Cool Toys pics of the day: Snake Oil


Information is Beautiful: Snake Oil: Scientific Evidence for Popular
Health Supplements:

Alright, I apologize – I “stole” this from Mashable (“5 Amazing Infographics for the Health Conscious”). It is just too delicious for words. And you don’t need words much because it is interactive. Notice the menu on the side of the picture? Choose your options, and the bubbles grow and shrink. Very quickly it becomes evident that there is not enough evidence to confirm most of these, either by type of intervention or by condition. This doesnt’ mean they don’t work, of course, it usually just means we don’t have enough evidence and haven’t studied them closely enough. At the same time, it is no kind of recommendation.

The real question, as with any infographic, is where the data came from, where the evidence came from, what is the caliber of the evidence, and where do you go if you want to know more? I have a couple favorite sources of evidence-based data about plant and herbal remedies for cancer treatments. Not everything they referred to for this infographic, but a good start.

CIMER (MD Anderson):

About Herbs (MSKCC):


UPDATE: While I was writing this blogpost here, evidently a friend of mine was also working on a blogpost about this same topic. Hers is far more detailed and I highly recommend it. You can find it here:


Information is Beautiful: Visualizing the Evidence for Health Supplements:


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