Supplements and Soldiers is an educational program that aims to address dietary supplement use within the United States Army. Surveys among the armed forces show that dietary supplement intake is higher within this population ranging anywhere between 60 and 70 percent of service members taking at least one dietary supplement daily. (Knapik, J. et al, 2018) Service members are also more likely to use strength and bodybuilding supplements such as protein or amino acids, creatine, and various combination products marketed as physical performance enhancers. (Knapik, J. et al, 2018) While many dietary supplements on the market today are much safer for individuals to consume, some dietary supplements marketed for weight loss, bodybuilding, or performance enhancement contain dangerous substances and are possibly unsafe. (Kao, T. et al, 2021) Our goal is to educate members of the United States Army on how to determine if they need a dietary supplement and how to assess if a supplement may be dangerous to them. We also want to provide resources for officers and higher enlisted to pass along to their soldiers.
An important point is this program is not designed to discourage dietary supplements, but to educate and help soldiers understand potential risk of consuming dietary supplements.