Nearly half of US adults report taking dietary supplements. A single serving of a DS may contain amounts of nutrients or other bioactives that exceed their concentration in foods. During the manufacturing of DS, ingredients may be added in amounts exceeding the label claims in order to compensate for losses during shelf life. However, these amounts are not standardized for specific ingredients or among the different manufacturers. As a result, the actual ingredient amounts are unknown to consumers and researchers. Epidemiological studies of nutrient intake and health currently use the manufacturer’s label as the source of information on ingredient content in dietary supplements.
In order to develop a tool to more accurately estimate intakes from dietary supplements, the Agricultural Research Service (ARS)/ The Methods and Application of Food Composition Laboratory (MAFCL), and the National Institutes of Health (NIH)/Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS) collaborate to optimize and expand the Dietary Supplement Ingredient Database (DSID; https://dsid.usda.nih.gov), an analytically validated database for high priority ingredients in dietary supplement products. For national DSID studies, representative supplement products are purchased and tested by experienced laboratories for their ingredient content. The goals for the DSID project are to:
1. Establish reliable analytically predicted estimates of ingredient content in dietary supplement products
2. Compare analyzed levels of ingredients to labeled values provided by manufacturers, if available
3. Improve dietary intake assessments by providing data files and online calculators that adjust label values into analytically predicted amounts.
Analytically verified DSID estimates are based solely on the labeled level for each product category and are not brand or supplement specific. They can be used to replace labeled levels for specific dietary supplement categories to improve the accuracy of ingredient intake assessment in public health studies.
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.
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 highest priority category is multivitamin/minerals (MVMs), which are reported to be taken by 40% of survey respondents (2003-2006 NHANES; >20 years old).
For the study results in DSID-4, data are reported by ingredient and product category across a range of labeled levels. Results predicted by regression for the mean percent difference from label and 95% confidence intervals have been linked to NHANES products by ingredient level. This research tool provides information which complements the USDA-ARS National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference (SR) used to support assessment of intake from foods and the USDA modernized food composition database system, FooDS, (currently under development, https://ndb.nal.usda.gov) and the label information in the NIH/ODS’s Dietary Supplement Label Database (DSLD), which includes label information for >46,000 dietary supplements sold in the United States.
Research methodologies and results are published in scientific journals and presented at scientific conferences. Click here for a list of DSID publications and presentations.