men most often reported using sports drinks, and used these (and carbohydrate gels, protein powder, and creatine) more than varsity women. Caffeine products were most often reported by other groups. Health professionals and the Internet were the most reported information sources, while friends most often recommended supplements. Many subjects indicated knowing little about supplements and wanting to learn more. Results indicate a need for nutrition education among both varsity athletes and university students.

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Katharina Diehl, Ansgar Thiel, Stephan Zipfel, Jochen Mayer, Alexia Schnell and Sven Schneider

The authors’ aim was to examine the prevalence of (daily) dietary-supplement (DS) use among elite adolescent athletes and to differentiate use by different types of DS according to their function. Data were analyzed for associations between users of these DS types, sociodemographic, sport-specific characteristics, and opinion on the need for DS. In addition, sources of supply and information were examined. In the framework of the GOAL Study, 1,138 German elite adolescent athletes (14–18 yr) answered questions about DS. The data were analyzed to identify groups at risk for using DS after a classification by supplemental function. Of the young athletes, 91.1% reported DS use during the previous month. (Daily) DS use was significantly associated with sex, kind of sport, and the weekly duration of sporting activity. Furthermore, some athletes were required to use DS by their sporting organization. DS use was more likely in these athletes than in those whose sporting organizations had no such requirement. Overall, DS with short- and long-term supplemental function were mostly associated with the use of magnesium. However, DS with medium-term muscle-building function played an important role among daily users. The main source of information about DS was coaches; main source of supply was parents. Professional education is urgently needed, as 9 out of 10 athletes used DS, and strong positive opinions toward the use of DS were present, particularly in the DS users.

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Ahmed Ismaeel, Suzy Weems and Darryn S. Willoughby

; Sandoval et al., 1989 ; Walberg-Rankin et al., 1993 ) have reported deficiencies in intakes of micronutrients, such as vitamin D, calcium, zinc, magnesium, and iron in dieting bodybuilders. The authors of the review noted that because all of these studies were published nearly two to three decades ago