Disturbing trend in non-reasoning – still take a supplement even if it’s ineffective.
Taking supplements is common among U.S. adults, and the most oft-cited reasons people give for taking them are wanting to feel better, improving energy levels and boosting the immune system, a new survey finds.
But these aims have little to do with measurable improvements to health, the researchers said. Moreover, most people taking supplements indicated that the supplements’ proven effectiveness didn’t matter to them – only 25 percent said they would stop taking a supplement if it was found to be ineffective, according to the survey.
“We call this the ‘effective for me’ attitude,” said study researcher Kathleen Weldon, of the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston. “As long as something is safe, people think they are a better expert on whether it works for them, better than any clinical trial.”
The survey of 1600 people is published here. People use herbs, fish oil, and other food derivitives thinking they are doing something positive for their health. They are often completely unaware that not only are such products poorly regulated for efficacy (and safety) but they may interact with prescription drugs or cause other problems.
Yet, as the piece notes, people are more swayed by their own personal subjective experiences (likely to be misinterpreted) instead of scientific evidence. That’s bad. I suspect the same would show up if we asked about alternative treatments as well. What can we do about it?
Tip: David Bloomberg