Many dietary supplements on the market are tainted and unsafe. The most commonly tainted dietary supplements are those intended for:
Many people think supplements may be superior to natural foods, but in fact, most ingredients in supplements come from such food, whereas others are synthetic. Dietary supplements cannot offset the unfavorable effects of poor food choices.
Before taking a dietary supplement, ask yourself:
- What's in it?
- Does it work?
- Is it safe?
- Do I really need it?
- Has it been third-party tested?
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not test or approve dietary supplements before they are marketed to the public.
Many products on the market are dangerous to your health and physical activity may increase the risk.
- Talk to a health care provider or your local Military Treatment Facility's Registered Dietitian.
- Read the label to see if the product is safe.
If you decide to use a supplement, BE SMART:
- Use well-known brands.
- Take no more than the recommended service size.
- Look for evidence of third-party testing on the label, which ensures:
- What's on the label is inside the bottle- and nothing more.
- The quality of manufacturing.
For more information on dietary supplements, use the resources below.
The Human Performance Research Center (HPRC) provides:
Research-backed information to help users make good decisions about supplements.
Alerts of recalls, market withdrawals, and safety bulletins, plus links to additional reliable information on supplements.
FDA 101: Dietary Supplements
If you have questions about a particular supplement, call the FDA’s toll-free number at (888) INFO-FDA (463-6332). Also, contact your healthcare provider immediately if you experience any adverse affects after taking a dietary supplement. It is also recommended that you report the problem to FDA
Guide to Herbs and Supplements: Looking for the Edge – Dietary Supplements
Published by the Uniformed Services University Consortium for Health and Military Performance, this guide was developed to provide the warfighter a reputable source of information on herbs and supplements.
Many warfighters use supplements to improve their health and performance, but getting good information isn't always easy. Check out resources from our partners at the Natural Medicines Comprehensive database.
Supplements and Fluids - an interactive online training module (AKO)
"Supplements and Fluids” is one of several Interactive self-development nutrition training modules available once you have completed the Global Assessment Tool. Other topics include High Performance Nutrition, Nutrition in the Field, Losing Weight, Fueling the Military Family, and Encouraging Healthy Habits as a Leader. This online training is part of the Comprehensive Soldier Fitness Program and designed to help you increase strength and resilience. An AKO account is required to complete this training.