September 19, 2021

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There's nothing like our health

US Military supplement use ‘increasing over time’: Study

3 min read

Data published in the Journal of Nutrition​ indicated that the most used supplements are Multivitamins/multiminerals (used by 45% of those surveyed), combination products (44%), and then protein or amino acids (42%).

Researchers from the US Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine (Natick, MA), the Naval Health Research Center (San Diego, CA), and the Army Public Health Center (Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD) definited combination products as dietary supplements that contained a mixtures of ingredients containing multiple ingredients and those positioned in at least two categories, including weight loss, pre- or post-workout, and muscle/body-building.

“Comparisons with previous military data suggested DS use has increased over time among service members in all service branches, especially use of proteins/AAs, combination products, herbals, and purported prohormones,” ​they wrote.

Surveillance

US Military personnel, particularly those on active duty, are under intense physical and psychological strain, often under difficult conditions, so it should come as no surprise that military ‘operators’ look to products like dietary supplements for support.

Survey data shows that usage is significantly higher than the general population, and increases even more when the soldiers move from the garrison to deployment.(Austin et al., Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism​, 2016, Vol. 41, No. 1, pp. 88–95)

They consume a lot of body building and weight loss products to help with performance and to ensure they meet fitness targets, and this has raised concerns with a 2016 paper in Drug Testing & Analysis​ reporting that an estimated that 10% of military personnel use “risky’ supplements. (Deuster et al., Drug Testing & Analysis​, 2016, Vol. 8, Iss. 3–4, pp. 431–433)

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