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New Database of Scientific Literature on Dietary Supplements

Thursday, December 31, 1998
CONTACT: Terri Krakower, Ph.D.
Office of Dietary Supplements
(301) 435-2920


The Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS) at the National Institutes of Health will announce the launch of its new International Bibliographic Information on Dietary Supplements (IBIDS) database at a news media event on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 1999, from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

IBIDS is a database of published, international, scientific literature on dietary supplements that is available to the public free of charge through the ODS Internet home page ( The purpose of this database is to assist both scientists and the general public in locating credible, scientific literature on dietary supplements. The computer interface was designed to be user-friendly so individuals with all levels of expertise may use it easily. For those unfamiliar with dietary supplement terminology, a drop-down list of standard keywords is available.

"This database is one of the specific mandates for the Office of Dietary Supplements designated in the original Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 that created the office," said Dr. Bernadette M. Marriott, Director of the ODS. "We have viewed its development as a key effort of the office that will be useful to the scientific community and to the public for identifying scientific information on dietary supplements."

Keeping with their commitment to work together with other agencies, the ODS staff initiated an interagency cooperative agreement with the Food and Nutrition Information Center (FNIC), National Agricultural Library (NAL), Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture to develop and maintain the IBIDS database. NAL has extensive prior experience in developing research databases.

IBIDS is driven by a sophisticated search strategy that simultaneously and transparently searches numerous existing medical, botanical, agricultural, chemical and pharmaceutical databases. This presented a technical challenge because each of the existing databases uses a different format and set of key words.

The media event will include remarks by NIH and NAL officials and a demonstration of the database. Questions from the news media are welcome.

The Office of Dietary Supplements was established at NIH in November 1995 as a result of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act passed by Congress in 1994. The goals of ODS are to explore more fully the potential role of dietary supplements as a significant part of the efforts of the United States to improve health care; promote scientific study of the benefits of dietary supplements in maintaining health and chronic disease; and conduct and coordinate scientific research within the National Institutes of Health relating to dietary supplements.

IBIDS Background Information