Office of Dietary Supplements, National Institutes of Health, USA

Contact person:

Dr. Christopher Sempos


Role in the project:

Lead beneficiary in WP1 (Analytical Platform)
Participant; data analysis in WP9 (Safety)

About Office of Dietary Supplements:

The Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (US Public Law 103-417, DSHEA), authorized the establishment of the Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS) at the NIH. The mission of ODS is to strengthen knowledge and understanding of dietary supplements by evaluating scientific information, stimulating and supporting research, disseminating research results, and educating the public to foster an enhanced quality of life and health for the U.S. population. As part of that mission, ODS leads and sponsors several efforts to advance scientific understanding of the importance of vitamin D to health through its Vitamin D Initiative. These efforts have included: (1) measurement of vitamin D levels in foods(2) assessment of vitamin D status of the U.S. population (3) development of a reference measurement procedure and standard reference materials to precisely measure this nutrient (4) systematic review of scientific literature used in updating the vitamin D recommended dietary allowances and safe levels of intake (5) an international effort to standardize measurement of serum vitamin D levels in populations around the world, i.e. Vitamin D Standardization Program (VDSP). The VDSP was established in November 2010 to promote the standardized laboratory measurement of 25-hydroxyvitamin D – a measure of vitamin D status – in order to improve clinical and public health practice worldwide. This collaboration includes national health and nutrition surveys from eight countries, i.e. Australia, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Mexico, South Korea, UK and USA, the US National Institute for Science and Technology (NIST), the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the International Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (IFCC), American Association of Clinical Chemistry (AACC), and the Vitamin D External Quality Assurance Scheme (DEQAS). To date the VDSP has developed procedures for standardizing current and future measurements of 25(OH)D as well as for standardizing 25(OH)D measurements made in the past as part of national health and nutrition surveys, clinical research, clinical trials and epidemiological studies. VDSP objectives over the next 2 to 3 years are to: (1) Standardize the measurement of serum total 25(OH)D in national health surveys by linking them to the NIST reference measurement procedure (2) Study similarities and differences in total 25(OH)D among national health surveys (3) Expand standardization to include assay manufacturers and clinical and research laboratories.