Friday, September 25, 2020
News, analysis and commentary by UBC Journalism students


Natural supplements as drugs

Last fall Marion Jones, the famous track and field start, admitted she used steroids. In a letter to her close…

By Anna Fong , in Blogs Health and wellness , on January 31, 2008

Last fall Marion Jones, the famous track and field start, admitted she used steroids.

In a letter to her close friends and family she mentions that she believed her coach was giving her a natural supplement called “flaxseed oil” when in reality she was taking steroids.

This made me think about the use of natural supplements and the upcoming 2010 Olympics.I realize comparing herbal supplements with steroid use is like comparing apples with oranges.

But I wonder if an athlete took a supplement with sugar or caffeine, could that be considered ‘drug use’?

And if it’s not, then would this change if the supplement was found to provide them with an energy boost, which enhanced their performance?

I decided to look up the definition of the word ‘drug’ to see if this was possible to call supplements drugs.

This is what I found in the online Oxford dictionary:

A drug is “a medicine or other substance, which has a marked effect when taken into the body [or] a substance with narcotic or stimulant effects”

So it appears that certain herbal supplements could be considered drugs because they provide ‘stimulant effects’ on the body.

Even substances like sugar or caffeine could be categorized as drugs because both produce a ‘natural high.’

Yet, I doubt we will hear about an Olympic athletes being stripped of their gold metal for eating lots of chocolate or taking Echinacea for their colds.

Comments


  • Some supplements do indeed act as drugs. Red Yeast Rice is one of them–it is basically a mild statin drug. That is not to say that it does not work or you should not take it though. I think the brand is just super important. Places like NutritionalTree.com do a great service in weeding out the illegitimate companies.

Leave a Reply