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Database for Dietary Ingredient Content of Dietary Supplements

Scientists from the Agricultural Research Service’s (ARS) Nutrient Data Laboratory, part of the Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center, and the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) Office of Dietary Supplements, in collaboration with other federal agencies, earlier this year updated and released a database that validates the content of popular dietary supplements — the Dietary Supplement Ingredient Database Version 3.0 (DSID-3). Analytically-derived national estimates of dietary ingredient levels in 4 categories of dietary supplements were published in the DSID-3. Vitamin and mineral levels in adult, children and non-prescription prenatal multivitamin/mineral supplements (MVMs) and fatty acid levels for EPA, DHA and ALA in omega-3 fatty acid supplements were reported.

The DSID project was initiated in 2004 with the identification of priority product categories and ingredients based on prevalence reports from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) and other national surveys. The highest priority category is MVMs, which are reported to be taken by 40% of adult survey respondents. Dietary supplement ingredients were prioritized for analysis based on public exposure, public health significance, research needs, and the availability of validated analytical methods and reference materials.

The DSID-3 provides access, for the first time, to analytically-validated estimates of the dietary ingredient content for non-prescription prenatal MVMs and omega-3 fatty acid supplements. These estimates were derived from the chemical analysis of representative non-prescription prenatal MVMs and omega-3 fatty acid supplements. Updated estimates of dietary ingredient content of both adult and child MVMs also are included.

Research nutritionists translate what people eat into nutrients consumed based on data collected during national dietary intake surveys and studies. The DSID-3 is designed to help researchers estimate nutrient intakes from dietary supplements, which can be combined with information about the foods and fluids people consume. Other dietary supplement databases contain label information only; so the DSID-3 is uniquely valuable for its validation of dietary ingredient content.

A new DSID Botanical Initiative to analyze dietary ingredients in high consumption botanical dietary supplements is underway. The first botanicals to be analyzed will be green tea and flavonoid-containing dietary supplements. A pilot study evaluating the analytical content of green tea dietary supplements for bioactive components (focusing on catechins and caffeine) is already in progress.

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