ODS Update Summer 2021

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NIH Office of Dietary Supplements ODS Update - A newsletter for health professionals

Summer 2021

News You Can Use

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Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS) Videocasts Available On Demand

Several additions have been made to the ODS Videos collection. These ODS presentations were recently live-streamed and are available to watch at your convenience on demand:

Dietary Supplements: What You Need to Know, a 1-hour presentation for the public addressing essential facts about vitamin, mineral, and botanical dietary supplements and including a Q&A session.

Designing Resilience Research in the Context of Military Stress, the Trans-NIH Resilience Working Group’s inaugural 1-hour webinar with presentations by researchers from the University of Minnesota Medical School and the Minnesota VA Health Care System.

2021 ODS Dietary Supplement Research Practicum, a 3-day intensive educational program featuring presentations by experts about dietary supplement use in the United States, clinical trials of dietary supplements, botanical dietary supplement research, ODS initiatives to coordinate and catalyze research, and resources to enhance research and disseminate knowledge.

2020 ODS Annual Report

ODS has produced a new strategic plan report to track accomplishments and responsiveness to current and longstanding needs. The 2020 Annual Report provides transparency to the ODS stakeholder community by highlighting program accomplishments and illustrating the many ways our staff work together across their programs to meet ODS’s mission and goals. The accomplishments described in this report were achieved while all staff were teleworking.

Save the Date: ODS’s 25th Anniversary Symposium

ODS Timeline

Registration will open later this summer for ODS’s 25th Anniversary Scientific Symposium, taking place October 25‒26, 2021. The event will feature presentations by dietary supplement experts on the state of the science and will include discussions of the future of dietary supplement research. In the meantime, explore ODS’s history on the ODS Timeline.


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New/Revised ODS Dietary Supplement Fact Sheets

ODS has expanded its library of resources with several new and comprehensively revised fact sheets:

Funding Opportunities

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Learn about ODS’s funding opportunities and research programs.

ODS Seminar Series Fall 2021

ODS hosts seminars on research relevant to dietary supplements and related topics. The seminar series is available by webinar only. Contact ODS to receive viewing information: ODS@nih.gov

Wednesday, September 15, 2021, 11:00 a.m. (ET) 
Immune-Boosting Noise: Supplements and Misinformation in Pop Culture
Timothy Caulfield,  L.L.M., F.R.S.C., F.C.A.H.S.—Health Law Institute, University of Alberta, Alberta, Canada

Wednesday, October 6, 2021, 1:00 p.m. (ET)
Getting the Whole Picture–New Methods for Capturing Food, Beverage and Supplements Intake
Carol J. Boushey, Ph.D., M.P.H., R.D.—University of Hawai’i Cancer Center, Honolulu, HI

Wednesday, November 17, 2021, 11:00 a.m. (ET)
A Guide to Designing Studies of Diet-Microbiome Interactions
Abigail Johnson, Ph.D., R.D.N.—Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, University of Minnesota Twin Cities, Minneapolis, MN

Wednesday, December 8, 2021, 11:00 a.m. (ET)
Supplement Use Among Hispanics/Latinx Living in the US: Evidence from HCHS/SOL and other cohort studies
Ana Maria Siega-Riz, Ph.D.—University of Massachusetts Amherst School of Public Health and Health Sciences, Amherst, MA, and Kim Faurot, PA, Ph.D., MP.H. —University of North Carolina School of Medicine and Gillings School of Global Public Health, Chapel Hill, NC

ODS Staff News

Betz Receives Natural Health Products Research Society of Canada Award


ODS Acting Director Joseph Betz, Ph.D., gave the Neil Towers Award lecture, “Nature exposed to our method of questioning: reliability of natural product measurements” upon receiving the award at the 17th Annual Conference of Natural Health Products Research Society of Canada (NHPRS) in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, on June 15, 2021. The award honoring Neil Towers was established by the NHPRS in 2012. Recipients are individuals who have made significant contributions to natural health products research, regulation, and/or commercialization in Canada and worldwide. Dr. Betz is the first non-Canadian to receive the award.

ASN’s Highest Honor Bestowed

Rebecca Costello, Ph.D., received the American Society for Nutrition’s (ASN) highest honor of Fellow, which recognizes individuals for significant discoveries and distinguished careers in the field of nutrition. ASN said of its Fellows, “As trailblazers in the field, these nutrition leaders are recognized for their lasting contributions, enabling us to further the mission of pursuing a healthier world through evidence-based nutrition. We celebrate them for their legacy and thank them for inspiring the next generation of global nutrition leaders.” Dr. Costello received this recognition at the Nutrition 2021 Live Online conference in early June 2021. ODS honors Dr. Costello’s achievements and congratulates her for this significant award of distinction. To learn more about Dr. Costello’s career, read her ODS bio.

Rebecca Costello

ODS won’t be the same without you...


Cindy D. Davis, Ph.D., Director of Grants and Extramural Activities, has accepted a national leadership role as a program leader for human nutrition at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. She began her new position on July 3, 2021.  “We greatly appreciate the work that Dr. Davis has given the ODS Grant Program, the ODS Research Scholars Program, and leading the Scientific Interest Group on Dietary Supplements, as well as helping to create the ODS health professional fact sheet on probiotics,” said ODS Acting Director Dr. Betz, “We wish Dr. Davis the very best in her new endeavors.”

ODS Staff Publications

ODS staff members regularly publish papers that address key issues in dietary supplement and related research. These are two recent examples:

Gahche JJ, Arensberg MB, Weiler M, Dwyer JT. Opportunities for adding undernutrition and frailty screening measures in US national surveys. Adv Nutr 2021 May 19;. doi: 10.1093/advances/nmab056. Online ahead of print.

Wise SA, Camara JE, Sempos CT, Lukas P, Le Goff C, Peeters S, Burdette CQ, Nalin F, Hahm G, Durazo-Arvizu RA, Kuszak AJMerkel J, Cavalier E. Vitamin D Standardization Program (VDSP) intralaboratory study for the assessment of 25-hydroxyvitamin D assay variability and bias. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol 2021 May 16;. doi: 10.1016/j.jsbmb.2021.105917. Online ahead of print.

Visit the Staff Publications page on the ODS website for a complete list.

ODS in the Media

Barbara Sorkin, Ph.D., was profiled by Leticia Nani Silva for her Frontiers in Science News blog, Dr. Barbara Sorkin: Science is the Most Exciting Puzzle #womeninscience, published on June 11, 2021.

Carol Haggans, M.S., R.D., was interviewed by Sally Wadyka for an article in Consumer Reports titled Should You Take Zinc for a Cold or COVID-19? published on April 6, 2021, which also appeared in the Washington Post as The facts about zinc, the common cold and covid-19, on May 17, 2021.


¿Habla español?

Consulte nuestra información basada en la ciencia para ayudarle a tomar las mejores decisiones para su salud con respecto al uso de suplementos dietéticos.


Have more questions about dietary supplements? Ask the Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS).

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: ods.od.nih.gov/contact.

We’ve Moved

Although we continue to work remotely from home, our ODS office has moved from Executive Boulevard to Rockledge Drive, but still in Bethesda. If you’d like to write to us, please note our new address, below.


About ODS

The Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS) is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the nation’s medical research agency—supporting scientific studies that turn discovery into health.

Contact Us

Office of Dietary Supplements
National Institutes of Health
6705 Rockledge Drive (Rockledge I)
Room 730, MSC 7991
Bethesda, MD 20817

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