, Volume 389, Issue 1, pp 19-25,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 31 May 2007

The NIH analytical methods and reference materials program for dietary supplements


Quality of botanical products is a great uncertainty that consumers, clinicians, regulators, and researchers face. Definitions of quality abound, and include specifications for sanitation, adventitious agents (pesticides, metals, weeds), and content of natural chemicals. Because dietary supplements (DS) are often complex mixtures, they pose analytical challenges and method validation may be difficult. In response to product quality concerns and the need for validated and publicly available methods for DS analysis, the US Congress directed the Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to accelerate an ongoing methods validation process, and the Dietary Supplements Methods and Reference Materials Program was created. The program was constructed from stakeholder input and incorporates several federal procurement and granting mechanisms in a coordinated and interlocking framework. The framework facilitates validation of analytical methods, analytical standards, and reference materials.