Snake Oil Supplements
Which are the best supplements to take to enhance your health and wellbeing? We visualised all evidence for all health supplements in one chart. Now regularly updated with revitalising boosts of fresh data.
UPDATED Nov 2020: Downgraded many supplements due to new evidence and reviews. Downgraded: GABA and Lavender (for mood & anxiety), Grape Seed extract, Omega 3 for colorectal cancer & cystic fibrosis, Bee Pollen (for anything).Lowered evidence level for L-Tyrosine and beta-glucans.
UPDATED April 2019: Promising new evidence boosts garlic as a treatment for cancer, wholegrains for diabetes, and agnus castus for PMS. Several new entries, including turmeric and saffron for depression, and zinc, which appears to protect kids from pneumonia. Downgraded: SAMe for depression and vitamin K2 for heart disease, both of which dropped several points.
UPDATED July 2018: New entries include melatonin for sleep and Vitamin D for flu, bones and long life. Downgrades for valerian as a cure for anxiety and cranberry juice for urinary infections. New entries for harmful supplements, including Vitamin A, which has been linked to birth defects.
Note: You might see multiple bubbles for certain supplements. 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 garlic can lower blood pressure. But studies on whether it can prevent colds have produced inconclusive results. In these cases, we give a supp another bubble.
This interactive ‘Balloon Race’ code is powered by our VizSweet software – a set of high-end dataviz tools for generating interactive visualisations. We’re currently in beta. Find out more.
As ever, we welcome your thoughts, crits, comments, corrections, compliments, tweaks, new evidence, missing supps, and general feedback. Contact us here. Thank you!
» Check out our beautiful books
» Learn to be a dataviz ninja: Workshops are Beautiful
» Be the first to know: join our VIP Newsletter