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Use of Dietary Supplements by Military Personnel
the Committee on Military Nutrition Research to provide recommendations on an approach to manage the use of dietary supplements by military personnel.
This expert committee analyzed the patterns of dietary supplement use among military personnel, and selected a subset of dietary supplements to evaluate; for these, by examining published reviews of the scientific evidence, the committee identified those dietary supplements that are beneficial and/or warrant concern due to risks to health or performance. The committee also developed a system to monitor adverse health effects and recommended a framework to identify the need for active management of dietary supplement use by military personnel. Specifically, the committee did the following:
It reviewed survey data and findings made available to the committee related to supplement use by military personnel to identify (a) which dietary supplements are of most prevalent use, with consideration of differences according to demographic factors such as age, rank, sex, deployment status, and military occupational specialty, organization, and unit; and (b) expectations of benefits and reasons for use of dietary supplements by military personnel.
It identified information gaps regarding dietary supplement use by military personnel and recommended processes and designs by which current and future usage of supplements (including dosages, quality, and forms of supplement) should be monitored, surveyed, analyzed, reported, and the resultant data shared.
It selected a limited number of dietary supplements from those identified as commonly used. On the basis of already published reports that review the available scientific evidence, the committee identified those supplements that may be of benefit and/or pose serious hazards to the health and/or physical and cognitive performance capability of military personnel and determined whether further examination and integrative evaluation or research on each is warranted. The committee considered potential effects of supplement withdrawal and interactions.
It considered existing military policies for managing dietary supplements, and assessed the applicability to a military setting of the framework outlined in the 2005 IOM report Dietary Supplements: A Framework forEvaluating Safety and determined how it could be modified to determine which supplements need active management by the military.
It proposed an approach to monitor military personnel for adverse health effects that might indicate a concern associated with consumption of dietary supplements.