What the SOF Community Needs to Know About Dietary Supplements

J Spec Oper Med. 2018 Winter;18(4):131-136. doi: 10.55460/UR9N-LPVP.


Dietary supplement (DS) use by military members and Special Operations Forces (SOF), in particular, is high. The "sports nutrition" market is expected to be one of the fastest growing segments because a "performance edge" is certainly desirable within the military. DS products are readily available in retail stores on military bases, over the Internet, and in niche stores near military bases. Thus, use of some DSs raises a number of unique concerns, particularly considering the potential for interactions among combinations of DS ingredients and concurrent medications taken under military operational conditions. All those who work with SOF should have a basic understanding of the DS world. This article briefly reviews selected DS regulations, identifies concerns and risks related to various DS products, and describes the purpose, functions, and resources of Operation Supplement Safety. Examples of regulatory concerns, adverse events, red flags, and tools are provided to help SOF communities sustain their health and performance.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Dietary Supplements* / adverse effects
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Legislation, Food
  • Military Personnel*
  • Risk