Snake oil or worth it?

I really like it when complex information is presented in a way that makes it more easily understood. I also tend to be sceptical about many of the alternative therapies and treatments that claim to cure anything that ails you. So I love the Snake Oil? Scientific Evidence for Popular Health Supplements visualisation I found on the Information is Beautiful blog.

Its creators have collated and cleverly displayed the results of large human blind placebo-controlled trials to test the efficacy of things like Folic Acid for certain birth defects (worth it!) or royal jelly for general health benefits (not worth it!). The “Worth It Line” gives a fairly clear cut guide to what supplements are worth taking.

And there’s plenty of other clever stuff to be found on Information is Beautiful. As they say themselves: ideas, issues, knowledge, data – visualised!


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