ODS Update - January 2010

ODS Update

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

January 2010

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News You Can Use

ODS Strategic Plan for 2010–2014 Just Released
As the ODS begins its 15th year of operation, it has released a strategic plan for the years 2010–2014. Titled Strengthening Knowledge and Understanding of Dietary Supplements, the document presents a fresh evaluation of the goals, strategies, and activities that ODS plans for the next 5 years. It also provides a review of ODS programs and progress from the past 6 years (2004–2009). The document includes examples of ODS collaborative projects and programs and summaries of its extramural investments.

The four goals ODS has established for 2010–2014 are as follows:

Goal 1: Provide intellectual leadership by fostering research to analyze and evaluate the role of dietary supplements in promoting health and reducing the risk of disease.

Goal 2: Expand the scientific knowledge base on dietary supplements by funding new research and training.

Goal 3: Support the development of research tools for the study of dietary supplements.

Goal 4: Make the most up-to-date scientific knowledge about dietary supplements publicly available.

ODS Director Paul Coates notes that "this document was developed from a year's worth of reflection on the return on our investments and what new challenges await."

The ODS Strategic Plan 2010–2014 is available as a PDF on the ODS Web site.

ODS Introduces Consumer-Oriented Fact Sheets
For several years, ODS has maintained a library of fact sheets on various ingredients in dietary supplements, primarily vitamins, minerals, and herbs. These fact sheets, directed to health care providers, provide detailed overviews of supplement ingredients and extensive lists of references.

ODS is now introducing two consumer-oriented fact sheets on vitamins and minerals: Consumer and Consumer versions. More user-friendly, they will provide the same types of information as the Health Professional versions—information on the nutrient and its functions in the body, recommended intakes, sources, symptoms of inadequate intakes and groups at risk, links between the nutrient and health, excessive intakes and their risks, and potential interactions with medications. When viewed online, these fact sheets will have scientific terms highlighted; clicking on a term will show its definition.

The Consumer version is written for the educated, health-conscious layperson without a background in nutrition or medicine. Limited in length to approximately five pages, it takes a "just the facts" approach without extensive detail and background. This version is also appropriate for the busy health care provider who wants a quick review and update of knowledge on a particular nutrient.

The Consumer version provides a brief and basic overview of a nutrient. It is limited in length to two pages and is very easy to read.

Consumer and Consumer versions are now available for zinc. Consumer-oriented fact sheets on vitamin B12, vitamin C, vitamin D, calcium, and other nutrients will be added in the future.

New Funding Opportunities for Research
ODS collaborates on funding initiatives across NIH and with other agencies through mechanisms such as Requests for Applications (RFAs), Program Announcements (PAs), and notices. In the past two months, ODS has signed onto several new RFAs, PAs, and notices. These and others can be found on the ODS Web site.

ODS Programs and Activities

Save the Date: ODS 15th Anniversary Research Symposium on November 4, 2010
ODS will hold a 1-day symposium in Bethesda, Maryland, to highlight some of the activities in support of its mission "to strengthen knowledge and understanding of dietary supplements by evaluating scientific information, stimulating and supporting research, disseminating research results, and educating the public." ODS is in the process of developing a symposium agenda and identifying speakers for this event. Further details will be provided in a later edition of this newsletter and on the ODS Web site.

ODS Staff News

Dr. Joseph Betz Gives Presentation at NIH on Challenges in Researching Dietary Supplements
Joseph Betz, director of the ODS Dietary Supplements Methods and Reference Materials program, gave a talk titled Technical and Regulatory Challenges to Biomedical Research on Dietary Supplements on January 11 at a lecture series sponsored by the NIH National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM). A videocast of his 1-hour presentation including questions and discussion is available online.

Recent ODS Staff Publications

Jody S. Engel and Mary Frances Picciano. Dietary supplements: who's taking what? Clinical Nutrition Insight 35(12):1-4, December 2009.

Pothur R. Srinivas, Martin Philbert, Tania Q. Vu, Qingrong Huang, Josef L. Kokini, Etta Saos, Hongda Chen, Charles M. Peterson, Karl E. Friedl, Crystal McDade-Ngutter, Van Hubbard, Pamela Starke-Reed, Nancy Miller, Joseph M. Betz, Johanna Dwyer, John Milner, and Sharon A. Ross. Nanotechnology research: applications in nutritional sciences. Journal of Nutrition 140(1):119-124, January 2010.

Regan L. Bailey, Kevin W. Dodd, Jaime J. Gahche, Johanna T. Dwyer, Margaret A. McDowell, Elizabeth A. Yetley, Christopher A. Sempos, Vicki L. Burt, Kathy L. Radimer and Mary Frances Picciano. Total folate and folic acid intake from foods and dietary supplements in the United States: 2003–2006. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 91(1):231-237, January 2010.

Upcoming Events (February – April 2010)

Preventive Medicine 2010
Annual Meeting of American College of Preventive Medicine
February 17–20: Crystal City, VA
Web site: http://www.preventivemedicine2010.org

ODS will have an exhibit booth at this conference.

Economic Analysis of Nutrition Interventions: Methods, Research, and Policy Workshop
February 23–25: Bethesda, MD
Web site: http://ods.od.nih.gov/News/NutritionInterventionsWorkshop.aspx

A 2-day workshop to examine the potential benefits of health economic analysis as applied to nutrition-focused research and policy is being sponsored by ODS, the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), the National Cancer Institute (NCI), and the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR). This workshop will identify the health economic methods used to judge burden of illness, interventions, and healthcare policies; determine what new research methodologies are available or needed; identify current and planned evidence-based health economic research activities in nutrition at federal agencies and in other countries; and evaluate how economic analysis can help with nutrition policy decision-making by regulators and policy makers. Seating at this workshop is limited and advanced registration is required. Visit the Web site for registration information and more details on this workshop.

NIH Consensus Development Conference
Lactose Intolerance and Health
February 22–24: Bethesda, MD
Web site: http://consensus.nih.gov/2010/lactose.htm

The NIH Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and NIH Office of Medical Applications of Research (OMAR) will convene this Consensus Development Conference to assess the available scientific evidence related to lactose intolerance and health. ODS is one of the conference sponsors.

American Pharmacists Association Annual Meeting and Exposition
March 13–15: Washington, DC
Web site: http://www.aphameeting.orgexternal link disclaimer

ODS will have an exhibit booth at this conference.

Developments in Botanical Dietary Supplement Research from 1994 to Today
March 23: Chicago, IL
Web site: http://www.uic.edu/pharmacy/about_the_college/news_and_events/events/botanicalsymposium2010.phpexternal link disclaimer

Paul Coates will give a talk titled Synergism Between ODS and NCCAM. Joseph Betz will give a presentation titled Constituents of Botanicals: Accuracy, Precision and Reliability of Chemical Measurement. Christine Swanson will moderate a roundtable discussion titled Future Trends.

NIH State-of-the-Science Conference
Preventing Alzheimer's Disease and Cognitive Decline
April 26–28: Bethesda, MD
Web site: http://consensus.nih.gov/2010/alz.htm

The NIH National Institute on Aging (NIA) and OMAR will convene this State-of-the-Science Conference to assess the following:

  • Available scientific evidence related to the factors associated with the reduction of risk of Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive decline in older adults;
  • Relationships between the factors that affect Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive decline;
  • Therapeutic and adverse effects of interventions to delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease;
  • Therapeutic and adverse effects of interventions to improve or maintain cognitive ability, or preserve cognitive function; and,
  • What studies need to be done that could provide the quality and strength of evidence necessary to make such recommendations to individuals.

ODS is one of the conference sponsors.


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.