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Evidence-based evaluation of potential benefits and safety of beta-alanine supplementation for military personnel

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  • Reproduced with permission of the Minister of Health.

Abstract

This Department of Defense-sponsored evidence-based review evaluates the safety and putative outcomes of enhancement of athletic performance or improved recovery from exhaustion in studies involving beta-alanine alone or in combination with other ingredients. Beta-alanine intervention studies and review articles were collected from 13 databases, and safety information was collected from adverse event reporting portals. Due to the lack of systematic studies involving military populations, all the available literature was assessed with a subgroup analysis of studies on athletes to determine if beta-alanine would be suitable for the military. Available literature provided only limited evidence concerning the benefits of beta-alanine use, and a majority of the studies were not designed to address safety. Overall, the strength of evidence in terms of the potential for risk of bias in the quality of the available literature, consistency, directness, and precision did not support the use of beta-alanine by military personnel. The strength of evidence for a causal relation between beta-alanine and paresthesia was moderate.

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