It's official: health supplements are a load of phoney baloney
Most health supplements are officially bollocks, according to Which! A recent investigation by the consumer vanguards found that many of their benefits were exaggerated – and in some cases – downright false.
The EU now asks for companies who make health supplements to give them independent scientific evidence that they actually do something. And the amount they’ve turned down for authorisation is huge – out of 44,000 products, only 248 have been officially approved by the European Food Safety Authority. Glucosamine for healthy joints? Nonsense. Prebiotics? Nah. Probiotics? Pah! etc.
Which! decided to investigate well known brands like Seven Seas to see if they actually worked, according to EU regulations. They found that Bioglan Probiotic capsules, Bimuno Prebiotic powder and Seven Seas Cardiomax all made unproven health claims on their packaging. Since December, it’s been illegal to advertise health claims on products that haven’t been approved by the EU.
It's a blow for the lucrative supplement industry, which is worth £385m. 38% of people in the UK take some kind of supplement, and we spent a staggering £164m on multivitamins in 2012 alone. So as you can imagine, they're furious at the Which! report.
Graham Keen, director of the Health Food Manufacturers’ Association said: ‘This new report is inaccurate as it infers that manufacturers are misleading their customers – which is simply not true. Just because a certain ingredient does not have an EFSA-approved claim, does not mean that it doesn’t have a beneficial effect.’
Well, it KINDA DOES.
Anyway, you know what has a beneficial effect, makes your joints supple and aids speedy digestion? Booze. And it's cheaper.