NutritionFacts.org

snake oil

Many modern medicines are nothing more than plants that have been used for centuries in traditional medicine. Dietary supplements, marketed as health promoting, may sometimes be detrimental to health. Zinc nasal gels for a cold have been found to cause people to lose their sense of smell. Glyconutrient supplements may be a scam, and a suit was just settled for millions of dollars for false claims. Juice Plus+ supplements may be nothing more than an overpriced vitamin supplement. Airborne supplements are also a scam. And health food store employees have repeatedly been found to give seriously misguided advice about supplements. (see here, here) Pharmacists have fared much better.

Triphala, a staple of Ayurvedic medicine, has unfortunately found to be contaminated with lead and should be avoided. Ayurvedic medicines in general have been found to be contaminated with heavy metals. Homeopathy in general is unsupported by scientific evidence and could even be dangerous when used on infants.

Alkaline water has been found to reduce cholesterol but can be made inexpensively by adding ¾ teaspoon of baking soda to a liter of water. Mangosteen juice and noni juice have both been associated with adverse reaction.

Topic summary contributed by Denise.
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Watch videos about snake oil

  • Dietary Supplement Snake Oil
    Dietary Supplement Snake Oil
    Supplement industry representative attempts to rebut a mea culpa editorial in an alternative medicine journal decrying the predatory nature of dietary supplement marketing.
  • Pharmacists Versus Health Food Store Employees: Who Gives Better Advice?
    Pharmacists Versus Health Food Store Employees: Who Gives Better Advice?
    The accuracy of medical advice given by staff at natural food stores is compared to that by staff at community pharmacies based on the balance of available scientific evidence.
  • Dangerous Advice From Health Food Store Employees
    Dangerous Advice From Health Food Store Employees
    Employees in natural food stores have been caught giving advice that is not only scientifically baseless, but also risky and downright dangerous.
  • Health Food Store Supplement Advice
    Health Food Store Supplement Advice
    Studies in the U.S. and Canada focus on what advice and supplements natural food store employees would offer a woman suffering from breast cancer.
  • Amla and Triphala Tested for Metals
    Amla and Triphala Tested for Metals
    Both U.S.-made and imported Ayurvedic dietary supplements have high contamination rates of toxic metals such as mercury, though only a small fraction of the levels found in canned tuna.
  • Get the Lead Out
    Get the Lead Out
    Toxic heavy metal contamination of Ayurvedic dietary supplements is in most cases intentional.
  • Power Plants
    Power Plants
    Many of the most powerful drugs in modern medicine's arsenal came from natural products, from penicillin to the chemotherapy agents Taxol® and vincristine.
  • Infant Nearly Killed by Homeopathy
    Infant Nearly Killed by Homeopathy
    Case report of life-threatening metabolic acidosis in an infant "overdosed" with homeopathic sugar pills.
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