Definitions: Terms or phrases that appear in pop-ups


Alternate Names or Synonyms

There are two categories of dietary ingredients that can be listed on dietary supplement labels; those with Daily Values (DVs) (e.g., vitamins and minerals) and those without DVs (e.g., botanicals). There are a variety of ways a manufacturer can list dietary ingredients with and without DVs on the label. These can include the form, i.e., powder, liquid, extract; the synthetic salt in the case of a vitamin or mineral, e.g., ferrous sulfate, ferrous fumarate; or the scientific name in the case of a botanical. In the Ingredient Search, when the user searches for an ingredient, the DSLD will search and return all the synonyms in the DSLD for that ingredient.

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Amount Per Serving

For the DSLD, the "amount per serving" field lists the amount of the specific dietary ingredient found within one serving (i.e. 50 mg in one pill, 10 IU per teaspoon, etc.) as stated explicitly on the label. The DSLD also captures serving information if a product is dual-labeled for more than one group, i.e., adults and children, or more than one serving as consumed, i.e. one scoop vs. two scoops.

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Bar Code

The Bar code is the UPC (Universal Product Code) used to identify products at the point of sale. The UPC should not to be confused with the Stock Keeping Unit (SKU) or the DSLD ID. The SKU number is assigned by retailers and companies to keep track of internal inventory. The DSLD ID is a unique number assigned to labels in the DSLD database.

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Blended Ingredient

The FDA permits the use of blended ingredients or proprietary blends and the option to declare (or not declare) the amount of each ingredient within a blend. If the amount of each ingredient within a proprietary blend is listed within the blend that amount will be listed. If the amount is not listed, "NP" or Not Provided, will be listed for each ingredient.

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Name given by a marketer to a product line. Example of brands include Centrum, One A Day, Equate, GNC Pro Performance.

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Category Codes (LanguaL)

LanguaL™ is a structured, controlled vocabulary for describing, capturing and retrieving data about food. In the DSLD category codes for intended target group (user), product type, product form, and type of claim made on supplement labels are available under Advanced Search. These codes are useful in customizing and filtering searches.

LanguaL™ website: NLM Site.

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Contact, Information

Lists information as printed on the label. This can include the name, address, web address, and/or phone number of the manufacturer or distributor.

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Contact Type

Contact type can be Distributor, Manufacturer, and/or Other depending on the self-describing text located above or before the company name and address for a product. Manufacturer is the name of the company listed on the label. In the database, Manufacturer is used as the contact type when the label states Manufactured or Formulated by. A Distributor is an individual or entity responsible for the distribution and/or marketing of products. A distributor may use an existing manufacturer’s product label, affix their own label, or modify specific aspects of a manufacturer’s label. Other contact type is selected when the self-describing text doesn’t indicate that it’s either a Manufacturer or Distributor. For example: “Imported by” or “Contact us at.”

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Date - Entered into DSLD

The date on which the label information was entered into the DSLD. This date should not be confused with the date the manufacturer introduced the product in the market, which is not captured in the DSLD.

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Date - Off Market

This is the date on which the label in the database was moved to the “off market” designation for research purposes. This date may not always reflect the date the manufacturer discontinued the product. NOTE: Labels in the DSLD are not deleted from the database.

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Dietary Claim or Use

The categorization of label statements related to Dietary Claims. More than one may be applicable if the label has one or more of the following claims listed.

LanguaL Code Description
P0065 Nutrient Content Claims
Nutrient content claims characterize the level of a nutrient in a food using terms such as free, high, and low. They are authorized for nutrients with daily values (DVs).
P0124 Health-Related Claim or Use
Health claims describe a relationship between a food substance (a food, food component, or dietary supplement ingredient), and reduced risk of a disease or health-related condition. These claims meet the significant scientific agreement (SSA) standard or are based on an authoritative statement.
P0264 Qualified Health Claims
Qualified health claims differ from health claims [P0124] as they must be accompanied by a disclaimer or otherwise qualified. These claims are authorized by the FDA, when there is evidence for a relationship between a food substance (a food, food component, or dietary ingredient) and reduced risk of a disease or health-related condition, but not sufficient to meet the significant scientific agreement (SSA) standard.
P0265 Structure/Function Claims and Related Dietary Supplement Claims
These claims that describe the effect a substance has on the structure or function of the body and that do not refer to a disease, e.g., calcium builds strong bones. These claims are not pre-approved by the FDA, as a result there is no official list of approved claims, and all claims they must carry the disclaimer, “This statement has not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease."
P0115 Other Ingredient- or Constituent-Related Claim or Use
All other claims, like "not intended for ---", warning statements, allergen related, and etc.
P0276 No Dietary Claim or Use
Used when no dietary claims appear on the product labels.

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Dietary Ingredient

By regulation, a dietary supplement must contain one, or any combination, of the following substances: 1) a vitamin, 2) a mineral, 3) an herb or other botanical, 4) an amino acid, 5) a dietary substance for use by people to supplement the diet by increasing the total dietary intake, and/or 6) a non-nutrient or non-botanical (i.e. concentrate, metabolite, constituent, or extract of one of the ingredients listed above). Not all dietary ingredients have Daily Values (DVs). Those in categories 3, 4 and 6 and many in category 5 for example, do not have daily values.

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DRIs (Dietary Reference Intakes)

DRIs are nutrient reference values developed by the National Academies Food and Nutrition Board (FNB) and are intended for healthy people. These values, which have been established for 22 age, gender and condition groups, include:

  1. Estimated Average Requirement (EAR): average daily nutrient intake level estimated to meet the requirements of half (50%) of the healthy individuals in a group.
  2. Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA): average daily level of intake sufficient to meet the nutrient requirements of nearly all (97%-98%) healthy people.
  3. Adequate Intake (AI): established when evidence is insufficient to develop an RDA and is set at a level assumed to ensure nutritional adequacy.
  4. Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL): maximum daily intake unlikely to cause adverse health effects.

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DRI (Dietary Reference Intakes) Life Stage Group(s)

Many products in the DSLD are formulated to meet the needs of a specific user group, such as adult females (18-50 years old), seniors/mature individuals (>50 years) or menopausal women. These product labels include dosage information specific for these groups. The DRI Life Stage Groups should not be confused with the Daily Value (DV) groupings used in the labeling of products.

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This is a unique identifier specific to the DSLD database. IDs are assigned regardless of whether the product is on market (currently produced) or off market (no longer produced). DSLD ID numbers are not reused.

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DV (Daily Value)

The FDA has established only four sets of DVs for labeling of foods and dietary supplements: 1) adults and children 4 years and older, 2) children 1 through 3 years, 3) infants 1 through 12 months, and 4) pregnant and lactating women. Additional information about Daily Values.

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FDA Disclaimer Statement

This statement is mandatory for structure/function or nutritional support statements and cannot be modified: "These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease." NOTE: Unlike health claims, these statements are not FDA approved, and thus there is no official list of statements that appear on product labels.

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FDA Statement of Identity

FDA regulations require that all dietary supplement products must be labeled as a "dietary supplement," contain "dietary supplement" as part of a longer statement of identity e.g., "cod liver oil liquid dietary supplement," or have the word "dietary" deleted and replaced by another appropriately descriptive term identifying the contents of the product, such as "calcium supplement," "herbal supplement," or "herbal supplement with vitamins."

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Ingredient Categories

These search filters are available under the Advanced Search, and are designed to reflect how ingredients in the DSLD are categorized and coded. Ingredient Sources/Forms are classified under the parent ingredient categorization. For example, “Vitamin A (as retinyl palmitate);” “retinyl palmitate” is coded as a Vitamin ingredient.

Ingredient CategoryDefinition
Amino Acid

Includes individual amino acids OR the specific mixture of branched-chain amino acids (leucine, valine, and isoleucine). Other combinations of amino acids are coded as Blends.

Animal Part or Source

Any product or ingredient that originally came from an animal that does not fit into another category.

Will include animal-derived glands, actual animals, parts of animals, extracts from animals, milk, colostrum, bovine serum, butter, eggs, beeswax, etc.

Bacteria Any type of individual bacteria or a mixture of species from the same genus.
Blend Blend or Proprietary Blend title names. Examples: Fish-Free Omega Blend, Multi-Color Whole Food Blend, 7 Phase Thermogenic Complex, Advanced Pump Matrix, etc.

A plant, part of a plant, or extract of a plant/part.

Also includes algae, fungi, molds, as well as ingredients that are not botanicals but are eaten as food (e.g. mushroom, seaweed, spirulina, chlorella, etc.)

Complex Carbohydrate

Chains of monosaccharides (polysaccharides) from plants/animals/fungi/bacteria that would not otherwise belong in 'fiber'.

Any carbohydrate that is not defined as a sugar or fiber.

Enzyme A protein that speeds up chemical reactions in the body.
Fat Any lipid product that would not otherwise be included in ‘fatty acid’.
Fatty Acid Fatty acids are the building blocks of fats that can either be saturated and unsaturated. There are three major classes of unsaturated fatty acids: omega-3 (examples, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)), omega-6 (example, arachidonic acid) and omega-9.
Fiber An indigestible polysaccharide portion of plants (dietary fiber). As defined by FDA regulation, non-digestible soluble and insoluble carbohydrates (with 3 or more monomeric units), and lignin that are intrinsic and intact in plants; isolated or synthetic non-digestible carbohydrates (with 3 or more monomeric units) determined by FDA to have physiological effects that are beneficial to human health.
Hormone A product produced by humans/animals that is known to regulate physiology or behavior in humans.

A naturally-occurring, stable inorganic compound (think periodic table).

FDA: A solid homogeneous crystalline chemical element or compound that results from the inorganic processes of nature.

Protein A protein or amino acid-containing product that would not otherwise belong in ‘amino acids’ or ‘enzymes’ and is used as a protein.
Sugars May be a single simple sugar, e.g., a monosaccharide, such as glucose, fructose, and galactose, or two simple sugars joined together by a chemical bond, a disaccharide, such as table sugar (glucose and fructose).

An organic compound labeled a vitamin and essential to humans. Also coded as vitamins are added ingredients intended to serve as a vitamin and precursor vitamins.

FDA: Any of various organic substances that are essential in minute quantities; act especially as coenzymes and precursors of coenzymes in the regulation of metabolic processes, but do not provide energy or serve as building units; and are present in natural foodstuffs or are sometimes produced within the body.

Non-Nutrient/Non-Botanical Any chemical that does not otherwise belong in any other section (besides “Other”), e.g., sugar alcohols.
Other Any product or ingredient that does not otherwise fit into any category.
TBD To be determined. This term is used to temporarily categorize dietary ingredients, pending further review for final classification.

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Ingredient - Group

Related dietary ingredients, which include alternate names (synonymous) and precursors are grouped together in the DSLD. Each ingredient group is assigned an ID number. Ingredient groups are categorized at the parent level.

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Ingredient - Nutrient Name and Source

This is the name of a nutritive substance or ingredient listed on the label. Source ingredients that supply a dietary ingredient may be identified within the supplement facts label in parentheses immediately following or indented beneath the name of a dietary ingredient and preceded by the words "as" or "from," e.g., "calcium carbonate" as the source for "Calcium (as calcium carbonate).”

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Ingredient - Nutrient CAS#

Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) number is a unique numerical identifier assigned to every chemical substance. (see: NLM Site)

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Ingredient - Nutrient IUPAC nomenclature

The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry's Standardized naming of inorganic and organic chemistry

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Intended Target Group(s)

The FDA has established four sets of Daily Values (DVs) for labeling of foods and dietary supplements. Search options available in the Advanced Search that allow the user to narrow results by these four FDA defined intended user groups.

LanguaL Code Description
P0250 Adults and Children 4 or More Years of Age
P0192 Children 12 months - Less Than 4 Years of Age
P0266 Infants/Children < 12 mths (1 yr.)
P0253 Pregnant and lactating women

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Label Statements

In the DSLD statements printed on labels are grouped into one of ten groups under the Statements tab

  1. Attributes, including intended target group(s): Indicates intended users classified by their life stage or dietary needs or restrictions based on information provided on the label. For example: Pregnant women, Seniors, Children, Kosher, Dairy-Free, Vegan, etc.
  2. Brand Intellectual Property (IP) Statement Information: Many products include after their brand name a symbol that indicates the Brand name, and often a specific statement about the product, are protected as corporate intellectual property (IP). Examples include symbols such as ©, ™, (SM), ® and wording such as "Quik-Sorb (R) is a registered trademark of Bio-Botanica (R) Inc."
  3. FDA Disclaimer Statement: This is the mandatory statement that must accompany structure/function claims printed on labels.
  4. FDA Statement of Identity: FDA regulations require that all dietary supplement products must be labeled as a "dietary supplement," contain "dietary supplement" as part of a longer statement of identity e.g., "cod liver oil liquid dietary supplement," or have the word "dietary" deleted and replaced by another appropriately descriptive term identifying the contents of the product, such as "calcium supplement," "herbal supplement," or "herbal supplement with vitamins."
  5. Formulation: Label statements that describe the cultivation, collection, manufacturing, or processing of the ingredients contained in the dietary supplement product. Formulation subtypes include Kosher, contains or does not contain, Type (i.e. specific age, gender, or life stage group or multiple groups), homeopathic, organic, vegetarian/vegan, or other. Warnings are coded under Label Statements, Precautions.
  6. Other: Any label statements that contain specific advertising and/or simplified scientific or clinical language related to the dietary supplement product. These statements may also assert the quality of the dietary supplement product, or other customer-specific and manufacturing information.
  7. Precautions: These label statements contain cautions, special conditions for use (e.g. instructions for the safe and responsible use of the dietary supplement product), and unexpected reactions or interactions with foods or other ingested products. These statements may be general in nature or specified for age groups (children, elderly etc.), life stages (pregnancy, lactation, etc.), interactions with prescription medication, presence or potential contact with specific known allergens during product production, or any other precautions for a specific sub-group or actions to take if adverse effects are perceived after ingestion. Examples include: "Do not use this product during pregnancy and lactation"; "Avoid this product if you are allergic to yeast"; "DO NOT USE IF SEAL IS BROKEN"; " Discontinue use and consult a doctor if adverse reactions occur". Or the following statement, which is mandatory on all iron-containing supplements:
    WARNING: Accidental overdose of iron-containing products is a leading cause of fatal poisoning in children under 6. Keep this product out of reach of children. In case of accidental overdose, call a doctor or poison control center immediately.
  8. Product Specific Information (i.e. Storage Instructions): Label statements are included in this category if they provide information about the appropriate method for storage and handling of the dietary supplement product; i.e., control of temperature, sunlight, moisture, etc. Example: "Avoid leaving in direct sunlight", "keep refrigerated" or "store in a cool, dry place."
  9. Seals/Symbols: On the label there may be specific information and an image presented as a formal seal with related language asserting a quality parameter or certification organization associated with the dietary supplement product. The presence of such a seal does not have to be approved by any government agency nor are any assertions that accompany such a seal necessarily verified by a government agency.
  10. Suggested/Recommended/Usage/Directions: These label statements provide information related to the daily amount, timing and other usage instructions for the dietary supplement product.

    Example: "SUGGESTED USE: One capsule daily with a meal, as a dietary supplement."

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Location on Labels

Dietary Ingredients must be listed within the Supplement Facts label. When a dietary ingredient is listed under “ingredients” or “other ingredients” below the Supplements Facts label, it is generally the source or alternate name for that ingredient or the list of inactive ingredients or excipients.

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Multi-Pack ID

Is the DSLD ID which relates products together that contain two or more separately packaged dietary supplements that differ in content from each other. For example, if the product has a packet of supplements to be taken in the morning and a different packet to be taken in the afternoon or taken at the same time, such as a prenatal multi-vitamin and mineral and a prenatal DHA supplement. SOURCE: FDA - Nutrition labeling of dietary supplements [21 CFR 101.36(e)(8)]Exiting NLM Site

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Net Contents Quantity/Units

For the DSLD, the "net contents quantity" field within the product description is equal to the total number of units included in the container as explicitly stated on the label. Values must be greater than zero, and must be whole numbers when serving size unit (see below) is discrete (e.g. tablets, capsules, softgels), but may contain decimals when serving size unit is measured in non-discrete units (e.g. milliliters, ounces).

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NHANES (National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey)

The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) assesses the health and nutritional status of adults and children in the U.S. NHANES is conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).

NHANES collects data on use of vitamins, minerals, herbals, and other dietary supplements from all survey participants. The DSLD includes product labels reported for all products reported by survey participants starting with the 2011-2012 NHANES survey. Information on how NHANES collects information on participants' usage of dietary supplements, is available at NLM Site

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NHANES [Supplement] ID

NHANES labels have unique identifiers assigned to them by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). While NHANES labels are assigned a DSLD ID, the NHANES supplement ID is also included so that label information may be linked with NHANES participant data by the NHANES supplement ID, DSDSUPID. For more information on how NCHS assigns NHANES ID's, please see the 'Data Processing and Editing' section of the Data Documentation, Codebook, and Frequencies for any given years survey available at NLM Site

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On Market

Product Labels are grouped either on or off market, which can be searched together or independently in the DSLD via the Advanced Search page:

  • On Market DSLD: Product labels marketed (sold) at the time the database was last updated.
  • Off Market DSLD: Product labels that were previously sold; discontinued products or formulas. (historical data)

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Outer Packaging

"Outer Packaging" is a product description field specific to the DSLD. This field will have the response selection of "present/not present" and identify whether the dietary supplement product container is marketed with an outer carton of any type.

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Product Name

For each dietary supplement product in the DSLD, the product name is identified from the main label. In a separate field in the database, but linked to the name, is the product Brand. The user can search the DSLD for all products with a specific brand and/or by the product names.

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Product Trademark

Product trademark is a distinctive symbol used to identify that the products for which the trademark appears originate from a unique source, and to distinguish products of one entity from those of other entities. A trademark is a type of intellectual property.

SOURCE: U.S. Patent and Trade OfficeExiting NLM Site

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Product Type

The categorization of products based on the listed ingredients within the Supplement Facts label.

LanguaL Code Description
A1302 Vitamin
Product contains only vitamins, which includes: vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin K, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, folate, vitamin B12, pantothenic, biotin, and choline.
A1299 Mineral (or Element)
Product contains only minerals (or elements). Examples include: calcium, chromium, copper, fluoride, iodine, iron, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, phosphorus, selenium, zinc, potassium, sodium, and chloride.
A1305 Amino acid/protein
Product contains only amino acid(s) and/or protein containing products
A1326 Other Nutritive
Product contains only nutrients for which the National Academies FNB has established Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs); not coded as a vitamin, mineral (or element), or amino acid. Examples include fiber, carbohydrates, fatty acids (lipids), omega-3‘s, or combination of any of these.
A1310 Other Nutritive > Fatty Acid or Fat/Oil
Narrower term for Other Nutritive [A1326] for products that only contain something like fatty acids (lipids), omega-3‘s, fish oil, evening primrose, or etc.
A1306 Herb/Botanical
Product contains only herb(s)/botanical(s): plant and plant part, extracts (native, dry/solid, and liquid/tincture). Includes fungi, algae and cyanobacteria.
A1309 Non-Nutrient/Non-Botanical
Product contains only non-nutrient bioactives and nutrients for which there is no DRI established. Examples include any combination of metabolites, constituents, extracts, isolates.
A1313 Combination
Product contains of any of the above ingredients listed above. Examples include: vitamin(s) + mineral(s), vitamin(s) + botanical(s), vitamin(s) + mineral(s) + omega-3s, etc.
A1315 Multi-Vitamin and Multi-Mineral
Narrower term for Combination Supplements [A1313] that only contain the combination of vitamin(s) + mineral(s)
A1316 Single-Vitamin and Single-Mineral
Narrower term for Combination Supplements [A1313] that only contain the combination of vitamin + mineral e.g. Calcium + Vitamin D
A1317 Botanical with Vitamin/Mineral
Narrower term for Combination Supplements [A1313] that only contain the combination of botanical(s) and nutrients like botanical(s) + vitamin(s), botanical(s) + mineral(s), botanical(s) + vitamin(s) + mineral(s)
A1325 Other Combination
Narrower term for Combination Supplements [A1313] for all other combinations.

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Serving Size

For product descriptions in the DSLD, "serving size" refers to the total number of units in a single serving as identified in the Supplement Facts Label. Values must be greater than zero, and must be whole numbers when the serving size unit is discrete (e.g., tablets, capsules, softgels) but may contain decimals when the serving size unit is measured in non-discrete units (e.g., milliliters, ounces). If multiple serving sizes are included, the primary is defined as the one that appears first or at the top left, and the rest would be considered alternates. The alternate serving size is stored in the text descriptor as it appears on the label.

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Servings per Container

On the dietary supplement product label, the manufacturer indicates the number of servings that can be found in the product’s container. This number of servings is dependent upon the manufacturer recommended number of product units for use. In any given product there may be more than one number or a range of servings per container shown on the label if the product is formulated and specified for more than one age, gender, or life stage group.

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Supplement Facts Label

The "Supplement Facts" label is required for all dietary supplements. This distinguishes a dietary supplement from a food. Foods carry a "Nutrition Facts" label. Information displayed in the Supplement Facts label must comply with dietary supplement labeling regulations. The label contains information on ingredients (and their amounts) used in formulating the supplement.

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Supplement Form

The categorization of the supplement's physical state, shape or form using the following LanguaL™ codes under Supplement Form [E0154].

LanguaL Code Description
E0164 Bar
E0159 Capsule
E0161 Softgel capsule
Narrower term for Capsules [E0159], when a label describes the capsule to be a softgel
E0165 Liquid
E0174 Lozenge
E0162 Powder
E0176 Gummy
E0155 Tablet (will cover pill)
E0172 Supplement Form, Other (e.g. tea bag)
E0177 Supplement Form, Unknown

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Tracking Information

Is the date when a label is entered in the database, or the date when the label was moved from “on market” to “off market.” NOTE: these are not always the exact date when the product was discontinued or reformulated by the manufacturer or when the product was introduced in the market.
See: Entry Date, Off-Market Date

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RDI disclaimer

RDIs are based on dietary reference intake recommendations for infants through 12 months of age.


Retinol activity equivalents; 1 microgram RAE = 1 microgram retinol, 2 microgram supplemental β-carotene, 12 micrograms β-carotene, or 24 micrograms α-carotene, or 24 micrograms β-cryptoxanthin.

Vitamin D

The amount of vitamin D may, but is not required to, be expressed in international units (IU), in addition to the mandatory declaration in mcg. Any declaration of the amount of vitamin D in IU must appear in parentheses after the declaration of the amount of vitamin D in mcg.

Vitamin E

1 mg α-tocopherol (label claim) = 1 mg α-tocopherol = 1 mg RRR- α-tocopherol = 2 mg all rac-α-tocopherol.


NE = Niacin equivalents, 1 mg NE = 1 mg niacin = 60 milligrams tryptophan.


Dietary Folate Equivalents; 1 DFE = 1 mcg naturally-occurring folate = 0.6 mcg folic acid.


"Folate" and "Folic Acid" must be used for purposes of declaration in the labeling of conventional foods and dietary supplements. The declaration for folate must be in mcg DFE (when expressed as a quantitative amount by weight in a conventional food or a dietary supplement), and percent DV based on folate in mcg DFE. Folate may be expressed as a percent DV in conventional foods. When folic acid is added or when a claim is made about the nutrient, folic acid must be declared in parentheses, as mcg of folic acid.

How to add or remove columns

To add and remove columns from the table, click the menu icon located in the top right corner of any table header and hover over the "Columns" feature. A menu will appear that allows users to add or remove columns from the table.

[[Screenshot image of kendo menu options]]

Select Options

Users may choose from a variety of "select options":

  • Must include
  • May include
  • Exclude
  • Begins with

The "must include", "exclude", and "begins with" options modify the selection criteria of the search, and limit the records that are returned.

The "May include" option does not affect the selection criteria for the search, but rather changes the results display when certain select options are selected (most notably, the "Display product ingredient details" check-box).

Example of "may include":

In the example below, a user has selected "may include" iron and "must include" caffeine while also selecting the "Display product ingredient details" check-box. The items returned are limited to those that include caffeine, but ingredients "caffeine" and "iron" are both displayed.

[[Screenshot of may include option]]

Example results:

[[Screenshot of may include results]]

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