Safe Supplement Use in Teenagers Requires Education, Opening a Dialogue with Parents, Coaches, Doctors

Washington, D.C., January 4, 2017In response to a study, “Dietary Supplements and Young Teens: Misinformation and Access Provided by Retailers,” published online on January 2 in Pediatrics, the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), the leading trade association for the dietary supplement and functional food industry, issued the following statement:

Statement by Steve Mister, president & CEO, CRN: 
“Dietary supplements, including creatine, can play a valuable role in supporting healthy lifestyles for people of all ages, and it is especially important for younger populations—such as adolescents and teenagers—to discuss their dietary supplement use with their parents, coaches, doctors or other healthcare practitioners. As with any supplement, creatine is intended to supplement a healthy diet in combination with other healthy habits. Creatine—or any sport supplement—is not a shortcut or a substitute for the hard work and training that is required to excel in athletics.

There is no known safety issue that would prevent healthy people from using creatine. Out of an overabundance of caution, some companies that manufacture creatine have noted on the product labels that it is not recommended for people under the age of 18. This recommendation is to encourage responsible use by its consumers; this does not suggest any safety concerns. However, extreme measures, such as putting something behind a counter, will only make a product more enticing for that specific population looking to be protected and unnecessarily limit access and availability for all consumers.

Retailers can be an important resource for consumers when it comes to making health decisions, and so we urge retailers to be part of the efforts to educate consumers on smart dietary supplement use, including encouraging consumers to open a dialogue with an on-staff pharmacist or registered dietitian, or their own doctor or other healthcare practitioners.”


Note to Editor: The Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), founded in 1973, is a Washington, D.C.-based trade association representing 150+ dietary supplement and functional food manufacturers, ingredient suppliers, and companies providing services to those manufacturers and suppliers. In addition to complying with a host of federal and state regulations governing dietary supplements and food in the areas of manufacturing, marketing, quality control and safety, our manufacturer and supplier members also agree to adhere to additional voluntary guidelines as well as to CRN’s Code of Ethics. Visit Follow us on Twitter @crn_supplements and @wannabewell and on Facebook.