The Nutritional Supplement Review (NSR)
The NSR is a research-based review of nutritional supplements, with a special focus on
their use for health and sport. The NSR is published by Nutros.com, and provided online as
a free public service. Found within its pages are this Introduction, a Table of Contents,
and data sheets on performance goals, supplement categories, medical conditions,
nutrients, brand names, and products.
While many other companies have published supplement guides, the NSR's online format
offers several distinct advantages, including:
- Continuous updating. Data in the NSR is revised weekly, making it one of the most
consistent and up-to-date sources of information on nutritional supplements.
- Integration with NutroSearch. Nutros' powerful search engine, NutroSearch, fully
indexes the NSR, so that you can quickly find what you're looking for.
- Access to gurus. Sidebars on each page of the NSR provide additional comments
from independent experts (i.e. gurus).
- SST Enhancement. Nutros' Supplement Solution Tool (SST) is
an expert system that works with the data of the NSR to streamline the process of
identifying the nutritional supplements that best fit your needs.
Organization of the NSR
There are thousands of different nutritional supplement products on the market, which
makes for a great deal of confusion when discussing supplements. To simplify these
discussions, the NSR uses a unique classification system that organizes supplements by
Level, Category, Type, and Nutrient. To get the most from the NSR, it's important that you
understand this system.
Nutrient. Nutrient is the lowest step in the NSR's classification
hierarchy, and represents any individual ingredient that is contained within a supplement.
Included in the Nutrient class are conventional nutrients found in foods (like protein and
vitamin C), as well as other individual chemicals (such as creatine and DHEA) and various
chemical compounds. In all, there are only about 200 different Nutrients that make up
virtually all nutritional supplements.
Nutrient Type. The Type classification is used to differentiate
Nutrients by their physical structure and relation to human nutrition. Each Nutrient
belongs to just one of the following types:
Macronutrient - These Nutrients include all carbohydrates,
proteins, and fats, which provide Calories to your diet.
Essential Micronutrient - These Nutrients are single
chemicals (e.g. individual vitamins and minerals) which have been identified by the FDA as
being necessary in the human diet. Deficiencies of these nutrients have been
scientifically linked to adverse physical conditions.
Nonessential Micronutrient - These Nutrients are also
single chemicals, but their absence from the diet has not yet been positively linked to
any adverse condition. Within this class are nutrients (such as creatine monohydrate) that
are believed to elicit performance effects when supplemented to the diet.
Nutritional Compound - These Nutrients consists of groups
of chemicals, often in their natural, unpurified state. Included in this class are all
herbs and components such as bee pollen. Because nutritional compounds are not refined
down to a single chemical, their exact chemical composition (and effect on the body) can
vary somewhat from source to source.
Nutritional Formulation - This Type is reserved for
man-made chemical groupings, and consists primarily of trademarked mixes of other
Category. The NSR also groups supplements by function. Examples
include "Antioxidants", "Vitamins & Minerals", and
"Stimulants". This is a convenient way to discuss supplements, because these
type of groupings are used by most supplement retailers. Note, however, that some
Nutrients fit into more than one Category. For example, vitamin C is a Vitamin, but is
also considered to be an Antioxidant.
Level. Level is the highest step in the NSR's hierarchy, and is a
reflection of the basic effectiveness and need for a particular Nutrient. There
are three different Levels:
Foundation - The Foundation Level is associated with your
body's most basic needs for survival - i.e. obtaining the Calories and raw materials for
tissue-building. All Nutrients of the Foundation Level will be of the Macronutrient type.
Health - The Health Level is associated with your body's
next-most-important needs - i.e. obtaining the Nutrients that will most optimally support
your body's health. All Nutrients of the Health Level will be of the Essential
Performance - The Performance Level is associated with
giving your body some "edge" with respect to a specific type of performance. For
example, if you're trying to build muscle, any Nutrient that accelerated your body's
ability to build muscle would be part of your Performance Level.
To Summarize, the NSR:
- Examines nutritional supplements based on the Nutrients they contain
- Divides those Nutrients into distinct Types and Categories,
- Assigns a Level of importance to each Category, based on your goals and
The Performance Pyramid
Nutros uses the "Performance Pyramid" (shown above) as a visual cue to the
three Levels of Supplements. As in any pyramid, the base is the most critical part of this
structure. Without it, the pyramid can't exist. The same is true of your nutritional
needs. Build a solid nutritional foundation first. Don't bother with Performance Level
Nutrients until you've met your body's more critical needs.
The quickest way to harness the power of the NSR is to use Nutros' Supplement
Solution Tool (SST). The SST takes all of your performance goals into account, and
then makes intelligent and customized recommendations for Nutrients at each Level of the
Performance Pyramid, based on the most current information and ratings. Included with
those recommendations are links to specific pages of the NSR, so that you can further
research each recommended Nutrient.
Every effort is made to insure that the information in the NSR is accurate and up to
date, but no guarantee is implied. The NSR is provided for purpose of education and
discussion only, and is not to be misconstrued as a recommendation or prescription for the
use of nutritional supplements.