Posts Tagged ‘dietary supplements’

Fanciful Reasoning About Health in an Age of Low Trust

June 22, 2022 — Americans this year will spend about $35 billion on dietary supplements. All over the world, spending will add up to more than $150 billion. What will it do for us? Not much, says the U.S. Preventive Service Task Force in a new report released yesterday about the value of these supplements for preventing heart disease and […]

Vitamin D and COVID: More Noise Than News

November 15, 2021 — Last year, when we didn’t have many great options for dealing with COVID-19, interest in vitamin D was keen. A number of studies found a correlation between vitamin D levels and COVID risk. So splashy headlines ensued. Even the former president and Tony Fauci told us they were taking it. But in retrospect, those headlines […]

Decades of Hype for Protein-Rich Diets and “Superfoods”

October 26, 2021 — Do you ever blend up a protein smoothie for breakfast, or grab a protein bar following an afternoon workout? If so, you are likely among the millions of people in search of more protein-rich diets. Protein-enriched products are ubiquitous, and these days it seems protein can be infused into anything – even water. But the […]

The Ease of Selling Bunk for Weight Loss

July 2, 2021 — Federal oversight of dietary supplements is modest and insufficient. This gentle understatement summarizes a new perspective from the Obesity Society on dietary supplements and alternative therapies for obesity. It comes with a systematic review of the evidence – or lack of it – for these products. Nonetheless, people keep selling this bunk for weight loss […]

ECO2021: Exposing Thin Science of Herbals for Weight

May 10, 2021 — As the European Congress on Obesity starts this morning, a pair of analyses are casting a harsh light on herbals and dietary supplements for weight loss. In fact, the science for these products is thin. The lead author of this work, Erica Bessell, explains: “Very few high-quality studies have been done on some supplements, with […]

Magical Measures from BMJ to Prevent COVID-19

April 22, 2021 — Call us quaint. But we believe medical journals should publish research grounded in facts and evidence. Not speculation. Especially in the midst of a pandemic that has taken the lives of more than three million people around the world. BMJ, though, has a different approach. This week the BMJ group has a paper promoting magical […]

What’s Up with Vitamin D and the Coronavirus?

June 28, 2020 — The pandemic has been tough on many businesses, but it’s been a boon to others. Dietary supplement sales, for example, are feeding quite nicely on our fears. At the top of the list is vitamin D, getting a boost from speculation that deficiencies could make a person more vulnerable to the coronavirus. However, the bottom […]

Real Money, Imaginary Benefits of Supplements for Diabetes

May 4, 2020 — We’re learning a lot about health scams. When people feel scared and desperate, promises of a “game-changer” for a dread disease (e.g., COVID-19) can arouse passions. But an objective look at actual evidence brings the truth into view. Then the scam becomes a mess for people who fell for it. That experience should be instructive […]

The Persistent Potency of Magical Thinking

April 25, 2020 — It’s startling to see a medical journal and a major university promote magical thinking. But there it is. A press release from Oregon State University offers this headline: Dietary Supplements an Important Weapon for Fighting Off COVID-19 We’ve said it before. Beware of such poppycock. Using a Marginal Journal to Promote Nonsense This particular example […]

Pseudoscience in the Midst of a Pandemic

March 18, 2020 — A public health emergency can have an unfortunate side effect. With the coronavirus pandemic, pseudoscience, quackery, and fraud are emerging, too. Diets and supplements to “boost” your immune system are a common form of this fraud. Honestly, sometimes this sort of misinformation flies under the radar of normally discerning people. But we praise Dietitians of […]