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January 5th, 2014 at 8:57 am

Snake oil vs. legitimate health supplements: Here’s where you may be wasting money

Snake oil?

There are many conflicting studies and reports about health supplements. Is Vitamin C worth taking or not? Does Echinacea kill colds? Am I missing out not drinking Goji juice, wheatgrass extract and flaxseed oil every day?  Author David McCandless has created a visualization of scientific evidence of health supplements.

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The image below is a “balloon race”. The higher a bubble, the greater the evidence for its effectiveness. But the supplements are only effective for the conditions listed inside the bubble.

You might also see multiple bubbles for certain supps. These is because some supps affect a range of conditions, but the evidence quality varies from condition to condition. For example, there’s strong evidence that Green Tea is good for cholesterol levels. But evidence for its anti-cancer effects is conflicting. In these cases, we give a supp another bubble.

Photo credit: elitefts

Via Information is Beautiful

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