A list of commonly ask questions about supplements

  • 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.

  • Are marketed to raise ketone levels in the blood and enhance mental and physical performance, energy, and weight loss.
  • Are dietary supplement products that usually contain BHB (a ketone made in a laboratory), medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), and other ingredients.
  • Have limited scientific evidence to support their safety or effectiveness.

For more information, read the OPSS article about ketone supplements.

  • Is usually a drink, traditionally made with tea leaves, sugar, and culture of bacteria and yeast.
  • Is marketed to boost immunity, increase energy, improve gastrointestinal (GI) function, prevent cancer, improve joint health, lower blood pressure/cholesterol, improve liver function, and have antioxidant effects.
  • As a dietary supplement, sometimes contains only ingredients typically found in the drink, such as B vitamins, probiotics, and green or black tea.
  • Has no reliable scientific information regarding its use as a dietary supplement.

For more information, please read the HPRC article about kombucha.

  • 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.