Dietary Supplements: What You Need to Know

[dark and brooding music] ♪ (work-out partner)
Dude, you should really
try this. It'll totally increase
your gains. (service member #1)
That's cool, but should I check
with my doctor first? (work-out partner)
Well, it's up to you, man, but it's not prescription
or anything, just over the counter stuff.
Worked wonders for me. (television announcer)
Has your "get-up and go"
got up and went? Then boost your stamina
and charge your metabolism! Integrate your workout with the
latest in energy enhancement… (service member #2)
I'm looking for something for, like, quick weight loss. (store clerk)
Well, if you want
to lose some weight fast, we just got this awesome
product in yesterday. You'll drop like 20 pounds
in two to three weeks! ♪ [music intensifies] ♪ [music reaches its climax] (HMCM Patrick Hyde)
Dietary Supplements
are misused when individuals
are not well informed about the use
of the supplements or the ingredients
that are in the supplement. (CDR Jason Humbert)
We're seeing ingredients in these supplements that haven't been tested
in humans or haven't been tested
together. (COL Trinka Coster)
And so you can't start seeing that it's very difficult
to predict, is this ingredient
or is this dietary supplement safe or not safe. [music crescendos] [heavy breathing sounds] [piano music] (narrator)
A dietary supplement,
as defined by the U.S.
Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act
of 1994, is a product taken by mouth that contains
a "dietary ingredient" intended to supplement
the diet. Ingredients include
vitamins, minerals, herbs, amino acids, concentrates, metabolites, and food constituents. Supplements are available
in the form of tablets, capsules, soft gels,
gel caps, liquids, or powders, and sometimes bars. The uses of dietary
supplements range from vitamin and mineral
replenishment to performance enhancement
and weight loss. Unlike pharmaceuticals,
dietary supplements do not need approval by the
Food and Drug Administration before they are sold,
and therefore are not subject to the FDA's drug regulations
regarding safety. Therefore, all service members
supplementing their diet with these products must be
aware of and stay informed about potential side effects. (HMCM Patrick Hyde)
As an independent duty
corpsman, I've had a patient that come into
the medical department, and in many cases
the individuals would acknowledge that they're taking
the dietary supplement. And when you further question
the individuals, they are in reality misusing
the dietary supplements. The FDA has tested and found
over 500 dietary supplements that contain
hidden ingredients, which could be problematic
for unsuspecting users. When you go past
one or two ingredients and start approaching
three or four, and the worst combination
would be "proprietary blend," it becomes very difficult
to predict how those combination
of ingredients are going to act
on your body. We find individuals
taking huge amounts, not the recommended amount
according to the manufacturer. (COL Trinka Coster)
People say, "Ok, if one
teaspoon will make me super, maybe two teaspoons or three
teaspoons will even be better." (HMCM Patrick Hyde)
When you ask them how did they
come about using that form of dietary
supplements, and the response we get from
them is "My buddy is using it." (COL Trinka Coster)
"If he looks this good
or she looks that good, if I take the same thing
that they are taking, I too will be good." (HMCM Patrick Hyde)
Your peers or your buddies using dietary supplements
without any form of changes
to their health doesn't mean that
you won't have problems, not everyone's body
is the same. One of the requirements
for a Service Member is the physical readiness
standard testing, and in order to meet
the requirements they'll go out and find,
you know, a short fix. (COL Trinka Coster)
"I want to be slim,
I want to bulk-up. And so if I can take
a supplement, if I can take this pill, I know I can be better…" and unfortunately
it's just not true. [dark and brooding music] ♪ (HMCM Patrick Hyde)
You'll have individual
who will continually use dietary supplements
without any inherent changes or condition or illnesses, and then you have
other individuals who, just in the mere fact
that they are using a small amount
of dietary supplements, can make significant changes
to their health. If you're taking proprietary
blends or multiple supplements, some of those can interact
with your heart and they can cause your heart
to speed up or they can cause your heart
to slow down. So some of the symptoms you may
experience are dizziness, palpitations,
a racing heart, feeling fatigued,
very tired. (CDR Jason Humbert)
Maybe some over use
of a product or misuse might have an effect on a current health condition
that you have. Or it might interact
with a medication they might be taking, so you just never know. We've seen individuals come in with severe
weight loss. Severe dehydration due to the
use of the dietary supplements, sodium loss, potassium loss,
and other losses to the body. And it creates a challenge
for the Service Member. Other problems
would be the liver where you can't detoxify
the chemicals. It can also affect how well
you can absorb foods. It can affect your brain where the normal balance
in your brain of certain chemicals,
serotonin and/or epinephrine, you might start feeling
depressed, suicidal, problems with anxiety. A lot of symptoms
basically when you start feeling
something that you've never felt before or feeling too much
of something… those are times that
you really need to go see your physician very quickly. [soft stirring music] (HMCM Patrick Hyde)
I think one of the bigger
challenges is for individuals to inform themselves
about dietary supplements. There are times when certain
supplements, you need it. When you're pregnant,
people know you need folate, and certainly taking
a multivitamin is fine to do. Talk with someone who knows
your medical history, who knows your current state
of health about whether
you are interested in taking a dietary supplement a dietary supplement
or so that they are aware.king (COL Trinka Coster)
Where your primary care
provider can help is help you with
what are the kinds of foods that you should be eating
if you want to lose weight, what are the type of foods
you need to be eating if you need to gain weight. How much exercise
do you need to do and how many calories
do I need to eat in order to optimize
my performance at this level. (HMCM Patrick Hyde)
A lot of the commanders, the warriors,
your leadership… they're informed
about dietary supplements and some of the issues and
concerns that the DoD has, and so the enlisted
individuals… soldiers, sailors,
airmen, and marines… coast guardsmen can always
turn to those leaders and some of those channels. Also the FDA website has
a great deal of information. Tips for consumers… whether the consumer is already taking a dietary supplement or interested
in taking a supplement. It also has tips
for searching the internet for dietary supplement
information because there is always
information out there that could be misleading. There's also a portion
of the website that is dedicated
to dietary supplements entitled, "Dietary Supplements,
What You Need to Know." It's also available in Spanish,
and that's a good resource for consumers as well. (COL Trinka Coster)
A good website is the Human Performance
Resource Center, and within that there's the Operation Supplement
Safety Website that has very good information and it also keeps up to date all of the different types
of ingredients and which ones are found
to be effective and which ones are worrisome. The best alternative
to a dietary supplement is the natural resources that you find in
your dining facilities. (COL Trinka Coster)
Unfortunately it comes down
to what we've been doing for the last million years… eat well, eat balanced, eat a lot of fruits
and vegetables and exercise. [soft pensive music] (narrator)
When it comes
to dietary supplements, the most important thing to
remember is to stay informed. If you want to include
supplements in your diet, speak with your health care
provider on the intended benefits
and the possible dangers. If self-improvement
is your goal, explore all options
to be sure you choose the one
that's right for you. For online resources to help
you choose supplements wisely, please go to the Operation
Supplement Safety website to see frequently asked
questions, find out how your supplement
rates, is your dietary supplement
clean, or ask the expert
if you are in doubt. You can also learn more
on the go or at the gym
on your smart phone with the Operation Supplement
Safety APP. [dark and brooding music] ♪ [music crescendos]

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