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

  • Alkaline Water: a Scam?
    Alkaline Water: a Scam?
    Hawkers of "ionizer" water machines (like Kangen) claim healing alkaline water benefits; skeptics call it snake oil. They both may be wrong.
  • Is Homeopathy Just Placebo?
    Is Homeopathy Just Placebo?
    A review of the best science on the usefulness of homeopathy to treat a variety of conditions.
  • Zinc Gel for Colds?
    Zinc Gel for Colds?
    Is zinc-containing nasal gel helpful, harmful, or just a waste of money?
  • Glyconutrient Supplements
    Glyconutrient Supplements
    What the peer-reviewed scientific literature has to say about glyconutrient supplements.
  • Juice Plus+® Supplements
    Juice Plus+® Supplements
    What the peer-reviewed scientific literature has to say about Juice Plus+® supplements.
  • Is Mangosteen Juice Good For You?
    Is Mangosteen Juice Good For You?
    Mangosteen juice may be an expensive way to make yourself sick.
  • Airborne Supplements
    Airborne Supplements
    One of the largest consumer fraud cases in American history
  • Is Noni Juice Good For You?
    Is Noni Juice Good For You?
    What the peer-reviewed scientific literature has to say about noni juice.
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