BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Researchers at Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge need 17 more young men to complete a study funded by the U.S. Department of Defense. The rigorous two-month experience pays $7,500 upon completion.
The OPS 2 study simulates life on the battlefield through intense physical exercise combined with sleep deprivation and limited food. Researchers want to learn the best ways to keep up testosterone levels under extreme conditions.
“Our goal is to improve performance in our war fighter and to bring more of those young men and young women safely home,” said lead researcher, Dr. Jennifer Rood. “Our findings will be conveyed back to the Department of Defense, and they will make decisions about what happens to our next groups of young men who go out into the field.”
The 50-day study includes 20 consecutive days at Pennington’s in-patient unit. That means participants must sleep at the clinic and endure several long days of intense exercise and little sleep. Food consists of military MREs (Meals Ready-to-Eat).
Cameron Pollard and Antonio Peters are among the 17 people who’ve already completed OPS 2. Pollard says the physical demands were more grueling than anything he’d experienced as a Marine.
“It’s been pretty difficult, more strenuous than I thought,” he said. “We never had to do that in boot camp or infantry training. Ten hours a day working out and such a calorie deficit.”
Peters considers it a good way to give back to his country.
“I’m not joining the military, so this is probably the most I can do to support, help out for the military, so I’m proud of that,” he said.
To qualify for this research study, participants must:
- Be a male 18 to 35-years-old
- Be physically active (specific activity requirements to be assessed during screening)
- Be willing to live at Pennington Biomedical for 21 consecutive days
- Be willing to refrain from alcohol, cigarettes, e-cigarettes, or use of any nicotine product, caffeine, or dietary supplement throughout the entire study period
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