The Truth Behind Natural Elixirs Slideshows

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Pomegranate Juice
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Pomegranate Juice
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POM Wonderful Claims: “Bursting with superior levels of naturally occurring antioxidants it’s 100% authentic, 100% delicious and 100% pure, meaning there’s no added sugar, colorants or cheap filler juices. We have also provided over $34M in funding to support scientific research on POM products at top institutions around the globe so raise a glass to life and to the pursuit of healthiness.”

 

Health Experts Say: Back in 2007, Harvard Men’s Health Watch published findings that showed pomegranate juice slowed the development of tumors in patients with prostate cancer. A 2009 article in the Washington Post recognizes that although pomegranate juice is packed with antioxidants, those compounds have still not been proven to prevent heart attacks or strokes, and mentions that Pom’s test populations have been much smaller than what the FDA would use. More recently in 2010, a study came out that showed drinking the juice saw “reduced inflammation and the damage of oxidative stress caused by free radicals” for kidney disease patients.

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stock.exchng kunistvan

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Aloe Vera Juice
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Aloe Vera Juice
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Fruit of the Earth Claims: “Clinical studies have shown that aloe vera juice may have curative properties in the treatment of stomach ulcers and other digestive conditions. It is also often used to produce a mild laxative effect.”

 

Health Experts Say: Despite this being a popular remedy in Asia, in an article about constipation, WebMD notes, “The FDA rules that aloe is not safe as a stimulant laxative.” However, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center recounts various studies that have shown aloe vera juice helpful to slowing cancer growth and mentions its positive antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

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iStock hlphoto

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Green tea
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Green Tea
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Green Tea HP Claims: "Not only do you eliminate extra calories and unhealthy chemicals from your diet, you increase your metabolism, energy level (and productivity), and overall wellness."

 

 

Health Experts Say: WebMD writer Julie Edgar admits that there is little real-world evidence of green tea’s benefits, but says positive findings have come out of laboratories, like the research that says green tea can help “fight obesity and lower LDL ‘bad cholesterol’.” While the National Cancer Center in Tokyo found in 2010 that it cannot prevent breast cancer, Newcastle University researchers recently found that drinking green tea can help prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s.

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Flickr mckaysavage

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Mangosteen
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Mangosteen Juice
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Genesis Today Claims: “Supports youthful cellular regeneration and healthy aging.”

Health Experts Say: Although Genesis does note that the “product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease,” the Mayo Clinic’s internist, Dr. Brent Bauer, writes that the fruit has a lot of antioxidants, and “also contains some unique chemicals called xanthones, which appear to have potent anti-inflammatory effects in the laboratory.” Also, remember that fruits like mangosteen, as LiveStrong.com points out, contain a lot of sugar.

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Açai Juice
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Açai Juice
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Sambazon Claims: "It’s packed with powerful antioxidants, healthy omegas and delicious powers."

Health Experts Say: In 2010, a USDA research team found that eating the berries “cleans up and recycles toxic proteins linked to age-related memory loss and other mental decline” — but so do blueberries, strawberries, and possibly walnuts. Although they contain a lot of antioxidants like anthocyanins and flavonoids, the Mayo Clinic states that there is no conclusive research into the health claims made about the Amazonian fruit.

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iStock/Brasil2

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Kava tea
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Kava Tea
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Yogi Tea Claims: "Calm the body and mind and encourage a good night’s sleep."

 

Health Experts Say: In an article about stress management, WebMD says that research has shown that kava root “relieves anxiety, restlessness, sleeplessness, and stress-related symptoms such as muscle tension or spasm. You can also use kava as a pain medicine (analgesic).”However, recently doctors have been cautioning against the overuse of kava because it can cause kidney failure and liver problems.

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Wikimedia Commons/Littleblackpistol

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Kombucha
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Kombucha
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Synergy Claims: "Kombucha nourishes the body, delights your taste buds, bolsters your immunity, and makes your spirits fly."

 

Health Experts Say: According to several sources, probiotics in the fermented drink are similar to what yoghurt contains, and the health benefits are comparable. In fact, WebMD spoke to Chicago nutritionist Janet Helm who says that “yoghurt is a better choice if you want to boost your probiotics because it also contains a wealth of healthy nutrients like protein, calcium, and potassium.” Regarding immunity boosting, cancer prevention, and digestion, Mayo Clinic states unequivocally that “there's no scientific evidence to support these health claims.” Plus, it can contain trace amounts of alcohol and the homebrewed version has the potential to get contaminated.

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Flickr/Victoria_Bayer