ODS Update May 2023

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NIH ODS Update: A NEWSLETTER FOR HEALTH PROFESSIONALS - Strengthening Knowledge and Understanding of Dietary Supplements

May 2023

News You Can Use

2022 Office of Dietary Supplements Annual Report Available

supplements in Flask

The year 2022 was a time of transition for the Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS). With the retirement of Acting Director Joseph M. Betz, Ph.D., the Division of Program Coordination, Planning, and Strategic Initiatives (DPCPSI) appointed David M. Murray, Ph.D., as the new Acting Director, while he also serves as NIH Associate Director for Prevention and Director of the Office of Disease Prevention. The search for a permanent director continues and ODS will update its strategic plan when a new director is in place. In the meantime, we are pleased to release the 2022 Annual Report, which summarizes the work of ODS and addresses the priorities identified in the 2017–2021 strategic plan. As always, we look forward to continuing to fulfill our mission to support, conduct, and coordinate scientific research and provide intellectual leadership for the purpose of strengthening the knowledge and understanding of dietary supplements to foster an enhanced quality of life and health for the U.S. population.

Resilience and Immune Health

Immune supplements

In February 2023, ODS scientists, Drs. LaVerne Brown and Rebecca Costello, teamed up with scientists from Operation Supplement Safety to launch a new podcast series—Under the Magnifying Glass: Immune Health. The podcasts discuss a range of topics related to dietary supplements marketed to support or improve immune health, including the evidence surrounding their ingredients and exploring the perspective of whole person health and resilience outcomes. 

In the podcasts, Dr. Brown, Dr. Costello, and other experts address common questions about immune health supplements, such as, what do you look for on a product label? Are the claims made on product labels and in advertisements backed by science? What are some tips for choosing dietary supplement products wisely? Listen now to the podcasts.

The podcast series was born out of the team’s research on dietary supplement products for immune health and their ingredients, which was recently published in Nutrients and Journal of Integrative and Complementary Medicine. 

ODS Dietary Supplement Research Practicum—Registration OPEN!

ODS Practicum Logo

Registration is now open for the 2023 Mary Frances Picciano Dietary Supplement Research Practicum to be held virtually, May 22–24, 2023. The three-day practicum will provide a thorough overview and grounding about issues, concepts, unknowns, and controversies about dietary supplements and supplement ingredients. The practicum will also emphasize the importance of scientific investigations to evaluate the efficacy, safety, and value of these products for health promotion and disease prevention and will discuss how to carry out this type of research. This practicum is free and open to all, although it is particularly geared toward faculty, graduate students, and research practitioners in health-related disciplines such as nutrition, food science, pharmacy, pharmacology and pharmacognosy, exercise science and kinesiology, medicine, dentistry, nursing, and complementary and alternative medicine. The deadline to register is Monday, May 15, 2023, at 11:59 p.m. (ET).

ODS Playlists Now on DPCPSI YouTube Channel

You can find the following video recordings on DPCPSI YouTube Channel:

  • ODS General Playlist includes the presentation, The Science of Bouncing Back from Health Stressors and the Duke Pepper Model of Physical Resilience by Heather Whitson, M.D., Duke University, NC (February 2022).
  • ODS Seminar Series Playlist includes the presentation, Exploring Compound Interactions in Botanical Supplements Using NP Analyst by Professor Roger Linington, Simon Fraser University, BC, Canada (October 2022).

New/Revised ODS Dietary Supplement Fact Sheets

ODS Co-Funding Opportunities

Researcher with Plants

ODS provides funding support to the NIH Institutes, Centers, and Offices (ICOs) through its co-funding program. Co-funding allows ODS to share the costs of NIH extramural dietary supplement-related research project grants, training and career development grants, and scientific conferences, with primary ICOs. See the list of active ODS co-funding opportunities.

Learn more about ODS’s co-funding opportunities.


Portrait of Joseph M. Betz

ODS Staff News

Joseph M. Betz, Ph.D., retired from ODS on December 31, 2022, and now serves as an NIH special volunteer. Dr. Betz was appointed Acting Director of the ODS in June 2018 and served in this capacity until his retirement. Since his retirement, he has been elected to the American Botanical Council Board of Trustees. Dr. Betz received a Lifetime Achievement in Collaboration Award from American Herbal Products Association. (See Dr. Betz’s full bio.)

Portrait of Gretchen Vannice

Gretchen Vannice, M.S., R.D.N., joined ODS in December 2022 as a Scientific and Health Communications Consultant (contractor). She is primarily responsible for writing and updating the ODS dietary supplement fact sheets for health professionals and consumers. (See Ms. Vannice’s full bio.)

Portrait of Edwina Wambogo

Edwina Wambogo, Ph.D., M.P.H., R.D., joined ODS in January 2023 as a Nutritional Epidemiologist in the ODS Population Studies Program. Her work focuses on dietary assessment, assessing dietary patterns, food security, child nutrition, and nutrition in aging, using data from health surveys and epidemiologic studies. (See Dr. Wambogo’s  full bio.)

Portrait of Anne Thurn

Anne Thurn, ODS Communications Program Director, Retires

Anne L. Thurn, Ph.D., retired on December 31, 2022. She served as Director of ODS Communications Program from 2004 to 2022. In this role, Dr. Thurn oversaw development of evidence-based information products, the ODS website and other materials to inform and educate the public, health care providers, and scientists about the benefits and risks of dietary supplements. In addition to revolutionizing the ODS communications program, Anne served as the indispensable right hand of the ODS Director for the better part of two decades.

Dr. Thurn joined ODS in 2002 as the first Director of the ODS Evidence-Based Review Program and lead efforts to prioritize topics for evidence-based reviews with NIH institutes and centers. She oversaw ODS-sponsored evidence reviews performed by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s Evidence-based Practice Center Program.

Before joining ODS, Dr. Thurn worked in several capacities for the NIH National Cancer Institute (NCI) from 1992 to 2001, including her last position at NCI as Director of the Cancer Information Products and Systems (CIPS) program. As CIPS Director she had responsibility for all activities and operations of the program, including the Cancer.gov website. Dr. Thurn received her Ph.D. from the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology at Columbia University in New York and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Georgetown University in Washington, DC.

Claudia Faigen, M.A., Senior Communications Specialist, has been named ODS Communications Program Director.

ODS Staff Publications

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

Crawford, C, Brown, LL, Costello, RB, Deuster, PA. Immune supplements under the magnifying glass: An expert panel develops priorities and evidence-based recommendations for future research regarding dietary supplements. J Integr Complement Med. 2023 Mar 1.

Hill, C, Tancredi, DJ, Cifelli, CJ, Slavin, JL, Gahche, J, Marco, ML, Hutkins, R, Fulgoni, VL 3rd, Merenstein, D, Sanders, ME. Positive health outcomes associated with live microbe intake from foods, including fermented foods, assessed using NHANES database. J Nutr. 2023 Feb 21;S0022-3166(23)12622-8.

Costello RB, Lindsey AT, Deuster PA. Challenges in Reporting Adverse Events From Dietary Supplements. Nutr Today Mar/Apr 2023;58(1):p 34-38.

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

Microphone and megaphone

ODS in the Media

Carol Haggans, M.S., R.D. was quoted in the Health.com article, Before You Buy Magnesium Supplements From TikTok, Here’s What You Need to Know, written by Julia Landwehr. She was also quoted in the FactCheck.org article, Taking Folic Acid, Not Other Folates, Is Recommended to Reduce Risk of Defects, by Kate Yandell.

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