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supplementalternative nameevidenceconditionconditiontypeone to watch?popularitysearch term notessource namesmain study linkCochrane systematic review linkother International review board or metastudy link(s)individual studies link(s)
our score. 0 = harmful 1 = no evidence, 2 = slight, 3 = conflicting/moderate, 4 = promising , 5 = good, 6 = strong Health condition or claim made for supplement (appears in bubble)the type of condition (appears in filter panel)what type of substance is this? (appears in filter panel)few studies / trials but positive potential. 2 trials or fewer, at least 1 with positive hits (used to scale the bubbles).We searched for the supplement name plus conditionThe search we used to get a Google hits figureComments by Cochrane or other review/guidelines or our notes on the evidence.
abatacept4osteoarthritismusculoskeletalhormone87,500abatacept osteoarthritisAbatacept appears to reduce joint pain and improve function.Cochrane
agnus castusvitex6PMSwomenplant / herb160,000agnus castus PMSA number of systematic reviews of randomized controlled trials have concluded that agnus castus helps improve PMS symptoms, and is considered safe. However, one review does point to the need for high-quality trials comparing the size of the effect against other treatment options. Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics; The European Menopause Journal, Archives of Women's Mental Health, American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Electronic Physician,
aloe vera0digestive aiddigestionplant / herb11,800,000aloe vera digestionIngestion of aloe vera is associated with diarrhea, electrolyte imbalance and kidney disfunction.Journal of Environmental Science and Health
aloe vera1burns, cutsgeneral healthplant / herb18,800,000aloe vera burns cutsThere is currently an absence of high quality clinical trial evidence to support the use of Aloe vera as treatment for wounds.Cochrane
aloe vera2diabetesdiabetesplant / herb27,800,000aloe vera diabetesWe found one study working with diabetes patients with high blood levels of fat (dyslipidemia). One 300mg capsule every 12 hours for 2 months has a significant positive impact on blood lipid levels.Planta Medica
andrographis1respiratory tract infectionsinfectionsplant / herbOTW154,000andrographis respiratory infectionsWhile there is no evidence that andrographis is effective as a treatment, it can help to reduce the symptoms. Otolaryngologic Clinics of North America
antioxidants3infertility in mensexual health, men, childrencompound1,900,000antioxidants infertilityEvidence of anti-oxidants as treatment for male infertility is inconclusive.Cochrane
antioxidants0mortalitygeneral healthcompound7,330,000antioxidants mortalityAntixoxidants have no health benefits. In fact, beta carotene, vitamin A and vitamin E appear to increase the risk of death.Cochrane
ashwagandhawithania somnifera4anxiety & stressmental healthplant / herb1,130,000ashwagandha anxiety stressA review of 5 human trials concludes Ashwagandha reduces anxiety & stress. It does point out that the study methods were really varied though, making thorough cross-referencing of the results difficult. The review calls for more trials. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine
ashwagandhawithania somnifera2erectile dysfunctionsexual healthplant / herb634,000ashwagandha erectile dysfunctionIn a single pilot study on 46 men with low-sperm count, ashwagandha supplementation appeared to increase sperm count by 167%, semen volume by 53%, & sperm motility by 57%. Evidence-based complimentary & alternative medicine
ashwagandhawithania somnifera2rheumatoid arthritis musculoskeletalplant / herb407,000ashwagandha rheumatoid arthritisA recent (2015) pilot study on 86 patients found that in combination with Sidh Makardhwaj (a mineral & herbal medicine), Ashwagandha reduced pain & inflammation. However, study limitations including 'small sample size, short duration, non randomization and lack of a control group' mean further studies are necessary.Indian Journal of Medical Research
astaxanthin1oxidative stressgeneral healthcompoundOTW261,000astaxanthin oxidative stressPromising results in rats, but no human trials yet. Cochrane, PLoS One
astragalus2dna damage, immune systemgeneral healthplant / herbOTW740,000astragalus immune systemAstragalus stengthens the immune system, boosting resistance to infections. However, studies are limited.Block, Mead (2003)
astragalus3chronic kidney diseasegeneral healthplant / herb354,000astragalus kidney diseaseAstagalus might have significant positive effects for patients with chronic kidney disease when combined with conventional treatments. However, the evidence is of low quality. Cochrane
bee pollen1cancer cancerother3,730,000bee pollen cancerA study of high-dose benfotiamine (300 mg/day) supplementation over 24 months showed no significant effects upon peripheral nerve function or soluble markers of inflammation in patients with type 1 diabetes.European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry
benfotiamine fat-soluble thiamin3anti-aging, diabetes diabetes, general healthcompound311,000benfotiamine diabetesThe findings are mixed, with some trials showing no effect and some showing some short-term benefits. Cochrane
beta-glucans1cancercancercompoundOTW280,000beta glucans cancerCompounds found in brewers' yeast and mushrooms. Most studies so far have been done in animals or test tubes, rather than on human subjects. It appears that beta-glucans inhibit tumor growth in mice. Trials on human subjects are needed. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
beta-glucans4colds, immune systeminfections, respiratorycompoundOTW558,000beta glucans respiratory infectionReduced number of colds by 25% and severity of symptoms by 15%. Might increase the body's ability to fend off infections.Molecular Nutrition and Food Research
bitter melon1diabetesdiabetesplant / herb1,150,000bitter melon diabetesThere is not enough evidence to support using bitter melon in the treatment of diabetes. Cochrane
black cohosh2menopausewomenplant / herbOTW530,000black cohosh menopauseThere is insufficient evidence to claim that black cohosh improves menopause symptoms. Cochrane
black tea1cancer preventioncancerplant / herb151,000,000black tea cancerReviews have found no association between black tea and ovarian or breast cancer risk.Nutrition and Cancer
borage seed oil4rheumatoid arthritismusculoskeletalplant / herb93,300rheumatoid arthritisBorage seed oil improves pain and function, and probably has no adverse effects. Cochrane
bromelain3arthritismusculoskeletalenzyme571,000bromelain arthritisBromelain reduces arthritis symptoms. More research into dosage and adverse effects is required. Annals of Internal Medicine
Common Knowledge
butterburpetasites hybridus2migrainespainplant / herb59,700butterbur migrainesButterbur extract may lower the frequency and severity of migraines.Neurology
caffeine2alzheimer's disease, dementiamental healthplant / herb4,110,000caffeine dementiaCaffiene appears to slow cognitive decline and prevent Alzheimer's. But the results are not definitive. Santos et al 2010
caffeine5memorycognitioncompoundOTW34,200,000caffeine memoryEnhances consolidation of long term memories. Improves memory in young adults during their non-optimal time of day (mornings). Borota et al 2014, Frontiers in Psychology
caffeine2skin cancercancercompoundOTW19,300,000caffeine skin cancerEpidemiological evidence shows women who consume more than three cups of coffee a day have a lower cancer risk than people who drink less than one cup per month. Song et al. 2012
calcium4blood pressurecardiomineral101,000,000calcium blood pressureHigh quality evidence has shown that extra calcium can slightly reduce blood pressure, especially in people younger than 35. Cochrane
calcium4colorectal cancercancermineral10,700,000calcium colorectal cancerNo evidence that calcium supplementation stops colorectal cancer itself, but it does inhibit potentially pre-cancerous colorectal polyps (adenomatous polyps) Cochrane
calcium2osteoporosis in postmenopausal womenmusculoskeletal, womenmineral3,710,000calcium postmenopausal osteoporosisCalcium might help to prevent fractures, although the results have been contradictory.PubMed
calcium + vit. D5bone healthmusculoskeletalmineral43,900,000calcium vitamin d bone healthA review of eight studies including 30,970 participants found that calcium plus vitamin D supplementation reduced total fracture risk by 15% and hip fracture risk by 30%. Numerous sensitivity and subgroup analyses produced similar summary associationsOsteoporosis International
calcium + vit. D3breast cancer in premenopausal women, cancercancer, womenmineral52,100,000calcium vitamin D cancerThere is no firm evidence that calcium and vitamin D supplementation decreases cancer risk. Cochrane
cannabis3nausea and vomiting due to chemotherapycancerplant / herb703,000cannabis chemotherapy nauseaPromising evidence showing a reduction in nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy. The FDA has approved 2 synthetic cannabis drugs for treating chemo-related nausea. Cochrane, NAP
cannabis3glaucomaeyesplant / herb1,490,000cannabis glaucomaDefinitely lowers eye pressure, but only temporarily (3-4hrs). Since Glaucoma is a long-term disease, a LOT of cannabis would be required to maintain low pressure levels. Also, cannabis might cause additional damage to the eye by restricting blood flow to the optic nerve. American Glaucoma Society
cannabis5Multiple Sclerosis (MS)neurologicalplant / herb22,700,000cannabis Multiple Sclerosis MS2 studies involving a total of 790 subjects showed positive results. Improved muscle spasms, pain, sleep quality, and mobility. Cannabis drug Sativex is approved for use in MS patients in 30 countries.Journal of Ethnopharmacology
cannabis4chronic painpainplant / herb79,400,000cannabis painSeveral good quality trials have shown cannabinoids to be modestly effective in treating chronic pain. The harms and side-effects may outweigh the benefits though. Larger and longer trials needed. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, Cochrane
capsaicin1non-allergic rhinitisgeneral healthplant / herb89,900capsaicin non allergic rhinitisCapsaicin comes from chili peppers. Evidence has found that inhaling 4 micrograms at least 5 times a day can reduce inflammation, but the quality of the evidence is low. Cochrane
carnosine1anti-aginggeneral healthcompound292,000carnosine anti agingPromising results in mice and in vitro, but no human trials yet. Molecules in Focus
cat's claw1cancercancerplant / herb526,000cat's claw cancerNo human trials. Anticancer Research
chamomile1bowel disordersdigestionplant / herb765,000chamomile bowel disorderNo high-quality human trials. Der Pharma Chemica
chocolate, dark3blood pressurecardioplant / herb26,800,000dark chocolate blood pressureChemicals known as flavanols, found in cocoa products, are thought to widen blood vessels and cause a minor drop in blood pressure. Further trials are needed to ascertain long-term efficacy. Does not apply to mllk chocolate.Cochrane
chromium2diabetesdiabetesmineral7,520,000chromium diabetesChromium might lower blood glucose levels. It might also help with fat loss, which could benefit those with diabetes. Cochrane
cinnamon1diabetesdiabetesplant / herb24,200,000cinnamon diabetesCinnamon is no more effective than placebo in controlling glucose levels. Cochrane
coconut oil4obesitycardio, general healthplant / herb10,100,000coconut oil obesity30ml of coconut oil per day might help to reduce waist size, possibly because the fat in coconut oil isn't easily stored.Cochrane
coffee6heart diseasecardioplant / herb134,000,000coffee heart diseaseA metastudy found that the more coffee a person drinks, the lower their risk of cardiovascular disease. The optimum amount of coffee for this benefit was 3-5 per day. Epidemiology and Prevention
coffee3mortalitygeneral healthplant / herb54,600,000coffee mortalityA large study of over 650,000 people found that coffee drinking reduced all cause mortality, whether it was instant, ground, or decaffeinated. JAMA International Medicine
colostrinin1alzheimer's diseasemental healthcompoundOTW8,280colostrinin alzheimer's diseaseA few small human studies suggest possible effects on Alzheimers.The Journal of Nutritional Health and Aging
CoQ10ubiquinol3diabetesdiabetesenzyme1,190,000CoQ10 diabetesCoQ10 improves insulin secretion in those with type 2 diabetes. However, human trials have been tiny. Biofactors
CoQ10ubiquinol1migrainepainenzyme340,000CoQ10 migraineSome tentative evidence that CoQ10 might affect migraine sensitivity. But much more research needed.Sage
CoQ101blood pressurecardiovascularenzyme1,390,000coq10 blood pressurePooled data from two trials showed that coenzyme Q10 did not affect blood pressure compared to placebo.'Cochrane
cranberrycranberry juice, cranberries1urinary tract infectionsurinary, womenplant / herb880,000cranberry urinary tract infectionsThere is no statistically significant evidence that cranberry juice or supplements prevent UTIs. Cochrane
creatine & CoQ10 3cognitionmental healthcompound326,000creatine CoQ10 cognitionCreatine doesn't have a significant effect in those with normal brain function, but it can benefit those with impaired brain function when combined with CoQ10. European Neurology
dandeliondandelion soup3tonsillitisinfectionsplant / herb338,000dandelion tonsillitisDandelion might have antimicrobial properties, which could help with throat infections. Evidence-Based Health Care
devil's claw4arthritismusculoskeletalplant / herb226,000devil's claw arthritisDevil's Claw extract can reduce lower back pain by blocking the pathways that cause joint inflammation. Cochrane
DHEA1ageinggeneral healthcompound260,000DHEA ageingDHEA has no beneficial impact on body composition, performance etc. PubMed
DHEA3memory in young mencognition, mencompoundOTW2,000,000DHEA memoryDHEA might improve memory in young men. Cochrane
dong quai0menopause in breast cancer patientscancer, reproductiveplant / herb343,000dong quai menopauseLong term safety data is non-existent. May increase risk of cancer.Lau et al. 2005
echinacea3coldsinfectionsplant / herb743,000echinacea coldsEchinacea might have a slight impact on preventing and treating colds, but the results are statistically insignificant. Cochrane
eggshell membrane5joints, arthritisgeneral healthotherOTW148,000eggshell membrane arthritisEgg shell membrane eases joints by increasing cell production and decreasing inflammation. 500mg a day gives rapid results. Cochrane
elderberry1fluinfectionsplant / herbOTW1,740,000elderberry fluSeveral in vitro studies together with two exploratory studies in humans and one open study in chimpanzees indicate that the aqueous elderberry extract Sambucol may be useful for the treatment of viral influenza infections. These promising effects of elderberry fruit preparations from experimental and clinical studies should be backed by more rigorous studies before these preparations are recommended in the prevention of diseases and in treatment schedules. Phytotherapy Research
evening primrose oil1PMSreproductive, womenplant / herb692,000evening primrose oil PMSEvening primrose oil is no more effective than placebo. Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynecology
feverfew5migrainepainplant / herb8,970,000fish oil omega 3 low sperm countFeverfew reduces migraine frequency by just over half a migraine a month. Cochrane
fish oil / omega 31Alzheimer's, dementiamental healthcompound2,650,000fish oil omega 3 Alzheimer'sIn the largest and longest study of its kind, researchers found that fish oil/omega 3 had no statistically significant impact on cognitive decline.The Journal of the American Medical Association
fish oil / omega 31asthmarespiratorycompound3,950,000fish oil omega 3 asthmaEating more fish has been recommended as one way of possibly reducing asthma. Populations (such as Eskimo communities) with diets high in fish also have low rates of asthma. As diets in other communities have become higher in saturated fats, asthma has also increased. The theory has been that an ingredient in fish oil may reduce inflammation. Inflammation causes the swelling in the airways of the lungs that leads to asthma attacks. However, this review of trials found that people with asthma changing their diets to include more fish oil did not improve their asthma.Cochrane
fish oil / omega 32cancer symptomscancercompound159,000,000fish oil omega 3 cancer symptomsFish oil can counter chemotherpay-related damage to white blood cells. Lipids
fish oil / omega 32child intelligencemental health, childrencompound31,900,000fish oil omega 3 child intelligenceFish oil supplementation has a very minor positive impact on some measures of learning and performance.PubMed
fish oil / omega 34colorectal cancercancercompound47,600,000fish oil omega 3 colorectal cancerIt is thought that omega 3 reduces the risk of colorectal cancer and is effective in its treatment. Gut: British Society of Gastroenterology
fish oil / omega 31Crohn's diseasedigestioncompound31,800,000fish oil omega 3 Crohn's diseaseOmega 3 probably has no beneficial effect for those with Crohn's Disease.Cochrane
fish oil / omega 32cystic fibrosisgeneral healthcompound9,790,000fish oil omega 3 cystic fibrosisThere may be some benefit to people with cystic fibrosis taking regular omega-3 supplements, but larger, longer studies are needed for confirmation.Cochrane
fish oil / omega 33low sperm countreproductivecompound15,200,000fish oil omega 3 diabetesA small study of 211 men it was found that omega 3 supplementation significantly increased sperm count. Cochrane
fish oil / omega 31diabetesdiabetescompound15,200,000fish oil omega 3 diabetesOmega 3 probably has no beneficial effect for those with type 2 diabetes. Cochrane
fish oil / omega 30prostate cancercancercompound1,610,000fish oil omega 3 prostate cancerRecent studies have linked fish oil intake with increased prostate cancer risk.Journal of the National Cancer Institutue.
fish oil / omega 32psychosismental healthcompound440,000omega 3 fish oil psychosisIn one study, supplementation delayed the onset of psychosis in those on track to develop certain mental health conditions. Nature Communications
fish oil / omega 32depressionmental healthcompound6,800,000fish oil omega 3 depressionOur primary analyses suggest a small-to-modest, non-clinically beneficial effect of n-3PUFAs on depressive symptomology compared to placebo; however the estimate is imprecise, and we judged the quality of the evidence on which this result is based to be low/very low.'Cochrane
fish oil / omega 33cardiovascular diseasecardiocompound233,000,000fish oil omega 3 heart diseaseTwo large (10,000+) open-label trials found that 1g or more of omega-3 fatty acids per day gave significant protection against coronary events. However, subsequent placebo-controlled trials did not. The authors conclude that, overall, the hypothesis that omega-3 supplements protect the heart in various ways is plausible & supported by numerous studies, but more research is needed. New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA Cardiology, Cochrane;;
fish oil / omega 3 (in pregnancy)6preterm birthreproductivecompound212,000,000fish oil omega 3 preterm birthA meta-analysis concluded that preterm birth & early preterm birth were reduced in women receiving omega-3. Most of the important studies assessed were of high or moderate quality, & more studies to establish causality of omega-3 in relation to pre-term birth are not needed. Cochrane
flax seeds1breast cancercancer, womenplant / herb1,320,000flax seeds breast cancerPopulation studies indicate a slight possibility flaxeed could reduce breast cancer tumour growth. No controlled trials have been carried out.Cancer Causes Control
folic acid5birth defectschildrenvitamin1,780,000folic acid birth defectsFolic acid helps to prevent birth defects, but timing of supplementation is important. Cochrane
folic acid0cancercancervitamin19,000,000folic acid cancerWhen combined with vitamin B12 can be associated with increased cancer risk.Cochrane
GABA4stress, anxietymental healthcompound3,880,000gaba stress anxietyCollectively, the literature reveals preclinical and clinical evidence for various phytomedicines modulating GABA-pathways, with comparative anxiolytic effect to the current array of pharmaceuticals, along with good safety and tolerability profilesPhytotherapy Research
garlic1blood pressurecardioplant / herb24,700,000garlic blood pressureGarlic might reduce blood pressure, but further research is required.Cochrane
garlicaged garlic extract2cancer treatmentcancervegetable19,300,000garlic cancer treatmentAlthough there were inconsistent evidence from human studies, results of the animal and laboratory results were mostly consistent. The overall findings may suggest that intakes of aged garlic are inversely associated with cancer. Overall, the current findings are not sufficient to assess the effects of aged garlic on cancer. However, due to anticancer properties of aged garlic, its consumption along with healthy diet may have beneficial effects on cancer. More clinical trials and prospective cohort human studies with adequate sample size are necessary.International Journal of Preventative Medicine
garlic 3cancer preventioncancerplant / herb8,080,000garlic cancer preventionGarlic might prevent certain cancers, but there is a lack of clinical trial evidence. The WHO recommends consuming at least one clove a day for general health benefits. National Cancer Institute
garlic 1coldsinfectionsplant / herb3,370,000garlic coldsThere is insufficient clinical trial evidence regarding the effects of garlic in preventing or treating the common cold. Cochrane: Garlic for the common cold
ginger4nausea and vomitingdigestionplant / herb10,100,000ginger nauseaGinger prevents nausea and vomitting for some people in certain circumstances.Annals of Oncology
gingko biloba1dementiamental healthplant / herb428,000ginkgo biloba dementiaThere is insufficient clinical trial evidence for the use of ginkgo bilboa as a treatment for dementia.University of Oxford Medical Sciences Division
ginseng1cognitive performancemental healthplant / herb797,000ginseng cognitive functionThere is no convincing evidence for ginseng enhancing cognition in healthy people, and only low quality evidence that it helps dementia patients. Cochrane
glucosamine3arthritis, joint painmusculoskeletalcompound4,830,000glucosamine arthritisStudies using a specific brand of glucosamine (Rotta) found that patients' pain decreased. However, studies using other brands found no difference between glucosamine and placebo. Cochrane
glutaminel-glutamine1gastrointestinal disease in infantsdigestion, childrencompound1,850,000glutamine gastrointestinal diseaseThere is insufficient evidence to determine whether glutamine supplements are beneficial or harmful.Cochrane
glutamine1mortality in preterm infantsgeneral healthcompound248,000glutamine pretermThe available trial data do not provide evidence that glutamine supplementation confers important benefits for preterm infants.'Cochrane
goji berrywolfberry1eye healthgeneral healthplant / herb1,880,000goji berry eye healthSupplementation for 90 days appeared to show some improvements in eye-health for seniors. But more research is needed. Optometry and Vision Science
grape seed extract1wound healing, swellingpainplant / herb735,000grape seed extract wound healingGrape seed extract is being investigated for possible effect on wound healing. But no reliable or substantial studies have been carried out.Global Journal of Health Science
green tea3cancer preventioncancerplant / herb25,800,000green tea cancer preventionThe evidence is conflicting. However, drinking 3-5 cups a day might have general health benefits. Cochrane
green tea3cholesterolcardioplant / herb50,000,000green tea cholesterolDrinking green tea might help to reduce total cholesterol levels, but trials were small and exposed to bias. Cochrane
horse chestnut seed extract4chronic venous insufficiencycardioplant / herbOTW104,000horse chestnut seed extract chronic venous insufficiencyHorse chestnut seed extract is effective in treating CVI. However, further research is needed.Cochrane
hyaluronic acid3arthritis (only when injected)musculoskeletalcompound1,840,000hyaluronic acid arthritisInjected hyaluronic acid might have a small effect in the treatment of osteoarthritis. However, the trials are biased and the results questionable. PubMed
iron4child development (when not anaemic)children, mental health, general healthmineral185,000,000iron child development -anaemiaIron supplementation in infants might benefit their psychomotor development, but not their mental or behavioural development.PubMed