Response to NewsGuard (Aug. 15. 2022):
Hello NewsGuard team
Here are the replies to your questions.
Specifically, please make sure to read all the points that we made in answering question 4 (review of articles). We spent numerous hours and resources to refer to each and every comment you made in question 4 and we ask you to make sure and spend the same effort when reading our replies.
We also require that our full and complete replies will be published with your review.
All the information about who is operating and writing for this website is in the About Us page:
Full contact details are in the Contact Us page
As you can see there is a lot information to enable the readers to get a complete overview of the website. However we are happy to consider any request for further information when a contact is made directly.
In fact, our inbox is flooded with daily emails from various people, organizations and companies.
If you think that something is missing please let us know what you need and why you need it. We will consider any reasonable request.
Question 2 – Corrections policy
Corrections policy can be found in the disclaimer page under the section “Corrections and Modifications policy”:
“Healthy And Natural World corrects errors as quickly as possible. We value feedback from our readers, and you can contact us if you find an error in our articles.
Whenever an article is modified, it receives a new date – This date shows when the last modifications occurred. The modifications may include addition of new and relevant information, corrections of minor inaccuracies, modifications of images and sources, or any other change made to improve the article.”
We’ve added the second paragraph in the corrections policy based on your comment to make it clearer. This can also be an example to a correction and change we proactively make.
A few examples of corrections and modifications:
The Benefits of a Power Nap and How to Take the Perfect Nap – According to Science
The last section that had information about a “napping chair” has been removed. The reason is that the product became unavailable.
How to Remove Dental Plaque Naturally (Evidence Based)
The section about apples and plaque has been rephrased. There was also a comment added about the study mentioned in that section.
How to Easily Make Alkaline Water At Home
There have been a few modification and clarifications added in the sections:
Alkaline Water and Cancer – What is the Evidence?
What Does the Research Say about Alkaline Water and Cancer?
Question 3 – Amazon Affiliate disclosure.
Thank you for your comment and in order to be fully transparent with the readers we’ve added two page level disclosures.
Each page has the following message at the top: “Healthy and Natural World is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Here’s why you can trust us.”
Each page has the following message at the footer: “We occasionally link to goods offered by vendors to help the reader find relevant products. When you buy through these links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. For additional information please see our Full Disclaimer”
It is worth highlighting that the main focus of the website is informational in nature.
For example, the article in your comment “Evidence Based Ways to Increase Bone Density and Build Healthy Bones (Including Osteoporosis Diet)” includes 38 links to external informational sources in order to provide further information and only one affiliate link at the very end. This is an example to how affiliate links have negligible impact on the article.
We get a lot of questions about products and where to buy them and linking to products also satisfies the user’s intent.
If you think more changes are needed please let us know.
Question 4 – Article reviews
We are going to refer to each one of your specific comments but we need to make a few general statements beforehand. This will enable you to understand our specific answers to each comment.
Here are the general comments:
All the statements that are made in the articles are corroborated by external sources (mostly research work published in PubMed). This really needs to emphasized, however you didn’t mention it in your review.
By failing to mention it, you create the impression that the articles are based on nothing.
You are using quotes such as “Healthy and Natural World said that” or “The January 2022 article .. suggested” but you ignore the fact that what the article say or suggest is supported by external sources.
It is unfortunate that you didn’t mention in each of your quotes from our articles what PubMed sources were used to support this claim.
For example, the article about Proven Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar and Honey relies on 32 external sources. This means that the information is based on these sources.
The majority of your comments are based on information you gleaned from various websites. However you did not provide links to the sources you used in the review. This made it practically impossible to verify the integrity of your comments and how you relied on the websites you used.
This has proven to be important as you’ve completely distorted the information in one of your sources from Harvard Health Publishing.
You’ve suggested that “consuming vinegar can pose several health risks” [at any amount]. However we found out that your source (Harvard Health Publishing) suggested that only the consumption of large amount carries risk. Here’s what they said: “for diets with high vinegar content, a few warnings are in order”
You can verify it yourself in https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/apple-cider-vinegar-diet-does-it-really-work-2018042513703
In this case you’ve completely distorted the information your source provided and you’ve turned a common food ingredient to a dangerous one. But even if you meant that it is only an issue in high amount then you obviously missed a long section towards the end of our article about “Side Effects of Drinking too Much Apple Cider Vinegar and Honey”.
You also missed another section where the article advises for a very small consumption of vinegar that should be mixed with water. This is the section on “How to Make Apple Cider Vinegar and Honey Healing Drink”
This can also suggest that you didn’t read the complete article when making the review which is unfortunate.
There was another case where you made a comment about missing information in an article. But in this case there was also a specific section containing the supposedly missing information.
This was the article about alkaline water. You commented that “Mayo Clinic says on its website that more research is needed to verify claims that alkaline water can help prevent any ailments, including cancer and heart disease”.
However the article has a lengthy section about alkaline water and cancer where the first sentence makes it very clear “that there isn’t any scientific evidence to support the idea that alkaline water can treat or prevent cancer”. The article also doesn’t have anything about alkaline water and heart disease and certainly doesn’t suggest that it’s a cure for all ailments. It only presented four possible benefits and each one was directly supported by sources published in PubMed. Did you read these sources?
There was a case where you had conflicting information from the websites you used to write your comments.
This was the case of tea tree oil for nail fungus.
One of your websites you used (NCCIH) suggested (as per your comment) that “tea tree oil may be useful for acne and athlete’s foot, and one small study suggests that tea tree oil might help with nail fungus.”
However your other comment based on another website (Mayo clinic) said that “research hasn’t shown tea tree oil in its pure form or in combination with other antifungal therapies to be effective in treating toenail fungus.”
When a website suggests categorically that tea tree is ineffective then the onus is on that website to make sure they looked at all available trials.
But obviously in this case Mayo Clinic was not accurate as our article provided a source to a study published in PubMed. In addition your first source also supported the idea “that tea tree oil might help with nail fungus”.
The problem is that you used the Mayo Clinic website to support other comments related to other articles to say that there’s no evidence or there’s little evidence. But how can we trust the Mayo Clinic website to cover all available data when they clearly missed the mark here?
Furthermore, our article did NOT make the claim that tree oil can cure nail fungus. It was actually very careful to say (based on a clinical trial data published in PubMed) that it was comparable to clotrimazole. “One study found that undiluted tea tree oil was just as good at treating onychomycosis as clotrimazole (a popular antifungal treatment for nail fungus).”
You also seem to suggest that an article should contain all the information about every aspect that is mentioned in that article.
However this is not always possible, otherwise articles can become exceedingly long. In this case we strive to provide more resources to the readers.
For example, the article about apple cider vinegar and honey covered quite a few potential benefits of this combination (based on published academic research and trials).
One of the possible benefits was assistance with weight loss. There is a short section about it linking to the results of two randomized control trials that support the claim. And two more links to lengthy articles about it.
In your review about that article you got into a lot of details trying to question the effectiveness of Apple cider vinegar for weight loss. Many of your points were covered in the other articles that were provided for further reading. It is realistically impossible to cover all things in one article and this is why readers are encouraged to read more to form their own opinion.
We also need to highlight that the relevant section in our article was careful to only suggest that apple cider vinegar can assist with weight loss. The article did NOT claim that it’s a magic solution. In addition, all the information in that section was directly supported by the two randomized control trials (sources 12, 13). One of which has the title “Vinegar intake reduces body weight, body fat mass, and serum triglyceride levels in obese Japanese subjects”.
You also seem to imply that one part of the solution is the solution itself. When a solution is composed out of many parts you cannot imply that one component by itself will solve the problem.
This was the case in the article about the anti-cancer diet. You had a lot of comments about one of food items mentioned in the article – lemon juice. You need to realize that the lemons are mentioned in the part related to consumption of citrus fruits.
All we said in the section about lemon juice (based on a systematic review published in NCBI) is that “Although the juice from most citrus fruits helps prevent cancer, studies have shown that lemon juice has a stronger effect.” This was the exact finding in the published review.
Observe that we were extremely careful with what has been suggested in the article and observe that it was in the part related to citrus fruits. In addition the article was very clear to suggest in the opening that we are not talking about a specific food item but about a combinations of foods: “The cancer prevention diet should consist of multiple servings of fruits and vegetables daily, increasing your fiber intake, and consuming essential fatty acids. It is also important to cut out red meat, refined carbohydrates, and added sugar.”
This statement based on resource 1 in the article that links to “A review of the evidence for an anti-cancer diet” published in PubMed.
You also commented that lemons in any form cannot cure cancer. However the context in the article is about risk reduction and not about treatment (and obviously not about cure). This makes your comment irrelevant. In addition, all the article claimed is that “studies have shown that lemon juice has a stronger effect” than citrus fruits (which is exactly what the published review in PubMed found).
We’ve noticed that you seem to imply that just because a study is small or just because there are not enough studies, then the findings can be ignored. But is it really the case? Isn’t it better to point the readers to all the sources and let them make up their own mind?
Furthermore, there are limited number of studies on many aspects related to nutrition and health and about the use of essential oil and herbs. So this comment can be said on almost everything.
In any case our articles are very careful in suggesting how a certain treatment can help and we didn’t see any reservation in your review about the integrity of the information we used from the studies. You mostly ignored the studies referred mentioned in the articles so I am not sure if you read them.
The only case where you had a reservation was about a randomized control trial mentioned in the article: “16 Proven Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar and Honey (Evidence Based).“ (Reference 12).
The title of the trial is “Vinegar intake reduces body weight, body fat mass, and serum triglyceride levels in obese Japanese subjects.”
The researchers concluded that “Body weight, BMI, visceral fat area, waist circumference, and serum triglyceride levels were significantly lower in both vinegar intake groups than in the placebo group.”
They also said that “In conclusion, daily intake of vinegar might be useful in the prevention of metabolic syndrome by reducing obesity.”
However you commented that four weeks after the end of the trial, the participants reversed all the weight loss. But how is this relevant when you don’t know what the participants consumed in these four weeks? The same thing will apply to any diet – once you stop following a certain diet then obviously you cannot expect to maintain the results.
In addition, the researchers concluded categorically that “daily intake of vinegar might be useful in the prevention of metabolic syndrome by reducing obesity.” We merely quoted what they said and didn’t try to question their conclusion as this was their study.
It’s also worth noting that the large majority of the sources you used in your comments are secondary sources. When you use secondary sources you rely on these sources to interpret the information of primary sources. However, how can we be sure that they did a good job where in one place we found that they missed the mark? How can we be sure that they didn’t miss anything else? Especially when you didn’t provide links to these sources.
The majority of our sources are primary sources that provide the readers first hand evidence. We help the readers make the research and to form their own opinion by providing them direct links to these sources. We don’t force on them a one and only conclusion.
You also seem to ignore the fact that sometimes there isn’t one answer to any question. There are various studies (sometimes contradicting) and the readers need to do their own research. In this regard our articles provide plenty of primary sources.
Do your websites provide detailed information and studies to the readers? It’s hard to know as you didn’t provide links and on the basis of that they should be treated with caution.
Here is more detailed information with replies about each comment.
Comments regarding the April 2022 article, “16 Proven Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar and Honey (Evidence Based),”
The article in our website merely reflected the fact that the researchers concluded that “Vinegar intake reduces body weight, body fat mass, and serum triglyceride levels in obese Japanese subjects”
In this respect there’s no misinformation here as this is the finding of the researchers and the article reflected it correctly.
The following statement is mentioned in the Abstract of the Japanese study:
This can verified in https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19661687/
The title of Japanese study in question is also: “Vinegar intake reduces body weight, body fat mass, and serum triglyceride levels in obese Japanese subjects”.
As you can see the statement in the article is fully supported both by the conclusion made by the researchers and by the obvious title of the study.
You didn’t supply a link to support your comment that “by the end of a four-week post-treatment period, subjects’ body weights, BMIs, and waist-to-hip ratios returned to their pre-treatment levels.”
However, it seems that according to your comment the researchers evaluated the participants 4 weeks after the end of the treatment “end of a four-week post-treatment”. However it is unknown what their dietary habits were in these 4 weeks. Did they continue to consume the vinegar or did they stop using it? Did they drink a lot more sugary drinks or ate a lot more?
But again, the researchers themselves concluded that “Vinegar intake reduces body weight, body fat mass, and serum triglyceride levels in obese Japanese subjects”.
So there’s no misinformation here and I think that you need to contact the researchers directly to update their statement if you think it is not correct.
You mentioned that “Harvard Health Publishing wrote in an October 2020 article that consuming vinegar can pose several health risks, including lowering potassium levels, altering insulin levels, and damaging tooth enamel if consumed undiluted.”
However, you need to be aware the warning that you mentioned from Harvard medical publishing is “for diets with high vinegar content”. They mentioned all their warnings under: “However, for diets with high vinegar content, a few warnings are in order:”
You can verify it yourself in https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/apple-cider-vinegar-diet-does-it-really-work-2018042513703
You will notice our article has a long section about “Side Effects of Drinking too Much Apple Cider Vinegar and Honey”
Our article clearly mentions a very low levels of apple cider vinegar (1-3 tablespoon daily diluted in water).
You will also notice that the recipe in the article only mention 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar mixed in a glass of water.
This is a very small amount of vinegar. This is also a lot less than what was consumed in the Japanese study (which had 30 ml of vinegar daily).
You mentioned that: “Mayo Clinic said in an April 2022 article on its website that “apple cider vinegar isn’t likely to be effective for weight loss … Studies of apple cider vinegar for weight loss have not consistently shown significant and sustainable weight loss across diverse groups of people.”
Our article did NOT make the claim that drinking apple cider vinegar is a sort of a “magic solution”. It has clearly mentioned that is can assist with weight loss as per the supporting studies.
The article supplied sources to a number of studies as well as to a complete article just about apple cider vinegar and weight loss. That article has a lot more information about apple cider vinegar and weight loss. This will help the readers to form their own point of view about it.
You also need to understand that the article that you reviewed is not specifically about apple cider vinegar for weight loss. As such we didn’t cover all the possible information about it and this is the reason the article pointed the readers to other sources.
In fact one of our supporting sources (which is specifically about apple cider vinegar and weight loss) clearly mentioned that “How fast you’ll lose weight depends on other factors as well, such as your exercise, nutrition, stress and genetic factors. For best and fastest weight loss effects, you need to combine the consumption of the apple cider vinegar water with other techniques for losing weight, so the function of vinegar gets supported with lifestyle changes.”
We do not tell the readers what to think and we let them make their own conclusions. Even if Mayo clinic says that the studies are inconsistent – isn’t it better to let the readers make their own mind based on what is provided to them? And even if the studies are inconsistent, there are still studies that show potential benefits so why not it yourself?
But as mentioned, this section is linking a lengthy article about it with a lot more information to enable the readers to get much better understanding. In addition there are links to trials that support everything that the article suggested.
Comments regarding “The Anti-Cancer Diet: Cancer Fighting Foods to Help Prevent Cancer (Evidence Based)”
As a general comment, some of the sources that you used were talking about cancer treatment. However the article itself was NOT about cancer treatment at all. It was about cancer prevention or more specifically, risk reduction, which is completely different than treatment.
So you need to be careful and no to mix between the two very different approaches.
In addition the article itself did NOT claim that eating a certain food item by itself can prevent cancer. The article was very clear about it and mentioned that:
“The cancer prevention diet should consist of multiple servings of fruits and vegetables daily, increasing your fiber intake, and consuming essential fatty acids”
You will also notice that the article only mentioned “reduce your risk of the disease”
There were absolutely no promises that this diet can always prevent cancer. Obviously the article did not talk about treatment.
So again we need to take your specific comments about lemon in that context. The lemon is only a very small part of the diet.
The statement in the article about the lemon juice is fully backed up by the source provided. So there’s nothing wrong here.
Observe the specific claim in the article: “Although the juice from most citrus fruits helps prevent cancer, studies have shown that lemon juice has a stronger effect”
Here is the direct quote from the source: “Anticancer Potential of Citrus Juices and Their Extracts: A Systematic Review of Both Preclinical and Clinical Studies”
As per the review: “The growth inhibitory effect of both lemon and orange juices was also assessed by Fernández-Bedmar and collaborators on human leukemia HL-60 cells, suggesting a stronger activity of lemon rather than orange juice (IC50 1.4 and 4.4%, respectively) (Fernandez-Bedmar et al., 2011).”
You also commented that lemons in any form cannot cure cancer. However the context in the article is about risk reduction and not about treatment. This makes your comment irrelevant. In addition, all the article claimed is that “studies have shown that lemon juice has a stronger effect” than citrus fruits (which is exactly what the published review in PubMed found).
Obviously as with almost everything nowadays, there is a lot of conflicting information and as such the readers are most welcome to refer to the review and to form their own conclusion.
Yet again it’s worth emphasizing that lemons are only a part of the anti-cancer diet. This article was not specifically about lemons but about eating a well balanced diet to “reduce your risk of the disease”.
Any suggestion that you make need to demonstrate that the complete diet by itself has no benefits. But observe that the first source in the article is pointing to “A review of the evidence for an anti-cancer diet” published in PubMed.
Comments regarding: “How to Easily Make Alkaline Water At Home”
The Benefits of alkaline water are supported by a number of studies mentioned in the article (under the resources section).
You’ll observe that the first source is an article published in PubMed about “Acid-alkaline balance: role in chronic disease and detoxification”.
The article from PubMed found that “the increasing dietary acid load in the contemporary diet can lead to a disruption in acid-alkaline homeostasis in various body compartments and eventually result in chronic disease through repeated borrowing of the body’s alkaline reserves.”
And also that “an effective alkalizing compound, such as potassium citrate, may shift the body’s reserves to become more alkaline.”
As you can see this supports the idea that a diet high in acid load can result in chronic disease. It also supports the idea that “an effective alkalizing compound” “may shift the body’s reserves to become more alkaline.” So it does suggest that a certain diet “may shift the body’s reserves to become more alkaline.”
Here’s another study the article used “Acid-base balance and hydration status following consumption of mineral-based alkaline bottled water”
This study concluded that “Consumption of AK water [alkalizing bottled water] was associated with improved acid-base balance (i.e., an alkalization of the blood and urine) and hydration status when consumed under free-living conditions.” And that “These results indicate that the habitual consumption of AK water may be a valuable nutritional vector for influencing both acid-base balance and hydration status in healthy adults.”
Did you read the supporting studies before making your comments? You can notice that our claims are supported by them.
As you can see these findings somewhat contrast (or maybe supplement) the statement that you used made by Beth Czerwony: “If there’s an imbalance there are many ways your body can correct it. If your blood becomes too acidic for example, you breathe out more carbon dioxide to bring the levels down.”
What were the primary sources used by Beth Czerwony and what sort of evidence did she use to make her statement?
You did not supply a link to the comments made by Beth Czerwony and she didn’t say what studies she used to form here irrefutable conclusion.
But as you can see there are articles published in PubMed that claim otherwise and the article is based on these.
You also provided a statement from Mayo Clinic (without a link) in the context of alkaline water, cancer and heart disease as well as the prevention of all ailments.
But the article was very clear that “that there isn’t any scientific evidence to support the idea that alkaline water can treat or prevent cancer”.
In addition the article didn’t claim that alkaline water can prevent heart disease and in fact it didn’t discuss it at all. It also didn’t claim that alkaline water is a “cure all”.
However the scientific studies in the article do point to the correlation between dietary acid load and chronic disease.
Comments about the Proven Benefits and Uses of Tea Tree Oil (Melaleuca Oil) — Science Based”
You will notice that the article didn’t promise that tea tree oil is a cure for nail fungus. It merely suggested based on the trial published in PubMed that tea tree oil is “as good at treating onychomycosis as clotrimazole (a popular antifungal treatment for nail fungus).”
The results of the study Support this claim “After 6 months of therapy, the two treatment groups were comparable based on culture cure”
As you can see the article was very careful to present the results of the trial without making any claims (in either way).
It’s interesting to note the contradictions in the sources you presented here: Your source from the NCCIH “suggests that tea tree oil might help with nail fungus”. However your source from Mayo Clinic says completely the opposite.
Which source is right here and what do you suggest?
We are also left wondering how Mayo clinic reached their conclusions that “research hasn’t shown tea tree oil in its pure form or in combination with other antifungal therapies to be effective in treating toenail fungus.”
What studies they used for their far reaching conclusion and why they make this conclusion when your other source (NCCIH) “suggests that tea tree oil might help with nail fungus? Because you did not provide a links to your sources this will remain unknown.
However our article certainly provided a source to a study published PubMed to back up its claims.
NewsGuard is holding websites to a very high standard but do you think you upheld these standards in your review? What sort of an impression your review makes when you do not provide links to your sources, completely distort the information in one of your sources, and miss relevant sections in our articles?