NIH Office of Dietary Supplements opens comment period for 2022-2026 ODS Strategic Plan

ODS supports research and research training on dietary supplements at NIH Institutes, Centers, and Offices.

The Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS) at the National Institutes of Health is now accepting comments on the draft version of its ODS Strategic Plan for 2022-2026. The purpose of the plan “is to identify both new opportunities and emerging needs for incorporation into the programmic efforts of the office,” a press release states. ODS supports research and research training on dietary supplements at NIH Institutes, Centers, and Offices.

The Draft ODS Strategic Plan outlines five primary goals for 2022-2026:

  1. “Expand the scientific knowledge base on dietary supplements and their ingredients by stimulating and supporting a full range of biomedical research and by developing and contributing to relevant initiatives, workshops, meetings, and conferences.”
  2. “Enhance the dietary supplement research workforce through training and career development.”
  3. “Foster development and dissemination of research resources and tools to enhance the quality of dietary supplement research.”
  4. “Translate dietary supplement research findings into useful information and disseminate it to researchers, health professionals, government officials, policymakers, and consumers.”
  5. “Coordinate and support the development of collaborative initiatives to address gaps in dietary supplement research.”

ODS says it is enhancing efforts to collaborate on research on dietary supplements across NIH and with other federal agencies, with the goal of “understanding the knowledge gaps that exist with respect to dietary supplements at a time when dietary supplement usage across the United States continues to grow.”

ODS will also continue prioritizing research on areas of greatest public health importance. Says an ODS press release: “ODS will identify dietary supplement–related public health areas and support innovative research to evaluate the health effects of dietary supplements—primarily for promoting health and reducing the risk of disease—and the underlying biological mechanisms by which they do so.”

It adds: “ODS will fund only research that focuses on legal dietary ingredients (kava, etc.) and will co-fund safety-related applications.”

Research on the microbiome and nutritional interventions will also continue, with ODS seeking “to understand the role of the microbiome in mediating the effects of bioactive components in food and dietary supplements.”

ODS also outlined new initiatives it intends to implement over the next five years. Those include, among others, 1) the establishment of the NIH DSRCC (Dietary Supplement Research Coordinating Committee) “to increase information exchange, communication, and coordination of dietary supplement and total dietary intake research/training activities at the NIH,” 2) to increasingly address diversity and health equity in its investigation, communication, and workforce development activities, 3) expanding “coordination of the development and dissemination of analytical methods including, and extending beyond, the measurement of individual nutrient ingredients in dietary supplement products,” and 4) to “collaborate with FDA, USDA, and other federal partners to standardize reporting in federal databases of ingredients in dietary supplements to increase interoperability between them.”

ODS accepting comments on its draft plan from academics, government, industry members, and other interested parties. Comments can be submitted by e-mailing ODSplan@od.nih.gov by 12:00 PM ET on August 31, 2022.