WASHINGTON, March 12, 2014 (NNS) – March is Navy Nutrition Month and the Navy’s Nutrition Office, part of the 21st Century Sailor Office, is committed to spreading the word on healthy eating.
A recent article in Nutrition Journal suggests that people looking to take a dietary supplement already have somewhat of a healthy eating pattern with regular exercise in their routine. Supplements may be necessary if adequate nutrition is not available through food due to reasons such as medical conditions that affect the digestive system, food allergies, intolerances, or being on a medically supervised special diet with food restrictions. Otherwise, having a well-balanced dietary pattern with a variety of foods is adequate and more effective than taking supplements.
Dietary supplement marketing claims to solve numerous health problems, from relieving symptoms of simple medical concerns like the common cold to stopping a heart attack dead in its tracts. If dietary supplements really worked and produced a true quick and lasting solution to any health concern, then we would all be in optimal health without the need to visit the doctor. The Los Angeles Times reported in 2013 that Americans spend just under $30 billion each year in dietary supplements including vitamins, herbs, and other such products that promise more energy, weight loss, or more muscle mass. It’s foolish to believe the marketing and hype surrounding a product without doing the proper research. Some news articles claim supplements to be safe, where science and research may say otherwise. Supplement labeling and ingredients are not always accurate and sometimes misleading.
Last year the DoD removed Jack3d and Oxyelite Pro, along with 17 other supplement brands, from the retail stores on military bases. This was because the label claimed one of the ingredients, geranium, as a natural plant derivative, when in actuality, the real ingredient in these supplements was 1,3-dimethylamylamine (DMAA), a synthetic drug used in the 1940s as a nasal decongestant. DMAA has been linked to severe side effects like heat injuries, seizures, brain hemorrhages, and heart problems. There may be numerous other supplements currently on the market that have unknown and potentially harmful ingredients in them.
Visit Operation Supplement Safety (OPSS) to get the latest tools and resources to help you make a wise and informed decision when purchasing supplements.