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Friday, October 7, 2011

Watching Dr. Oz 10/06/11: Health Product Scams, Liver Health, Fast and Cheap Skin Care

The Dr. Oz Show
Air dates: October 6, 2011
Dr. Oz: 7 Biggest Health Scams

  • How to tell the scams from the real deals
  • How to support the liver
  • One minute skin care miracles
  • Beauty boosters under $10

Five days a week Dr. Oz recommends products based on how they can provide support to your health. Every day companies jump on those recommendations and portray them as endorsements by Dr. Oz. He calls these companies and their products lies and full of empty promises and lies.

How can you tell when a product is a scam?


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Dr. Oz: 7 Biggest Health Scams

Dr. Oz says he is tired of companies taking his name to promote their products - products he knows nothing about - and through wording and graphics give viewers the false impression that he wants people to buy their specific product.

Online shopping scam expert, Michelle Madhok shared the three ways you can tell if a product, any product is a scam:
  1. If the results are too good to be true then they are probably fake and therefore the product could be a scam. The people in examples maybe real but the before and after photos may not be the same person.
  2. A 30 day money back guarantee is not a product guaranteed. Companies will often return the purchase price then charge you again the following month.
  3. Celebrity endorsements sell products because the average person trusts that celebrity. In many cases, the celebrity has not endorsed the product nor the company. If you see a celebrity's face on a product do some research to see if they have actually signed their name on the dotted line. ***Dr. Oz does not endorse any product***
Dr. Oz Health Scam #1: African Mango
Dr. Oz has recommended African mango. Once. Yes, he talked about it only once. He described African mango as a “miracle in the medicine cabinet”, a super fruit to help with weight loss, a super fiber that is highly effective at moving cholesterol and fat from the body. That recommendation went viral.

Companies immediately listed their African Mango products “as featured on Dr. Oz”, an acceptable claim because it is true. Other companies went further with photos and links to DoctorOz.Com making it look like Dr. Oz endorsed the product – slick wording, false impressions.

To illustrate his point, Dr. Oz created a web page for a fake product with some of that slick advertising making it look like he endorsed a specific African Mango product. [The website has already been taken down so I'm not putting the web address here.] In a short time, the page received thousands of hits and even clicks on the “order” button for a product that doesn't exist.

One person who clicked the “order” button said she did so because she wanted a product to help her be thin without having to exercise or pay attention to what she ate. She wanted to run out and get the product because Dr. Oz said so.

[I was surprised that Dr. Oz appeared disappointed in her thought process. I have held the preception that he really dose want people to race out and buy what he discusses on the show. Dr. Oz said he wants people to take control of their health and make informed decisions, not run out and buy something because he utters a product name. It seemed that he is hoping people look to these recommendations as a support to exercise and nutrition and not as a substitute. That's exactly what people do everyday across the country – look for substitutes to the basics. Having worked in supplement retail for a decade, I would see this daily. People will always look for the short cut, the easy way, the quick fix and I don't think that pervasive attitude will change anytime soon.]

Dr. Oz Health Scam #2: Fish Oil
Dr. Oz's number one recommended essential supplement product is fish oils that contain omega-3's to clear cholesterol from the system and boost brain power. Yet not all products are what they claim to be.

Tod Cooperman, MD, President of said 30% of omega-3 products tested by failed either to contain the amount of omega-3 listed on the label and
be concerned, 30% failed: test too little omega-3 then label or were spoiled before the expiration printed on the label. Several products claimed to be “pharmaceutical grade” which is a marketing term without any FDA certification.

Of the many brands that passed the tests by two were mentioned on the show:
Life Extension's Super Omega and AdvoCare Omegaplex Omega-3's.

[I am familiar with the Life Extension brand and they are well known for quality products. To my knowledge, Life Extension brand products are only sold through them and are not available in store. I've not heard of AdvoCare.]

Life Extension Super Omega-3 EPA/DHA with Sesame Lignans and Olive Fruit Extract 120 Softgels
from: Best Price Nutrition

Dr. Oz recommends getting a fish oil supplement that contains at least 500mg each of the omega-3's EPA and DHA. His website recommends using the product within two to three weeks of opening to maintain freshness. [Keeping any oil supplement in the refrigerator allow it to keep better.]

Dr. Oz Health Scam #3: Ginseng
Ginseng has been recommended by Dr. Oz for improving sex drive, supporting the body during stress and for energy. According to, 45% of the brands tested failed to contain the amounts listed on the label and for heavy metal contamination.

Dr. Oz recommends taking 200mg extract (liquid) or 1000mg to 2000 powder (tablets or capsules) of either American or Asian (also called Korean) ginseng daily.

Spring Value® Standardized Extract Korean Ginseng and Nature Made® Ginseng were two brands for which the contents matched the label and the ingredients didn't exceed federal regulations for lead or pesticides. Both brands are available at national chain supermarkets and drug stores.

[I don't have any experience with either of those brands but I do have experience with Nature's Way.]

Dr. Oz Health Scam #4: St. Johns Wort
Dr. Oz has recommended St. John's Wort to support through mild to moderate depression as it has fewer side then pharmaceuticals. [One of the main side effects of St. John's Wort is sun sensitivity.] Forty percent of brands tested by didn't have the amount of active ingredients listed and/or were contaminated with the heavy metal cadmium. The amount of cadmium found was noted to be low however it would contribute to overall exposure load to heavy metals.

Dr. Oz recommends taking 300mg of a standardized extract of St. John's Wort three times per day that contains either 0.03% hypericin or 1% to 3% hyperforin.

Dr. Oz Health Scam #5: Probiotics
Probiotics have been recommended by Dr. Oz for supporting the system through irritable bowel syndrom explaining that our bodies are swarming with probiotics that are instrumental in digestion and the immune system. Probiotics are the best way to replenish the healthy bacteria in the body after an infection or after taking antibiotics.

Dr. Cooperman recommends looking for a probiotic product containing at least 1 billion live organisms. The number of organisms varies by product. Scams in the world of probiotics occur when the number of organisms is less then stated on the label. Some of the products tested had 50% less than the label and one had only 7% of what was claimed.

How can a product be sold with such discrepancies? Technically they can't however companies have figured out ways to get around label requirements. Be wary when the product label has an asterisk leading to a disclaimer saying the units listed are at the time of manufacture. Meaning the bacteria can die off and the count can be significantly less at the time of purchase and use than what the label is claiming.

[The health food store where I worked required assays from all companies verifying ingredients and manufacturing practices, among other criteria before a product or brand would be allowed into the store. In the probiotic section, many of the brands were labeled to contain the stated bacteria count at the time of expiration. New Chapter is a brand that holds its products to this standard.]

New Chapter Probiotic All-Flora 120 Vege Caps
from: Best Price Nutrition
Dr. Oz Health Scam #6: Coconut Water
Coconut water has been recommended to support hydration through electrolytes (minerals). Of the three big brands tested by, only one brand contained the electrolytes listed on the label.

O.N.E. Brand coconut water had only 18% of the sodium listed.

VitaCoco had only 60% of the sodium and magnesium listed on the label. VitaCoco was contacted and responded to the test information by saying that their products are regularly analyzed by an independent consumer lab and that the contents of the product are consistent with the labels.

Zico coconut water contained all the electrolytes stated on the label.

Dr. Oz Health Scam #7: Valerian
The herb valerian has been recommended for stress and sleep support. One chronically tired viewer was asked to try valerian for one night and tell if she felt it helped her go to sleep faster and get a good night's rest. She doesn't normally take supplements and wouldn't have tried valarian on her own to support sleep. After one night, she felt great and reported sleeping 7.5 hours – a high amount for her.

Seventy percent of valarian products tested failed to contain the label contents and some products had other herbs not listed on the label.

Dr. Oz says not to throw out supplements because they do work and encourages people to research the products they use and buy only from those brands who put an effort in what they make. is granting viewers of The Dr. Oz Show 24-hour access to three of their supplement reports: fish oil, ginseng and St. John's Wort. Visit for your free pass. After the free pass period, viewers will be offered a discount membership to the website.

[ was founded in 1999 and since that time has had a love-hate relationship with the supplement industry. The company receives payments from vitamin company's in the form of membership fees and has been lauded by supplement industry advocates for not providing transparency and not disclosing payments received from the companies they test. Many companies, including VitaCoco as mentioned in this blog, disagree with the findings of While they provide what seem to be great results, their process and business practices have been called into question multiple times throughout their existence.]

Dr. Oz: Are You Harming Your Liver?

One out of three people have the risks for a disease that has no warning signs: fatty liver. The liver is our primary defense organ and most of us take it for granted. As our biggest internal organ, the liver does a lot of work for the body but what do we do for our liver?

Risk factors for fatty liver include eating a diet high in fat, sugar and fried foods; medications that over tax the liver; over weight; and diabetes. When eating foods containing high sugar and high fat, that food goes into the blood stream and inflames the cells. Those inflamed cells go into the liver causing it to enlarge. The liver tries to process through all the fat and it can't keep up so the fat begins to accumulate in the liver leading to cirrhosis. These troublesome foods in moderation can be processed by the liver but when eaten in moderation can cause health issues.

Cirrhosis is more often associated with alcohol consumption and that stems from a misconception about what this organ does and how foods effect our liver.

Dr. Oz recommends taking fish oil supplements to help the body in balancing cholesterol. To protect liver, he recommends trying milk thistle either in a liquid form at 5-6 drops in water or powder (open a capsule) in a smoothy.

Dr. Oz One Minute Miracles to Save Your Skin

Many of us don't have much time but we need to protect our skin. Products already in the home may help the skin look great without costing time or money. Dr. Oz shared two skin care hints that take only 60 seconds.

Plucking the eye brows hurts! How can we maintain attractive brows without the pain?
Use a gum numbing gel on the eye brows before plucking. Apply get, wait 20 seconds then pluck away pain free. Dr. Oz applied the gel on a fan who can't stand the painful pluck and then he plucked her eye brow. She said it didn't hurt at all. As tit-for-tat, Dr. Oz let her take a pluck out of his brow: “That really hurt! I don't know why you guys do that!”

[It takes 20 seconds for the gel to numb the skin leaving only 40 seconds to pluck. Hmm, my brows are thin yet it takes me more than 40 seconds to pluck! The numbing gel is appealing though!]

This viewer doesn't wear any make up and wants to look healthy with a nice glow on her face before she leaves the house. Dr. Oz recommended making a quick paste of coffee grounds and olive oil and scrubbing it on the face, leave on for 30 seconds and removing before leaving the house for that fresh glow.

[It was an awkward application of coffee grounds and an even more awkward experience in removing the grounds. Dr. Oz himself said that viewers would believe that this is a quick fix tip and he was right. I'm going to have to give this one a try with a timer! My hypothesis is that mixing, applying, waiting and removing will take much longer than 60 seconds. Unless I had those happy little blue birds that Cinderella uses to help, I don't think I'll be getting the fresh, pink cheeky glow in one minute. Results to follow.]

Dr. Oz Beauty Boosters For Under $10

He saved [tried to] us time and now Dr. Oz has two supplements to help your boost your beautifying process for under $10.

Issue: Fine lines and wrinkles after age 30
Dr. Oz recommends taking Primrose Oil or Evening Primrose Oil at 500mg twice a day to support the tightening of the skin and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Available in capsules or liquid.
[Evening primrose oil is a beneficial fatty acid that supports moisturizing of the hair from the inside out. Primrose oil also supports the skin in the same way. Another important reason for taking primrose oil is it supports hormonal balancing for both men and women from puberty through menopause and beyond.]

Issue: Split ends from hot iron
As discussed yesterday on The Dr. Oz Show the hot iron is so hot [how hot is it] that its 400F will boil moisture out of the hair. Dr. Oz recommends taking Black Currant Oil, 500mg twice a day, to strengthen the hair and prevent the ends from splitting.

Solaray Black Currant Seed Oil 600mg 90 Soft Gels
from: Best Price Nutrition

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