Ingredients

Apple cider vinegar (ACV)

  • Is a type of vinegar made from the fermented juice of apples that contains a variety of vitamins, minerals, and acids.
  • Is marketed to curb appetite and help weight loss, support healthy blood sugar and cholesterol, aid digestive health, and boost the immune system.
  • Has very little scientific evidence to support its safety and effectiveness, especially as a dietary supplement.

For more information, read the OPSS article about apple cider vinegar.

  • Are drugs that prevent the body from converting testosterone to estrogen.
  • Are used to treat certain types of cancer, primarily breast and ovarian cancer.
  • Are on the OPSS list of DoD-prohibited substances in dietary supplements.

Read the OPSS article about aromatase inhibitors

  • Is an ancient ingredient used in dietary supplement products for many different purposes.
  • Can induce abortion, so pregnant women should not take it!
  • Otherwise has few and minor side effects, mostly gastrointestinal.
  • Needs more research to determine its safety and effectiveness.
  • Is not prohibited for use by Military Service Members.

For more information, read the OPSS article about ashwagandha.

  • Is a well-known herb commonly used in dietary supplement products.
  • Is promoted to boost brain health, but there isn’t enough evidence to support the claims.
  • Safety is relatively unknown for both short- and long-term use.
  • Is not prohibited for use by Military Service Members.

For more information, read the OPSS article about Bacopa monnieri.

  • Is a substance found in chili peppers that gives them their spiciness.
  • Is commonly listed as “cayenne pepper” or “capsicum” on dietary supplement labels.
  • Is promoted for weight loss, but there isn’t enough evidence to support this claim.
  • In large amounts, might cause gastrointestinal issues for some people.
  • Is not prohibited for use by Military Service Members.

For more information, read the OPSS article about capsaicin.

  • In dietary supplements is often produced from the linoleic acid in safflower or sunflower oils.
  • Is promoted for fat and weight loss, but there isn’t enough evidence to support these claims. 
  • In supplements appears to be well tolerated, but gastrointestinal side effects have been reported.
  • Is not prohibited for use by Military Service Members.

For more information, read the OPSS article about CLA.

  • Can be effective for explosive, high-intensity activities, but not endurance activities.
  • Is available in many forms, but creatine monohydrate is the most studied form.
  • Should be used under the supervision of a qualified healthcare provider, such as a registered dietitian who specializes in sports dietetics.
  • In dietary supplements, look for ones with creatine monohydrate as the only active ingredient.

To learn more, read the OPSS article about creatine.

  • Is not approved by FDA as an ingredient in dietary supplements.
  • Is a synthetic stimulant that might not be safe.
  • Is known by a number of names, including AMP citrate, Amperall, 1,3-dimethybutylamine.
  • Is on the OPSS list of DoD-prohibited substances.
  • Might register on an initial military urine screening test for amphetamines, but will not cause a positive result on confirmation drug tests.

For more information, including other names for DMBA to watch out for, visit the OPSS article about DMBA.

  • Is the berry of the black elder tree and contains antioxidants.
  • Is usually included in dietary supplements as an extract or juice.
  • Is promoted for immune support, but there isn’t enough evidence to support this claim.
  • Could be toxic if not properly prepared.

For more information, read the OPSS article about elderberry.

  • Is an unsafe stimulant not approved for use in dietary supplements.
  • Poses a risk of serious adverse events (heart attack, stroke, and death).
  • Despite being illegal, is still found in dietary supplements, usually ones for weight loss.
  • Is on the OPSS list of DoD-prohibited substances but will not cause a positive drug test.

If you would like more information, please read the OPSS article about ephedra.

  • Is a tree native to Southeast Asia and Africa that produces a small pumpkin-like fruit.
  • Rind contains hydroxycitric acid (HCA), which might impact appetite.
  • Is promoted for weight loss, but there isn’t enough evidence to support this claim.
  • Reports indicate some concern of liver damage.  
  • Is not prohibited for use by Military Service Members.

For more information, read the OPSS article about Garcinia cambogia.

  • Extract from its leaves is used as an ingredient in dietary supplements products.
  • Is promoted to boost brain health, but there isn’t enough evidence to support such claims.
  • Appears to be safe for most people, but unexplained bleeding after use has been reported.
  • Is not prohibited for use by Military Service Members.

For more information, read the OPSS article about Ginkgo biloba.

  • Is a plant; its root is widely used in dietary supplements, teas, and energy drinks.
  • Many types of ginseng exist, but the most popular are Panax ginseng (Korean) and Panax quinqefolius (American).
  • These two types might help healthy adults boost brain health when used in small amounts, short term.  
  • When used long-term, could be unsafe.
  • Is not prohibited for use by Military Service Members.

For more information, read the OPSS article about ginseng.

  • Extract is often used as in dietary supplement products.
  • Is promoted for weight loss, but there isn’t enough evidence to support this claim.
  • Appears to be well tolerated in small amounts, short-term, but its long-term safety is unknown.
  • Is not prohibited for use by Military Service Members.

For more information, read the OPSS article about green coffee bean.

  • Is a hormone that women produce naturally during pregnancy.
  • Is produced synthetically for use as a drug and may be used only with a prescription.
  • Is not permitted for use in dietary supplements.
  • Is on the OPSS list of DoD-prohibited substances but will not cause a positive drug test.

For more information, please read the OPSS article about HCG.

  • Is a growth-regulating hormone that the human body produces naturally.
  • Is also produced synthetically for use as a drug and may be used only with a prescription.
  • Is not permitted for use in dietary supplements.
  • Is on the OPSS list of DoD-prohibited substances but will not cause a positive drug test.

Please read the OPSS article about HGH for more information.

  • Is marketed in the U.S. as a dietary suppelement, commonly listed as “Huperzia serrata extract,” “HupA,” or “Chinese club moss.”
  • Is a drug in some other countries.
  • Is promoted to boost brain health, but there is no evidence to support the claims.
  • Lacks evidence of safety, especially when used long-term, and side effects have been reported.
  • Is not prohibited for use by Military Service Members.

For more information, read the OPSS article about huperzine A.

  • Is a hormone naturally produced in the liver.
  • Is also produced synthetically for use as a drug and may be used only with a prescription.
  • Is on the OPSS list of DoD-prohibited substances but will not cause a positive drug test.

To learn more, please read the OPSS article about IGF-1.

  • Is currently not approved for use in dietary supplements or as a prescription or over-the-counter drug.
  • Is under investigation by FDA to establish its legal status, possibly as an opioid.
  • Has been associated with serious side effects, including addiction, seizures, liver damage, and death.
  • Can be addictive.
  • Is on the OPSS list of DoD-prohibited substances.

Read the OPSS article on kratom , which includes links to FDA warnings and articles.

  • Is a stimulant not allowed for use in dietary supplements.
  • Is also known as oxilofrine or p-hydroxyephedrine.
  • Is on the OPSS list of DoD-prohibited substances but will not cause a positive drug test.

For more information, read the OPSS article about methylsynephrine.

  • As a food, are rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber, protein, and amino acids.
  • Are marketed as ingredients in dietary supplement products touting numerous health benefits.
  • There isn’t enough scientific evidence to support their safety or use for any specific purpose, except as a food.
  • Are not prohibited for use by Military Service Members unless they contain psilocybin or any other substance with mind-altering properties.

For more information, read the OPSS article about mushrooms.

  • Are substances intended to improve mental performance.
  • Products fall into two general categories: dietary supplements and drugs.
  • Dietary supplements have been found to be tainted with drugs or other ingredients not approved by FDA.  
  • As dietary supplements are often marketed with questionable claims not supported by science.
  • Could contain ingredients prohibited for use by Military Service Members.

For more information, read the OPSS article about nootropics.

  • Help build brain cells and maintain brain function throughout your life.
  • EPA and DHA can’t be made by the body and must be obtained from foods.
  • Are marketed as dietary supplements, but it’s unclear if they can boost brain health or cognitive performance.
  • When taken as a dietary supplement might cause minor side effects.
  • Are not prohibited for use by Military Service Members.

For more information, read the OPSS article about omega-3 fatty acids.

  • Is sometimes found in dietary supplements promoted for sleep, stress reduction, and cognitive performance.
  • Is a synthetic substance that does not meet the definition of a dietary ingredient according to FDA.
  • Is a drug in some other countries.
  • Is prohibited for use by Military Service Members.

For more information, read the OPSS article about phenibut.

  • Is a plant that has been used for centuries to enhance physical and mental performance and fight stress.
  • Is promoted to boost brain health, but there isn’t enough evidence to support the claims.
  • Appears to be safe, but the safety of its long-term use is unknown.
  • Is not prohibited for use by Military Service Members.

For more information, read the OPSS article about Rhodiola rosea.

  • Are unapproved new drugs prohibited for any use other than research.
  • Are illegally sold in or as dietary supplements marketed as “steroid alternatives” or “legal steroids.”
  • Are on the OPSS list of DoD-prohibited substances and pose significant risk to your health and readiness.
  • Might cause a positive result on a steroid test.

Visit the OPSS article about SARMs to learn more and get a link to a list of currently available products to avoid.

  • Can raise your heart rate and blood pressure, potentially to dangerous levels.
  • Are common ingredients in pre-workout and weight-loss supplements, as well as energy drinks.
  • Include ingredients that are prohibited for use by Military Service Members.

Visit the OPSS article about stimulants for more information, including a list of common and prohibited stimulants.

  • Is most commonly used in “testosterone booster” and other performance-enhancement supplements.
  • Has not been shown to affect human testosterone levels or athletic performance.
  • Is not on the list of DoD-prohibited substances and will not result in a positive drug test.

To learn more, read the OPSS article about Tribulus terrestris.

  • Is an ecdysteroid (plant steroid) found in Ajuga turkestanica and other plants.
  • Is sometimes found in dietary supplements marketed for bodybuilding.  
  • Has little to no evidence of safety or effectiveness as a dietary supplement.
  • Is not prohibited for use by Military Service Members.
  • Is sometimes found in dietary supplements promoted for brain health.
  • Is a synthetic substance that, according to the FDA, does not meet the definition of a dietary ingredient.
  • Is a drug in some countries.  
  • Is prohibited for use by Military Service Members.
  • According to FDA, poses risks for women of childbearing age due to possible adverse reproductive effects.

For more information, read the OPSS article about vinpocetine.

  • Bark and bark extract is often used in dietary supplement products.
  • Is promoted for weight loss and bodybuilding, but there isn’t enough evidence to support these claims.
  • Poses a risk for serious side effects.
  • Is not prohibited for use by Military Service Members.

For more information, read the OPSS article about yohimbe.