Supplements: Misguided Marketing

If marketers want to persuade me to take a dietary supplement, they are going about it the wrong way. A typical recent email said I could fight aging, boost immunity, and feel energized with doctor-endorsed NMN supplement Elevant. They even offered to send me free samples. Probably worth the price! 🙂 The claims: “For today’s

Does Vitamin D Prevent Autoimmune Disease?

A new study published in The BMJ suggests vitamin D might prevent autoimmune disease, but there are reasons to be cautious. Up to 75% of American teens and adults are said to be deficient in vitamin D, but there is no agreement on what level constitutes deficiency. Claims for the health benefits of vitamin D supplements abound,

Misconceptions about Vitamins

In 1747, one of the first controlled clinical trials in the history of medical science involved vitamin C, but the researcher had no idea what a vitamin was: vitamin C wasn’t discovered until 1912. Scurvy, a disease caused by vitamin C deficiency, was rampant in the British Royal Navy, disabling and killing more sailors than

The World’s First Productivity Drink

Magic Mind claims to be the world’s first productivity drink. It seems to me an increase in productivity should be easy to prove. If your widget factory produces 1,000 widgets a day you could do a controlled study comparing workers who used Magic Mind to workers who used a placebo. If the output increased to 1,500

Dietary Supplements and Deception

At least half of Americans (maybe as many as 2/3) take dietary supplements. They assume the government will guarantee safety, efficacy, and truthful advertising. They couldn’t be more wrong. The very term dietary supplement is based on a fiction. Dietary supplements are regulated by the FDA but the regulations are very different from the regulations

Green Lipped Mussels for Arthritis

[Este artículo está disponible en español. La traducción al español apareció por primera vez en la revista Pensar.] What are green-lipped mussels? My imagination conjures up a SpongeBob SquarePants episode featuring a clam-like creature with green lips, and I can’t help wondering what would happen if they applied red lipstick? Imagination can be fun; but

Vistosos mejillones contra la artritis

[This article is also available in English. Thanks to Pensar for the Spanish translation.] ¿Qué son los mejillones de labios (o bordes) verdes? Mi imaginación evoca un episodio de Bob Esponja con una criatura parecida a una almeja con labios verdes, y no puedo evitar preguntarme qué pasaría si se aplicaran lápiz labial rojo. La

Mayim Bialik’s Neuriva Commercials Make Questionable Claims

Mayim Bialik is a neuroscientist. In her TV commercials for Neuriva Plus she asserts that it is backed by strong science. I don’t think so. I wrote about the brain supplement Neuriva over a year ago. I thought their claim to have proof from clinical studies was misleading. I won’t repeat here what I said there

InstaHard: Hard to Believe, Easy to Laugh At

InstaHard is advertised in a stupid video as a cure for erectile dysfunction and other sexual problems. The claims are unbelievable, but they are good entertainment; they made me laugh. Oh, no, not again! Yet another video promoting an untested mixture of dietary supplements. I’m not looking for these stupid videos, but they keep finding

The Natural Medicine Handbook

Dr. Walt Larimore has written a very mixed bag of a book, combining useful general advice about supplements and “natural medicine” with some questionable specifics about individual products. Walt Larimore, MD, is a family physician, a medical journalist, a best-selling author, and a Christian evangelist whose organization Focus on the Family has as a goal, “To cooperate

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