Do Health Drinks Live Up to Their Claims?

POM Wonderful pomegranate juice is alleged to improve blood flow and heart health, prevent and treats prostate cancer, and work “40 percent as well as Viagra”, according to its makers. As a result of these claims, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) sued POM Wonderful for making "false and unsubstantiated" health claims.

POM is one of many beverages that claim they promote better health -- others include VitaminWater, kombucha tea, coconut water, and juice drinks made from acai, goji berry, and mangosteen. The FTC and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have been cracking down on the manufacturers of “health” drinks for allegedly overselling the benefits of their products.

According to CNN:

“... [T]hat doesn't mean the claims are invented -- most are based in research. The research is often funded by the manufacturers, however, and industry-funded research can be prone to bias. A 2007 study found that research on health drinks that was funded entirely by beverage companies was between four and eight times more likely to find a favorable result”.

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