How Many of Your Health Supplements Are Actually Scams? [CHART]


It’s important to stay healthy, probably more important than anything else in life when you think about it, but making smart decisions with your money is also probably up there on your priorities list. When you put the two together though, you’ll see that we can definitely be suckers when it comes to buying things that say will improve our health and our lives.

David McCandless is an independent data journalist and information designer. His “Snake Oil Supplements” chart, which was last updated January of 2014, matches up the popularity of the vitamins, oils and other supplements we believe are making us smarter and healthier to how much medical research has actually been done on them.


McCandless explains his chart on his website:

“This image 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.”


Are you a sucker for snake oil supplements?


Written by Max Chang for NextShark