Is Information Beautiful and are all Supplements Merely Snake-Oil?

A Snake-Oil peddler is one that pushes a magic syrup or pill that promises to cure what ever ails. Sadly, in the supplement industry, once a trusted source of alternative, herbal and home remedies has come to resemble a well-oiled machine of capitalist profiteering in the over-abundance of “snake-oil” for sale. However, recent research does suggest that some supplements are useful and some results call for a closer look, while others prove that perhaps we have been throwing our money away. The website below is a brilliant visualization that summarizes much of the data, so check it out:

information-is-beautiful
Information Is Beautiful

http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/visualizations/snake-oil-supplements/

If you go to the web site you can filter by supplement or health condition. Clicking on a bubble leads to notes regarding that supplement and another click there will take you to the source used.

Another article I came across recently made some evidence based suggestions on what vitamins to leave out:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevensalzberg/2013/10/07/the-top-five-vitamins-you-should-not-take/#2b5a54c17083

There is evidence for vitamin D supplementation and a few others but before you run out to buy the next miracle supplement only to find you have been sold yet another bottle of snake-oil take a look at the evidence and make an informed choice. If you are not sure where to look for the evidence, ask your doctor, ask your librarian, or shoot me an email!

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