Alternative Medicine Supplements that Work (and ones that maybe don't)

Published on December 10th, 2014 | by Becky Striepe

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Supplements that Work (and ones that maybe don’t)

Supplements that Work (and ones that maybe don't)

The supplement industry makes the big bucks, so it can be hard to look past the marketing and find supplements that work amid that ones that are maybe more hype than anything else.

I am not slamming supplements by any means. For a long time, I thought that taking any kind of vitamins, minerals, or other supplements was just silly. If you’re eating a varied, healthy diet, why would you need to supplement? Cut to me post pregnancy and on my second cold and flu season with a kid in day care, and my tune has officially changed. There are definitely supplements that work.

Related: Which teas are safe during pregnancy?, Exercise for a Healthy Pregnancy and Labor

Folic acid, for example, is a supplement with proven health benefits for expectant mothers. Many Americans are deficient in vitamin D, so taking a D supplement – especially during cold and flu season – can help us stay healthy.

The infographic below by David McCandless breaks out popular supplements on a somewhat nuanced scale, based on how much research supports each one. It highlights supplements that work, ones that may work, and ones that probably just give you what I’ve heard called “expensive urine.” You can click the graphic to view a slightly larger version, if you’re having trouble reading the fine print on this one.

Supplements that Work (and ones that maybe don't)

What do you think about this chart? Do you see your go-to supplements on here? Where do they fall on the spectrum that McCandless outlines?

The chart above is from data journalist David McCandless, via io9; pills photo via Shutterstock


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About the Author

Hi there! I'm Becky Striepe, a green crafter and vegan foodie living in Atlanta, Georgia with my husband and two cats. My mission is to make eco-friendly crafts and vegan food accessible to anyone who wants to give them a go. If you like my work, you can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, and .



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