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Excellent Resources for Natural Health

Evaluating Research

10 Things to Know About Evaluating Medical Resources on the Web
A short guide developed by the National Cancer Institute, NIH, to help you evaluate medical Web sites. (July, 1999)

How to Understand and Interpret Food and Health-Related Scientific Studies
This article provides an overview for understanding and interpreting food and health-related scientific studies (from the International Food Information Council, May 2000).

Making Sense of Health and Nutrition News
Provides tips for evaluating science.(IFIC, Food Insight. Jan/Feb 2001

Navigating the Internet

Medical products and the Internet. A guide to finding reliable information.
This document provides advice from the World Health Organization to help internet users obtain reliable, independent, and comparable information on the internet.

“Navigating for Health: Finding Accurate Information on the Internet”.
(IFIC Food Insight article, November-December, 2000)

Quality of Health Information.
Several links to other government and private sector web sites compiled by the Department of Health and Human Services’ Healthfinder web site to help you evaluate online health information.

Product Claims and Labeling

“Claims That Can Be Made for Conventional Foods and Dietary Supplements”
An FDA explanation of the various kinds of claims that can be made for foods and supplements. (Updated April, 2001.)

FDA Dietary Supplement Overview.
Provides information about what dietary supplements are, and how they are regulated, including the labeling and claims that can be made for supplements.

Questions You Can Ask About Health Claims. “Improving Public Understanding: Guidelines for Communicating Emerging Science on Nutrition, Food Safety and Health.”
These questions were developed to help journalists and scientists accurately convey health information. You can ask yourself these questions to help judge whether the information you are reading is fairly presented (the International Food Information Council, 1998)

“Miracle” Health Claims: Add a Dose of Skepticism
This FDA/FTC joint agency information piece focuses on how to assess claims and seek advice, and avoid becoming a victim of health fraud. The information discusses how to minimize being cheated out of money, time, and health. (September 2001)

“Dietary Supplements: An Advertising Guide for Industry”.
This document describes the factors that FTC takes into account in deciding whether an ad is truthful and not misleading. You can use them to judge the advertisements you see.
Other Sources

MedWatch.
FDA Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program.

The Food and Nutrition Board
The Food and Nutrition Board (FNB), National Academy of Sciences, as part of its mission, establishes principles and guidelines of adequate dietary intake. The FNB issues reports such as “Dietary Reference Intakes: Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Vitamin B12, Pantothenic Acid, Biotin, and Choline.”

NUTRITION.GOV, a new federal resource, provides easy access to all online federal government information on nutrition, including dietary supplements.

MEDLINE Plus Health Information: Vitamin and Mineral Supplements
MEDLINE Plus Health Information is a service of the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, that provides information on health topics, including vitamin and mineral supplements.

International Bibliographic Information on Dietary Supplements (IBIDS)
The International Bibliographic Information on Dietary Supplements (IBIDS) NIH, Office of Dietary Supplements is a database of published, international, scientific literature on dietary supplements, including vitamins, minerals, and botanicals.

National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, NIH .
The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) at the National Institutes of Health(NIH) is dedicated to exploring complementary and alternative healing practices in the context of rigorous science; training CAM researchers; and disseminating authoritative information.

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