Is saltpeter used in the military?


Quick Answer

There has never been any hard evidence that the United States military adds or has added saltpeter to food. Saltpeter (potassium nitrate) has long been rumored to be added to men's food during basic training to suppress libido, but there is no medical evidence that it actually has this effect.

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Full Answer

Officials from each of the branches of service as well as the Defense Logistics Agency denied the use of saltpeter in a 2010 investigation by Stars and Stripes magazine. Potassium nitrate has legitimate medical uses, but there are no studies showing that it has any effect on libido. The lack of sexual arousal in basic training is primarily caused by lack of stimulation, physical exhaustion and mental stress.

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