Air Force reservists are being advised to use caution when taking dietary supplements because some could pose health risks and/or could lead to a positive urinalysis test result, officials with Air Force Reserve Command’s Medical Services Directorate said.
“You really need to do your homework and check with your doctor before taking any kind of supplement,” said Dr. Don Jenrette, AFRC’s Drug Demand Reduction (DDR) Program manager. “And you should know all of the ingredients that are in any supplement you might be taking.”
The most common dietary supplements are vitamins for general wellbeing, but others include herbs and other ingredients that promise weight loss or improving athletic or sexual performance. The products are not regulated as closely by federal officials as pharmaceutical drugs, and thus may contain undeclared or even illegal ingredients, and some make outlandish claims to cure diseases or conditions.
The Air Force specifically bans any supplements that contain hemp, hemp seeds or hemp seed oil. Additional substances banned for airmen, soldiers, sailors, Marines and Coast Guard members include:
- anything on the Drug Enforcement Agency’s controlled substance list (this includes spice, marijuana, synthetic cannabinoids, amphetamines, mood-altering substances and anabolic steroids);
- any substance the Food and Drug Administration has declared “illegal” or “not allowed” for use in dietary supplements (such as ephedra/ephedrine alkaloids, DMAA, DMBA and BMPEA);
- salvia divinorum (commonly known as diviner’s sage); and
- any prescription drug without a current prescription written specifically for the individual.
“Reservists who take supplements that contain any of the illegal or illicit drugs on this list are in danger of testing positive during routine urinalysis screening,” Jenrette said, adding that some supplement companies may not list all of the ingredients in their products.
Air Force officials remind military members, including reservists to be mindful of the dietary supplements they are taking and to be aware that in some cases the products can be adulterated and to only purchase the products from reputable, well-established supplement manufacturers.
Source: Dobbins Air Reserve Base