Modernizing NIH’s Dietary Supplement Label Database (DSLD)
- NIH’s DSLD advances scientific and public understanding of dietary supplements.
- Abt helped redesign and modernize NIH’s DSLD.
- Use of the database continues to grow as more dietary supplements hit the market.
The majority of American adults take dietary supplements, and the market for these products continues to grow. In the U.S., dietary supplements are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as food, not as drugs, and do not require approval or safety testing before they enter the marketplace. That is why Congress called on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Dietary Supplements to create the Dietary Supplement Label Database (DSLD) for tracking and capturing the growing number of supplements to help understand this constantly changing landscape as well as product ingredients and claims.
The DSLD captures all the information printed on more than 178,000 dietary supplement labels and is regularly updated to add new products. Users can search for a product or brand name, an ingredient name, a dietary claim, or more, and find government resources on dietary supplements.
On behalf of NIH’s Office of Dietary Supplements, Abt completed a user-centered redesign and IT modernization of the DSLD to improve user experience and facilitate broader use and sharing of label information. The upgrades include:
- Faster database searches. The streamlined search interface helps users find the labels they need intuitively and efficiently, and the modernized search engine returns complex search results rapidly.
- Better access to data. Custom searches can be downloaded in three different formats, and application developers and data scientists can directly access the latest data via a public application programming interface (API).
- An updated directory of linked dietary supplement resources from federal agencies and other sources.
- A modernized cloud-based platform that is scalable to NIH’s future needs. It takes advantage of many of the federal government's digital service and platform investments, such as cloud.gov, api.data.gov, and the U.S. Web Design System.
The number of DSLD users nearly doubled after the launch of the updated website. With Abt’s support, NIH’s Office of Dietary Supplements continuously tracks use of the DSLD to identify and roll out new features and site enhancements.