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Thursday, July 18, 2013

NIH's Dietary Supplement Label Database

Earlier this summer the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) launched the Dietary Supplement Label Database (DSLD).  This website provides label information from supplement products marketed in the US. The database is easily searchable by ingredient, product name and company name and provides a summary of information on the labels as well as label images.  Based on my casual perusal of the database it is clear that very few of the labels would serve as good examples of compliant labels.  Nevertheless, the database has been made available to help medical professionals and researchers know what products are on the market in the US.  It may also serve as a tool for supplement manufacturers wishing to do a bit of market research.

I contacted the NIH with a few questions about this website and received the following response from Therapeutic Research, the contractor responsible for adding and updating dietary supplement labels for the DSLD:
“The primary way we gather and keep labels up to date is through our Manufacturers Connect program. Through this program, we pair one of our research associates with each manufacturer or distributor of dietary supplements. The research associate will contact the company at least annually to determine if there are new or updated products. Additionally, this provides the manufacturer with a single point of contact through which they can notify us of any changes to their formulations.

We ask manufacturers to send us a current list of all dietary supplement products and a clean image or physical copy of the product label for each of the current products. Then our staff will add all of the new products and review any existing entries to ensure the entire product line is up-to-date in the DSLD. We like to have a point of contact with each manufacturer that we can reach out to with any questions that may come up during the entering/updating process. Manufacturers often reach out to us when a product is launched, reformulated, or goes off market. This allows manufacturers to ensure their entries are current throughout the year and not just during the annual review process.”

You may already know whether your labels have become part of this database. Nonetheless, you may follow this link to view the database:

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