If you’re the type to get involved in debates and discussions about the nature of nutritional supplements and whether they’re actually effective in any possible way, Snake Oil is a site that’s right up your alley. Part of the Information is Beautiful project, Snake Oil is a site that uses publicly available data on the effectiveness of various types of nutritional supplements on the things that people have claimed or studied that they work for.
One thing to remember when you’re browsing the site: each bubble for a supplement only addresses a particular issue or illness. Hover over the bubble to see which ailment that may be. This means you’ll see multiple bubbles for the same supplement, as it’s likely been studied for more than one thing. For example, green tea has really strong scientific evidence to be effective for lowering your cholesterol, but not so effective for helping you lose weight or stave off breast or prostate cancer.
Snake Oil isn’t designed to be the last word on anything – the site links to the studies it sources, and here’s hoping the service is just a jumping off point for helping people understand what the scientific community says and is studying about various nutritional supplements, as opposed to taking the word of someone who knows someone who heard something from an infomercial.