DOD resource offers array of information on dietary supplements

  • Published
  • By Bradley Hicks
  • AEDC Public Affairs

A resource is available for team members at Arnold Air Force Base and across Arnold Engineering Development Complex seeking more information on dietary supplements.

Operation Supplement Safety, or OPSS, is the Department of Defense’s program for anything related to dietary supplements. OPSS partners with other federal departments, professional organizations and academic institutions to provide the most current evidence-based information, resources and tools for education and decision-making.

The OPSS website features include an “Ask the Expert” portal, a “Check Your Supplement” scorecard that allows users to screen their supplements for safety, a list of DOD-prohibited dietary supplement ingredients, an “Exploring Supplements” page that allows users to search for and view articles related to supplements, and a “Report Side Effects” page that allows users to report adverse effects of supplement use.

The OPSS website can be found at or via the QR Code with this article.

As the DOD dietary supplement program for the military community, leaders, healthcare providers and DOD civilians, the mission of OPSS is to provide “the best evidence-based information about dietary supplements to service members, their families, healthcare providers and leaders to achieve human performance optimization,” the program website states.

“Many service members use dietary supplements – to promote health, improve performance, bodybuilding, lose weight and more,” the site further states. “Unfortunately, some supplements can compromise rather than improve performance. Our goal is to provide the tools and resources to help users make informed decisions about dietary supplements to optimize their health, performance and careers.”

Topics of interest on the site includes bodybuilding, brain health, energy drinks, immune health, pre-workouts, testosterone boosters and weight loss.

Presentations and trainings are also available through the OPSS website. Presentation topics include the basics of dietary supplements; the regulations of dietary supplements; the requirements of DOD Instruction 6130.06, which pertains to the education and use of dietary supplements in the DOD, to include adverse event reporting; and trending topics on dietary supplements. 

OPSS educational materials include evidence-based articles; handouts, guides and posters; quick facts on dietary supplement ingredients; and videos.

Members of the Arnold AFB Medical Aid Station Drug Demand Reduction Program Team, which is made up of Tech. Sgt. Ethan Cross, Tech. Sgt. Brian Rupprecht and Drug Demand Reduction Program Manager Martha Stanley, concur that OPSS is a valuable resource for information on dietary supplements.

“Our commitment at the Arnold Medical Aid Station is to assist our military and civilian Airmen in all their wellness endeavors,” Stanley said. “The Medical Aid Station Drug Demand Reduction Program Team would like to encourage our community when striving to build muscle, improve performance for the Physical Fitness Test or simply improve their overall general wellbeing to utilize the DOD Operation Supplement Safety informational tool to ensure the avoidance of harmful and prohibited ingredients, herbs and drinks. Your health and career depends on it.”

According to the OPSS website, in January 2012, the Assistant Secretary of Health Affairs requested a DOD-wide educational campaign on supplements. In response, the DOD Dietary Supplement Subcommittee, the U.S. Army Public Health Command and the Consortium for Health and Military Performance at the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences began developing the OPSS to increase awareness within the DOD community about the potential health risks and how to choose safe dietary supplements.

In March 2022, the DOD issued DODI 6130.06, Use of Dietary Supplements in the DOD, in which the DOD established OPSS as the “go-to” program for dietary supplements. It states that OPSS will maintain the official DOD Prohibited Dietary Supplement Ingredient list and provide educational training on the topic of dietary supplements.

Along with the website, those wishing to learn more about OPSS may sign up for the program’s monthly newsletter by visiting the website or following OPSS on Facebook, Instagram, X and YouTube.