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.