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ODS Update - November 2009

ODS Update

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

November 2009

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News You Can Use

New USDA Online Interactive Tool:
Recommended Intakes and Safe Levels of Nutrients

Finding the recommended daily intake of a vitamin, or the upper safe level of a mineral, for yourself or someone you counsel typically requires that you look it up in the Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) tables from the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine, National Academies. The ODS Web site links to the tables at

Now that task is made simpler and the results more personalized with the release of a free online tool from the Food and Nutrition Information Center of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. To use the Interactive DRI for Healthcare Professionals, select gender and activity level from a pull-down menu, and enter age, height, and weight. Next, choose from a comprehensive list of macronutrients and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals), or select them all. Click Submit to obtain one or more personalized tables of results. If you checked the boxes to learn your body mass index and daily calorie needs, those figures are provided as well.

Each macronutrient selected is listed by name with the recommended intake per day. The entries for vitamins and minerals list daily recommended intakes and tolerable upper intake levels. An especially nice feature is an active link for each macro- or micronutrient selected. Clicking on the link takes you directly to more information on that nutrient—either to a detailed ODS fact sheet or a MedlinePlus overview from the National Library of Medicine.

Interactive DRI for Healthcare Professionals is available at link disclaimer.

Vitamin C Fact Sheet Now Available
The Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet on Vitamin C ( is the most recent addition to the ODS series of fact sheets on nutrients and other dietary supplement ingredients. ODS fact sheets provide detailed overviews of ingredients in supplements, information on their associations with various health outcomes, and extensive lists of references. Recently updated fact sheets include those on vitamin B12 and vitamin D. All ODS fact sheets are available at

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 2 months, ODS has signed onto several new RFAs, PAs, and notices. These and others can be found on the ODS Web site:

Upcoming Events (December 2009 - January 2010)

Nutrient Biomarkers Analytical Methodology: Vitamin D Workshop
December 16: Bethesda, MD
Web site:

ODS is sponsoring a 1-day workshop to evaluate the state of analytical methods for measuring vitamin D status. The intent of this workshop is to develop strategies for resolving inconsistencies between results obtained from quantitative determination of vitamin D in biological materials (such as blood serum) when different measurement techniques are used. The workshop will consist of presentations and discussion sessions on currently available analytical methods and the interpretation of findings. Knowledge gaps will be identified and a research agenda for future studies will be developed. Seating at this workshop is limited and advanced registration is required. Visit the Web site for registration information as well as workshop details and an agenda.

Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine
7th Annual Natural Supplements: An Evidence-Based Update
January 21-24, 2010: San Diego, CA
Rebecca Costello will present a workshop titled Dietary Supplements Resources: Point of Care Answers for the Busy Clinician on January 23. ODS will have an exhibit booth at this conference.

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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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 commercial product or service.

To contact the Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS), go to the "Contact Us" page of the ODS Web site: