1. Section Editor(s): Pfeifer, Gail M. MA, RN

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A call for rigorous evaluation of dietary and supplementclaims. A report from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) concludesthat the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) should evaluateclaims made about foods and supplements as rigorously as itdoes drugs and medical devices. Consumers are confused aboutthe scientific merits of health claims made by manufacturers. Biomarkers, such as changes in cholesterol levels, are often usedinstead of clinical end points to confirm the benefits of foodsand supplements; according to the report, biomarkers should belinked to a disease, and study results showing benefits should bereliable and reproducible. The IOM committee recommends thatthe FDA conduct studies of consumer understanding of food andsupplement claims and require manufacturers to make changesto clarify such claims.