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New Dietary Supplement Label Database

This summer a new Dietary Supplement Label Database (DSLD) was released to reflect information not only for the consumer, but for researchers, health care professionals, and students.

The goal of the new site is to capture dietary supplement information from nearly 50,000 labels. The initial release will have 17,000 – with 1,000 labels to be added monthly. In comparison, the old DSLD site contained information on over 8,000 products. The new DSLD is a partnership between the Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS) and the National Library of Medicine’s (NLM) Division of Specialized Information Services.

Old DSLD vs. New DSLD

Old DSLD Version

- 8,000 labels
- No label images
- Not indexed with controlled vocabulary
- Data not in public domain
- 1,000 new labels per year
- Data from DeLima Associates

New DSLD Version

- 17,000 labels to start, up to 50,000
- Has  label images
- Uses LanguaL controlled vocabulary
- Data in public domain
- 1,000 new labels per month
- Data and images from Therapeutic Research Faculty (TRF)

Side by Side Comparison

 Results page for Chia Seed in the old DSLD site. Results page for Chia Seed in the new DSLD site

Figure 1 Results page for Chia Seed (old site left, new site right)

More on the New Site

Each label entry will provide a thumbnail image of the product label (see below), the product name, serving size, serving size unit, dietary ingredient, amount/serving size, percentage of daily values, and target groups.

 DSLD Search Page for Chia Seed

Figure 2 Results page for Chia Seed (new site)

  1. Search Box The search box is hidden until you click the down arrow on the Quick Search bar. You can enter an ingredient name or a supplement name. You can also browse by an alphabetical list of ingredients or products, or conduct an advanced search.
  2. Thumbnail Placing your mouse arrow over the thumbnail magnifying glass icon will reveal your label. The image below is from the Vitamin World product label (the second entry above).Thumbnail view of label
  3. Product For each dietary supplement product in the new site, the user can search the DSLD for all products with a specific brand and/or by the product names.
  4. Serving Size One serving of a dietary supplement equals the maximum amount recommended, as appropriate, on the label for consumption per eating occasion, or in the absence of recommendations, 1 unit (e.g., tablet, capsule, packet, teaspoonful, etc). If more than one serving size is listed, that information will be provided.
  5. Serving Size Unit A description of one serving’s form (e.g., tablet, capsule, ml).
  6. Dietary Ingredient “Ingredient” refers to the compounds used in the manufacture of a dietary supplement. For instance, when calcium carbonate is used to provide calcium, calcium carbonate is an “ingredient” and calcium is a “dietary ingredient.”
  7. Amount/Serving Size The names and the quantitative amounts by weight of each dietary ingredient.
  8. % DV Daily Value comprises two sets of dietary standards: Daily Reference Values (DRVs) and Reference Daily Intakes (RDIs). Only the percent Daily Value term appears on the label to make label reading less confusing and to help consumers see how a food fits into an overall daily diet.
  9. DV Target Group Refers to dosage information specific to certain populations such as adults, children, infants, etc.  For supplements, the assumed target is Adults and Children 4 or more years of age.

-          -Dana Abbey, Colorado/Health Information Literacy Coordinator

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