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ODS Timeline logo

1994

original ODS logoOCTOBER 1994. The Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA, Public Law 103-417, Section 13) creates the Office of Dietary Supplements at the NIH “to promote the scientific study of dietary supplements for maintaining health and preventing chronic disease and other health-related conditions.”

1995

Dr. Bernadette MarriottNOVEMBER 1995. Funded through the NIH Director’s Discretionary Fund, ODS begins its work within the Office of Disease Prevention, with Dr. Bernadette Marriott appointed as ODS Director. Dr. Marriott was Deputy Director of the Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine (IOM) before coming to ODS as its founding director.

1996

DECEMBER 1996. ODS announces the funding of its first six research grants to explore the potential role of dietary supplements in health promotion and disease prevention. These studies were funded by ODS in conjunction with selected NIH Institutes through the NIH Research Enhancement Awards Program.
 

1997

OCTOBER 1997. ODS collaborates with the National Institute for Mental Health and National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) -- then known as the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine -- on the first large-scale, clinical trial in the United States to determine the safety and efficacy of Hypericum perforatum (St. John’s Wort) for treating people with major depression.
  
NOVEMBER 1997. The Report of the Commission on Dietary Supplement Labels highlighted the need for more research to assess relationships between dietary supplements and health promotion as well as the actions and efficacy of botanical substances It noted that labels alone will not provide all the information needed to make informed decisions about how and when to use dietary supplements. The Commission emphasized that ODS serve as a research and advisory center for other government agencies.
  

1998

Merging Quality Science With Supplement Research: A Strategic Plan for the Office of Dietary Supplements, 1998-2003SEPTEMBER 1998. ODS releases its first Strategic Plan, Merging Quality Science With Supplement Research: A Strategic Plan for the Office of Dietary Supplements, 1998-2003. The plan establishes five key scientific goals and objectives to guide the office in the coming years.

  

DECEMBER 1998. An interagency cooperative agreement between ODS and the Agricultural Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture establishes the International Bibliographic Information on Dietary Supplements (IBIDS) database. This database provided peer-reviewed scientific literature on dietary supplements. IBIDS was discontinued in 2010 when new content in PubMed became available.

1999

JANUARY 1999. ODS publishes a Status Report: The First Years of the Office of Dietary Supplements, 1995-1998, which describes activities, accomplishments and progress related to its congressional mandates.

  

OCTOBER 1999. ODS collaborates with the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) -- then known as the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) -- to fund establishment of the first Botanical Dietary Supplements Research Centers. This program has since expanded and continues today as the Consortium for Advancing Research on Botanical and Other Natural Products (CARBON) Program.

  

Dr. Paul M. CoatesOCTOBER 1999. Dr. Paul M. Coates assumes the directorship at ODS. He came to ODS after a 20-year academic career as a human geneticist followed by 6 years at NIH where he was introduced to the field of nutrition and the translation of research into policy. Dr. Coates retired in 2018.
 

2000

Annual Bibliography of Significant Advances in Dietary Supplement Research coverDECEMBER 2000. ODS, in conjunction with the Consumer Healthcare Products Association, releases the first issue of the Annual Bibliography of Significant Advances in Dietary Supplement Research to illustrate how the dietary supplement field is advancing through quality research. This bibliography was published annually through 2007.
 

2001

OCTOBER 2001. ODS launches the Computer Access to Research on Dietary Supplements (CARDS) database as mandated by Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA). CARDS complements other NIH databases by providing details on research projects pertaining to dietary supplements.

  

FY 2001. ODS receives congressional language encouraging it to enhance clinical research on the safety and efficacy of dietary supplements. This move is spurred by concerns over the increasing use of the herb ephedra and ephedrine for weight loss and athletic performance. ODS sponsors an AHRQ evidence-based reviewexternal link disclaimer that plays an important role for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ban on ephedra in February 2004.

2002

gingko leaf with HPLC curves overlayJANUARY 2002. ODS establishes the Analytical Methods and Reference Materials (AMRM) Program in response to a congressional mandate to support and accelerate the development, validation, and dissemination of analytical methods and reference materials for dietary supplements and their ingredients. 

2003

SEPTEMBER 2003. ODS initiates its monthly scientific Seminar Series. It features presentations by NIH and visiting scientists who conduct research on dietary supplements, nutrition, and related issues.

2004

Supplement Facts labelFY 2004. ODS receives congressional language to develop, create, maintain, and update a database of all dietary supplement labels sold in the United States. The result was the development of the Dietary Supplement Label Database (see June 2013). 

  

“Promoting Quality Science in Dietary Supplement Research, Education and Communication: A Strategic Plan for the Office of Dietary Supplements 2004-2009.” coverJANUARY 2004. ODS releases its second 5-year strategic plan, “Promoting Quality Science in Dietary Supplement Research, Education and Communication: A Strategic Plan for the Office of Dietary Supplements 2004-2009.”

  

DECEMBER 2004. ODS launches the Vitamin D Initiative to advance scientific understanding of the importance of vitamin D to health, which ran until 2018. Also see the Vitamin D Standardization Program, FY 2010.  

2005

JANUARY 2005. ODS establishes the Federal Working Group on Dietary Supplements with representatives from NIH and other federal agencies to inform and advise participants on issues related to dietary supplements. This working group continues to meet twice each year and serves a coordinating role to bring relevant federal agencies together on matters concerning dietary supplements and nutrition.
2006
MAY 2006. NIH State-of-the-Science Conference on Multivitamin/Mineral Supplements (MVM) for Chronic Disease Prevention convened by the then Office of Medical Applications of Research in the Office of Disease Prevention and ODS to review available scientific evidence on the effectiveness and safety of MVM supplement use to prevent chronic diseases.

  

2007

ODS Dietary Supplement Research Practicum presentation and meeting roomMAY 2007. ODS launches the annual Dietary Supplement Research Practicum. This educational initiative provides an opportunity for dietary supplement and
nutrition researchers to enhance their training and career development. In 2010, the practicum was named for its founder and former ODS Senior Nutrition Research Scientist, the late Mary Frances Picciano, Ph.D.

2009

DSID logoAPRIL 2009. ODS and the Agricultural Research Service Nutrient Data Laboratory at the U.S. Department of Agriculture debut the Dietary Supplement Ingredient Database (DSID) to provide estimated levels of ingredients in dietary supplement products based on chemical analysis of nationally representative products.

2010

JANUARY 2010. ODS releases its strategic plan for 2010-2014, Strengthening Knowledge and Understanding of Dietary Supplements. The plan presents a new set of ODS goals to guide future activities of the office. 

  

OCTOBER 2010. ODS launches the Nutrition and Dietary Supplement Interventions for Inborn Errors of Metabolism (NDSI-IEM) program in collaboration with the NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS). The program concluded in 2017. 

  

VDSP program posterFY 2010. ODS establishes the Vitamin D Standardization Program (VDSP) in 2010 and coordinates its efforts until 2018. Part of the ODS Vitamin D Initiative, VDSP is an international collaborative effort to standardize laboratory measurements of vitamin D status.

2011

MAY 2011. ODS introduces the Iodine Initiative in response to concerns that some pregnant women in the United States might have inadequate iodine intakes at a time of high physiological demand.

  

2013

screen cap of DSLD webpageJUNE 2013. NIH launches the Dietary Supplement Label Database, a searchable collection of ingredient and other product information taken from the labels of dietary supplement products sold in the United States. The DSLD is a resource for researchers, health care providers, and consumers.

2014

ODS Scholar giving a presentationMAY 2014. ODS launches its annual Research Scholars Program, a one-year competitive scholarship opportunity for NIH intramural early-career scientists to study the role of dietary supplements and their ingredients in health promotion and disease prevention.

  

WINTER 2014. ODS creates the NIH Dietary Supplement Scientistic Interest Group (SIG) to bring together NIH and other program officials and intramural investigators interested in studying these products.

2015

SEPTEMBER 2015. ODS establishes the Iron Initiative to prioritize research gaps relevant to clarifying benefits and harms associated with iron screening and supplementation among pregnant women and young children 6 to 24 months of age.

2017

JANUARY 2017. ODS releases a strategic plan for the years 2017–2021, Strengthening Knowledge and Understanding of Dietary Supplements. This document presents a refreshed set of goals, strategies, and activities for the next 5 years. It also provides a review of ODS activities and accomplishments between 2010 and 2016.

2018

Dr. Joseph M. BetzJUNE 2018. Dr. Joseph M. Betz, Director of the ODS Analytical Methods and Reference Materials Program since its inception in 2002, becomes the Acting Director of ODS when Dr. Paul M. Coates retires.

2020

JANUARY 2020. ODS is elevated as an office within the Division of Program Coordination, Planning, and Strategic Initiatives, NIH Office of the Director.

  

MAY 2020. ODS Dietary Supplement Label Database (DSLD) reaches 100,000 labels in the database.

  

NOVEMBER 2020. The ODS Communications Program completes its library of fact sheets on all essential vitamins and minerals. Dietary supplement fact sheets, prepared for health professionals and consumers (English and Spanish), are evidence-based summaries that regularly updated and cover nutrient health effects, safety, recommended amounts, interactions with medicines, and other topics.

2021

25thOCTOBER 2021. After a 1-year delay due to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, the ODS 25th Anniversary Scientific Symposium was held as a virtual event on October 25 and 26. Featuring introductions by NIH leadership and talks by dozens of experts in the field of dietary supplement science, the symposium was viewed by 800 people on Day 1 and nearly 700 on Day 2. Video recordings of Day 1 and Day 2 are available on the NIH Videocast website.