Dietary supplements are intended to supplement the diet by increasing the dietary intake of a substance such as a vitamin, mineral, herb/botanical, enzyme or amino acid. Unlike pharmaceutical drugs, these substances are not intended to be a treatment, diagnosis or cure for any disease and should not be labeled as such. The U.S. National Library of Medicine lists many herbs and supplements and information on their effectiveness, usual dosage and drug interactions. Find more information here.
Dietary supplements may be used by Sailors to meet the demands of military performance, but some supplements could be adulterated (contain unsafe ingredients) or misbranded (labeled falsely or misleadingly), creating potential threats to safety, health and career. Asking the right questions and having the right information can help Sailors make better choices when selecting or using dietary supplements and help medical professionals provide better information to their patients.
Learn more from the Human Performance Resource Center's (HPRC) Operation Supplement Safety (OPSS) page, a Department of Defense dietary supplement resource for the military community, leaders, healthcare providers and DoD civilians. This resource can help Sailors and their families make more informed decisions about dietary supplements. Questions can be directed to the page's "Ask the Expert" section.
Some dietary supplement products contain stimulants, steroids, hormone-like ingredients, controlled substances, or unapproved drugs. The Operation Supplement Safety (OPSS) High-Risk Supplement List helps you identify supplements that could create a risk to your health or career. Not all supplements on the list are illegal or banned, but all pose potential risks to your health. In addition, the list is not exhaustive, so products not on the list could still be unsafe. Access the list here.
Find more information about the supplement cannabidiol from the U.S. National Library of Medicine's page on CBD here.