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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: USDA NATIONAL NUTRIENT DATABANK FOR FOOD COMPOSITION

Location: Nutrient Data

Title: Online Dietary Supplement Resources

Authors
item Saldanha, Leila -
item Dwyer, Johanna -
item Andrews, Karen -
item Bailey, Regan -
item Gahche, Jaime -
item Hardy, Constance -
item Holden, Joanne
item Picciano, Mary -
item Roseland, Janet -
item Thomas, Paul -
item Wolf, Wayne -

Submitted to: Journal Of The American Dietetic Association
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 30, 2010
Publication Date: September 24, 2010
Citation: Saldanha, L.G., Dwyer, J.T., Andrews, K., Bailey, R., Gahche, J.J., Hardy, C., Holden, J.M., Picciano, M.F., Roseland, J., Thomas, P., Wolf, W.R. 2010. Online Dietary Supplement Resources. Journal Of The American Dietetic Association. 110(10):1426-1431.

Interpretive Summary: Nutrition professionals must know how to effectively access the Internet for reliable nutrition information. This article lists website sources of dietary information and other nutrition information, including brief descriptions, to assist dietitians and others in obtaining reliable information. The online resources discussed provide specific information about dietary supplements, such as composition, research on supplement benefits and risks, labeling regulations and policy, branded and generic products, advertising, and claims. Evaluating the credibility of websites is also discussed, with suggested web-based resources. Dietitians and other researchers will find a new calculator developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to be helpful for obtaining estimates of nutrient levels present based on analysis as compared to label information, since analytical data indicate that the actual content of nutrients in dietary supplements can deviate from label declarations, at times by more than 40%. Together, these resources can help dietitians and other health professionals determine Internet sources of valid and reliable information about dietary supplements.

Technical Abstract: The Internet is becoming an increasingly popular tool for finding nutrition-related information; therefore, nutrition professionals must know how to use it effectively. This article describes websites that dietitians and other health professionals can use to obtain reliable information on dietary supplements and other nutrition topics. These online resources provide both general and more specific information about dietary supplements, such as their composition, research on their benefits and risks, regulations and policy that govern their labeling, advertising, and claims. Since analytical data indicate that the actual content of nutrients in dietary supplements can deviate from the label declarations by more than 40%, dietitians and other users will find a new calculator from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, part of the Dietary Supplement Ingredient Database, useful for obtaining estimates of analyzed nutrient levels compared to label information. Together, these resources can help dietitians and other health professionals determine sources of valid and reliable information about dietary supplements on the web.

Last Modified: 9/20/2014
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