The Journal Of Special Operations Medicine (JSOM) covers a wide range of topics focused on special operations forces (SOF). Topics range from medical procedures and other medical based focus (diseases, etc) SOF can face and need medical treatment for. JSOM also covers topics such as training and injury prevention, and even topics such as nutritional supplements that may benefit SOF. For example, JSOM recently published a review of the importance of vitamin D for soldiers.
So, having a personal and professional interest in the topic, it should not be a big surprise I read this journal. Recently Dr. Kyle Hoedebecke and yours truly had an LTE published in JSOM. This short paper was in response to a review paper titled “Operational stressors on physical performance in special operators and countermeasures to improve performance: a review of the literature.” by O’Hara R, Henry A, Serres J, Russell D, Locke R.
In this review the authors concluded that “The rigors of both physical training and prolonged deployments without adequate rest and food intake can compromise physical performance.” After doing a literature search, they concluded that “Specific countermeasures for these known decrements are lacking in the scientific literature.”
Dr. Hoedebecke and I responded that there were published studies that demonstrate a number of nutritional supplements may counteract some of the decrements of training and combat specific to special operations forces (SOF) and other military personnel, and we covered a small sample of nutritional supplements that can directly assist SOF and other military personnel. This is the citation and abstract from what we submitted and was published in JSOM as response:
Hoedebecke K, Brink W. Operational stressors on physical performance in special operators and countermeasures to improve performance: a review of the literature. J Spec Oper Med. 2014 Summer;14(2):84-5.
In the article “Operational Stressors on Physical Performance in Special Operators and Countermeasures to Improve Performance: A Review of the Literature,” O’Hara and colleagues* performed a literature search for “specific countermeasures to reduce or prevent significant decrements in physical performance and reduce musculoskeletal injuries” with the conclusion that “specific countermeasures for these known decrements are lacking in the scientific literature.” This deduction, however, proves inaccurate as evidence within the military community does exist and, unfortunately, has been undervalued. Provided here are only a few examples of present Special Operations Force (SOF)-relevant supplement research.
NOTE: If you’d like to read the full paper by O’Hara R, Henry A, Serres J, Russell D, Locke R. and the response to their paper by Dr. Hoedebecke and myself, JSOM does give a 3 day free membership where you can read back issues, full papers, etc. If interested, go HERE for your free 3 day membership so you can read the above papers as well as others you may find interesting.