With new health fads popping up every month, it’s getting hard to tell what actually works and who is just selling snake oil out there.
Taking care of your health is important, but telling the difference between what is good for your body and what is just a waste for your wallet is just as necessary. Luckily, data journalist and information designer David McCandless created the “Snake Oil Supplements” chart that matches the popularity of the vitamins, oils, and other supplements we believe are good for us versus the actual scientific research on those supplements.
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.”
Don’t be a sucker for snake oil supplements.