Back to Top Skip to main content

DoD campaign guides military community on use of supplements

Operation Supplement Safety aims to help people make informed, responsible decisions on supplement use. (U.S. Air Force graphic) Operation Supplement Safety aims to help people make informed, responsible decisions on supplement use. (U.S. Air Force graphic)

Recommended Content:

Nutrition | Human Performance Resource Center

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas Dietary supplements can play an important role in helping military members, retirees, Department of Defense (DoD) civilians and their family members achieve physical fitness and optimum health. 

However, some of these over-the-counter products provide no benefits or, even worse, prove to be detrimental to a person’s health, according to Joint Base San Antonio health promotions professionals. 

Operation Supplement Safety, a DoD initiative through the Human Performance Resource Center, offers guidance by educating the military community and DoD civilians about the potential benefits and dangers of using supplements. 

“The ultimate goal of the campaign is just for the safety of the military family, making sure they understand what a supplement is, how to read the ingredients and whether the supplement is safe to take,” said Claudia Holtz, 559th Aerospace-Medicine Squadron, Health Promotions Program manager at JBSA-Lackland. 

The OPSS campaign uses a variety of avenues to reach the broadest audience, from public service announcements, posters and videos to information sheets, social media and suggested activities for installations. 

The OPSS website, offers a wealth of information about supplements, including links to topics such as fitness and performance, weight loss and dietary supplement ingredients. 

The website also provides alerts and announcements about supplements and lists of high-risk supplements and dietary supplement ingredients prohibited by the DoD. Holtz addressed some of the risks of taking supplements. 

“Some supplements can interact in an unsafe way with other products people are taking, whether they’re prescribed medications or other supplements,” she said. “Supplement use may result in organ dysfunction or make a person’s health issues worse.” 

For military members and civilians, some supplements may be detrimental to their careers if they result in positive blood or urine tests, Holtz said. 

“It’s important that their physician or primary care manager knows what supplements they are taking,” she said. “They can also go to the OPSS website for information.”

Supplement use may also affect people financially if they are paying for a product that is providing no benefits, Holtz said.

Aracelis Gonzalez-Anderson, 359th Medical Group Health Promotions Program coordinator at JBSA-Randolph, said consumers should be careful even if a product they are considering for use is not on the OPSS list of high-risk supplements or does not contain ingredients prohibited by the DOD.

“It doesn’t mean it is safe to be consumed,” she said. “See your provider to make sure you are making an informed decision about the dietary supplement. Your life and career may depend on it.”

People should be especially aware of any supplements that contain dimethylamylamine, also known as DMAA, Gonzalez-Anderson said.

“Any dietary supplements that contain DMAA are illegal,” she said.

Ingestion of DMAA, which is often touted as a natural stimulant, can elevate blood pressure and lead to cardiovascular problems ranging from shortness of breath and tightening in the chest to heart attack, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

There is not a black-and-white answer to which supplements are beneficial if taken in the proper doses, Gonzalez-Anderson said.

“Supplements can be beneficial for some, while not for others,” she said. “If at all possible, it is better to consume the food to help with your goals.”

Holtz also advised making the right dietary choices.

“People can get the nutrients they need just by eating right,” she said.

It is also important to note dietary supplements, unlike prescription medications, are not subject to testing by the FDA.

“The FDA will review a dietary supplement only after receiving reports about harm caused by the supplement,” Gonzalez-Anderson said. “It is the responsibility of the dietary manufacturer to put out a safe product. There are some supplements that can contain ingredients not listed on the supplement facts panel to include some that are potentially dangerous.”

Disclaimer: Re-published content may have been edited for length and clarity. Read original post.

You also may be interested in...

Small changes, big results: Healthy lifestyle choices can make a difference for heart health

Article
4/6/2018
Dr. Jonathan Woodson, director of the Institute for Health System Innovation & Policy at Boston University, provides insight on the importance of heart health. From 2010 to 2016, Woodson served as the assistant secretary of Defense for Health Affairs. He is also a brigadier general in the United States Army Reserve. (Photo courtesy of Boston University)

Risk for heart disease, the number one killer of Americans every year, can be decreased through healthy lifestyle and nutrition choices

Recommended Content:

Heart Health | Nutrition | Physical Activity

Breakfast (and lunch, and dinner) of champions: What this Olympian eats

Article
3/30/2018
Army Sgt. Matt Mortensen, a two-time Olympian, has been competing in doubles luge since 2011 as a member of the Army World Class Athlete Program. (U.S. Army photo)

March may be “cheat month,” but slider sticks close to regular diet

Recommended Content:

Nutrition

Eat an apple a day, but don't keep the dentist away

Article
3/27/2018
A child eats an apple during a Trunk-or-Treat event, which featured a healthy snack station as an alternative to candy, at Ramstein Air Base, Germany. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jimmie D. Pike)

Good oral health takes more than brushing teeth and flossing – it also requires proper nutrition

Recommended Content:

Deployment Health | Health Readiness | Nutrition | Preventive Health

Fuel your body during National Nutrition Month

Article
3/16/2018
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that more than one-third of adults in the U.S. are obese and obesity-related conditions are one of the leading causes of preventable deaths. Eating healthy can prevent the onset of chronic diseases, reduce inflammation and improve physical recovery time from wounds. (U.S. Air Force illustration by Airman 1st Class Destinee Sweeney)

More than one-third of adults in the U.S. are obese and obesity-related conditions are one of the leading causes of preventable deaths

Recommended Content:

Operation Live Well | Nutrition

Eating disorders, disordered eating: A look into the personal struggle for balance

Article
11/29/2017
Eating disorders, which are a mix of psychological, physiological, and behavioral factors, can affect every system in the body. (U.S. Air Force illustration by Staff Sgt. Keith Ballard)

Eating disorders are about more than nutrition, experts warn. These disorders involve psychological, physiological, and behavioral characteristics

Recommended Content:

Nutrition

Things that make you go ‘om’: Meditation for healthy living

Article
11/15/2017
A soldier with the 160th Signal Brigade meditates before duty at Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan.  (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Margaret Taylor)

Researchers say brain changes may lead to long-term benefits

Recommended Content:

Integrative Wellness | Human Performance Resource Center | Warrior Care

Eating's a risky business with water, water everywhere and no power

Article
9/8/2017
A resident of a Hurricane Harvey-flooded neighborhood in Houston gets evacuated. (U.S. Customs and Border Protection photo by Glenn Fawcett)

If in doubt, throw it out, food safety experts say

Recommended Content:

Nutrition | Emergency Preparedness and Response

Watch out for 'hidden' sugars

Article
7/14/2017
Some sugars occur naturally in fruits and milk products. However, other sugars are added to foods and drinks during preparation, processing, or at your table. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Caleb McDonald)

Some sugars occur naturally in fruits and milk products. However, other sugars are added to foods and drinks during preparation, processing, or at your table.

Recommended Content:

Nutrition | Human Performance Resource Center | Operation Live Well

Shedding light on vitamin D

Article
6/26/2017
Air Force Senior Airman Michael Cossaboom pretends to eat the sun. Unlike other nutrients, vitamin D occurs naturally in very few foods, so it can be difficult to get enough through your diet. Vitamin D is an essential nutrient that your body produces when your skin is exposed to sunlight, but there are ways to get it from foods too. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jensen Stidham)

Vitamin D is an essential nutrient that your body produces when your skin is exposed to sunlight, but there are ways to get it from foods too

Recommended Content:

Nutrition

Eat a rainbow of colorful produce

Article
6/12/2017
For adults, the current daily recommendation is 2-3 cups of vegetables and 2 cups of fruit. Remember that raw, cooked, steamed, grilled, and broiled varieties all count, so fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables at mealtimes. (U.S. Army photo by Honey Nixon)

Eating colorful fruits and veggies can help reduce your risk of stroke, heart disease, diabetes and some cancers too

Recommended Content:

Nutrition | Human Performance Resource Center

Summertime food safety

Article
5/30/2017
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates one in six Americans get sick from foodborne illnesses, including those associated with poorly cooked or stored foods in hot environments. To avoid this, follow good cooking tips. Cook foods thoroughly. Use a food thermometer to check for doneness. Make sure cooked foods have reached a safe internal temperature. (U.S. Air Force photo)

The CDC estimates one in six Americans get sick from foodborne illnesses

Recommended Content:

Summer Safety | Nutrition | Human Performance Resource Center

Army researchers showcase Performance Readiness Bar

Article
5/25/2017
Two Soldiers taste-test the Performance Readiness Bar, a calcium and vitamin D-fortified snack bar developed to optimize bone health in basic trainees, during a bone health field study. (U.S. Army photo by David Kamm)

According to the Military Health System, recruits often arrive to basic training with poor calcium and vitamin D status

Recommended Content:

Nutrition

Protect your back during your PCS

Article
5/22/2017
Service members and their families relocate a lot, and moving to a new home is hard enough without adding a back injury to the mix. So be mindful of how you’re lifting and moving while you’re packing up and loading up. (U.S. Navy photo)

Service members and their families relocate a lot, and moving to a new home is hard enough without adding a back injury to the mix

Recommended Content:

Human Performance Resource Center | Preventive Health

The scoop on probiotic and prebiotic foods

Article
5/5/2017
Prebiotic foods include bananas, onions, garlic, leeks, asparagus, artichokes, and whole grains. (Courtesy photo)

Benefits from eating foods with probiotics and prebiotics occur when they’re part of a diet that includes whole grains, fruits, vegetables and low-fat sources of dairy and protein

Recommended Content:

Nutrition | Human Performance Resource Center

Daily nutrition strategies for endurance

Article
4/26/2017
Fueling for endurance events starts by eating a balanced diet, high in variety. Consuming carbs from various sources before training and throughout each day will help keep you energized. Protein after your workouts will help you recover from your workout so you can train again tomorrow. (U.S. Army photo)

Performance nutrition really begins during training, when you consistently fuel your body with the proper amounts and kinds of calories and nutrients

Recommended Content:

Nutrition | Physical Activity | Human Performance Resource Center
<< < 1 2 3 4 5 > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 5

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.