The Frustration of Hunting for Health Info Online

If you are a female on Facebook who nonchalantly displays their gender, you are probably one of thousands of women online who have seen these adverts on Facebook.

facebook ad

This particular advert links to a page with the following format.

Knowing what complete nonsense the majority of these products are, but being shamelessly curious to find out more, I ran the quote through Google to see what popped up. I was not disappointed.

I found a thousand articles referencing entirely different products (everything from Acai Berry to Chai Tea) attributing the quote to entirely different women (from all over the world). Did I find the original, mysterious blog source? Nope.

So how can someone find out whether two eggs a day are bad for you, if cooking with olive oil is a good idea, or if eating avocado three times a week is good for your skin? Everyone online seems hell bent on pushing their sites to the top of the search engines just so they can make money off some bizarre product. Of course most of these websites proudly throw the words “studies show” and “clinical trials” around, but the links to these studies are always oddly conspicuous.

After some hunting I managed to find what I was looking for, but I’m unimaginably frustrated about the path I was forced to follow in order to cut through the bullshit simply to find something so seemingly simple.

Step 1) Identify the popular name of the product. In this instance, let’s take OrganaSlim as the example since it was in the original article.

Step 2) Identify the primary active ingredient in the product – African Mango

Step 3) See if there are any clinical trials readily accessible online around this term. No.

Step 4) Find the genus and species name of the plant – Irvingia gabonensis

Step 5) Find a legitimate clinical trial published in a peer-reviewed journal

There we go, I finally have what I was looking for.

One short study shows that Irvingia does promote weight loss but it is not conclusive that this is due to loss of body fat. Another longer study, double blind with a placebo control group, shows promising results and concludes that more research should be done.

I don’t know if this information is extra-ordinarily hard to get hold of because the majority of the population don’t understand clinical trials or just love gaudy, flashy websites such as the OrganaSlim site, but whatever the reason, the companies and individuals who promote these products need to be seriously reigned in.

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