Third-party certification of dietary supplements: Prevalence and concerns

Anthony Cancio, Michael J. Eliason, Jennifer Mercer, Thu Tran, Patricia A. Deuster, Mark B. Stephens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


According to recent studies, over 50% of the general population (and nearly 70% of military personnel) report regular use of dietary supplements (DS). Military personnel may be at greater risk for adverse reactions to DS because of operational environments and stressors (extreme heat, altitude, or sleep deprivation) associated with military deployments and training. As a recent example, the Department of Defense placed a medical hold on all DS containing the ingredient 1,3-dimethylamylamine in response to several fatalities linked to the use of this product. This study investigated product certification for DS in military commissaries (grocery stores), exchanges (department stores), and civilian retail stores. Overall, only 12% of the available products were certified by an independent scientific agency. Consumers should be aware that most over-the-counter DS do not have independent certification of product integrity. Although "third-party certification" does not ensure DS safety or effectiveness, it is important that consumers and health care providers are made aware that such product screening takes place, to help patients make more informed decisions about the purchase and use of DS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1460-1463
Number of pages4
JournalMilitary medicine
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine


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