Over the counter supplements could be causing emotional damage.
A new study from the American Psychological Association’s annual convention in Toronto suggests that increased use of over the counter workout supplements may lead to emotional and physiological damage in men.
The study, cited in Tech Times, surveyed men that go to the gym at least twice a week and noted that 40 percent of these men increase their use of supplements over time. Some 20 percent replace at least one meal with supplements.
Performance-enhancing supplements that include the likes of L-carnitine, whey protein and creatine, are also linked to liver and kidney problems in three percent of the men studied.
Those who workout regularly in the gym and abuse whey protein and similar products, also have an increased risk other health problems, including body dismorphic disorder, formerly called reverse anorexia. Experts say this information could lead to the discovery of a new type of eating disorder.
The survey asked participants questions about the use of performance-enhancing supplements, as well as eating habits, gender roles and self-image assessments. Their answers revealed men are using supplements for many of the same reasons as women who deal with bulimia and anorexia.
Researchers said they felt men used the supplements to enhance their body image due to a feeling of insecurity or low self-esteem. They noted these men were more likely to feel conflicted in their gender role, which also suggests insecurity issues.
Experts say vitamins and supplements can fill in a gap the body needs, but should not be used to replace a meal or as short cut to healthy eating. They advised using them in moderation and always consult with a nutritionist before beginning a program of performance-enhancing supplements.
The study was done on a group of 195 men, aged 18-65.