Back in 2010 we looked at Dr. Mehmet Oz, he of Oprah Winfrey-endorsed gilded TV fame and the king of a fan base that will run out and buy anything he endorses. Even then he had a solid gallery of critics who were ready to call shenanigans on his various medical pronouncements, and even while his popularity has remained widespread, there are still plenty of of people who question his brand of health advice.
Earlier this week Slate ran an extensive profile of Dr. Oz including his latest panacea — a magic pill that will finally let people stop all that bothersome exercise and dieting and still melt the pounds away!
“Everybody wants to know what’s the newest, fastest fat buster,” said the doc late last year, just as his fans were gearing up to make their New Year’s resolutions. “How can I burn fat without spending every waking moment exercising and dieting?”
The answer, according to him is a “breakthrough,” “magic,” “holy grail,” even “revolutionary” new fat buster.
“I want you to write it down,” America’s doctor urged his audience with a serious and trustworthy stare. After carefully wrapping his lips around the exotic words “Garcinia cambogia,” he added, sternly: “It may be the simple solution you’ve been looking for to bust your body fat for good.”
Sounds great, sign us up! Or maybe not, says a huge pile of evidence that says garcinia doesn’t do a darn thing. It’s been studied for more than 15 years and has shown that it’s basically as effective as a placebo when it comes to losing weight and shedding fat. In fact, one of Dr. Oz’s critics says not only does it not do what he says it does, but it could actually be harmful to your health.
One study’s author told Slate that the supplement may be linked to adverse gastrointestinal effects: “Dr. Oz’s promotion of this and other unproven or disproven alternative treatments is irresponsible and borders on quackery.”
So why do we believe the words that pour out of his mouth and run for the pharmacy counter when he proffers treatments? Because he’s a doctor, he has a big smile and he’s cracked the code to credibility using those tools. He’s got a laundry list of medical awards, Emmys, authorship of academic articles and heck, even Emmys.
That doesn’t mean that he’s right, contends Slate, offering up a chart that lays out all the ways he’s actually been wrong or has contradicted the results of medical research.
Whether or not you trust Dr. Oz and his miraculous methods is up to you, but, says a man who uses evidence to establish medical truth at the Mayo Clinic, none of these panaceas are secrets.
“If studies are cited, then this cannot be, at the same time, a secret revealed just to you now. If the studies are any good, the effects are usually very small.” As for garcinia and its weight loss wonderfulness, he tells Slate: “It is very unlikely that an important compound hidden in the garcinia could have a big effect.”
For more detail on what Dr. Oz says and what the rest of the medical community calls a fact, check out the extensive chart at the end of Slate’s investigation into the wizard behind the curtain by way of the source link below. And no, his dimples do not count as proof he knows what he’s talking about.