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December 21, 2004

Exercise and Sports, Weight and Weight Loss

Question from Richmond, Kentucky, USA:

I am a 19 year old diabetic and am beginning to start a weight loss/muscle gaining program. I am doing a 12 week challenge and I plan on taking some supplements, but I do not know what type to take and what I should avoid. For example, is it okay to take muscle building supplements? What kind? What about fat burning supplements? Would it be safe to take creatine and/or protein shakes as well as other various supplements?

Answer:

These are all good questions. First, it should be clear that I do not support the use of androgen steroids used illegally. There are many risks associated with these drugs. Second, the use of high amounts of dietary protein by people with diabetes may put them at increased risk of exposing their kidneys to high levels of protein and could potentially accelerate any diabetes-related kidney problems. We have seen patients who have increased their dietary protein who have diabetes only to have microalbumin excretion increase significantly. There have been studies done short-term with creatine. There was no marked increase in insulin resistance. In fact, there was some improvement in insulin sensitivity. I would have to say that I am not sure if there is truly a “fat-burning supplement.” I would suggest you speak with a dietician before doing this. In addition, the kind of nutritional information you get around the gym is not necessarily correct. You need to think about that when you seek information from others.

JTL