healthHealth and Medicine

See Which Health Supplements Aren't Backed By Science


Tom Hale

Senior Journalist

clockJun 28 2016, 19:45 UTC

David McCandless via Information Is Beautiful

There are a lot of fad diets and articles out there that tell you which commonplace and obscure supplements you should be adding to your diet. But how do you discern the genuine from the bullsh*t?

This graph by David McCandless from Information is Beautiful ranks hundreds of health supplements based on the amount of scientific research backing their big claims. The graph only used data from human trials that used a random placebo-control method. Supplements with the strongest evidence backing them are placed at the top. Working your way down the graph, the supplements are backed less and less by conclusive evidence. 


The larger the circle, the more often it is searched for on Google, acting as an indication of how big the buzz around the health supplement is. According to the graph, the circles shown in orange highlight health supplements that haven’t had much scientific research, but potentially are "one to watch.” You can find the supportive texts on the Information is Beautiful website.

Click here to see the interactive infographic in full.

Information is Beautiful also have a 256-page book out called “Knowledge is Beautiful,” full of more infographics and data-visualization, which you check out here. You can also keep up to date with their latest work on their Facebook and Twitter. 

healthHealth and Medicine