Supplements that don't work

Quick note: Supplements are not tested by the FDA. Drugs are. Drugs that say they do something generally do that thing.

This is about supplements.

Did they test the supplements to make sure they contained the substance claimed on the label?

I read recently that a NY organization did a study and the majority of supplements either did not contain what they said they contained or perhaps not in the stated amount or perhaps it was adulterated in some way.

This was in a library book but I will try to figure out which one if anyone wants the reference.

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There are so many ads on that page I’m not even sure I read the right article.


Just because something proves no clinical significance at the population level does not mean it proves no clinical significance at the individual level. Everybody’s body is different. Of course, you can’t possibly test every single treatment on your body, so proven clinical trials do have a use in guiding what to try first.
But like many on this forum can attest to, many times there are no treatments for the symptoms you have, that’s why people resort to unproven treatments, and sometimes they work (placebo or not, if something improves your situation, then it works. You can’t fake a placebo on yourself, you have to actually believe it works), sometimes they don’t.

My mom has been battling high cholesterol for decades, and she’s finally found something that lowers it naturally - red yeast rice. There’s probably no clinical significance at the population level, but there’s a major significance for her individually. Her numbers are now consistently normal. She’s not on cholesterol medication.


I get it.
I prefer to listen to experts over charlatans.

Clinical trials aren’t really about being an expert. There’s a fundamental difference about knowing the mechanics of our biology, vs simply saying something works because it’s shown to have % effect in % of randomly selected people, who may or may not represent you specifically.

Suffice to say we still know very little about how all the vitamins and minerals and metals and oils affect our body, forget about the combination of which, and in relation to our environment as well. You can only control for so much in a trial.

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Yep. Like how so many people swear by lavender oil to help with sleep issues but it never did much for me. Cedarwood seems to make a difference though. I need to start diffusing again.

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I feel like I read that there have been studies in which people even knowing they had a placebo had better outcomes than no treatment.

and chamomile tea

I’ve never heard of turmeric for improving heart health. I’ve heard it reduces inflammation / helps with arthritis, and may be good for the liver. :woman_shrugging:

There are two things turmeric is good for:

  1. An ingredient in a BBQ rub, and
  2. Generating spirited debates on the proper pronunciation
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and as a food dye

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Yeah so that kinda helps when I wake up at night. But I bought a new brand and I got hives.

I don’t feel any difference on teas that promise an effect in general. Mostly just placebo imo, if that

There have been studies showing this. I listened to either an Art of Manliness or Freakonomics MD podcast where they talked to some people who study this. I think the current understanding is it looks real, but too hard to really understand why.

Yep, I think it was this Freakonmics MD podcast.

The one part I forgot about was the nocebo effect, which is basically having a negative reaction (or less positive impact) because you think you are going to have a negative reaction (or it won’t work).

don’t take shrooms thinking you’re going to have a bad trip!


TERR merr ik

Anyone know anything about Collagen?

From what I’ve seen/read, some studies have shown potential benefits to your overall skin health but results weren’t super conclusive. Dr James DiNicolantonio has popped up on my social feeds more than once and has touted the benefits of collagen supplementation. I think he wrote a book on collagen? Anyway, he seems Dr Oz-y to me.