ODS Update - Spring 2015

ODS Update: A Newsletter for Professionals from the Office of Dietary Supplements, National Institutes of Health
Spring 2015

Table of Contents

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New Release of Dietary Supplement Ingredient Database


In March, new research data were added to the Dietary Supplement Ingredient Database (DSID), a federal database that supplies estimated levels of ingredients in dietary supplement products sold in the United States. This third release, DSID 3.0, provides analytically derived estimates of the vitamins and minerals in nonprescription prenatal supplements as well as estimates of the fatty acids alpha-linoleic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in omega-3 fatty acid supplements. This release also brings updated analytically derived estimates of the levels of vitamins and minerals in adult and children’s multivitamin-mineral products.

The DSID provides researchers with data they can use to improve total nutrient intake assessments (from foods and dietary supplements) of the U.S. population. It was developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Nutrient Data Laboratory at the Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center in collaboration with ODS and other federal agencies. The DSID is funded in large part by ODS. It is one of several federal databases that provide complementary tools to increase knowledge and information about dietary supplements and their role in nutrition and public health.

News You Can Use
diet pills with tape measure

New ODS Fact Sheets

Dietary Supplements for Weight Loss: Fact Sheet for Health Professionals reviews the efficacy and safety profiles of 18 common ingredients—ranging from bitter orange to yohimbe—found, in various combinations, in the majority of weight-loss dietary supplements in the U.S. marketplace. It also describes the Food and Drug Administration’s regulation of these products and offers guidance on choosing a sensible approach to weight loss. The fact sheet for consumers will soon be available.

Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet on Thiamin (Vitamin B1) is now available in two versions—for health professionals and consumers.

Vitamin K Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet for Health Professionals is available, with a consumer version to come soon.

salt shaker

New on Our Website: The ODS Iodine Initiative

Iodine is an essential nutrient and a component of thyroid hormone. ODS developed an Iodine Initiative in 2011 in response to concerns that some pregnant women may have inadequate intakes of this nutrient at a time of high physiologic demand.

The ODS website now includes a section on the Iodine Initiative that provides an overview of iodine nutrition issues, details of meetings and other activities, and scientific literature references. Although severe iodine deficiency is rare in the United States, it can cause a lower-than-average IQ in infants and children, decreased ability to work and think clearly in adults, and birth defects in newborns. Little is known, however, about the health effects of suboptimal iodine status. ODS activities in iodine nutrition focus on supporting research and methodology development, to help understand how best to improve iodine status in individuals at low to moderate risk of deficiency.

Dr. Abby Ershow, ODS Senior Nutrition Scientist, directs the Iodine Initiative. She is new to ODS, so see our welcome to her below in the section on ODS Staff News.

View NIH VideoCast of March Dietary Reference Intakes Workshop

The Dietary Reference Intakes (DRI) Committees of the U.S. and Canadian governments held the workshop, “Options for Consideration of Chronic Disease Endpoints for DRIs,” on March 10–11 at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Lister Hill Auditorium. Organized by ODS and Health Canada’s Bureau of Nutritional Sciences and Office of Nutrition Policy and Promotion, the workshop is now available for viewing on the NIH VideoCast website:

ODS Staff News

Abby G. Ershow, Sc.D., R.D., FAHA, joined ODS in December as a Senior Nutrition Scientist. One of her main responsibilities is to direct the ODS Iodine Initiative, which to date has held several workshops on research needs for assessing iodine intake and status, and also for evaluating outcomes related to inadequate intakes of this nutrient. Dr. Ershow is a member of a transgovernmental writing group that is preparing a National Nutrition Research Roadmap report. She comes to ODS from the NIH National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, where she served as an Extramural Program Director in nutrition from 1989 through 2014. Dr. Ershow received her Sc.D. degree in nutrition, physiology, and biostatistics from the Harvard School of Public Health and the Certificate in Public Leadership from the Brookings Institution. She is a registered dietitian and a Fellow of the American Heart Association.

Abby G. Ershow, Sc.D., R.D., FAHA
Johanna Dwyer, D.Sc., R.D.

ODS Senior Nutrition Scientist Johanna Dwyer, D.Sc., R.D., is the recipient of the 2015 Excellence in Nutrition Education Award, presented by the American Society for Nutrition on March 29 in Boston at the annual Experimental Biology meeting. This award is given for outstanding contributions to teaching nutrition. In addition to consulting at ODS, Dr. Dwyer is a Professor of Medicine (Nutrition) and Community Health at the Tufts University Medical School, an Adjunct Professor of Nutrition at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy (Tufts), and a Senior Scientist at the Jean Mayer/USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts.

Joyce Merkel, M.S., R.D., ODS Communications Support Contractor, received a Distinguished Achievement Award from Kelly Government Solutions, her employer, for her work redesigning and launching the Analytical Methods & Reference Materials (AMRM) Program webpages and for developing a searchable database for more efficient access to the AMRM Program resources.

Joyce Merkel, M.S., R.D.
Kathryn Camp, M.S., R.D., C.S.P

Kathryn Camp, M.S., R.D., C.S.P., ODS Scientific Policy Analyst, has received her third Distinguished Achievement Award from Kelly Government Solutions, her employer, for her work at ODS. This particular award highlighted her efforts to mobilize the academic metabolic disease community around the topic of nutritional interventions for the management of patients with rare inborn errors of metabolism.

Leila G. Saldanha, Ph.D., R.D., received a Distinguished Achievement Award from Kelly Government Solutions, her employer, for her expert and creative contributions to ODS, including coordination of redesigned webpages for the Analytical Methods & Reference Materials Program, and her technical assistance to the database program officer and the database committee of the Dietary Supplement Label Database.

Leila G. Saldanha, Ph.D., R.D.


Recent ODS Staff Publications

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

Recent ODS Staff Presentations

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

ODS Media Appearances

Paul Coates was interviewed on camera by Bryce Sage

Paul Coates, Ph.D., was interviewed on camera by Bryce Sage, writer and director of a 1-hour documentary on dietary supplements to be aired in the fall on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s documentary series The Nature of Things. Dr. Coates was asked questions on the need for various vitamins and minerals as well as the science behind the development of minimum nutrient requirements, recommended allowances, and safe upper limits of intake.

Regan Bailey, Ph.D., R.D., gave an interview to Shereen Lehman, a writer for Reuters, about her published study which found that the use of multivitamin-mineral supplements is associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease mortality among women in the United States. The Reuters article was published on February 18 and widely syndicated.

Cameron Scott, a reporter for the online publication Healthline, interviewed Carol Haggans, M.S., R.D., about if and when taking dietary supplements might be of value, especially products such as multivitamin-minerals, vitamins C and D, and various non-nutrient supplements such as fish oil and probiotics. Mr. Cameron’s article was published online on March 19.

Carol Haggans, M.S., R.D., was also interviewed by Mandy Li, a reporter for the international travel magazine Crave—Hong Kong & Macau: Adventures in Gastronomy. Ms. Haggans answered questions about dietary supplement use for people when they’re traveling. The final article appears in the April issue of the magazine.

Paul Thomas at 900AM-WURD

On March 28, Paul Thomas, Ed.D., R.D.N., spoke on what you need to know about taking dietary supplements with WURD-radio host Glenn Ellis on his live call-in show Information Is the Best Medicine. 900AM-WURD is the African American owned and operated talk-radio station in Philadelphia, PA.

Upcoming Events

Public Meeting on Assessing Safe Use of Folic Acid
May 11–12, NIH Natcher Conference Center, Bethesda, MD
ODS and the National Toxicology Program of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences will hold a public expert panel meeting at NIH to identify research needs for assessing the safe use of high intakes of folic acid. ODS Director Paul Coates will give the welcome address, and Regan Bailey, ODS nutritional epidemiologist, will speak on Sources of Folic Acid and Supplement Use.

Liver Injury From Herbal and Dietary Supplements
May 4–5 NIH Lister Hill Auditorium, Bethesda, MD
ODS Director Paul Coates will speak at this NIH-sponsored meeting on the Scope of Herbal and Dietary Supplements. Joseph Betz, Director of the ODS Analytical Methods and Reference Materials Program, will speak about Known Botanical Hepatotoxins.

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 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: ods@nih.gov
Web site: http://ods.od.nih.gov