NIH launches Web database for dietary supplement labels

WASHINGTON — The National Institutes of Health announced this week a new Web resource for researchers, healthcare providers and consumers to view the ingredient labels of an estimated 17,000 dietary supplements.

The Dietary Supplement Label Database provides product information in one place that can be searched and organized as desired. "This database will be of great value to many diverse groups of people, including nutrition researchers, healthcare providers, consumers, and others," said Paul M. Coates, Ph.D., director of the NIH Office of Dietary Supplements. “For example, research scientists might use the Dietary Supplement Label Database to determine total nutrient intakes from food and supplements in populations they study."

For consumers, the My Dietary Supplements (MyDS) app from ODS is already available, at https://myds.nih.gov. The app is an easy way to keep track of vitamins, minerals, herbs and other products you take, and has science-based, reliable information on dietary supplements.

By law, any product labeled as a dietary supplement must carry a Supplement Facts panel that lists its contents and other added ingredients, such as fillers, binders and flavorings. The Dietary Supplement Label Database includes this information and much more — such as directions for use, health-related claims and any cautions — from the label.

Hundreds of new dietary supplements are added to the marketplace each year, while some are removed. Product formulations are frequently adjusted, as is information on labels. “The Dietary Supplement Label Database will be updated regularly to incorporate most of the more than 55,000 dietary supplement products in the U.S. marketplace,” said Steven Phillips, M.D., director of the National Library of Medicine’s Division of Specialized Information Services.

The Dietary Supplement Label Database is the result of collaboration between ODS and NLM, with input from federal stakeholders who participate in a federal working group on dietary supplements. It is free of charge and hosted by the National Institutes of Health.


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