Bioactives, Functional Foods, and Supplements

Research Focus Area:

Bioactives, Functional Foods, and Supplements

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Brief Summary: Few evidence-based recommendations exist for amounts to consume of bioactives in foods and dietary supplements. The bioactives, functional foods, and supplements committee proposes the work on the 2 objectives below.


  1. Dietary Supplements: Develop a framework for dietary supplements' recommended intakes considering bioavailability, efficacy, and safety to parallel the existing framework for bioactives in food (1).
  2. Foods and Dietary Supplements: Develop recommended intakes for specific bioactives. Will use the existing paper on intake recommendations for flavan-3-ols as a framework for establishing guidelines for other bioactives in food (2).

*All objectives will have a global perspective, and regional needs will be determined in collaboration with ILSI's Federation. 

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Rationale and Approach: Are you aware that a new process has been proposed as a guide to help establish dietary recommendations for health benefits of bioactives in food (1)? For the first time, a dietary recommendation for flavan-3-ols in food and cardiometabolic health has been established (2). FDA has announced that it does not intend to object to the use of certain qualified health claims regarding the relationship between the consumption of cocoa flavanols in high flavanol cocoa powder and a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease (3). There is still work to be done in establishing a process for making dietary recommendations for bioactives in dietary supplements.

Our committee is interested in pursuing similar paths for other bioactives in food and also interested in exploring bioactives in supplements that may be of interest to your company.

Listed below are examples of bioactives or food products that still need to be explored for recommended dietary intakes. Our committee welcomes input from your company to refine or add to the list.


  • coffee (bioactives in coffee or coffee as a food product).
  • lutein.
  • phenolic compounds (anthocyanins, proanthocyanins, flavanols).
  • your ideas.

Proposed Deliverables:

  • Literature or scoping reviews on specific bioactives.
  • Systematic reviews (with or without meta-analysis) on specific bioactives.
  • Seminars, workshops, and/or informational sessions on specific bioactives.
  • Other considerations: Scoping review of existing literature on one bioactive compound using the Yates framework and the newly proposed framework from the work on dietary supplements.


  1. Yates, A.A., Dwyer, J.T., Erdman, Jr. J.W., King, J.C., Lyle, B.J., Schneeman, B.O., Weaver, C.M. (2021) Perspective: Framework for developing recommended intakes of bioactive dietary substances. Advances in Nutrition 12: 1087-1099.
  2. Crowe-White, K.M., Evans, L.W., Kuhnle, G.G.C., Milenkovic, D., Stote, K., Wallace, T., Handu, D., Senkus, K.E. (2022). Flavan-3-ols and Cardiometabolic Health: First Ever Dietary Bioactive Guideline. Advances in Nutrition 13, 2070–2083.
  3. CFSAN Constituent Updates (2023). FDA Announces Qualified Health Claim for Cocoa Flavanols in High Flavanol Cocoa Powder and Reduced Risk of Cardiovascular Disease. FDA.

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