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Featured Articles

Winter 2007

Hazards Of Dietary Supplement Use

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Johnson AE, Haley CA, Ward JA. 07(1). 30 - 38. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Introduction: An ergogenic aid is any agent used to enhance energy production and/or utilization with the intent to improve performance in a particular sport or activity. Dietary supplements are consumed for their potential ergogenic effects by Soldiers seeking to improve physical performance. However, these agents are not regulated by the United States Food and DrugAdministration (FDA). The long-term health effects of these unregulated dietary supplements are unknown. The purpose of this study is to establish the incidence of dietary supplement use in a U.S. Army combat unit and to present a brief review of the literature on the documented adverse reactions related to dietary supplements use. Methods: 750 Rangers from the U.S. Army 1st Ranger Battalion were administered an anonymous, self-reported, survey concerning recreational and competitive athletic participation, participation in weight training, ergogenic supplement use, and sources of nutritional information. All surveys were administered by the battalion surgeon. The data was analyzed using the Pearson's Chi-square with continuity correction method of analysis. Results: 294 Rangers (39.5%) completed the questionnaire. One hundred and nine (37%) of the responders admitted to using at least one dietary supplement. The average age of the respondent was 23 years. Dietary supplement use was associated with participation in recreational athletics and weight training. Protein supplements were the most common supplement, followed by creatine and thermogenics respectively. Less than 1% used anabolic steroids. The most commonly cited source for nutritional information concerning ergogenic supplements is another Soldier, followed closely by fitness magazines. Less than 10% cited the unit surgeon or local nutritionist. Conclusions: Dietary supplement use in the surveyed unit is similar to rates reported for other athletic organizations. As the long-term health effects are unknown, the decision to consume dietary supplements should be carefully deliberated. Unit surgeons are uniquely situated to advise these Soldiers.

Hypertension And The SOF Warrior

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Horsley GW. 07(1). 44 - 47. (Journal Article)

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Many Soldiers regard hypertension is an innocuous disease. It is something that happens to civilians and older people; something that can be taken care of at home station. These are dangerous assumptions. There are Special Operations Forces Soldiers whose hypertension is not adequately controlled resulting in permanent end organ damage. This refresher on hypertension is integrated into a case study of one such Soldier.

Role Of Medicine In Supporting Special Forces Counter-insurgency Operations In Southern Afghanistan

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Keenan S. 07(1). 48 - 50. (Journal Article)

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The purpose of this article is to present the experiences of Task Force 31 during two rotations in support of Operation Enduring Freedom with the use of host nation (HN) medical care as a strategy to support our counter-insurgency plan in the Afghanistan theater. This policy, which consists of providing routine and basic preventive medical (sick call-type) HN care, is in direct contrast to the Rules of Eligibility, essentially only providing emergency care to local nationals. Our medical "rules of engagement" many times clash with the conventional methods of approaching medical care of local national patients, and this article seeks to explain why our strategy is valid in ourArea of Operations (AO).

Running A Local National Medical Clinic For Special Forces/special Operations Medical Personnel

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Blazier SJ, Leach RA, Perez G, Holmes BW, Blough RS, Keenan S. 07(1). 51 - 57. (Journal Article)

Abstract

The purpose of this article is to present a strategy for establishing and running a local national medical clinic in support of our counter-insurgency strategy, practiced by our Special Forces Task Force in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. In the course of multiple rotations to Afghanistan, we have acquired a feasible strategy to take advantage of the non-kinetic operations of a local national medical clinic. This article seeks to identify mission essential tasks and provides examples from Special Forces Teams (Operational Detachment -Alpha, or ODA) throughout our area of operations (AO) in different settings.