Media Advisory

Thursday, May 4, 2006

NIH Holds State-of-the-Science Conference on Multivitamin/Mineral Supplements for Chronic Disease Prevention, May 15 – 17, 2006


An impartial, independent panel will be charged with reviewing the available scientific evidence on the effectiveness and safety of multivitamin/mineral (MVM) supplement use for chronic disease prevention on May 15 – 17. The panel will issue a statement of its findings on the final day of the conference, and will hold a press conference at 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 17. Convened by the Office of Medical Applications of Research (OMAR) and the Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS) of the NIH, this conference is free and open to the public and the media.

Conference speakers’ presentations, open discussions, and the panel’s statement will focus on these questions:

  1. What are the current patterns and prevalence of the public's use of MVM supplements?
  2. What is known about the dietary nutrient intake of MVM users versus non-users?
  3. What is the efficacy of single vitamin/mineral supplement use in chronic disease prevention?
  4. What is the efficacy of MVM in chronic disease prevention in the general population of adults?
  5. What is known about the safety of MVM for the generally healthy population?
  6. What are the major knowledge gaps and research opportunities regarding MVM use?


Monday, May 15, 2006, 8:30 a.m. — 5:00 p.m.
Tuesday, May 16, 2006, 8:30 a.m. — 12:00 p.m.
Wednesday, May 17, 9:00 a.m. — 11:00 a.m.
Press Conference: Wednesday, May 17, 2006, 2:00 p.m.


Natcher Conference Center
NIH Main Campus — Building 45
9000 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, Maryland 20892

Campus visitor information:

The conference will also be webcast live at (Reporters viewing the press conference via webcast will be able to submit questions on-line through the videocast website.)


It is estimated that more than one-third of American adults take multivitamin/mineral supplements regularly. Recommendations regarding supplement use from expert groups vary widely, as does the strength of the evidence supporting such guidelines. In observational studies, MVM use has been associated with better health outcomes but there are few data available from randomized trials to provide more definitive evidence. As more and more Americans seek strategies for maintaining good health and preventing disease, and as the marketplace offers an increasing number of products to fill that desire, it is important that consumers have the best possible information to inform their choices. Toward that end, this conference is expected to delineate gaps in current knowledge and to provide guidance about how NIH can help to fill those gaps.


The conference is sponsored by OMAR and ODS, and cosponsored by ten other federal agencies, through the NIH Consensus Development Program. A backgrounder is available at In addition, the Office of Dietary Supplements has a variety of resources available at

For More Information

Conference agenda, speakers, logistics, and online registration are available at To schedule interviews, please contact Kelli Marciel by e-mail at or by phone at (301) 496-4819.

Note to TV Editors
The press conference will be broadcast live via satellite at the following coordinates:

C-Band Galaxy 3C
Transponder: 21C
Orbital Location: 95 degrees west
Downlink Frequency: 4120 H
Audio: 6.2/6.8
Test time: 1:30-2:00 p.m. ET
Broadcast: 2:00-3:00 p.m. ET

Note to Radio Editors:
An audio report of the conference results will be available after 4:00 p.m. Wednesday, May 17 from the NIH Radio News Service by calling 1-800-MED-DIAL (1-800-633-3425) or visiting

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