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ODS Update - March 2009

ODS Update

The e-newsletter of the Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS)

March 2009

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News You Can Use

Standard Reference Material for Multivitamin/Multimineral Tablets Now Available
With financial support from ODS, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has developed a new Standard Reference Material® (SRM) for multivitamin/multimineral tablets. Known as SRM 3280, it will serve as an important quality assurance tool for laboratories that measure the amounts of 31 vitamins, minerals, trace elements, and carotenoids in dietary supplements.

Manufacturers, researchers, regulators, and contract laboratories that measure the amounts of vitamins and minerals in dietary supplement products may use a variety of analytical techniques to make these measurements. However, to this point they have had no definitive, independently certified standard with which to verify their testing methods and calibrate their equipment. The new SRM will help fill that gap. It is intended for use by analytical chemists to ensure that their methods, personnel, and other laboratory processes are working properly.

SRM 3280 is part of a larger ongoing effort that NIST has undertaken in collaboration with ODS to develop reference materials for a host of other dietary supplements as they appear on store shelves. The SRM will also be used to support the efforts of the ODS and the U.S. Department of Agriculture in developing accurate data for a Dietary Supplement Ingredient Database. Academic researchers can use the SRM to benchmark their assays for vitamins and minerals just as other SRMs are used, for example, to standardize serum cholesterol measurements.

Further information about SRM 3280 is available at http://www.nist.gov/cstl/analytical/srm_021009.cfmexternal link icon.

New Funding Opportunities for Research
ODS collaborates on funding initiatives across NIH and with other agencies through mechanisms such as Requests for Applications (RFAs) and Program Announcements (PAs) which can be found at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guideexternal link icon. In the last 2 months, ODS has signed onto the following PA:
  • Exploratory/developmental clinical research grants in obesity (R21 issued by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases [NIDDK]): PA-09-124.

ODS Programs and Activities

March 31 Application Deadline Approaching for Dietary Supplement Research Practicum June 1-5
For the third year in a row, ODS is offering its popular Dietary Supplement Research Practicum to academic faculty in the health sciences and their doctoral or postdoctoral students/fellows. This 5-day event, to be held June 1-5, will provide a comprehensive overview on issues, concepts, and controversies about dietary supplements and information on conducting scientific research with these products.

Approximately 80 individuals will be admitted to this practicum; applications are due by March 31. See the practicum Web site (http://odspracticum.od.nih.govexternal link icon) for the program, application process, selection criteria, and the availability of travel awards for students.

Webinars Held as Part of ODS Strategic Planning Process
ODS held four webinars in January and February to receive public comments and suggestions for ODS initiatives to be considered for inclusion in its 2010-2014 ODS Strategic Plan. This plan is now under development and will be finalized towards the end of 2009. These webinars were virtual meetings one could attend by being linked to the Internet at one's computer and dialing into a teleconference.

A 1-hour webinar was held for each of the following four topic areas: research support, research tools, science-policy, and communications. Each began with presentations by ODS stakeholders from academia, government, industry, and the private sector. While relatively few public comments were received during these webinars, the presenters put forward many thoughts and ideas to enhance and enlarge the ODS mission. These webinars were recorded and can be heard at http://dietary-supplements.info.nih.gov/Strategic_Planning_2010-2014/Webinar_Schedule.aspx.

ODS continues to encourage public input through March 31 on the development of its next Strategic Plan. To participate, go to http://dietary-supplements.info.nih.gov/Strategic_Planning_2010-2014/Strategic_Planning_2010-2014.aspx or send us an email at ODSPlan@od.nih.gov.

ODS Staff News

Dr. Kenneth D. Fisher, ODS Senior Scientific Consultant, Retires
Dr. Ken Fisher retired earlier this year as an independent consultant to ODS. In his more than 6 years at ODS, he provided leadership on many activities, primarily related to the development of the Strategic Plan for 2004-2009 and its implementation. He also carried out formal evaluations of various ODS programs and activities.

Dr. Fisher came to ODS with a stellar background of experience and expertise to advise the office on dietary supplement issues. He previously served, for example, as executive director of the Commission on Dietary Supplement Labels (1995-1997), an effort mandated by the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) of 1994. From 2000-2002, he was a member of the scientific staff of the White House Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine Policy. And in 2001 he was a scientific consultant to the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academies to the Committee to Develop a Framework for Evaluation of the Safety of Dietary Supplements.

Elizabeth A. Yetley, PhD, ODS Senior Nutrition Research Scientist who retired last year, was selected as a Fellow of the American Society of Nutrition (ASN). ASN Fellows are "scientists who have had distinguished careers in nutrition and are at least sixty-five years of age." Dr. Yetley was recognized in particular "for her leadership in the field of public health nutrition policy," making sure that scientific principles and systematic approaches were applied in its development. ASN will hold a special lunch for Dr. Yetley and the other Fellows selected for 2009 at the Experimental Biology meeting in New Orleans on April 20.

Recent ODS Staff Publications

Elizabeth A. Yetley, Danielle Brulé, Margaret C. Cheney, Cindy D. Davis, Krista A. Esslinger, Peter W.F. Fisher, Karl E. Friedl, Linda S. Greene-Finestone, Patricia M. Guenther, David M. Klurfeld, Mary R. L'Abbe, Kathryn Y. McMurry, Pamela E. Starke-Reed, and Paula R. Trumbo. Dietary Reference Intakes for vitamin D: justification for a review of the 1997 values. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 89(3):719-727, March 2009.

Robert Russell, Mei Chung, Ethan M. Balk, Stephanie Atkinson, Edward L. Giovannucci, Stanley Ip, Alice H. Lichtenstein, Susan Taylor Mayne, Gawri Raman, A. Catharine Ross, Thomas A. Trikalinos, Keith P. West Jr., and Joseph Lau. Opportunities and challenges in conducting systematic reviews to support the development of nutrient reference values: vitamin A as an example. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 89(3):728-733, March 2009.

Upcoming Events (April - June 2009)

8th Oxford Conference on the Science of Botanicals
April 5-10, 2009: Oxford, MS

Joseph Betz will present a poster about the ODS AMRM program titled Dietary Supplement Analytical Methods and Reference Materials Program: Accomplishments and Future Directions on April 7.

Experimental Biology
April 18-22, 2009: New Orleans, LA

On April 21, Johanna Dwyer will co-chair a minisymposium titled Measurement Issues Related to Dietary Supplement Use. On April 18, Dr. Dwyer will also speak at a closed workshop for Korean nutritionists titled Planning Using the DRIs. On April 22, Robert Russell will chair a seminar titled Key Events Framework: An Innovative Approach for Assessing Safe Nutrient Intakes and will give a talk titled Introduction to the International Life Sciences Institute(ILSI) Research Foundation Global Threshold Project.

Maryland Dietetic Association's Annual Meeting
April 24, 2009: Linthicum Heights, MD

Jody Engel will give a presentation titled Dietary Supplement Use in America: Who's Taking What?

American Society of Complex Therapeutics Conference: "From Meadow to Medicine" Developing Complex Therapeutics - A Paradigm Shift
May 12, 2009: Minneapolis, MN

Joseph Betz will give a presentation titled Back to the Future: A Historical and Future Perspective and will also moderate a Panel Discussion. This is a satellite meeting of the North American Research Conference on Complementary & Integrative Medicine.

North American Research Conference on Complementary & Integrative Medicine
May 12-15, 2009: Minneapolis, MN

ODS will have an exhibit.

International Conference on Diet and Activity Methods
June 5-7: Washington, DC
Web site: http://www.icdam.orgexternal link icon

ODS is a co-sponsor of this conference, a gathering of experts to present, learn about, and develop research ideas to improve the measurement of people's usual dietary intakes and physical activity.

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ODS Update provides information on news, activities, and resources from the Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS). ODS is a program office within the Office of the Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The mission of ODS is to strengthen knowledge and understanding of dietary supplements by evaluating scientific information, stimulating and supporting research, disseminating research results, and educating the public to foster an enhanced quality of life and health for the U.S. population.

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To contact the Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS), go to the "Contact Us" page of the ODS Web site: http://ods.od.nih.gov/Contact_Us.aspx.