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Nutritional Systematic Reviews

The medical and clinical communities have effectively used systematic reviews to develop clinical and public health practice guidelines, set research agendas, and develop scientific consensus statements. However, the use of systematic reviews in nutrition applications is more recent and limited. The Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has been proactive and developed and evidence-based review program using the EPC program established by AHRQ, as part of a congressional mandate to review the current scientific evidence on the efficacy and safety of dietary supplements and identify research needs (http://ods.od.nih.gov/Research/Evidence-Based_Review_Program.aspx). To date, this program has sponsored 17 evidence reports on a range of supplement-related topics including B vitamins, ephedra, multivitamin/mineral supplements, omega-3 fatty acids, soy, and vitamin D. ODS is currently sponsoring an augmentation of the vitamin D report published in August 2007 to provide relevant information for a pending Institute of Medicine review of the current Dietary Reference Intakes for vitamin D and calcium. The completed ODS-sponsored evidence reports have resulted in numerous associated publications in scientific journals, have formed the basis for an NIH-sponsored state-of-the-science conference, and have been used to assist in setting research agendas.

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