Tip

Don’t fall for these dietary supplement ad tricks

See what you get when you google this "testimonial."

ShareThis

The Internet is teeming with websites that use fake testimonials and bogus claims to trick you into buying dietary supplements that you don’t need.  Here are a couple of examples.

Fake testimonials. “Amy” admits to being “a bit skeptical” about the “secret anti-aging product” Garcinia cambogia on a fake news site.

Well, guess what? It seems that “Amy” is skeptical about a lot of dietary supplements at first because she shows up on hundreds of websites confessing the same thing about products like green coffee and sex supplements.

And scores of other testimonials from “Jennifer,” “Joseph,” and many others use “Amy’s” exact words to describe how wonderful dozens of other dietary supplements are. Extraordinary.

Try this at home:  Google “I was a bit skeptical when I first read about this.”  Keep the quotation marks around it. You’ll find thousands of websites using this identical testimonial to peddle hundreds of dietary supplements.

Pathetic. These websites are too lazy to make up new fake endorsements.

Bogus “clinical studies.  “Clinically proven” and “clinically tested” are some of the most powerful  claims in dietary supplement ads. But there’s no agency checking to see if products are really clinically proven.  You’re on your own there.

Take Greek Island Lab’s osteoarthritis supplement called Natural Joint. The company claims “one of the Nation’s Top Laboratories” clinically proved its effectiveness.

Really? The lab that Greek Island used specializes in testing cosmetics for companies. Its “clinical study” didn’t include a control group that took a placebo for comparison, so it couldn’t “clinically” prove anything. All the study showed is that the placebo effect is alive and well.

With thousands of websites out there selling dietary supplements and only a relative few under-staffed government agencies to monitor them, marketers know that their odds of getting caught making bogus claims about clinical proof are slim to none.


Find this article about dietary supplement advertising interesting and useful? Nutrition Action Healthletter subscribers regularly get sound, timely information about staying healthy with diet and exercise, delicious recipes, and detailed analyses of the healthy and unhealthy foods in supermarkets and restaurants. If you’re not already subscribing to the world’s most popular nutrition newsletter, click here to join hundreds of thousands of fellow health-minded consumers.