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B vitamins don’t boost energy drinks’ power


5 Star

B vitamins don’t boost energy drinks’ power

Our Review Summary

This is a another very informative column in the continuing excellent “Healthy Skeptic” series in the Los Angeles Times. This column examines  health claims made about certain energy drinks.  It provided some insight about the grain of truth that could possibly be said to underlie the claims made about thes products and then provides a clear explanation as to why the asserted claim is not relevant in the context of the product making the claim.  This was a real strength of the story.  Perhaps readers will take away a more generalizable message about how they should think about product claims.

Kudos to the writer for making the informational points in an engaging fashion – and to the paper for finding time and space for such work.


Does the story adequately discuss the costs of the intervention?


The story included prices for several of the products described.

Does the story adequately quantify the benefits of the treatment/test/product/procedure?


The story debunked the company claims of benefit about vitamin B supplementation of energy drinks.

Does the story adequately explain/quantify the harms of the intervention?


The story provided accurate information about a potential harm of excess consumption of vitamin B-6.

Does the story seem to grasp the quality of the evidence?


The story debunked product information propagated by the companies with information from an individual with relevant expertise.

The story included anecdotal information about the ‘research’ findings of the writer.  It couched this appropriately.

Does the story commit disease-mongering?


The story did not engage in overt disease mongering.

Does the story use independent sources and identify conflicts of interest?


The story utilized product claims from advertisements and comments from an individual with relevant expertise in the field.

Does the story compare the new approach with existing alternatives?


The story mentioned means, other than the featured products, for obtaining recommended levels of vitamin B-6 and B-12.

Does the story establish the availability of the treatment/test/product/procedure?


The story mentioned the availability of the products discussed.

Does the story establish the true novelty of the approach?


The story mentioned that highlighted inclusion of B vitamins in energy drinks is a relatively new phenomena.

Does the story appear to rely solely or largely on a news release?


There is no evidence that this article relied on a news release.

Total Score: 10 of 10 Satisfactory


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