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Active Voice: Helping Athletes Identify Sport Nutritional Products Free of Athletic Banned Substances and Steroids

from By Greta Houlahan

Viewpoints presented in SMB commentaries reflect opinions of the authors and do not necessarily reflect positions or policies of ACSM.

Greta Houlahan serves as senior communications manager for NSF International, a global public health and safety organization founded in 1944 and headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan. This commentary appeared in a recent issue of the Professionals Against Doping in Sports (PADS) e-newsletter. To sign up for this quarterly e-newsletter, visit

Did you know that there is an organization that tests and certifies nutritional supplements and sport nutrition products to make sure that they don’t contain athletic banned substances or steroids? NSF International, an independent public health organization, certifies a wide range of dietary supplements and nutritional products to verify that they are free of athletic banned substances and unsafe levels of contaminants.

NSF International developed the NSF American National Standard for Dietary Supplements (NSF/ANSI Standard 173). As required by the standard, the NSF certification process includes:
  • a toxicology and label review to verify product formulation.
  • a formulation review to identify and quantify dietary ingredients declared on product label.
  • a Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) inspection.
  • a contaminant review, which involves testing to ensure there are no ingredients present that have not been declared on the label nor are there unsafe levels of contaminants.
NSF International developed the standard with participation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), National Institutes of Health (NIH), other federal agencies, state regulatory agencies, manufacturers, product retailers, industry trade associations and consumer groups. more

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