Sports Medicine Corner
By Dr. Don Kirkendall
I’m kind of an infographics junkie, always interested in seeing how creative people present data (especially BIG DATA) in a meaningful design. My favorite book is The Visual Miscellaneum by David McCandless. Great visuals. Worth a look.
One of his most widely circulated designs is entitled Snake Oil where he presents “scientific evidence for popular dietary supplements showing tangible health benefits when taken orally by an adult with a healthy diet” (pg 18). You can see an interactive version on his website at
I thought of that graphic when I saw that researchers at Johns Hopkins published an article in the December 2013 issue of the highly respected Annals of Internal Medicine titled “Vitamin and Mineral Supplements in the Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease and Cancer.”
The bottom line? They found “limited evidence to support any benefit from vitamin and mineral supplementation for the prevention of cancer or cardiovascular disease.” They did mention that two studies showed “small, borderline-significant benefit from multivitamin supplements on cancer in men only and no effect on cardiovascular disease.”
Those results were supported by an editorial that was simply titled, “Stop Wasting Money on Vitamin and Mineral Supplements.

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