People with chronic illnesses have been advised to carefully evaluate products available via the internet which claim to treat or cure their conditions.
Such claims can create false hope and ultimately cause emotional hurt to patients, according to a new guide published by a group of medical experts supported by the charity Sense About Science.
The evidence backing up many claimed therapies can be "unreliable" or even based on "pseudo-science", the group warned.
"We've been contacted by so many people exhausted from the pressure they feel to try advertised treatments, dietary regimes and exercises," commented Tracey Brown, managing director of Sense About Science.
The guide, which is entitled I've Got Nothing To Lose By Trying It, aims to assist patients and their families to make sense of what they are "bombarded with" online, she added.
Sense About Science states its key aims are to generate public debate and to promote respect for evidence-based theories.
In addition to issuing responses to what it identifies as being inaccuracies in the public sphere, it also promotes the benefits of sound scientific research to the public.
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