The Science Behind ZMA is MIA

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Walking down the sports aisles of your favourite supplement store, it's not hard to get over-whelmed with all the different products boosting unbelievable advantages. One of the products that many websites and some experts will endorse is ZMA. The ingredients are zinc monomethionine aspartate (hence the name), magnesium aspartate and Vitamin B6. 

It's not a supplement I recommend, and here's why. 

ZMA burst onto the market in the late 90's and came armed with some research to support its use. This research found that those who took it had a 33% increase in both total testosterone and free testosterone, and a 15% increase in muscle strength. These results sounded pretty good. But a closer look reveals there is definitely a bias in the research, not to mention a questionable cast of characters behind it.

One of the research authors was Victor Conte. If you followed the Major League Baseball steroid scandal in the 2000's, you may recognize his name. Conte was the man behind the BALCO lab that was implicated in the doping of Barry Bonds, Jason Giambi, and Marion Jones among others. He also had a trademark on the "ZMA" name, so he had a direct financial gain by finding positive results for his formulation. A big red flag in the world of research. 

The other author, Dr. Lorrie Brilla, worked for a ZMA manufacturer. Can you say, "conflict of interest”?

Assuming these results were found without bias, they should be reproducible; one of the most important aspects of the scientific research method. In this case, the same results were not found when the study was replicated. There were no enhancements in blood magnesium, zinc, testosterone, or any other hormones measured. Nor was there a strength benefit. And the group doing this research also had a reason to find positive results, it was funding by Cytodyne Technologies Inc, a company that manufactures sports supplements. This makes the results much more trustworthy. 

ZMA, although endorsed by many, is likely not all it's chalked up to be. Be aware.

If you have any questions about how to reach your full potential, don't hesitate to contact me, book an appointment, or stop by the clinic.

Thanks for reading,

Dr. Oake

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