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The U.S. military has had a longstanding interest in the potential for dietary supplements to enhance performance and optimize health. However, at the same time, they are concerned about the safety dietary supplements, particularly under the conditions faced by some military personnel, and no service-wide policies exist to guide their use. In 2008, RAND Health and the Samueli Institute, under the sponsorship of the U.S. Army, assembled a panel of experts on the use of dietary supplements for performance enhancement and on regulatory issues affecting dietary supplements and conducted an informal 1-day workshop to consider the following questions:

  • What types of policies and regulations currently exist regarding the use of dietary supplements in civilian sector groups such as among athletes and those whose jobs demand high levels of physical or cognitive performance?
  • What types of policies currently exist in the commercial domain around the point-of-sale for dietary supplements?
  • What kind of regulations does the military currently have in place (with respect to the use and purchase of dietary supplements)?
  • If it so chose, what could the military do to regulate the use of dietary supplements?

This report summarizes the panel's deliberations.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One

    Introduction and Background

  • Chapter Two

    Panel Discussion

  • Chapter Three

    Conclusions and Recommendations

The research described in this report was sponsored by the Samueli Institute and was conducted within the RAND Center for Military Health Policy Research, a strategic initiative within RAND Health and the RAND National Security Research Division.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation conference proceeding series. RAND conference proceedings present a collection of papers delivered at a conference or a summary of the conference.

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