Patterns and Perceptions of Supplement Use by U.S. Marines Deployed to Afghanistan
Authors: Cassler, Nicole M.; Sams, Richard; Cripe, Paul A.; McGlynn, Andrea F.; Perry, Alicia B.; Banks, Brett A.
Source: Military Medicine, Volume 178, Number 6, June 2013 , pp. 659-664(6)
Dietary supplements are implicated in an increasing number of minor and serious adverse events, including death. A series of adverse events in deployed Marines using multiple supplements prompted medical officers to investigate the prevalence of supplement use among Marines stationed on Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan. The investigators developed a survey to identify the types of supplements used, patterns of supplement use, reasons for taking supplements, perceived benefits from using supplements, and self-reported adverse effects. Marines were invited to complete an anonymous 17-question survey while visiting recreational and athletic facilities. A total of 329 active duty Marines completed the survey. The prevalence of supplement use was 72 for males and 42 for females (p 0.009). Of the 12 of Marines reporting side effects, 79 were taking multiple supplements and 89 were using stimulants. Deployment was significantly associated with new supplement use (p < 0.001). Of users, 81 noted an improvement in physical performance. The majority of deployed Marines use multiple dietary supplements and perceive a high benefit. Given the high prevalence of supplement use and recent deaths associated with supplement use, recommendations are needed to guide the use of certain supplements by U.S. Marines in the deployed environment.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: June 2013
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Military Medicine is the Association's official monthly journal. The objective of the Journal is to promote awareness of Federal medicine by providing a forum for responsible discussion of common ideas and problems relevant to Federal healthcare. Its mission is: To increase healthcare education by providing scientific and other information to its readers; to facilitate communication; and to offer a prestige publication for members' writings.
Military Medicine's 5-year Impact Factor: 1.061
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