Editor's Note: "Nobody should be surprised by Consumer Reports turning negative on supplements. It's just interesting to see them bend into such imaginative verbal yoga poses to do it," writes Rick Polito. "Our recommendation: Consumer Reports might be a great magazine to read if you are buying a car or shopping for a refrigerator, but you probably shouldn't read it. Why? If you leave it near an open flame you might burn your house down."

New Hope
December 1, 2017


After quoting the Nutrition Business Journal estimate of $3 billion spent in 2016 on supplements formulated for colds and flu, writer Rachel Rabkin Peachman goes on to examine echinacea, garlic, probiotics, homeopathics, vitamin C and zinc. For each, she cites evidence and delivers a recommendation in varying degrees of negative. Again, we're not surprised that  Consumer Reports is going to tell readers to avoid supplements, but for each ingredient, the writer cites positive evidence. For echinacea, the article points to a 2014 review of 24 trials that supported the idea that echinacea teas or supplements might prevent colds. Consumer Report actually uses the word "prevent." ...

The article tells a similar story about garlic. Yes, garlic extract pills "might help prevent colds," but-you guessed it-don't bother actually taking those pills.


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