Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


  1. What is new or different with the new version of the DSLD?
  2. How do I report errors?
  3. What are my options to search and download my search results in the DSLD?
  4. What are my download options regarding DSLD data?
  5. Can I save my search preferences, so the site remembers my preferences the next time i visit the site?
  6. How are dietary supplement product labels selected for entry into the DSLD?
  7. How do I submit labels to the Dietary Supplement Label Database?
  8. What is the difference between a Dietary Supplement and a Dietary Ingredient?
  9. How do I download the full data set of DSLD?
  10. How do I use the DSLD via API (beta)?

1. What is new or different with the new version of the DSLD?

This version of DSLD is mobile-friendly, meaning that it can be used on a variety of devices, from desktop computers to smart-phones. The site has also been redesigned to improve upon the search and download features. For example, a quick search feature is now available on the home-page so users can more easily search the contents of the entire site. New technology is now being used for searches in labels, ingredients, and manufacturers to recognize and adjust for differences in user spelling and punctuation. In addition, downloadable content is now consistently presented in sortable, filterable tables with easy to recognize export buttons located above each table.

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2. How do I report errors?

If something is not working on DSLD, use the Report Error link which can also be found at the top right of all pages to email us the problem.

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3. What are my options to search and download my search results in the DSLD?

There are currently five ways users can search for a label(s) in the DSLD:

  1. Search by Ingredients - search for labels based on specific ingredients listed on a product’s label.
  2. Search by Products - search for labels associated with specific products.
  3. Search by Manufacturer - search for labels based on the manufacturer, distributor, or packager of the product.
  4. Quick Search - perform a comprehensive search that compiles and displays results from the above three searches. In addition, quick search also displays the following results:
    • All brands that contain the user-provided search term
    • Any information on a product label that contains the user-provided search term
    The quick search option is a feature located at the top of each page in the DSLD web site.
  5. Advanced Search - Allows a user to customize and filter search results. While performing an advanced search, the user can query by any combination of the following categories:
    • Ingredients - Search for products by ingredient name, location, and amount present on a given label
    • Ingredient Category - Search for products in a specific ingredient category
    • Product Name - Search for products by name and database source
    • Category Codes (LanguaL™) - Search for products based on LanguaL™ codes (a standard set of categorization codes assigned to each label)
    • Label Statement or Health Claims - Search for products with a specific label statement or health claim
    • Manufacturer, Distributor, Package, or etc. - Search for products by a certain manufacturer, distributor, or packager

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4. What are my download options regarding DSLD data?

To download data, use the button located at the top of each result table that reads "Export to Excel". Clicking this button will trigger an excel download of the current queried results in the table. Note that if a query returns zero results, the resultant excel download will contain zero records.

Downloads of full ingredient and product data sets can be found in the following two locations under the "Help Menu" tab in the navigation bar:

  1. On the Search and Download page under the heading "General Download Instructions"
  2. On the FAQ page under the heading "How do I download the full data set of DSLD?"

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5. Can I save my search preferences, so the site remembers my preferences the next time i visit the site?

This feature is currently not available in the DSLD.

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6. How are dietary supplement product labels selected for entry into the DSLD?

Labels in the DSLD are sourced primarily through a program where manufacturers submit labels on a periodic basis to the group that curates the database. The DSLD also sources labels used in national surveys, such the National Health and Nutrition and Examination Survey, and labels Federal partners would like to see incorporated in the database.

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7. How do I submit labels to the Dietary Supplement Label Database?

The DSLD contains database records label text and label images for all dietary supplements sold in the U.S. Food or other nutrition products that are not labeled as dietary supplements are not included. However, there are some exceptions. Supplements sold by prescription only are included in the DSLD, especially if these products were consumed by NHANES participants.

Under contract with the NIH, the Therapeutic Research Center (TRC) uses a variety of methods to obtain dietary supplement product labels; including working directly with manufacturers, distributors, packagers, and resellers. TRC will engage manufacturers directly in its Manufacturers Connect program for obtaining and subsequently maintaining dietary supplement product labels.

Manufacturers are encouraged to submit inquiries for dietary supplement product inclusion to the Therapeutic Research CenterExiting NLM Site.

Consumers can submit inquiries for dietary supplement product inclusion to ODSComments@mail.nih.gov.

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8. What is the difference between a Dietary Supplement and a Dietary Ingredient?

The Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA) defined a dietary supplement and permitted the addition of dietary ingredients if they meet the Act’s requirements (1) A dietary ingredient is a vitamin; a mineral; an herb or other botanical; an amino acid; a dietary substance for use by man to supplement the diet by increasing total dietary intake; or a concentrate, metabolite, constituent, extract, or combination of any of the above dietary ingredients. In contrast, a dietary supplement contains one or more dietary ingredients and is limited to products that are intended for ingestion in tablet, capsule, powder, softgel, gelcap, and liquid form, that are not represented as a conventional food or as the sole item of a meal or of the diet, and are labeled as dietary supplements.

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9. How do I download the full data set of DSLD?

A full data set of DSLD is now downloadable via the following links:

SOURCE:
DSLD, Search and Download - General Download Instructions

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10. How do I use the DSLD via API (beta)?

Release version 6.1 of the DSLD contains a beta implementation of a web application programming interface (API). The API offers 2 functions: an interface to the 'Quick Search' and the capability to get an individual label's information.

  1. Quick Search: This functionality is accessibly under /api/qsearch via an HTTP post. Either use a form variable 'searchterm' or supply a JSON object containing the search query term under the key 'searchterm'.
    Example: http://dsld.nlm.nih.gov/dsld/api/qsearch?searchterm=mega

    Output Contains: results from five searches for the term 'mega' which includes the labels (DSLD ID and name) associated for each of the quick searches performed. It is structured similarly to the quick search page where the first four sections search either the product, brand, ingredient, or contact names. The last section searches anywhere on the label, listing the text found along with the area in which the information was found in.

  2. Label Details: This functionality is accessibly under /api/label/ via an HTTP post. Append the id of the label requested to the url.
    Example: http://dsld.nlm.nih.gov/dsld/api/label/36924

    Output Contains: the details for label A.C. Grace Company - UNIQUE E(R) (DSLD ID: 36924). The results will be structured similarly to the excel download.

The JSON output formats are not final at this time but are oriented to the output of the web application. At present, please inspect the returned JSON with a tool of your choice.

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