HomeNewsArticle Display

Supplement usage in the Air Force today

Airmen should be aware of the side effects regarding supplement usage and the negative effects it can lead to in the workplace, including loss of concentration, uneasy heart murmurs, and other potential health problems leading to work-stoppage. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Andrew Crawford)

Airmen should be aware of the side effects regarding supplement usage and the negative effects it can lead to in the workplace, including loss of concentration, uneasy heart murmurs, and other potential health problems leading to work-stoppage. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Andrew Crawford)

MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. -- Service members in the U.S. military, including Airmen, are held to a high standard of physical fitness training. Depending on any injury and health concerns an individual may have, there are times it is hard to meet those standards without help.

Turning to dietary supplement usage can help with keeping up with physical fitness requirements, including their overall physical look.

However, many of the dietary supplements on the market can cause long term health concerns including heart and liver problems.

Supplements require individuals to follow directions on the bottle for optimal use. Many of the substances state they should not be taken with caffeine, yet individuals sometimes fail to listen or follow these important instructions.

Minot Air Force Base has a unique mission that depends heavily on its Personal Reliability Program to police individuals tasked with the everyday mission of upholding nuclear deterrence.

Airmen should be aware of the side effects regarding supplement usage and the negative effects it can lead to in the workplace, including loss of concentration, uneasy heart murmurs, and other potential health problems leading to work-stoppage.

Airmen in the PRP program can use dietary supplements, but should consult the PRP office if there are any questions as to its possible work inhibitors.

The Human Performance Resource Center, a Department of Defense initiative under the Force Health Protection and Readiness Program, has created a campaign called "Operation Supplement Safety" to help guide military personnel and medical professionals with the use of supplements.

According to the organization's evidence-based studies focusing on single nutrients. Dietary supplements are not only expensive but do offer the benefits that a balanced and varied diet can. Consuming isolated single compounds, as in dietary supplements, rarely have the same beneficial effect as eating the whole foods.

"You just don't know what kind of drugs you're taking in," said Benavides. "You just don't know how much of specific drugs and caffeine is in some of this stuff."

Airmen who use over the counter dietary supplements have reported feeling the negative effects of their use.

"Just a week ago, we had an Airman come in for headaches and he said he could hear his pulse beating in his ears. He was feeling sick," said Benavides. "The night before he had taken a new substance."

Many individuals think that because a supplement is carried on a shelf on base that it must be safe for them to ingest. Many of the supplements offered today are banned by the National Football League.

"Just because these supplements say they are all natural and safe doesn't mean they are good for you," said Benavides.

The Department of Defense does not maintain a list of dietary supplements or supplement ingredients that are "allowed" or "banned." If the Food and Drug Administration or the Drug Enforcement Administration has not banned or declared an ingredient or dietary supplement product illegal, then DoD does not consider it banned or illegal.

However, the FDA has found that many dietary supplements-especially weight-loss, bodybuilding, and sexual-enhancement products-contain undeclared drug ingredients, which could be potentially harmful and/or produce unwanted results in a urinalysis test. To date, the FDA has declared two dietary supplement ingredients as illegal: ephedra and DMAA.

The Air Force has also banned products that contain hemp seed oil and any anabolic steroids.

If an Airman ingests a supplement and becomes ill to the point that they can no longer be a part of the Air Force mission that Airman may not qualify for some or all of the medical retirement benefits usually offered to medical discharges.

There is more and more information being published for anyone interested to see. One excellent site is the Human Performance Resource Center. You can find important information at HTTP://HPRC-ONLINE.ORG.
USAF Comments Policy
If you wish to comment, use the text box below. AF reserves the right to modify this policy at any time.

This is a moderated forum. That means all comments will be reviewed before posting. In addition, we expect that participants will treat each other, as well as our agency and our employees, with respect. We will not post comments that contain abusive or vulgar language, spam, hate speech, personal attacks, violate EEO policy, are offensive to other or similar content. We will not post comments that are spam, are clearly "off topic", promote services or products, infringe copyright protected material, or contain any links that don't contribute to the discussion. Comments that make unsupported accusations will also not be posted. The AF and the AF alone will make a determination as to which comments will be posted. Any references to commercial entities, products, services, or other non-governmental organizations or individuals that remain on the site are provided solely for the information of individuals using this page. These references are not intended to reflect the opinion of the AF, DoD, the United States, or its officers or employees concerning the significance, priority, or importance to be given the referenced entity, product, service, or organization. Such references are not an official or personal endorsement of any product, person, or service, and may not be quoted or reproduced for the purpose of stating or implying AF endorsement or approval of any product, person, or service.

Any comments that report criminal activity including: suicidal behaviour or sexual assault will be reported to appropriate authorities including OSI. This forum is not:

  • This forum is not to be used to report criminal activity. If you have information for law enforcement, please contact OSI or your local police agency.
  • Do not submit unsolicited proposals, or other business ideas or inquiries to this forum. This site is not to be used for contracting or commercial business.
  • This forum may not be used for the submission of any claim, demand, informal or formal complaint, or any other form of legal and/or administrative notice or process, or for the exhaustion of any legal and/or administrative remedy.

AF does not guarantee or warrant that any information posted by individuals on this forum is correct, and disclaims any liability for any loss or damage resulting from reliance on any such information. AF may not be able to verify, does not warrant or guarantee, and assumes no liability for anything posted on this website by any other person. AF does not endorse, support or otherwise promote any private or commercial entity or the information, products or services contained on those websites that may be reached through links on our website.

Members of the media are asked to send questions to the public affairs through their normal channels and to refrain from submitting questions here as comments. Reporter questions will not be posted. We recognize that the Web is a 24/7 medium, and your comments are welcome at any time. However, given the need to manage federal resources, moderating and posting of comments will occur during regular business hours Monday through Friday. Comments submitted after hours or on weekends will be read and posted as early as possible; in most cases, this means the next business day.

For the benefit of robust discussion, we ask that comments remain "on-topic." This means that comments will be posted only as it relates to the topic that is being discussed within the blog post. The views expressed on the site by non-federal commentators do not necessarily reflect the official views of the AF or the Federal Government.

To protect your own privacy and the privacy of others, please do not include personally identifiable information, such as name, Social Security number, DoD ID number, OSI Case number, phone numbers or email addresses in the body of your comment. If you do voluntarily include personally identifiable information in your comment, such as your name, that comment may or may not be posted on the page. If your comment is posted, your name will not be redacted or removed. In no circumstances will comments be posted that contain Social Security numbers, DoD ID numbers, OSI case numbers, addresses, email address or phone numbers. The default for the posting of comments is "anonymous", but if you opt not to, any information, including your login name, may be displayed on our site.

Thank you for taking the time to read this comment policy. We encourage your participation in our discussion and look forward to an active exchange of ideas.

Contact Us

To reach the Minot Air Force Base Main Directory, call: Commercial (701) 723-7979 or DSN: 453-7979.   

To request Public Affairs support, please fill out an Air Force Form 833 and email to the Minot AFB Public Affairs workflow mailbox. 

Unfortunately, we are not accepting marquee requests since our marquee board is down for an undetermined amount of time. Thank you for understanding.