ODS Update - Winter 2018

ODS Update: A Newsletter for Professionals from the Office of Dietary Supplements, National Institutes of Health
Winter 2018

Now Available: Fact Sheet on Dietary Supplements for Exercise and Athletic Performance

Man swimming

The Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS) continues to expand its information resources for health professionals and consumers with science-based fact sheets on a variety of topics. The newest ODS fact sheet, Dietary Supplements for Exercise and Athletic Performance, describes what is known about the effectiveness and safety of many ingredients in dietary supplement products—sometimes called ergogenic aids—that claim to improve strength or endurance, increase exercise efficiency, achieve a performance goal more quickly, and increase tolerance for more intense training.

Like ODS’s fact sheet on Dietary Supplements for Weight Loss, this fact sheet covers more than 20 ingredients found in these products. Both fact sheets will increase in length as ingredients are added. Just recently, ODS added six more ingredients to the Dietary Supplements for Weight Loss fact sheet. These fact sheets are available in a health professional version, and in English and Spanish consumer versions.

New dietary supplement fact sheets are also now available on biotin, choline, and omega-3 fatty acids with versions for both health professionals and consumers. In addition, the health professional fact sheet on black cohosh for menopausal symptoms has been completely revised and updated.

2017 Dietary Supplement Research Practicum Presentations Available Online

ODS Director Dr. Paul Coates and 2017 Practicum Director Dr. Regan Bailey ODS Director Dr. Paul Coates and 2017 Practicum Director Dr. Regan Bailey

The 2017 edition of the ODS Mary Frances Picciano Dietary Supplement Research Practicum can now be viewed as an online course. All 21 presentations by experts who study, advocate, regulate, or educate about dietary supplements have been posted on YouTube. Our experts are from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), academic institutions, federal regulatory agencies, the dietary supplement industry, consumer advocacy groups, and the media.

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News You Can Use

Funding Opportunities

  • Administrative Supplements for Validation Studies of Analytical Methods for Dietary Supplements and Natural Products (Admin Supp): PA-17-447
  • Administrative Supplements for Research on Dietary Supplements (Admin Supp) to provide supplemental funding for investigating the role of dietary supplements and/or their ingredients in health maintenance and disease prevention: PA-17-307

ODS's Webpage for Health Professionals

man and woman looking at laptop

The ODS website has a dedicated webpage designed for health professionals, providing up-to-date, evidence-based information on dietary supplements from ODS and other sources.

ODS Seminar Series

ODS hosts a monthly seminar series at which experts speak about their research related to dietary supplements. The seminars take place from 11 a.m. to noon in the first floor conference room of 6100 Executive Boulevard and may also be viewed remotely via webinar. At the next seminar on January 10, 2018, Jeremiah J. Faith, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Immunology Institute, Institute for Genomics and Multiscale Biology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY, will speak on his research on deciphering interactions between diet and dietary supplements, gut microbes, and host physiology. To receive notices of future seminars and webinar instructions, contact ODS at ODS@nih.gov.

Have a question about dietary supplements?

woman studying dietary supplements on a shelf

ODS provides general information about dietary supplement ingredients in response to questions from consumers, health professionals, students, and others. While ODS cannot answer specific medical questions, make referrals, or give personal guidance on the use of dietary supplements, ODS’s registered dietitians on staff reply to each inquiry and give useful, scientific, and evidence-based information. Send your questions about dietary supplements to: ODS@nih.gov.


ODS Staff News
Claudia Faigen

Claudia D. Faigen, M.A., joined ODS as Senior Communications Specialist in January 2017. She serves as the media relations coordinator for the office and communications advisor to ODS programs and initiatives. She also contributes to, and coordinates the production of, the ODS e-newsletters, Update and Scoop. Before joining ODS, Ms. Faigen was a Senior Associate with ICF International. She has worked as a communications consultant to ODS since 2005. Ms. Faigen received her M.A. in journalism from the University of Maryland, College Park, and her B.A. in communications from Rutgers University.

Jaime Gahche

Jaime Gahche, M.P.H., joined ODS in January 2017 as a Nutritional Epidemiologist with the Population Studies Program. Her work focuses on assessing the use of dietary supplements in the United States and investigating the role of dietary supplements in disease prevention and health promotion, using data from health surveys and epidemiologic studies. Prior to joining ODS, Ms. Gahche was a Nutritional Epidemiologist in the Division of Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, where she oversaw the dietary supplement component of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Ms. Gahche received her M.P.H. from The George Washington University and her B.S. in nutritional sciences from Cornell University. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Nutrition and Food Science at the University of Maryland, College Park.

ODS Staff Receive OD Honor Awards

The 2017 NIH Office of the Director (OD) Honor Awards Ceremony on November 15 recognized ODS staff for the development and launch of the mobile version of the Dietary Supplement Label Database. The awardees were Richard Bailen, M.B.A., M.H.A.; Johanna Dwyer, D.Sc., R.D.; Nancy Potischman, Ph.D.; and Leila Saldanha, Ph.D., R.D. ODS’s Abby Ershow, Sc.D., R.D., also received an OD Honor Award for her exceptional contributions as a leader and member of the writing group for the National Nutrition Roadmap.

Recent ODS Staff Publications

ODS staff members regularly publish papers addressing key issues in dietary supplement and related research. Five recent publications are found below. For a complete list, see the ODS website: Staff Publications.

Kuszak AJ, Espey MG, Falk MJ, Holmbeck MA, Manfredi G, Shadel GS, Vernon HJ, Zolkipli-Cunningham Z. Nutritional interventions for mitochondrial OXPHOS deficiencies: mechanisms and model systems. Annu Rev Pathol 2017 Nov 3. doi: 10.1146/annurev-pathol-020117-043644. [Epub ahead of print]

Brannon PM, Stover PJ, Taylor CL. Integrating themes, evidence gaps, and research needs identified by workshop on iron screening and supplementation in iron-replete pregnant women and young children. Am J Clin Nutr. doi:10.3945/ajcn.117.156083. Epub 2017 Oct 25.

Yetley EA, DeMets DL, Harlan WR Jr. Surrogate disease markers as substitutes for chronic disease outcomes in studies of diet and chronic disease relations. Am J Clin Nutr 2017 Nov;106(5):1175–1189. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.117.164046. Epub 2017 Oct 11.

Saldanha LG, Dwyer JT, Andrews KW, Brown LL, Costello RB, Ershow AG, Gusev PA, Hardy CJ, Pehrsson PR. Is nutrient content and other label information for prescription prenatal supplements different from nonprescription products? J Acad Nutr Diet 2017 September. doi: 10.1016/j.jand.2017.04.002. Epub 2017 May 29.

Brooks SPJ, Sempos CT. The importance of 25-hydroxyvitamin D assay standardization and the Vitamin D Standardization Program. JAOAC Int 2017 Sept 1;100(5): 1223–1224. doi: 10.5740/jaoacint.17-0129. Epub 2017 May 11. It is one of 17 papers published in a special section of the September/October issue of the Journal of AOAC International on the Vitamin D Standardization Program and assessing vitamin D status.

ODS Media Appearances

Rebecca Costello, Ph.D., was interviewed by two media outlets about her article in the November 2016 issue of the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Do cinnamon supplements have a role in glycemic control in type 2 diabetes? A narrative review:

  • The Washington Post by Tamar Haspel for her article, “You can spend a lot on ‘true’ cinnamon, but does it taste better than the rest,” published October 23.
  • Nutrition Action Healthletter by David Schardt for his article, “Spice of Life: Take two cups of ginger tea and call me in the morning,” published June 2017.

Carol Haggans, M.S., R.D., was quoted in the Las Vegas Sun Sunday magazine story, “A beginner’s guide to dietary supplements,” by Michael Lyle, published June 25.

Leila Saldanha, Ph.D., R.D., was interviewed by several media outlets about her study, Is nutrient content and other label information for prescription prenatal supplements different from nonprescription products? published in the September issue of the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics:

  • Reuters’ writer Lisa Rapaport for her article, “Nonprescription prenatals may be more potent,” published June 2.
  • Nutrition Insight editors for their article, “Prenatal supplements study suggests industry should review formulations,” published August 31.
  • Pharmacist’s Letter and Prescriber’s Letter editors for their articles published in August.

Paul Thomas, Ed.D., R.D.N., was quoted about biotin for fingernail health in the New York Times article, “Should I take a vitamin for brittle nails?” by writer Alice Callahan, published March 3. Dr. Thomas was also quoted by Bradley J. Fikes for his article, “71% of Americans take dietary supplements, but do we need to?” published in the San Diego Union-Tribune on May 5.

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: ods@nih.gov
Website: http://ods.od.nih.gov