Put 5 megatons in your mouth!

Put 5 megatons in your mouth!

Put 5 megatons in your mouth!

Bad Astronomy
The entire universe in blog form
June 3 2008 2:36 PM

Put 5 megatons in your mouth!

I am never ceased to be amazed at the garbage spewed by quacks the "diet supplement" industry.

Phil Plait Phil Plait

Phil Plait writes Slate’s Bad Astronomy blog and is an astronomer, public speaker, science evangelizer, and author of Death From the Skies!  

The latest? Something called "Tunguska Blast!" What is it? Why, according to the website, it's:

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... a powerful dietary supplement originating from the miracle of 1908 in the Tunguska region of Russia.

In 1908, a chunk of rock 10-20 meters across exploded high in the atmosphere over a remote region of Russia, flattening trees and causing an explosion that was literally felt around the world. Called the Tunguska event (after a nearby river), it has caused endless research in the scientific community and endless nonsense in the antiscientific one.

What does this have to do with an energy drink? Well...

From among thousands of herbs, roots, and fruits reborn from the ashes of the mysterious Tunguska Event, scientists identified the ten most concentrated with therapeutic properties and natural nutritional benefits.

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Of course! After all, nothing says healing like the explosive equivalent of 5 million tons of TNT!

The ingredients of the supplement are the usual mishmash of plants generally blended into such things. They may indeed be therapeutic -- there are some that have antioxidants, for example, and one has flavonoids (which I suspect is something the writers for The Simpsons made up just so Professor Frink could say it) -- but as always, it pays to dig into the site, where you find this bit:

That says: "The statements on this product have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any diseases."

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In other words, this product may not do anything its makers claim it does.

I am not saying this product does nothing, nor am I saying it either helps or hurts you -- though I must note that many of these dietary supplements, even most of them, have not been tested at all in conjunction with the use of other supplements, which means you can sometimes get synergistic effects which can be harmful, even fatal -- but what I am saying is that tying this product to the Tunguska blast is remarkably silly, even in a market known for an unlimited supply of utter nonsense.

I suspect most anyone who reads this site would know better than to buy stuff like this. But even I have to admit: the bottle is cool.

Tip o' the homeopathic qi-aligned feng-shui induced chiropractic tin foil beanie to ToSeek, who is apparently everywhere.