ODS Update - Fall 2014

ODS Update: A Newsletter for Professionals from the Office of Dietary Supplements, National Institutes of Health
Fall 2014

Table of Contents

Read More at ODS

New ODS Video:
Dietary Supplements—What You Need To Know

still from Dietary Supplements video

In this 2-minute video, current and former members of the Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS) scientific staff highlight the Office and its website where consumers and health professionals can get reliable, science-based information on dietary supplements, including which ones might or might not have value and which are safe to take.

Watch the video nowexternal link disclaimer

This live-action video, along with a 1-minute animated video, were made available earlier this past summer to introduce ODS and its website to a consumer audience. The animated video titled Thinking About Taking a Dietary Supplement? can be viewed in both Englishexternal link disclaimer and Spanishexternal link disclaimer.

News You Can Use
Vitamin D graphic

Register Now To Attend December Conference and Webinar on Vitamin D in Primary Care Settings

This December 2–3, ODS will hold a conference, Vitamin D: Moving Toward Evidence-based Decision Making in Primary Care, on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) main campus. It will provide a forum to identify and discuss issues focused on evidence-based decision making for vitamin D in primary care settings—for example, screening for vitamin D status, interpreting laboratory measures, and determining interventions such as supplementation. The conference is directed to all interested persons, especially researchers, clinical educators, those who develop clinical recommendations, and health care providers.

The conference will be informed by two systematic reviews, one by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)—described below—and another produced by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) titled Screening for Vitamin D Deficiency. AHRQ will cosponsor the conference along with nine other federal cosponsors. 

The conference will be transmitted live via webinar. All attendees, live or remote, must register in advance. There is no charge to attend. See the meeting siteexternal link disclaimer for more information and to register.

AHRQ logo

New Report on Vitamin D and Calcium From AHRQ Confirms Uncertainty About Health Benefits Beyond Bone

ODS requested and funded a new report, Vitamin D and Calcium: A Systematic Review of Health Outcomes (Update)external link disclaimer, from the federal government’s Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). Published September 15 as an update of a 2009 report, this report confirms that vitamin D and calcium benefit both bone mineral density and bone mineral content. But it found that newer studies continue to provide only inconsistent evidence of the value of these nutrients for other health outcomes, including cancers of the breast, colon, and prostate; heart disease; pregnancy; immune function; falls and factures; and all-cause mortality.

This AHRQ report found that data from nearly 250 new studies (published between 2009 and 2013) did not alter the conclusions about vitamin D and health found in its original report—namely that despite the abundance of newer research, we remain unable to specify a relationship between vitamin D and health outcomes other than bone health. This report will provide background for speakers and panel members at the NIH vitamin D and primary care conference on December 2–3, described above.

steak dinner

New ODS Fact Sheet Available

Iron for consumers also been added to the ODS library of fact sheets on dietary supplements. It is available in both English and Spanish.


Analytical Methods and Reference Materials Program Web Pages Updated

Analytical Methods and Reference Materials Program Webpages Updated

The ODS Dietary Supplement Analytical Methods and Reference Materials (AMRM) Program webpages have been redesigned and updated. Now you can search a new database for analytical methods and reference materials by substance, plant, matrix, method, compound, etc. to locate reference materials, methods and/or resources. Access the AMRM webpages.

New Funding Opportunities: Administrative Supplements to NIH Awards for Validation Studies of Analytical Methods for Natural Products

This Funding Opportunity Announcement is designed to provide funds to research projects supported by the National Cancer Institute or the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disorders for validation studies of new analytical chemistry methods. These methods must have been developed or be under development by the awardees during the active parent grant period. Get more information.

ODS Staff News

ODS Senior Nutrition Scientist Johanna Dwyer, D.Sc., R.D.,was presented with the 2014 Trailblazer Award and Lectureship from the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) on June 21 at its annual meeting in New Orleans. The IFT called particular attention to her “exceptional nutrition knowledge, respect for other cultures, and understanding of food issues."

Johanna Dwyer, D.Sc., R.D.,
Christine A. Swanson, Ph.D., M.P.H.

Senior Nutrition Scientist Christine A. Swanson, Ph.D., M.P.H., retired in September after 15 years at ODS. Most recently, she led an ODS initiative focused on iodine, working with NIH Institutes and several federal agencies to identify research needs to better determine the iodine status and requirements of the U.S. population, especially vulnerable groups such as pregnant women, newborns, and infants. Dr. Swanson helped to establish and then direct the NIH Botanical Research Centers Program between 1999 and 2008. Prior to joining ODS, she was a Senior Staff Fellow in the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics at the NIH National Cancer Institute.

Adam Kuszak, Ph.D., joined ODS in August as an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Fellow. Dr. Kuszak will work with Dr. Joseph Betz to support the implementation and oversight of the Dietary Supplements Analytical Materials/Reference Materials (AMRM) program as well as contribute to the ongoing development of dietary supplement fact sheets for health professionals and consumers. Dr. Kuszak received his Ph.D. in pharmacology from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor in 2009, followed by postdoctoral training in structural biology at the NIH National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. He is driven to improve public health and enthusiastic to serve as a link between research scientists, health professionals, and consumers.

Adam Kuszak, Ph.D.
Regan Bailey, Ph.D., R.D.

ODS Nutritional Epidemiologist Regan Bailey, Ph.D., R.D., is a founding member of the Global Nutrition & Health Allianceexternal link disclaimer, a new organization formed to promote the health of people around the world by educating them about optimal nutrition as part of a healthy lifestyle.



ODS Staff Publications

ODS staff members have published papers that address key issues in dietary supplement and related research. Three are highlighted below. For a complete list, see the ODS website: Staff Publications.

  • Berner LA, Keast DR, Bailey RL, Dwyer JT. Fortified foods are major contributors to nutrient intakes in diets of US children and adolescents. J Acad Nutr Diet 2014:114(7):1009–1022.
    Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys from 2003 to 2006 were used to examine the impact of food fortification on nutrient adequacy and excess among U.S. children and adolescents. Without the use of fortified foods, inadequate intakes of numerous micronutrients were common. Fortification reduced the percentage of inadequate intakes for many, although not all, micronutrients without resulting in excessive intakes.
  • Dwyer JT, Saldanha LG, Bailen RA, Bailey RL, Costello RB, Betz JM, Chang FF, Goshorn J, Andrews KW, Pehrsson PR, Milner JA, Burt VL, Gahche JJ, Hardy CJ, Emenaker NJ. A free new Dietary Supplement Label Database for registered dietitian nutritionists. J Acad Nutr Diet 2014, June 11. [Epub ahead of print].
    The Dietary Supplement Label Database (DSLD), publicly available through the National Library of Medicine’s web portal (at http://www.dsld.nlm.nih.gov), is intended to capture all information from the labels of dietary supplement products. The goal is to capture the labels of all such products sold in the United States. The search and browse options in the DSLD will help the user to find specific products as well as specific ingredients in these supplements.
  • Brannon PM, Taylor CL, Coates PM. Use and application of systematic reviews in public health nutrition. Annu Rev Nutr 2014;34:401–419.
    Decisions related to a spectrum of nutrition-related public health and clinical concerns must consider many factors and are best informed by evaluating the totality and quality of the evidence. Systematic review is a structured process to evaluate, compare, and synthesize relevant evidence for the specific questions asked. Applications of systematic reviews are exemplified here through four case studies: research agendas, nutrient reference intakes, dietary guidance, and practice guidelines.

Recent ODS Staff Presentations

For a complete list, see the ODS website: Staff Presentations.

  • 38th National Nutrient Databank Conference
    May 14–17, Portland, OR
    Leila Saldanha gave a talk titled Challenges in Estimating Intakes for Non-Daily Value Ingredients in Dietary Supplements Using Label Information: Case Study Energy Products. She also gave a presentation titled Demonstration of the Dietary Supplement Label Database (DSLD).
  • 3rd International Vitamin Conference
    May 12–15, Washington, DC
    Christine Taylor gave a presentation titled Vitamin D Intake: Taking Into Account 25-Hydroxyvitamin D in Foods. Christopher Sempos gave a presentation titled Standardizing Vitamin D Assays: The Way Forward. Johanna Dwyer chaired a session on Fortification and gave a talk on Fortification Possibilities.
  • Fifth Genetic Metabolic Dietitians International Education Conference
    April 24, Dallas, TX
    Kathryn Camp gave a presentation titled What’s New in Genomics: Nutritional Genomics.

ODS Media Appearances

Paul Coates, Ph.D., was interviewed by Melinda Wenner Moyer, a science writer for Nature magazine, about evidence-based nutrition research. Her questions included whether randomized clinical trials are the best way to evaluate nutritional interventions, why it is difficult to establish causal relationships, and how nutrition studies can be better designed. The article, which included interviews with other notables in the nutrition and dietary supplement communities, appeared in the June 26 issue of Nature under the title Vitamins on Trial.

Carol Haggans, M.S., R.D., gave an interview to Marisa Cohen, a writer for Dr. Oz: The Good Life magazine, on whether or not consuming substantial amounts of fortified foods along with taking a multivitamin might lead to health problems from excessive intakes of certain nutrients.

Upcoming Events

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Food & Nutrition Conference & Expoexternal link disclaimer
October 21, Atlanta, GA
ODS scientists Cindy Davis and Kathryn Camp will speak at a session titled The Human Gut Microbiome: Its Impact on Nutrition and Health. Paul Thomas and Kathryn Camp will speak at the session titled Dietary Supplements: Choosing Safe, Effective, and High-Quality Products.

DNA Methods for Quality Control of Botanical Productsexternal link disclaimer
October 23–24, Rockville, MD
Joseph Betz is a member of the Scientific Organizing Committee of this U.S. Pharmacopeial (USP) Convention workshop cosponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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.

To receive ODS Update via email, join the ODS listserv.

ODS Update is not copyrighted and is in the public domain. If you copy or distribute its content, please credit the NIH Office of Dietary Supplements and include the publication title and date. Do not use our information in any way that suggests we endorse any product or service.

About ODS

The Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS) is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the principal biomedical and behavioral research agency of the United States Government. NIH is a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Contact Us

Office of Dietary Supplements
National Institutes of Health
6100 Executive Blvd., Room 3B01
Bethesda, MD 20892-7517

Email: [email protected]
Web site: http://ods.od.nih.gov