Publications by authors named "Emily K Farina"

28 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Prevalence, factors associated with use, and adverse effects of sport-related nutritional supplements (sport drinks, sport bars, sport gels): the US military dietary supplement use study.

J Int Soc Sports Nutr 2021 Aug 25;18(1):59. Epub 2021 Aug 25.

Military Nutrition Division, US Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, 10 General Greene Ave, Natick, MA, 01760, USA.

Background: Sport-related nutritional supplements (SRNSs) include sport drinks, sport bars, and sport gels. Previous studies indicate that 25-35 % of athletes and 25-50 % of military personnel report using these supplements. This study examined prevalence, factors associated with use, and adverse effects (AEs) of SRNSs among United States military service members (SMs).

Methods: A stratified random sample of 200,000 SMs was obtained from military workforce records, and asked to complete a survey on demographics, SRNS use, and AEs experienced. About 18 % (n = 26,681) of contacted SMs (n = 146,365) completed the survey between December 2018 and August 2019.

Results: Overall, 45 % of SMs used ≥ 1 SRNS at least once per week in the past 6 months. Prevalence of use (± standard error) for sport drinks, bars, and gels were 32 ± 0.3, 27 ± 0.3, and 3 ± 0.1 %, respectively. Use of 1, 2, or 3 SRNSs was 28.9 ± 0.5, 13.6 ± 0.6, and 2.2 ± 0.6 %, respectively. Multivariable logistic regression indicated greater use of any SRNS was independently associated with male gender, younger age, single marital status, more weekly aerobic or resistance training, tobacco use, higher alcohol intake, officer status, combat arms occupations, and service in the Marine Corps or Navy (compared to the Air Force). Overall, the proportion of users reporting ≥ 1 AE was 2.0 ± 0.1 %, with 1.3 ± 0.1 % for sport drinks, 1.6 ± 0.2 % for sport bars, and 2.8 ± 0.6 % for sport gels.

Conclusions: This large study of a stratified random sample of SMs found that nearly half of SMs consumed SRNSs weekly, and self-reported AEs were comparatively low. The AE incidence for SRNSs was much lower than typically found for dietary supplements, possibly because of more rigorous regulatory oversight for SRNSs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12970-021-00457-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8390290PMC
August 2021

Anthropometrics and Body Composition Predict Physical Performance and Selection to Attend Special Forces Training in United States Army Soldiers.

Mil Med 2021 Jul 24. Epub 2021 Jul 24.

Military Nutrition Division, U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, Natick, MA, USA.

Introduction: Anthropometrics and body composition characteristics differentiate many types of athletes and are related to performance on fitness tests and tasks in military personnel. Soldiers competing to enter elite units must demonstrate physical fitness and operational competence across multiple events. Therefore, this study determined whether anthropometrics and body composition predicted physical performance and selection for special forces training among soldiers attending the rigorous Special Forces Assessment and Selection (SFAS) course.

Materials And Methods: Soldiers attending the SFAS course between May 2015 and March 2017 were enrolled in a longitudinal, observational study. Anthropometrics (height, body mass, and body mass index [BMI]; n = 795) and body composition measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (percentage body fat, fat mass, lean mass, bone mineral content [BMC], and bone mineral density [BMD]; n = 117) were assessed before the course start. Associations with physical performance were determined with correlation coefficients. Associations with selection were determined with analyses of variance and t-tests; effect sizes were calculated as Cohen's d. The U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine Institutional Review Board (IRB) initially approved this study, and the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command IRB approved the continuing review.

Results: Lower percentage body fat and fat mass predicted better performance on all assessments: Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT), pull-ups, SFAS run, loaded road march, obstacle course, and land navigation (P ≤ .05). Higher lean mass predicted better performance on the loaded road march (P ≤ .05). Lower body mass and BMI predicted better performance on APFT, pull-ups, run, and obstacle course; higher body mass and BMI predicted better performance on the loaded road march (P ≤ .05). Shorter stature predicted better performance on push-ups (APFT) and pull-ups; taller stature predicted better performance on SFAS run and loaded road march (P ≤ .05). On average, the selected soldiers were taller (179.0 ± 6.6 vs. 176.7 ± 6.7 cm), had higher body mass (85.8 ± 8.8 vs. 82.1 ± 9.6 kg), BMI (26.8 ± 2.2 vs. 26.3 ± 2.6 kg/m2), lean mass (67.2 ± 7.3 vs. 61.9 ± 7.6 kg), BMC (3.47 ± 0.40 vs. 3.29 ± 0.56 kg), and BMD (1.34 ± 0.10 vs. 1.28 ± 0.10 g/cm2), and lower percentage body fat (17.3 ± 3.4 vs. 20.1 ± 4.5%) and fat mass (14.2 ± 3.7 vs. 15.8 ± 4.4 kg) (P ≤ .05). Effect sizes were largest for lean mass (Cohen's d = 0.71) and percentage body fat (d = 0.70), followed by BMD (d = 0.60), body mass (d = 0.40), fat mass (d = 0.39), BMC (d = 0.37), height (d = 0.35), and BMI (d = 0.21). Body mass adjustment attenuated associations between height and selection.

Conclusions: Anthropometrics and body composition are predictors of physical performance and SFAS success. Since these measures are modifiable (excluding height), they may be the focus of intervention studies aiming to improve performance in arduous military training courses, sports that require competition in multiple events, and occupations that have varied physical demands, such as firefighting, law enforcement, and construction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/milmed/usab315DOI Listing
July 2021

Prevalence of and Factors Associated with Dietary Supplement Use in a Stratified, Random Sample of US Military Personnel: The US Military Dietary Supplement Use Study.

J Nutr 2021 Jul 22. Epub 2021 Jul 22.

Military Nutrition Division, US Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, Natick, MA, USA.

Background: About 50% of Americans and 70% of US military service members use dietary supplements (DSs).

Objectives: This cross-sectional survey examined current prevalence of and factors associated with DS use in service members.

Methods: A stratified random sample of 200,000 service members from the Air Force, Army, Marine Corps, and Navy was obtained from military manpower records, and these service members were asked to complete a questionnaire on their DS use and personal characteristics. Chi-square statistics and multivariable logistic regression examined differences across various strata of demographic, lifestyle, and military characteristics.

Results: About 18% of successfully contacted service members (n = 26,681) completed the questionnaire between December 2018 and August 2019 (mean ± SD age: 33 ± 8 y, 86% male). Overall, 74% reported using ≥1 DS/wk. Multivitamins/multiminerals were the most commonly used DSs (45%), followed by combination products (44%), proteins/amino acids (42%), individual vitamins/minerals (31%), herbals (20%), joint health products (9%), and purported prohormones (5%). In multivariable analysis, factors independently associated with DS use included female gender [OR (female/male): 1.91; 95% CI: 1.73, 2.11], older age [OR (≥40/18-24 y): 1.25; 95% CI: 1.08, 1.44], higher education level [OR (college degree/high school or less): 1.35; 95% CI: 1.19, 1.53], higher BMI [OR (≥30/<25 kg/m2): 1.37; 95% CI: 1.25, 1.52], more weekly resistance training [OR (>300/≤45 min/wk): 5.05; 95% CI: 4.55, 5.61], smokeless tobacco use [OR (user/nonuser): 1.30; 95% CI: 1.17, 1.44], higher alcohol intake [OR (≥72/0 mL/wk): 1.41; 95% CI: 1.29, 1.54], and higher military rank [OR (senior officer/junior enlisted): 1.26; 95% CI: 1.06, 1.51].

Conclusions: Compared with civilian data from the NHANES, service members were much more likely to use DSs and used different types of DSs, especially combination products and proteins/amino acids often used to purportedly enhance physical performance. Comparisons with previous military data suggest DS use has increased over time.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jn/nxab239DOI Listing
July 2021

Clinically-diagnosed vitamin deficiencies and disorders in the entire United States military population, 1997-2015.

Nutr J 2021 06 15;20(1):55. Epub 2021 Jun 15.

Military Nutrition Division, US Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, 10 General Greene Ave, Natick, MA, 01760, USA.

Background: This study examined incidence rates, temporal trends, and demographic factors associated with vitamin deficiencies/disorders in all United States military personnel from 1997 to 2015 (mean N = 1,382,266/year).

Methods: Employing an ecological study design, the Defense Medical Epidemiological Database and specific International Classification of Diseases codes were used to determine incidence rates for clinically-diagnosed vitamin deficiencies/disorders. Associations with demographic factors were examined.

Results: The overall incidence rate of vitamin deficiencies/disorders was 92.7 cases/100,000 person-years (p-yr). Highest rates were for vitamin D (53.7 cases/100,000 p-yr), other B-complex vitamins (20.2 cases, 100,000 p-yr), vitamin B anemia (7.6 cases/100,000 p-yr), deficiencies of "other vitamins" (5.9 cases/100,000 p-yr), and vitamin A (2.5 cases/100,000 p-yr). Thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pyridoxine, folate, vitamin C, and vitamin K deficiencies and hypervitaminoses A and D had < 1 case/100,000 p-yr. Rates for vitamin D, other B-complex, "other vitamin", and thiamin deficiencies increased over time, while vitamin A and C deficiencies decreased. Women had higher incidence rates for all examined deficiencies/ disorders except niacin and vitamin C. Incidence rates rose with age in 8 of 15 deficiency/disorder categories and blacks had higher incidence rates in 9 of 15 deficiency/disorder categories.

Conclusions: The overall rate of clinically-diagnosed vitamin deficiencies and disorders was low but higher in women and minority subgroups. As for most illnesses, the diagnosed incidence of such disorders may be an underestimate of the actual incidence. These findings can guide clinical decision making with regard to testing for nutritional deficiencies and delivering public health information to at risk populations.

Clinical Trial Registration: (No. ISRCTN58987177 ). Registration date 9 October 2019.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12937-021-00708-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8207601PMC
June 2021

Clinically diagnosed iron and iodine deficiencies and disorders in the entire population of US military service members from 1997 to 2015.

Public Health Nutr 2021 Aug 5;24(11):3187-3195. Epub 2021 Feb 5.

Military Nutrition Division, US Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, Natick, MA01760, USA.

Objective: Iron and/or iodine deficiencies can have multiple serious adverse health outcomes, but examination of incidence rates of these deficiencies has rarely been conducted in any large population. This study examined incidence rates, temporal trends and demographic factors associated with medically diagnosed iron and iodine deficiencies/disorders in US military service members (SM).

Design: The Defense Medical Epidemiological Database (DMED) was queried for medical visits of active duty SM to obtain specific International Classification of Diseases, Version 9, codes involving clinically diagnosed iron and iodine deficiencies/disorders.

Setting: Analysis of existing database (DMED).

Participants: Entire population of US military SM from 1997 to 2015 (average n per year = 1 382 266, 15 % women).

Results: Overall incidence rates for iron and iodine were 104 and 36 cases/100 000 person-years, respectively. Over the 19-year period, rates for iron disorders increased steadily (108 % for men, 177 % for women). Rates for iodine disorders also increased steadily for men (91 %), but, for women, there was an initial rise followed by a later decline. Overall, women's rates were 12 and 10 times higher than men's for iron and iodine, respectively. Compared with whites, blacks and those of other races had higher rates of deficiencies of both minerals. Incidence rates for iodine deficiency increased substantially with age.

Conclusions: The overall incidence of clinically diagnosed iron and iodine deficiency among SM was low, but increased over the 19 years examined, and certain demographic groups were at significantly greater risk. Given the unexpected increases in incidence of these mineral disorders, increased surveillance may be appropriate.Clinical Trial Registration No. ISRCTN58987177 (http//:www.isrctn.com/ISRCTN58987177).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1368980021000495DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8314918PMC
August 2021

Diet Quality Is Associated with Physical Performance and Special Forces Selection.

Med Sci Sports Exerc 2020 01;52(1):178-186

Military Nutrition Division, U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, Natick, MA.

Purpose: This study determined associations between diet quality measured by the Healthy Eating Index (HEI)-2015, physical performance, and successful selection following a U.S. Army Special Forces Assessment and Selection course characterized by arduous cognitive and physical demands.

Methods: The HEI-2015 scores were calculated from usual diet assessed with a Block food frequency questionnaire among 782 soldiers attending Special Forces Assessment and Selection. Differences in HEI-2015 scores according to demographics and physical performance were determined with analysis of variance. Differences in likelihood of selection according to HEI-2015 scores were determined with logistic regression. Models were adjusted for potential confounders: age, education, body mass index (BMI), duration and type of resistance training, and smoking.

Results: The HEI-2015 total score was higher among older soldiers (≥25 yr), those with more education (≥some college), higher body mass index (≥25), longer duration of resistance training (≥400 min·wk), those that reported use of free weights, suspension training, Olympic lifting, and nonsmokers (P < 0.05). The HEI-2015 total score was higher among those with higher Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT) total scores, APFT sit-up score, APFT run score, and faster loaded road march times (P < 0.05). Those with higher HEI-2015 total scores were 75% (quartile 3 vs quartile 1: odds ratio, 1.75; 95% confidence interval, 1.09-2.81) and 65% (quartile 4 vs quartile 1: odds ratio, 1.65, 95% confidence interval, 1.03-2.65) more likely to be selected. Higher scores for total vegetables, greens and beans, seafood and plant protein, and refined grains, but lower sodium scores (indicating more sodium consumed), were associated with better physical performance (P < 0.05).

Conclusions: Dietary patterns that conform to federal dietary guidelines (except sodium) are associated with physical performance and Special Forces selection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1249/MSS.0000000000002111DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7028476PMC
January 2020

A Z-score based method for comparing the relative sensitivity of behavioral and physiological metrics including cognitive performance, mood, and hormone levels.

PLoS One 2019 15;14(8):e0220749. Epub 2019 Aug 15.

Military Nutrition Division, U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, Natick, MA, United States of America.

A method for assessing the relative sensitivity of research metrics is proposed and illustrated by comparing 18 outcome measures from a published study of the cognitive, mood, and hormonal effects of four different levels of stress induced by intense military training. Research on the human response to stress often assesses multiple disparate dependent measures. Selecting the most sensitive is difficult as formal methods to compare varied dependent measures have not been developed. The method first converts the outcome measures into standard scores (z-scores) and then compares them using analysis of variance to determine whether there are differences in how they assess the impact of graded levels of exposure to stress. The analysis detected various significant interactions in several measures and suggests self-report mood questionnaires were more sensitive to the stressors present in the study than the cognitive or hormonal measures which were used. These findings support the effectiveness of the z-score based method as a useful procedure for objectively evaluating the differential sensitivity of various metrics. This method could be useful for research on other independent variables when use of multiple assessment strategies is appropriate. It could be used for evaluating studies yielding conflicting results, such as those detecting effects on one parameter but not others. In such instances, cross-metric inconsistencies may be due to differential sensitivity of measurement strategies rather than actual differences in the effects of the independent-variable on the domains under investigation.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0220749PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6695149PMC
March 2020

Physical performance, demographic, psychological, and physiological predictors of success in the U.S. Army Special Forces Assessment and Selection course.

Physiol Behav 2019 10 8;210:112647. Epub 2019 Aug 8.

U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, Military Nutrition Division, 10 General Greene Avenue, Building 42, Natick, MA 01760, United States of America.

This study assessed predictors of successful selection in the very challenging and stressful United States Army Special Forces Assessment and Selection (SFAS) course among 800 Soldiers. A battery of measures were collected during the course and their ability to predict selection were assessed using logistic regression and chi-square tests. Physical performance measures were most predictive, including road march times, land navigation coordinates found, run times, fitness test score, obstacle course score, and pull-ups (p < .05). Soldiers that were officers or 18× enlisted (fast-tracked to SFAS), had <1 year of active duty, ≥ bachelor degree, no children, were not married, and were Ranger school graduates were more likely to be selected (p < .05). Several psychological measures were predictive, including intelligence quotient, grade level equivalents, resilience score, military aptitude score, and grit (p < .05). Basal serum physiological markers weakly predicted selection and were weakly associated with behavioral assessments. Lower C-reactive protein (< 9.5 nmol/L) and higher cortisol and sex-hormone binding globulin (SHBG) predicted selection (p < .05). Higher C-reactive protein (≥ 9.5 nmol/L) was associated with lower fitness test scores and slower road march time (p < .05). Cortisol was correlated with higher grit and resilience scores (p < .05). SHBG correlated with higher grade level equivalents and better performance on pull-ups, land navigation, obstacle course, and the fitness test (p < .05). Testosterone was correlated with faster run and road march times (p < .05). Dehydroepiandrosterone-sulfate (DHEA-S) correlated with lower resilience scores, and DHEA-S, epinephrine, and norepinephrine correlated with worse performance on several physical events (p < .05). These findings suggest measures that could be targeted in interventions to monitor and enhance performance and resilience.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.physbeh.2019.112647DOI Listing
October 2019

Medical Encounters During the United States Army Special Forces Assessment and Selection Course.

Mil Med 2019 07;184(7-8):e337-e343

Military Nutrition Division, US Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, Natick, MA.

Introduction: The Special Forces Assessment and Selection (SFAS) is an extremely physically and mentally demanding 19- to 20-day course designed to determine whether Soldiers are qualified to enter the Special Forces Qualification Course. As a first step to understand medical problems during SFAS, this study examined injuries, illnesses, and activities associated with injuries during the course.

Materials And Methods: Medical events during the SFAS course were compiled from Sick Call Trackers (a log of medical encounters maintained by medical personnel in the field) and Chronology of Medical Care (Standard Form 600). Descriptive statistics were calculated for each injury and illness and injuries were compiled by the activities performed when the injuries occurred.

Results: Of the 800 Soldiers who volunteered for the study, 38% (n = 307/800) and 12% (n = 97/800) experienced one or more injuries and/or illnesses, respectively. The most common injuries were blisters and abrasions/lacerations with incidences of 20% (n = 158/800) and 13% (104/800), respectively. The most common illnesses were respiratory infections, other infections, contact dermatitis, and allergies with incidences of 7% (n = 57/800), 2% (n = 14/800), 2% (n = 14/800), and 2% (n = 13/800), respectively. Among all injuries recorded (n = 573), the most common were blisters (46%), abrasions/lacerations (24%), pain (not otherwise specified) (19%), tendonitis (3%), and sprains (3%). Among all illnesses recorded (n = 133), the most common were respiratory infections (56%), allergies (11%), contact dermatitis (11%), and other infections (11%). Most injuries were experienced during land navigation (44%), team events (20%), and foot marching (11%), running (6%), and the obstacle course (5%), but when the estimated time involved for each event was considered, activities with the highest injury rates were the obstacle course (65 injuries/hr), running (27 injuries/hr), the Combat Readiness Assessment (activity involving combat-related tasks) (20 injuries/hr), and foot marching (16 injuries/hr).

Conclusion: The major limitations of this investigation were: 1) the low specificity with regard to many of the diagnoses/complaints; and 2) the fact that the medical problems reported here are only those seen by medical care providers and are likely an underestimate of the total morbidity in the SFAS course. Soldiers often self-treat and some may be reluctant to see medical personnel because of how it might affect their rating in the course. Nonetheless, this investigation alerts medical personnel to the injuries and illnesses to expect, and public health workers and leadership with activities to target for injury prevention measures during SFAS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/milmed/usz056DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6614812PMC
July 2019

Dietary Supplement Use in a Large, Representative Sample of the US Armed Forces.

J Acad Nutr Diet 2018 08 19;118(8):1370-1388. Epub 2018 Jun 19.

Background: Dietary supplement (DS) use is prevalent among the US Armed Forces personnel, but representative cross-service comparisons and characteristics of personnel using DSs are limited.

Objective: Examine DS use and characteristics associated with use in a representative sample of US Armed Forces personnel (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard) using data from the 2011 Department of Defense Survey of Health-Related Behaviors.

Design And Participants: A stratified random sample of service members (SMs) was contacted and asked to complete a questionnaire assessing personal characteristics and DS use.

Results: Overall, 69% of the 39,877 SMs reported using DSs ≥1 time per week. The most commonly used DSs were multivitamin or multiminerals (50%), antioxidants (34%), individual vitamins or minerals (33%), bodybuilding supplements (27%), fish oils (26%), herbals (16%), and weight-loss supplements (16%). Multiple logistic regression indicated overall DS use was higher among women, those with higher educational levels, Marine Corps SMs, officers, those with higher body mass index, those engaged in greater physical activity and weight training, and people in weight control programs. DS use was lower when peer groups or leadership discouraged substance abuse.

Conclusions: DS use was considerably higher in the US Armed Forces compared with civilian populations, although many demographic and lifestyle factors associated with use were similar. Some categories of DSs extensively used by SMs such as bodybuilding supplements have been associated with adverse events. Discouraging substance abuse through peer groups and leadership actions may reduce use of unnecessary or dangerous DSs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jand.2018.03.024DOI Listing
August 2018

Surveillance of the armed forces as a sentinel system for detecting adverse effects of dietary supplements in the general population.

Public Health Nutr 2018 04 20;21(5):882-887. Epub 2017 Nov 20.

1Military Nutrition Division,US Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine,General Greene Avenue,Building 42,Natick,MA 01760,USA.

Objective: Half the US population takes dietary supplements, but surveillance systems available to regulatory and public health authorities to determine whether specific dietary supplements present a risk are inadequate and numerous severe injuries and deaths have occurred from their consumption. Uniformed military personnel regularly use dietary supplements and are more likely to use potentially dangerous supplements than civilians. Recently, the supplement 1,3-dimethylamylamine (DMAA) was marketed for physical performance-enhancement and weight loss. However, after over 100 reports of illness attributed to DMAA, including six deaths, the Food and Drug Administration issued a warning to cease its sale.

Design: When DMAA was legal (2010-2011), we conducted, using convenience samples, supplement surveys of service members and determined prevalence of use and self-reported symptoms of DMAA use.

Subjects: We surveyed 4374 armed forces personnel using a standardized dietary supplement survey administered by local health-care professionals.

Results: Overall, 11 % of survey respondents used dietary supplements labelled as containing DMAA at least once/week. Regular users were over two times more likely to report tachycardia (P<0·0001), tremors (P<0·0001) and dizziness (P=0·0004), and over three times more likely to report numbness/tingling (P<0·0001) than non-users.

Conclusions: Military services could readily monitor adverse events associated with dietary supplements using electronic surveys and medical records. Since armed forces personnel are much more likely than civilians to use potentially dangerous dietary supplements like DMAA, near real-time surveillance of them using electronic surveys and medical records would provide early warning to regulatory agencies and the medical and public health communities when high-risk dietary supplements are introduced.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1368980017003111DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5848759PMC
April 2018

Effects of deployment on diet quality and nutritional status markers of elite U.S. Army special operations forces soldiers.

Nutr J 2017 Jul 3;16(1):41. Epub 2017 Jul 3.

U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, Military Nutrition Division, 10 General Greene Avenue, Building 42, Natick, MA, 01760, USA.

Background: Special Operations Forces (SOF) Soldiers deploy frequently and require high levels of physical and cognitive performance. Nutritional status is linked to cognitive and physical performance. Studies evaluating dietary intake and nutritional status in deployed environments are lacking. Therefore, this study assessed the effects of combat deployment on diet quality and serum concentrations of nutritional status markers, including iron, vitamin D, parathyroid hormone (PTH), glucose, and lipids, among elite United States (U.S.) Army SOF Soldiers.

Methods: Changes from baseline to post-deployment were determined with a repeated measure within-subjects design for Healthy Eating Index-2010 (HEI-2010) scores, intake of foods, food groups, key nutrients, and serum nutritional status markers. Dietary intake was assessed with a Block Food Frequency Questionnaire. The association between post-deployment serum 25-hydroxy vitamin D (25-OH vitamin D) and PTH was determined. Analyses of serum markers were completed on 50 participants and analyses of dietary intake were completed on 33 participants.

Results: In response to deployment, HEI-2010 scores decreased for total HEI-2010 (70.3 ± 9.1 vs. 62.9 ± 11.1), total fruit (4.4 ± 1.1 vs. 3.7 ± 1.5), whole fruit (4.6 ± 1.0 vs. 4.2 ± 1.4), dairy (6.2 ± 2.7 vs. 4.8 ± 2.4), and empty calories (14.3 ± 3.2 vs. 11.1 ± 4.5) (P ≤ 0.05). Average daily intakes of foods and food groups that decreased included total dairy (P < 0.01), milk (P < 0.01), and non-juice fruit (P = 0.03). Dietary intake of calcium (P = 0.05) and vitamin D (P = 0.03) decreased. PTH increased from baseline (3.4 ± 1.6 vs. 3.8 ± 1.4 pmol/L, P = 0.04), while there was no change in 25-OH vitamin D. Ferritin decreased (385 ± 173 vs. 354 ± 161 pmol/L, P = 0.03) and soluble transferrin receptor increased (16.3 ± 3.7 vs. 17.1 ± 3.5 nmol/L, P = 0.01). There were no changes in glucose or lipids. Post-deployment, serum 25-OH vitamin D was inversely associated with PTH (r = -0.43, P < 0.01).

Conclusions: HEI-2010 scores and dietary intake of milk, calcium, and vitamin D decreased following deployment. Serum PTH increased and iron stores were degraded. No Soldiers were iron deficient. Personnel that deploy frequently should maintain a high diet quality in the U.S. and while deployed by avoiding empty calories and consuming fruits, vegetables, and adequate sources of calcium, vitamin D, and iron. Improving availability and quality of perishable food during deployment may improve diet quality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12937-017-0262-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5496422PMC
July 2017

Effects of Combat Deployment on Anthropometrics and Physiological Status of U.S. Army Special Operations Forces Soldiers.

Mil Med 2017 03;182(3):e1659-e1668

U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, General Greene Avenue, Building 42, Natick, MA 01760.

Introduction: U.S. Army Special Operations Forces (SOF) soldiers deploy frequently and conduct military operations through special warfare and surgical strike capabilities. Tasks required to execute these capabilities may induce physical and mental stress and have the potential to degrade soldier physiological status. No investigations have longitudinally characterized whether combat deployment alters anthropometrics or biochemical markers of physiological status in a SOF population of frequent deployers.

Materials And Methods: Effects of modern combat deployment on longitudinal changes in anthropometrics and physiological status of elite U.S. Army SOF soldiers (n = 50) were assessed. Changes in measures of body composition, grip strength, physiological status, and health behaviors from baseline to postdeployment were determined with paired t test and McNemar's statistic. Baseline measures were obtained between 4 and 8 weeks before deployment. Deployment length was a uniform duration of time between 3 and 6 months (all soldiers completed the same length of deployment). Post hoc analyses determined change in body mass within quartiles of baseline body mass with paired t test and associations between change in sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) and change in body mass with correlation coefficient. The study was approved by the Human Use Review Committee at the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, Natick, Massachusetts.

Results: In response to deployment, increases in lean mass (77.1 ± 7.6 to 77.8 ± 7.5 kg), maximum grip strength (57.9 ± 7.2 to 61.6 ± 8.8 kg), and conduct of aerobic (156 ± 106 to 250 ± 182 minutes/week) and strength training (190 ± 101 to 336 ± 251 minutes/week) exercise were observed (p < 0.05). Increases in serum SHBG (35.42 ± 10.68 to 38.77 ± 12.26 nmol/L) and decreases in serum cortisol (443.2 ± 79.3 to 381.9 ± 111.6 nmol/L) were also observed (p < 0.05). Body mass changes were dependent on baseline body mass. Soldiers in the lowest quartile of baseline body mass increased body mass (75.6 ± 2.6 vs. 76.6 ± 2.8 kg, p = 0.03), as did those in the second quartile (81.6 ± 2.0 vs. 83.7 ± 3.5 kg, p = 0.02). Those in the third quartile also tended to increase body mass (89.2 ± 2.6 vs. 90.9 ± 3.3 kg, p = 0.05), while those in the upper quartile tended to decrease body mass (98.5 ± 3.6 vs. 96.7 kg, p = 0.06). Change in SHBG was inversely correlated with change in body mass (r = -0.33, p = 0.02). There were no changes in fat mass, body fat percentage, waist circumference, neck circumference, total testosterone, calculated bioavailable or free testosterone, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, tumor necrosis factor-α, interleukin-1β, or interleukin-6. Inflammatory markers were skewed toward lower values.

Conclusions: Overall, physiological status of elite SOF soldiers characterized by multiple prior deployments was minimally impacted by combat deployment, in the absence of major unit casualties. The majority experienced some adaptive changes, including increased lean mass, grip strength, time spent engaged in exercise, and decreased levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Mechanisms contributing to inverse correlations between change in SHBG and change in body mass may be further clarified. Future investigations may also more fully characterize the degradation and optimization of health and physiological status of SOF training and deployment cycles with in-theater data collection and repeated measures.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7205/MILMED-D-16-00022DOI Listing
March 2017

Demographic factors associated with dietary supplement prescriptions filled by United States Military Service Members 2005-2013.

BMC Complement Altern Med 2017 Jan 31;17(1):84. Epub 2017 Jan 31.

US Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, Natick, MA, USA.

Background: Dietary supplements (DSs) can be purchased over-the-counter but may also be prescribed by medical personnel for specific therapeutic reasons. Few studies have examined this latter source of DSs despite the fact that 79% of physicians and 82% of nurses have recommended DSs to their patients. This investigation examined demographic factors associated with temporal trends in oral DS prescriptions filled by all United States (US) service members (SMs) from 2005 to 2013 (n = 1,427,080 ± 22,139, mean ± standard deviation per year).

Methods: The Food and Drug Administration National Drug Code database and the formularies of the US Defense Health Agency's Pharmacoeconomic Center were queried to identify DSs available to SMs. The number of these DS prescriptions filled by all SMs from 2005 through 2013 was then obtained from the US Department of Defense Pharmacy Data Transaction System. Data were grouped by American Hospital Formulary System (AHFS) pharmacologic-therapeutic classifications and examined over time. Denominators (number of SMs each year) were obtained from the Defense Health Agency.

Results: Major findings included 1) generally greater prevalence of prescriptions filled by women and older SMs for most AHFS categories; 2) a temporal decline in total prescriptions filled by Marine Corps personnel accounted for by a decline in the prevalence of zinc preparations filled by younger male Marines; 3) a temporal decline in the prevalence of iron preparations filled by women; 4) a temporal increase in the prevalence of prescriptions for replacement preparations filled by women accounted for largely by more prescriptions for calcium compounds; and 5) a temporal decline in the prevalence of prescriptions filled for cathartics/laxatives in older SMs accounted for largely by a decline in prescriptions for sodium/potassium compounds.

Conclusions: These temporal trends may be associated with the greater health care utilization of women and older SMs as well as the perceptions of prescribers and/or patients on appropriate roles of these substances in medicine and public health.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12906-017-1590-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5286846PMC
January 2017

Temporal trends in dietary supplement prescriptions of United States military service members suggest a decrease in pyridoxine and increase in vitamin D supplements from 2005 to 2013.

Nutr Res 2016 10 4;36(10):1140-1152. Epub 2016 Sep 4.

US Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, Natick, MA, 01760, USA. Electronic address:

Dietary supplements (DSs) can be obtained over-the-counter but can also be prescribed by health-care providers for therapeutic reasons. Few studies have documented this later source despite the fact that 79% of physicians and 82% of nurses have recommended DSs to patients. This investigation assessed prevalence and temporal trends in oral DS prescriptions filled by all United States service members (SMs) from 2005 to 2013 (n = 1 427 080 ± 22 139, mean ± standard deviation (SD)/y). We hypothesize that there would be temporal variations in specific types of DSs. Data obtained from Department of Defense Pharmacy Data Transaction System were grouped by American Hospital Formulary System pharmacologic-therapeutic classifications and prevalence examined over time. About 11% of SMs filled one or more DS prescriptions of 235 180 ± 4926 (mean ± SD) prescriptions/y over the 9-year period. Curve-fitting techniques indicated significant linear declines over time for multivitamins (P = .004), iron preparations (P < .001), antacids (P < .001), and vitamin B and B complex vitamins (P < .001). There were significant quadratic trends indicating a rise in early years followed by a leveling off in later years for replacement preparations (P < .001) and vitamin C (P < .001). There were significant quadratic trends (P < .001) for vitamin E indicating a decline in early years and leveling off in later years, and vitamin D indicating little change in early years followed by a large rise subsequently (P < .001). This study identified temporal trends in specific DS categories that may be associated with changing perceptions of prescribers and/or patients of the appropriate roles of DSs in medicine and public health.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nutres.2016.09.001DOI Listing
October 2016

Cognitive function, stress hormones, heart rate and nutritional status during simulated captivity in military survival training.

Physiol Behav 2016 10 1;165:86-97. Epub 2016 Jul 1.

Military Nutrition Division, U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, Natick, MA 01760, USA.

Stress influences numerous psychological and physiological processes, and its effects have practical implications in a variety of professions and real-world activities. However, few studies have concurrently assessed multiple behavioral, hormonal, nutritional and heart-rate responses of humans to acute, severe stress. This investigation simultaneously assessed cognitive, affective, hormonal, and heart-rate responses induced by an intensely stressful real-world environment designed to simulate wartime captivity. Sixty males were evaluated during and immediately following participation in U.S. Army Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape (SERE) school, three weeks of intense but standardized training for Soldiers at risk of capture. Simulated captivity and intense mock interrogations degraded grammatical reasoning (p<0.005), sustained-attention (p<0.001), working memory (p<0.05) and all aspects of mood assessed by the Profile of Mood States (POMS) questionnaire: Tension/Anxiety, Depression/Dejection, Anger/Hostility, Vigor/Activity, Fatigue/Inertia; Confusion/Bewilderment, and Total Mood Disturbance (p<0.001) It also elevated heart rate (p<0.001); increased serum and salivary cortisol and dehydroepiandrosterone-sulfate (DHEA-s) (p<0.01); elevated serum epinephrine, norepinephrine, and soluble transferrin receptors (sTfR) (p<0.01); increased salivary neuropeptide-Y (NPY) (p<0.001); and decreased serum prolactin and serum and salivary testosterone (p<0.001). Partial recovery was observed immediately after training, but stress-induced changes, particularly in body weight and several of the biomarkers, persisted. This study demonstrates that when individuals were exposed to realistic and controlled simulated captivity, cognition, mood, stress hormones, nutritional status and heart rate are simultaneously altered, and each of these subsequently recovers at different rates.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.physbeh.2016.06.037DOI Listing
October 2016

Prevalence, Adverse Events, and Factors Associated with Dietary Supplement and Nutritional Supplement Use by US Navy and Marine Corps Personnel.

J Acad Nutr Diet 2016 09 12;116(9):1423-1442. Epub 2016 Apr 12.

Background: About 50% of Americans and 60% to 70% of US military personnel use dietary supplements, some of which have been associated with adverse events (AEs). Nutritional supplements like sport drinks and sport bars/gels are also commonly used by athletes and service members. Previous dietary supplement and nutritional supplement surveys were conducted on Army, Air Force, and Coast Guard personnel.

Objective: The aim of this cross-sectional study was to investigate dietary and nutritional supplement use in Navy and Marine Corps personnel, including the prevalence, types, factors associated with use, and AEs.

Design: A random sample of 10,000 Navy and Marine Corps personnel were contacted. Service members were asked to complete a detailed questionnaire describing their personal characteristics, supplement use, and AEs experienced.

Results: In total, 1,708 service members completed the questionnaire during August through December 2014, with 1,683 used for analysis. Overall, 73% reported using dietary supplements one or more times per week. The most commonly used dietary supplements (used one or more times per week) were multivitamins/multiminerals (48%), protein/amino acids (34%), combination products (33%), and individual vitamins and minerals (29%). About 31% of service members reported using five or more dietary supplements. Sport drinks and sport bars/gels were used by 45% and 23% of service members, respectively. Monthly expenditures on dietary supplements averaged $39; 31% of service members spent ≥$50/mo. Multivariate logistic regression modeling indicated that female sex (women/men; odds ratio [OR]=1.76, 95% CI 1.32 to 2.36), higher educational level (college degree/no college degree; OR=2.23, 95% CI 1.62 to 3.30), higher body mass index (calculated as kg/m(2)) (≥30/<25; OR=1.67, 95% CI 1.06 to 2.63), and a greater amount of resistance training (≥271/0 to 45 min/week; OR=2.85, 95% CI 1.94 to 4.17) were associated with dietary supplement use. Twenty-two percent of dietary supplement users and 6% of nutritional supplement users reported one or more AEs. For combination products alone, 29% of users reported one or more AEs.

Conclusions: The prevalence of dietary supplement use in Navy and Marine Corps personnel was considerably higher than reported in civilian investigations for almost all types of dietary supplements, although similar to most other military services. Factors associated with dietary supplement use were similar to those reported in previous military and civilian investigations. Prevalence of self-reported AEs was very high, especially for combination products.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jand.2016.02.015DOI Listing
September 2016

Soldier use of dietary supplements, including protein and body building supplements, in a combat zone is different than use in garrison.

Appl Physiol Nutr Metab 2016 Jan 9;41(1):88-95. Epub 2015 Oct 9.

b Military Nutrition Division, US Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine (USARIEM), Natick, MA 01760-5007, USA.

United States Army personnel in garrison who are not deployed to combat theater report using dietary supplements (DSs) to promote health, increase physical and mental strength, and improve energy levels. Given the substantial physical and cognitive demands of combat, DS use may increase during deployment. This study compared DS use by garrison soldiers with DS use by personnel deployed to a combat theater in Afghanistan. Prevalence and patterns of DS use, demographic factors, and health behaviors were assessed by survey (deployed n = 221; garrison n = 1001). Eighty-two percent of deployed and 74% of garrison soldiers used DSs ≥ 1 time·week(-1). Logistic regression analyses, adjusted for significant demographic and health predictors of DS use, showed deployed personnel were more likely than garrison soldiers to use protein, amino acids, and combination products. Deployed females were more likely to use protein supplements and deployed males were more likely to use multivitamins, combination products, protein, and body building supplements than garrison respondents. Significantly more deployed (17%) than garrison (10%) personnel spent more than $50∙month(-1) on DSs. Higher protein supplement use among deployed personnel was associated with higher frequency of strength training and lower amounts of aerobic exercise for males but similar amounts of strength training and aerobic exercise for females. Protein supplements and combination products are used more frequently by deployed than garrison soldiers with the intent of enhancing strength and energy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1139/apnm-2015-0387DOI Listing
January 2016

Self-reported side-effects associated with use of dietary supplements in an armed forces population.

Drug Test Anal 2016 Mar-Apr;8(3-4):287-95. Epub 2015 Nov 2.

Military Nutrition Division, US Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, Natick, MA, 01760, USA.

Approximately 60-70% of Armed Forces personnel consume a dietary supplement (DS) at least once a week and there have been numerous reports of severe adverse events among DS users. This study assessed patterns of DS use and self-reported side-effects among 4400 Armed Forces personnel using a paper-and-pencil survey. Multivariable logistic regression was used to examine associations between patterns of DS use and self-reported side-effects. Sixty-nine percent of personnel surveyed reported using a DS. Seven percent of DS users reported experiencing abnormal heart beats, 6% tremors, 5% stomach pain, 3% dizziness, and 3% numbness/tingling and they believed these symptoms were associated with the use of DS. After adjustment for use of other DS classes, total supplement use, and demographic characteristics, protein supplement users were more likely than non-users to report numbness/tingling; combination product users were more likely to report experiencing abnormal heart beats, stomach pain, dizziness, tremors, and numbness/tingling; and users of purported steroid analogues were more likely to report dizziness. Use of more than one DS per week was associated with an increased likelihood of reporting side-effects. Respondents with a higher body mass index were more likely to report side-effects. Further research is necessary to determine whether self-reported side-effects associated with multiple DS use and some DS classes impact the long-term health or performance of service members. Surveillance of military populations using surveys like this one may provide a method for detecting adverse health events of DS before they are apparent in the civilian population. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/dta.1905DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5066280PMC
January 2017

Prevalence of Dietary Supplement Use by Athletes: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

Sports Med 2016 Jan;46(1):103-123

US Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, 10 General Greene Ave, Building 42, Natick, MA, 01760, USA.

Background: Dietary supplements (DSs) are commercially available products consumed as an addition to the usual diet and are frequently ingested by athletes.

Objective: Our objective was to examine the prevalence of DS use by athletes.

Data Sources: PubMed, Ovid MEDLINE, OVID Healthstar, and Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health were searched for original research articles published up to August 2014. Search terms included specific sports, specific DSs, and other terms.

Study Selection: Studies were selected if they were written in English, involved athletes, and provided a quantitative assessment of the proportion of athletes using specific DSs. Percent of athletes using specific DSs.

Synthesis Of Data: Methodological quality of studies was assessed by three reviewers using an 8-point scale that included evaluations for sampling methods, sampling frame, sample size, measurement tools, bias, response rate, statistical presentation, and description of the participant sample. Where there were at least two investigations, meta-analysis was performed to obtain summary (pooled) prevalence estimates (SPEs) on (1) DS use prevalence by sport and sex, (2) DS use prevalence by elite versus non-elite athletic status, and (3) specific DS prevalence for all athletic groups combined. Meta-analyses included evaluations of homogeneity and publication bias.

Results: A total of 159 unique studies met the review criteria. Methodological quality was generally low with an average ± standard deviation of 43 ± 16% of available rating points. There was low homogeneity for SPEs when compiled by sport, athletic status, and/or specific DSs. Contributing to the lack of homogeneity were differences in studies' objectives and types of assessments used (e.g., dietary surveys, interviews, questionnaires). Despite these limitations, the data generally indicated that elite athletes used DSs much more than their non-elite counterparts. For most DSs, use prevalence was similar for men and women except that a larger proportion of women used iron while a larger proportion of men used vitamin E, protein, and creatine. No consistent change in use over time was observed because even the earliest investigations showed relatively high use prevalence.

Conclusion: It was difficult to generalize regarding DS use by athletes because of the lack of homogeneity among studies. Nonetheless, the data suggested that elite athletes used dietary supplements far more than their non-elite counterparts; use was similar for men and women with a few exceptions; use appeared to change little over time; and a larger proportion of athletes used DSs compared with the general US population. Improvements in study methodology should be considered in future studies especially (1) defining DSs for participants; (2) querying for very specific DSs; (3) using a variety of reporting timeframes (e.g., daily, 2-6 times/week, 1 time/week and <1 time/week); (4) reporting the sampling frame, number of individuals solicited, and number responding; (5) reporting characteristics of volunteers (and non-volunteers, if available); and (6) using similar methods on several occasions to examine possible temporal trends among athletes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40279-015-0387-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4697915PMC
January 2016

Positive effects of basic training on cognitive performance and mood of adult females.

Hum Factors 2014 Sep;56(6):1113-23

Objective: This study investigated whether a stressful military training program, the 9- to 10-week U.S. Army basic combat training (BCT) course, alters the cognitive performance and mood of healthy young adult females.

Background: Structured training programs including adolescent boot camps, sports training camps, learning enrichment programs, and military basic training are accepted methods for improving academic and social functioning. However, limited research is available on the behavioral effects of structured training programs in regard to cognitive performance and mood.

Method: Two separate, within-subject studies were conducted with different BCT classes; in total 212 female volunteers were assessed before and after BCT. In Study 1, Four-Choice Reaction Time, Match-to-Sample, and Grammatical Reasoning tests were administered. The Psychomotor Vigilance Test (PVT) was administered in Study 2. The Profile of Mood States (POMS) was administered in both studies.

Results: In Study 1, reaction time to correct responses on all three of the performance tests improved from pre- to post-BCT. In Study 2, PVT reaction time significantly improved. All POMS subscales improved over time in the second study, whereas POMS subscales in the first study failed to meet criteria for statistically significant differences over time.

Conclusion: Cognition and mood substantially improved over military basic training. These changes may be a result of structured physical and mental training experienced during basic training or other factors not as yet identified.

Application: Properly structured training may have extensive, beneficial effects on cognitive performance and mood; however, additional research is needed to determine what factors are responsible for such changes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0018720813519472DOI Listing
September 2014

A systematic review and meta-analysis on the prevalence of dietary supplement use by military personnel.

BMC Complement Altern Med 2014 May 2;14:143. Epub 2014 May 2.

US Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, Natick, MA, USA.

Background: Although a number of studies have been conducted on the prevalence of dietary supplement (DS) use in military personnel, these investigations have not been previously summarized. This article provides a systematic literature review of this topic.

Methods: Literature databases, reference lists, and other sources were searched to find studies that quantitatively examined the prevalence of DS use in uniformed military groups. Prevalence data were summarized by gender and military service. Where there were at least two investigations, meta-analysis was performed using a random model and homogeneity of the prevalence values was assessed.

Results: The prevalence of any DS use for Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps men was 55%, 60%, 60%, and 61%, respectively; for women corresponding values were 65%, 71%, 76%, and 71%, respectively. Prevalence of multivitamin and/or multimineral (MVM) use for Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps men was 32%, 46%, 47%, and 41%, respectively; for women corresponding values were 40%, 55%, 63%, and 53%, respectively. Use prevalence of any individual vitamin or mineral supplement for Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps men was 18%, 27%, 25%, and 24%, respectively; for women corresponding values were 29%, 36%, 40%, and 33%, respectively. Men in elite military groups (Navy Special Operations, Army Rangers, and Army Special Forces) had a use prevalence of 76% for any DS and 37% for MVM, although individual studies were not homogenous. Among Army men, Army women, and elite military men, use prevalence of Vitamin C was 15% for all three groups; for Vitamin E, use prevalence was 8%, 7%, and 9%, respectively; for sport drinks, use prevalence was 22%, 25% and 39%, respectively. Use prevalence of herbal supplements was generally low compared to vitamins, minerals, and sport drinks, ≤5% in most investigations.

Conclusions: Compared to men, military women had a higher use prevalence of any DS and MVM. Army men and women tended to use DSs and MVM less than other service members. Elite military men appeared to use DSs and sport drinks more than other service members.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1472-6882-14-143DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4023532PMC
May 2014

Concomitant dietary supplement and prescription medication use is prevalent among US adults with doctor-informed medical conditions.

J Acad Nutr Diet 2014 Nov 4;114(11):1784-90.e2. Epub 2014 Apr 4.

Information on patterns of concomitant dietary supplement (DS) and prescription medication (PM) use among US adults is limited. Thus, the prevalence of concomitant DS and PM use as a function of doctor-informed medical conditions (DIMC) was determined in a cross-sectional, observational study of a nationally representative sample of noninstitutionalized, civilian adults aged ≥20 years in the United States (N=9,950) from the 2005-2008 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Data were weighted for the complex, multistage, probability sampling design. Approximately one third (34.3%) of all US adults reported concomitant DS and PM use (approximately one in three adults). The prevalence of use was significantly higher among those with vs without a DIMC (47.3% vs 17.3%). Adults with a DIMC were more than two and a half times more likely to concomitantly use DS and PM than adults without a DIMC, after adjustment for sex, age, education, and household income. Multivitamin plus other ingredient(s), followed by antacids and multivitamin plus botanical ingredient(s), were the most prevalent DS categories used with a PM among those with and without a DIMC. The most prevalent PM categories used with a DS were cardiovascular agents (among those with a DIMC) and hormones (among those without a DIMC). These findings demonstrate that presence of a DIMC may be a risk factor for concomitant DS and PM use among US adults. Multivitamins containing nonvitamin or mineral ingredients are more commonly used than standard multivitamins with PM by US adults. This may be an emerging trend that warrants further consideration.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jand.2014.01.016DOI Listing
November 2014

Predictors of the relationships between nutritional supplement use and weight-modification goals of U.S. Army soldiers.

Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab 2013 Aug 7;23(4):322-35. Epub 2012 Dec 7.

Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education, Belcamp, MD, USA.

Background: U.S. Army Soldiers must meet body weight and composition standards and consequently may use nutritional supplements (NS) purported to assist in weight modification (WM). Nutritional supplements are dietary supplements (DS) and foods intended to supplement the diet.

Purpose: This study assessed relationships between NS use, demographic characteristics, health-related behaviors, and WM goals among U.S. Army personnel.

Methods: Participants (N = 990) self-reported NS use, categorized as energy drinks, sport nutrition products, or DS, and WM goal (lose, gain, or maintain) was ascertained by survey. DS were subcategorized as health, weight-loss, weight-gain, or other DS. Chi-square and logistic regression were used to assess relationships between predictors, NS use, and WM goal. Most respondents (70.3% ± 1.7%) consumed some NS; however, overall NS use was not related to WM goal. Significant relationships were observed between predictors (tobacco use, age, body-mass index, fitness score, general health, and eating habits) and both WM goal and NS use. Respondents attempting to lose or maintain weight were less likely to consume energy drinks and weight-gain DS.

Conclusion: WM goal is related to multiple health behaviors including tobacco use, physical fitness score, and self-perception of health and eating behavior. NS are consumed in this population regardless of WM goal.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1123/ijsnem.23.4.322DOI Listing
August 2013

Confidence in the efficacy and safety of dietary supplements among United States active duty army personnel.

BMC Complement Altern Med 2012 Oct 10;12:182. Epub 2012 Oct 10.

Military Nutrition Division, U.S, Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, Kansas Street, Natick, MA 01760, USA.

Background: United States Army Soldiers regularly use dietary supplements (DS) to promote general health, enhance muscle strength, and increase energy, but limited scientific evidence supports the use of many DS for these benefits. This study investigated factors associated with Soldiers' confidence in the efficacy and safety of DS, and assessed Soldiers' knowledge of federal DS regulatory requirements.

Methods: Between 2006 and 2007, 990 Soldiers were surveyed at 11 Army bases world-wide to assess their confidence in the effectiveness and safety of DS, knowledge of federal DS regulations, demographic characteristics, lifestyle-behaviors and DS use.

Results: A majority of Soldiers were at least somewhat confident that DS work as advertised (67%) and thought they are safe to consume (71%). Confidence in both attributes was higher among regular DS users than non-users. Among users, confidence in both attributes was positively associated with rank, self-rated diet quality and fitness level, education, and having never experienced an apparent DS-related adverse event. Fewer than half of Soldiers knew the government does not require manufacturers to demonstrate efficacy, and almost a third incorrectly believed there are effective pre-market federal safety requirements for DS.

Conclusions: Despite limited scientific evidence supporting the purported benefits and safety of many popular DS, most Soldiers were confident that DS are effective and safe. The positive associations between confidence and DS use should be considered when developing DS-related interventions or policies. Additionally, education to clarify Soldiers' misperceptions about federal DS safety and efficacy regulations is warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1472-6882-12-182DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3598849PMC
October 2012

Plasma phosphatidylcholine concentrations of polyunsaturated fatty acids are differentially associated with hip bone mineral density and hip fracture in older adults: the Framingham Osteoporosis Study.

J Bone Miner Res 2012 May;27(5):1222-30

Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, Boston, MA, USA.

Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) may influence bone health. The objective of this work was to examine associations between plasma phosphatidylcholine (PC) PUFA concentrations and hip measures: (1) femoral neck bone mineral density (FN-BMD) (n = 765); (2) 4-year change in FN-BMD (n = 556); and (3) hip fracture risk (n = 765) over 17-year follow-up among older adults in the Framingham Osteoporosis Study. BMD measures were regressed on quintile of plasma PC PUFAs (docosahexaenoic acid [DHA], linoleic acid [LA], and arachidonic acid [AA]), adjusted for covariates. Hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) for hip fracture were estimated by quintile of plasma PC PUFAs, adjusted for covariates. Higher concentrations of PC DHA were associated with loss of FN-BMD over 4 years in women (p-trend = 0.04), but was protective in men in the uppermost quintile compared to men grouped in the lower four quintiles, in post hoc analysis (p = 0.01). PC LA concentrations were inversely associated with baseline FN-BMD in women (p-trend = 0.02), and increased hip fracture risk in women and men (p-trend = 0.05), but body mass index (BMI) adjustment attenuated these associations (p-trend = 0.12 and p-trend = 0.14, respectively). A trend toward a protective association was observed between PC AA and baseline FN-BMD in men (p-trend = 0.06). Women and men with the highest PC AA concentrations had 51% lower hip fracture risk than those with the lowest (HR = 0.49, 95% CI = 0.24-1.00). Opposing effects of PC DHA on FN-BMD loss observed in women and men need further clarification. Bone loss associated with PC LA may be confounded by BMI. High PC AA concentrations may be associated with reduced hip fracture risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jbmr.1581DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3565380PMC
May 2012

Dietary intakes of arachidonic acid and alpha-linolenic acid are associated with reduced risk of hip fracture in older adults.

J Nutr 2011 Jun 20;141(6):1146-53. Epub 2011 Apr 20.

Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, Boston, MA 02111, USA.

PUFA are hypothesized to influence bone health, but longitudinal studies on hip fracture risk are lacking. We examined associations between intakes of PUFA and fish, and hip fracture risk among older adults (n = 904) in the Framingham Osteoporosis Study. Participants (mean age ~75 y at baseline) were followed for incident hip fracture from the time they completed the baseline exam (1988-1989) until December 31, 2005. HR and 95% CI were estimated for energy-adjusted dietary fatty acid exposure variables [(n-3) fatty acids: α-linolenic acid (ALA), EPA, DHA, EPA+DHA; (n-6) fatty acids: linoleic acid, arachidonic acid (AA); and the (n-6):(n-3) ratio] and fish intake categories, adjusting for potential confounders and covariates. Protective associations were observed between intakes of ALA (P-trend = 0.02) and hip fracture risk in a combined sample of women and men and between intakes of AA (P-trend = 0.05) and hip fracture risk in men only. Participants in the highest quartile of ALA intake had a 54% lower risk of hip fracture than those in the lowest quartile (Q4 vs. Q1: HR = 0.46; 95% CI = 0.26-0.83). Men in the highest quartile of AA intake had an 80% lower risk of hip fracture than those in the lowest quartile (Q4 vs. Q1: HR = 0.20; 95% CI = 0.04-0.96). No significant associations were observed among intakes of EPA, DHA, EPA+DHA, or fish. These findings suggest dietary ALA may reduce hip fracture risk in women and men and dietary AA may reduce hip fracture risk in men.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3945/jn.110.133728DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3095142PMC
June 2011

Protective effects of fish intake and interactive effects of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid intakes on hip bone mineral density in older adults: the Framingham Osteoporosis Study.

Am J Clin Nutr 2011 May 2;93(5):1142-51. Epub 2011 Mar 2.

Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Jean Mayer US Department of Agriculture Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, Boston, MA 02115, USA.

Background: Polyunsaturated fatty acids and fish may influence bone health.

Objective: We aimed to examine associations between dietary polyunsaturated fatty acid and fish intakes and hip bone mineral density (BMD) at baseline (1988-1989; n = 854) and changes 4 y later in adults (n = 623) with a mean age of 75 y in the Framingham Osteoporosis Study.

Design: BMD measures were regressed on energy-adjusted quartiles of fatty acid intakes [n-3 (omega-3): α-linolenic acid, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and EPA+ DHA; n-6 (omega-6): linoleic acid (LA) and arachidonic acid (AA); and n-6:n-3 ratio] and on categorized fish intakes, with adjustment for covariates. Effect modification by EPA+DHA intake was tested for n-6 exposures.

Results: High intakes (≥3 servings/wk) of fish relative to lower intakes were associated with maintenance of femoral neck BMD (FN-BMD) in men (dark fish + tuna, dark fish, and tuna) and in women (dark fish) (P < 0.05). Significant interactions between AA and EPA+DHA intakes were observed cross-sectionally in women and longitudinally in men. In women with EPA+DHA intakes at or above the median, those with the highest AA intakes had a higher mean baseline FN-BMD than did those with the lowest intakes (quartile 4 compared with quartile 1: P = 0.03, P for trend = 0.02). In men with the lowest EPA+DHA intakes (quartile 1), those with the highest intakes of AA (quartile 4) lost more FN-BMD than did men with the lowest intakes of AA (quartile 1; P = 0.04). LA intake tended to be associated with FN-BMD loss in women (P for trend < 0.06).

Conclusions: Fish consumption may protect against bone loss. The protective effects of a high AA intake may be dependent on the amount of EPA+DHA intake.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3945/ajcn.110.005926DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3076660PMC
May 2011
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