Studies of the effectiveness of supplements are plentiful. The news media tends to pick up one or two lines from major studies, such as, “Fish oil fights dementia!” or “Vitamin D supplements are useless!” It is always good for patients to be informed, but patients need to understand that the problems often associated with these studies are as plentiful as the studies themselves.
One common study pitfall is testing supplements in dosages that supplements advocates claim are negligible to arrive at the conclusion that the supplements are not effective. When studies proclaim that X, Y or Z supplement provides no benefits, supplement advocates often agree that taking the small doses studies would result in negligible benefits.
Most supplement web sites contain scathing reviews of negative studies, but Harvard School of Public Health offers a more balanced view of the factors involved in adequately testing supplements (READ MORE). Reports on the benefits and dangers of supplements may also be too one-sided, as this page explains (CLICK HERE).