ODS Update - Winter 2017

ODS Update: A Newsletter for Professionals from the Office of Dietary Supplements, National Institutes of Health
Winter 2017

ODS Releases Strategic Plan for 2017–2021

ODS Releases Strategic Plan

As the Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS) begins its 22nd year of operation, it has released a strategic plan for the years 2017–2021. Titled Strengthening Knowledge and Understanding of Dietary Supplements, this document presents a refreshed set of goals, strategies, and activities that ODS plans for the next 5 years. It also provides a review of ODS activities and accomplishments between 2010 and 2016, and includes examples of ODS collaborative projects and programs and summaries of its extramural investments.

“ODS has achieved remarkable progress in advancing research and—equally important—translating the results of that research into valuable information for use by scientists, policymakers, health professionals, industry, and consumers,” remarked ODS Director Paul M. Coates, Ph.D., in his introduction to the plan. “As ODS moves forward with future endeavors,” he concluded, the question that guides ODS will be, “What are the key emerging public health priorities that should drive our work?”

The ODS Strategic Plan 2017–2021 is available as a PDF on the ODS website.

2016 ODS Scholars Symposium

The ODS Scholars Symposium, held on November 21, was an opportunity to learn about exciting research results from ODS’s second cohort of scholars. After a welcome by ODS Director Dr. Paul Coates and an overview by the ODS Research Scholar Program’s Director, Cindy Davis, Ph.D., presentations were made by ODS scholars Zhihong Yang, Ph.D., from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, Moon-Suhn Ryu, Ph.D., from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disorders, and Srujana Golla, Ph.D., from the National Cancer Institute. The symposium poster session (see photos below) showcased other dietary supplement research conducted within the federal government.

The ODS Scholars Symposium
News You Can Use

ODS Fact Sheets

ODS continues to expand its library of science-based facts sheets with the Omega-3 Fatty Acids Fact Sheet for Health Professionals. A consumer version is being prepared in both English and Spanish.

grilled tuna

Have a question? Ask ODS

woman studying dietary supplements on a shelf

ODS provides general information about dietary supplement ingredients in response to questions it receives from consumers, health professionals, students, and others. While we cannot answer specific medical questions, make referrals, or give personal guidance on the use of dietary supplements, registered dietitians Carol Haggans, M.S., R.D., and Joyce Merkel, M.S., R.D., personally reply to each inquiry and give useful, scientific, and evidence-based information.


ODS Staff News
Kathryn Camp, M.S., R.D.

Kathryn Camp, M.S., R.D., ODS Senior Scientific Policy Analyst and consultant, retired this past December. Ms. Camp, who joined ODS in 2010, developed ODS’s initiative with the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) Office of Rare Diseases Research to understand and evaluate nutrition and dietary supplement interventions used to treat inborn errors of metabolism (NDSI-IEM). Ms. Camp served as a Scientific Advisor to the North American Mitochondrial Diseases Consortium, part of the NIH Rare Diseases Clinical Research Network.

Most recently, Ms. Camp was responsible for organizing an international workshop titled Nutritional Interventions in Primary Mitochondrial Disorders: Developing an Evidence Base. The workshop has resulted in the formation of several workgroups to tackle the research challenges in this field, as well as publications, which can be found on the NDSI-IEM webpage.

Ms. Camp is a founding member and former President of Genetic Metabolic Dietitians International, an association of health professionals who care for individuals with inherited metabolic disorders. She was elected to the Society of Inherited Metabolic Disorders’ Board of Directors in March 2015.  She has been active in the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She was selected to co-author the Academy’s position paper on nutritional genomics published in 2014.

Prior to coming to NIH, Ms. Camp spent 20 years in the departments of pediatrics at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and Georgetown University Medical Center providing clinical care to infants, children, and adolescents with genetic metabolic disorders. She is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland.

LaVerne L. Brown, Ph.D.

LaVerne L. Brown, Ph.D., joined ODS in August 2016 as an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Fellow. Dr. Brown’s primary focus is on botanical supplements. She participates with several ODS staff on projects and activities that may help to identify knowledge gaps with respect to botanical supplement contents and use. She also works to encourage better methods for thorough product characterization to improve the ability to compare, reproduce, and replicate published research results. Dr. Brown plans to become involved in studies on dietary supplements that may enhance understanding of common health disparities among minority populations.

Dr. Brown is a former Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry, and founder and Director of the Center for the Study of Complementary and Alternative Medicine, at the University of the Virgin Islands. She has also been a Visiting Research Fellow at Eli Lilly Pharmaceutical Company and a Research Assistant Professor at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

Dr. Brown received her Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Virginia Commonwealth University. Her research interests have included the isolation and chemical characterization of active molecules from natural products, and the design and synthesis of novel small molecules to better understand the role of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in neurological disorders. She is motivated to empower decision-making by health care professionals and consumers, and to promote diversity in the biomedical workforce.

Recent ODS Staff Publications

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

  • Yetley EA, MacFarlane AJ, Greene-Finestone LS, Garza C, Ard JD, Atkinson SA, Bier DM, Carriquiry AL, Harlan WR, Hattis D, King JC, Krewski D, O’Connor DL, Prentice RL, Rodricks JV, Wells GA. Options for basing Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) on chronic disease endpoints: report from a joint US-/Canadian-sponsored working group. Am J Clin Nutr 2016 Dec 7. doi 10.3945/ajcn.116.139097.

    A multidisciplinary working group sponsored by the Canadian and U.S. government DRI steering committees met from November 2014 to April 2016 to identify options for addressing key scientific challenges encountered in the use of chronic disease endpoints to establish reference values. The working group focused on three key questions: (1) What are the important evidentiary challenges for selecting and using chronic disease endpoints in future DRI reviews, (2) what intake-response models can future DRI committees consider when using chronic disease endpoints, and (3) what are the arguments for and against continuing to include chronic disease endpoints in future DRI reviews? This report outlines the range of options identified by the working group for answering these key questions, as well as the strengths and weaknesses of each option. This paper will serve as a cornerstone for discussions currently underway by a National Academies Panel and will be used in the development of future DRI efforts.
  • Manson JE, Brannon PM, Rosen CJ, Taylor CL. Vitamin D deficiency—is there really a pandemic? N Engl J Med 2016 Nov 10;375(19):1817–1820.

    In this perspective piece, the authors explain a common misapplication of the vitamin D nutrient reference values that results in inflated estimates of the number of persons at risk for vitamin D deficiency. These inflated estimates are, in turn, cited as evidence that there is a pandemic of vitamin D deficiency. Such misunderstandings can have adverse implications for patient care—including unnecessary vitamin D screening and supplementation as well as escalating health care costs due to overscreening and overtreatment. The authors clarify the meaning and application of the reference values as they relate to both population health and clinical practice.
  • Camp KM, Krotoski D, Parisi MA, Gwinn KA, Cohen BH, Cox CS, Enns GM, Falk MJ, Goldstein AC, Gopal-Srivastava R, Gorman GS, Hersh SP, Hirano M, Hoffman FA, Karaa A, MacLeod EL, McFarland R, Mohan C, Mulberg AE, Odenkirchen JC, Parikh S, Rutherford PJ, Suggs-Anderson SK, Tang WH, Vockley J, Wolfe LA, Yannicelli S, Yeske PE, Coates PM. Nutritional interventions in primary mitochondrial disorders: developing an evidence base. Mol Genet Metab 2016 Nov;119(3):187–206. doi: 10.1016/j.ygme.2016.09.002.

    This publication summarizes the December 2014 workshop, Nutritional Interventions in Primary Mitochondrial Disorders: Developing an Evidence Base. Co-sponsored by ODS, the workshop explored the use of nutritional interventions in primary mitochondrial disorders and identified knowledge gaps regarding their safety and efficacy; identified research opportunities; and called for forging collaborations among researchers, clinicians, patient advocacy groups, and federal partners.
  • Ershow AG, Goodman G, Coates PM, Swanson CA. Assessing iodine intake, iodine status, and the effects of maternal iodine supplementation: introduction to articles arising from 3 workshops held by the NIH Office of Dietary Supplements. Am J Clin Nutr 2016 Aug 17;104(Suppl 3). pii: ajcn111161. 

    This 14-article supplement to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition summarizes the results of three workshops on iodine nutrition which took place in 2014 as part of the ongoing ODS Iodine Initiative. The primary purpose of the workshops was to consider the data and resources necessary to evaluate the clinical and public health benefits and risks of maternal iodine supplementation in the United States.

Recent ODS Staff Presentations

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

  • American Society for Nutrition
    November 17, 2016
    Paul Coates gave a webinar presentation titled NIH Research Activities Addressing the National Nutrition Research Roadmap 2016–2021.
  • Public Responsibility in Medicine and Research
    November 13–16, 2016, Anaheim, CA
    Paul Coates gave a presentation titled The Role of the ODS/NIH in Dietary Supplement Research at the Advancing Ethical Research Conference on November 15.
  • American Heart Association 2016 Scientific Sessions
    November 12–16, 2016, New Orleans, LA
    Abby Ershow and Rebecca Costello co-moderated a session titled Dietary Supplements and CVD Health—Vitamins, Minerals, Omega-3 Fatty Acids, and Dietary Bioactives, and Dr. Costello presented Herbals and Other Botanical Supplements and CVD Risk.
  • American Herbal Products Association Analytical Laboratories, Botanical Raw Materials, and Standards Committees Joint Meeting
    October 6, 2016, Las Vegas, NV
    Stephen Wise gave a presentation titled Development of Reference Materials for Dietary Supplements—Update on the NIH\ODS and NIST Collaboration.
  • National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
    September 13–14, 2016, Washington, DC
    Cindy Davis gave a presentation titled Nutrition and the Microbiome at the Food Forum Workshop on September 13.

ODS Media Appearances

Carol Haggans, M.S., R.D., was interviewed by Prevention Magazine writer Sarah Klein about dietary supplements and bone health on September 15. Ms. Haggans also was interviewed on November 16 by HoneyColony.com about nutritional needs for the new mother and the potential dangers of taking excess nutrients for Health Radar on December 1.

Paul Thomas, Ed.D., R.D.N., provided information about Recommended Dietary Allowance values for healthy, nonpregnant women age 19–50 for Rachael Ray Every Day magazine on November 28.

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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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
Website: https://ods.od.nih.gov