Category: Herbs & Supplements

Amazon goes where the FDA does not

Amazon has implemented new quality standards for some dietary supplements.

/ June 20, 2024

Collagen Supplementation: Hype and Hope

Collagen is an expensive protein supplement - nothing more.

/ June 6, 2024

What are “Adaptogens”?

The multi-billion dollar “snake oil” industry is nothing if not good at marketing. This is probably because this is not one or even a small number of companies, but likely thousands of companies and millions of individuals crowdsourcing many different marketing strategies. Those that work tend to prosper and proliferate, spawning variations. The rhetoric has been evolving in this way for at...

/ June 5, 2024

Khat and Muguka Use in East Africa

Many countries (such as Kenya’s recent regulatory changes regarding Muguka use) are struggling with the dilemma of how to regulate drug use by its citizens. There are many psychoactive drugs (we seem to be good at discovering them) with a variety of effects. Often there may be subjectively desirable effects in the short term, but long term addiction, the potential for withdrawal,...

/ May 29, 2024

Kava and Liver Damage

Kava is an herbal supplement used mainly for its calming psychoactive effects. It is a traditional drink in Oceania that has been used for centuries. It has also been linked to liver toxicity and cases of liver failure and even death. However, the liver toxicity of kava is extremely controversial – this controversy, however, reflects the various narratives that we see surrounding...

/ May 1, 2024
Wall of Supplements

SARMs Harms

Selective androgen receptor (SARMs) are sports supplements marketed to teens via social media influencers.

/ April 11, 2024
Alex Jones

The Truth vs. Alex Jones: How the DSHEA of 1994 gave conspiracy mongers the means to fund their empires

As the HBO documentary The Truth vs. Alex Jones shows, Alex Jones promoted the conspiracy theory that the Sandy Hook massacre was a hoax to sell his supplement line. It's a model that many Internet conspiracy theorists use, like Mike Adams. Did the DSHEA help create Alex Jones and the modern conspiracy industry?

/ April 1, 2024

Parasite Cleanse

Tik Tok is a cesspool of wellness pseudoscience and misinformation. All of social media has the potential to spread misinformation without any filter, but for some reason Tik Tok has become the preferred platform for the most outrageous claims and nonsense. A recent trend on Tik Tok (and within the wellness community generally) is the parasite cleanse. The idea is that many...

/ March 13, 2024

Adulteration of Herbal Supplements Continues

The supplement industry continues to be plagued by deliberate adulteration of products.

/ January 31, 2024
Peter McCullough shilling for The Wellness Company

The Wellness Company: How antivaccine grift becomes plain old quackery

The Wellness Company, promoted by Dr. Peter McCullough, is the product of a trend in which antivax doctors have predictably become just quacks. At least in this case, there is an amusing quack fight at the heart of it all.

/ January 8, 2024