Kjertakov M, Hristovski R, Racaj M. 13(1). 19 - 24. (Journal Article)
Objectives: To determine the prevalence and type of dietary supplement used, reasons for use, and sources of supplement information among Macedonian elite Soldiers. Methods: Anonymous self-reported questionnaires containing questions about demographic characteristics and dietary supplementation practices were distributed to 134 Soldiers, of whom 80 were recruited from the Ranger Battalion (R) and 54 from the Special Force Battalion (SF). Results: The Soldiers completed and returned 132 questionnaires. Overall, 66.6% of the Soldiers, including 70.3% of SF and 64.1% of R, reported using supplements within the 3 months before the survey. On average, each of these Soldiers used 3.7 ± 2.9 supplements. The most commonly used supplements were multivitamins (50.0%) and vitamin C (47.7%). The most frequently cited reason for using supplements was to improve general health (51.6%). Primary sources of supplement information were friends (42.0%) and books/magazines (40.9%). Conclusions: Dietary supplement use was found to be common and widespread among this military subpopulation. Given this, and the fact that the majority of the Soldiers do not receive accurate information about supplements, educational intervention regarding the safety and efficacy of these products is needed if unnecessary or harmful supplementation practices are to be prevented.