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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Watching Dr Oz 1/17/12: Supplement Safety, Secrets to Reducing Stress, Beautiful Body Weight Loss Plan

The Dr. Oz Show
Airdate: January 17, 2012
Could Your Miracle Weight Loss Supplement Be Deadly?

  • What is in over-the-counter weight loss supplements?
  • Protect yourself from aging-relating stress
  • Have a beautiful body with the five-day/two-day weight loss plan

It's an international hidden health scandal. Over-the-counter weight loss supplements are being spiked with dangerous ingredient. Pharmaceuticals that have been banned due to safety issues are turning up in supplements labeled for weight loss. The FDA has identified hundreds of products that have been effected and that are being sold on store shelves across America, and Europe too. Find out what Dr. Oz found in these supplements and how you can avoid these potentially dangerous products.


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Dr. Oz and his staff were able to easily purchase several weight loss products and sent them to a lab for testing. The lab results showed the products were laced with recalled, dangerous pharmaceutical medications at a level way above the dosage amount recommended when the product was legal.

The FDA has issued warnings for hundreds of products that have been found to contain ingredients other than what is listed on the label, ingredients that could be risking your health. The problem is even though the FDA issues warnings and has issued recalls, these products are still available on store shelves. Dr. Oz sent his producer to Chinatown in New York and she was able to purchase these dangerous products.

Dr. Oz had the supplements taken to a lab for testing. They tested positive for recalled pharmaceutical drugs. Fifty million American's are taking weight loss products. How many people are being harmed by these dangerous ingredients? How can you avoid these tainted products?

Dr. Peter Cohen, MD, Cambridge Health Alliance and dangerous supplement researcher, and James Neal-Kababick, Director of Flora Research Laboratories, joined Dr. Oz on stage to discuss the dangers of tainted weight loss supplements.

Secret #1: OTC's may be spiked with banned drugs
Mr. Neal-Kababick shared that 90% of samples sent to his lab are adulterated. Consumers expect to get the product on the label but instead they are getting recalled, dangerous ingredients.

What's in these weight loss supplements? One sample that Dr. Oz sent to the lab tested for Cipro, the antibiotic used to treat Anthrax. Dr. Oz notified the FDA of the Cipro and was told that it had never been found in a weight loss supplement.

Mr. Neal-Kababick stated that the companies who are making these products are not interested in quality or safety. They will often manufacture a drug and then switch over to manufacturing a supplement but won't clean machines in between.

Secret #2: OTC's can contain multiple pharmaceutical drugs
Dr. Oz tested five other supplements purchased and they all tested positive sibutramine -
weight loss ingredient that caused heart attacks, strokes, and seizures. The FDA has banned sibutramine for sale in America.

Dr. Cohen explains that the situation is more dangerous then that, the FDA found sibutramine at 6 times the pharmaceutical dose in weight loss pills. Mr. Neal-Kababick agreed, stating the concentrations of these dangerous drugs found in over-the-counter products are off the charts.

The FDA has recalled the product Que She labeled as an herbal weight loss supplement. Dr. Oz's staff was able to purchase the weight loss product Que She in Lawrence, KS. Lab results showed that the Que She purchased contained four pharmaceuticals that were not listed on the label.

Sibutramine – in crazy amounts more than the pharmaceutical dose
Fenfluramine – also known as Fen-Phen, was recalled by the FDA due to side effects. Dr. Oz said that he has operated on people who experienced damage to their heart valves because of taking Fen-Phen. Ephedrine – a stimulant often used as an asthma drug that has been known to cause interactions with high blood pressure medications.
Propronolol – added to products to reduce the symptoms caused by the other pharmaceuticals, is a beta-blocker that an be a risk to those with heart issues and asthma.

This is what was found in one diet product. Dr. Oz says when a product says “herbal” don't fall for it.

The products tested by Dr. Oz also contained antidepressants, diuretics, and analogues. Mr. Neal-Kababick explained that drug analogues are used to hide other drugs in a product so it's harder to see them in lab tests. He said he is finding new analogues every month.

Dr. Cohen said that drug analogues have never been tested in humans and that Europe has seen cases of death from liver failure in these dangerous supplements.

Secret #3: Spiked supplements can be purchased everywhere
Less than 10% of weight loss supplement are made online. People, primarily women, are getting them at stores, from neighbors and at gyms.

Surprisingly, people are going to the FDA website to learn the names of spiked products then are purposely going out and buying them.

Dr. Cohen encouraged viewers to write members of Congress to change the laws to require manufactures to prove the safety of supplements before selling products on store shelves.

[Be wary. There have been several attempts to change legislation that would end up pulling all supplements off store shelves across the country until they are proved safe. I the store where I worked there were over 10,000 different supplements on the shelves. If this legislation passes, vitamin stores will close and people would no longer be able to purchase things like Vitamin C and multivitamins. Yes, I believe better regulation is needed to keep tainted, spiked and nefarious products off store shelves however, taking all products off the selves including those that have hundreds of years of safe use behind them because there are a few products, in comparison, that are purposely being made with banned substances is throwing out the baby with the bath water. There's a real chance that all supplements could be pulled from all shelves.

Click here to read more about the proposed New Dietary Ingredient guidelines (NDI) that would allow the FDA to call for the removal of safe products from the market.]

After buying the spiked products, Dr. Oz's producer went back to the stores where the products were purchased to ask where they bought the products. None of the stores were willing to say where they were buying these products.

Dr. Oz tried to contact the manufacture of one spiked product, Fruita Planta, the label claimed users could lose 10 pounds in one week. There was no manufacture name or contact information on the product or on Fruita Planta's website. Looking on the FDA's website, Dr. Oz found the a contact number. No one answered, Dr. Oz left a message that has yet to be returned.

The FDA says they are working to crack down on suppliers yet, as Dr. Oz experienced it's hard to find the manufacture, to find the supplier and hard to get in contact with the company.

Dr. Oz illustrated the supply route of these banned ingredient. Many herbal weight loss ingredients are produced in China, India, Europe, New Zealand and South America. The raw ingredients are sent to a manufacture in American who puts them into a supplement product which is sent to distributors who sells them to stores where anyone can purchase them.

What Can You Do To Make Your Supplements Safer?

Tip #1 - Avoid anything claimed as an alternative to a prescription.
Dr. Cohen explained that there is no single herbal ingredient that can lead to long-term weight loss, be suspicious of any product that makes such claims.

Tip #2 – Avoid products marketed primarily in a foreign language.
Dr. Oz showed the label of a weight product written primarily in a foreign language however the ingredients were listed in English. This is the actual ingredient list from the product, “instant coffee, Linghzi Spore Powder, Rose Powder, Semen Cassiae, Dietary Fiher and so on.”

Semen Cassiae? Dr. Oz didn't know what that was either. Dietary Fiher is not my typo but what was actually on the label. And so on? What?

Mr. Neal-Kababick tested the product and found no caffeine, he did sibutramine in the product. There was not company name, contact information, or phone number.

Tip #3 - Avoid products that make miracle claims
Dr. Oz wants consumers to be skeptical of products that make outrageous claims – lose 10 pounds in hours or minutes [a bit of an exaggeration by Dr. Oz but you get the point]. It just can't happen. Also beware of products that say exercise is not necessary not lose weight. That's a problem.

Read more about the struggle to find and stop these products from getting into the marketplace in the article The FDA vs. Tainted Supplements on

Secrets to Protect the Body From Stress

Dr. Oz shared three key nutrients to help protect our body from stress as we age.

Aging Eyes
Dr. Oz brought our a tissue sample of eyes, first time a tissue sample of eyes have been on the show. [They were dried and shriveled! Pretty gross, really!]

Dr. Oz recommended taking lutein at 8mg daily, either in a multivitamin or on it's own, to help support the cells in the back of the eyes. He said if your eyesight is deteriorating then it's time to start thinking of taking lutein.

Food sources of lutein include: kale, papaya, and eggs.

Aging Skin
If cuts, nicks and scrapes are taking too long to heal then Dr. Oz recommends taking zinc internally. He explained that zinc sustains the skin and can stimulates cell growth allowing the skin to heal better.

Dr. Oz recommended taking 8mg of zinc daily which often can be found in a multivitamin.

Food sources of zinc include: Swiss cheese, cheddar cheese, baked beans, and shell fish such as oysters, crab and lobster.

Aging Liver
It's the largest internal organ in the body and responsible for all the major detoxification that happens in the body. It's the liver. Dr. Oz recommended making sure you get enough glucosinolates – a phytonutrient [yeah, I've never heard of it either.]

Food sources of glucosinolates are most of the greens family such collard greens, also Brussels sprouts and cauliflower.

Rx For a Beautiful Body

Dr. Jennifer Ashton, MD, OB/GYN, author of Your Body Beautiful: Clockstopping Secrets to Staying Healthy, Strong, and Sexy in Your 30s, 40s, and Beyond, is a personal friend of Dr. Oz. She says the best health women can achieve comes as a result of a knowing how their body works. Living the lessons from her practice and in her book has brought her to real health.

Stress and weight gain is a huge complaint among women. Everyone has too much to do each day which results in too much stress. From a place of stress, we don't make the best food choices, the cortisol hormone is released which has a negative impact on weight gain.

Dr. Ashton has a plan to cut out bad habits and lose the weight.

Five Day – Two Day Plan
Dr. Ashton explains that you can do anything for five days and on the weekend can relax a little. On Monday restart the weight loss efforts and she guarantees success.

Dr. Ashton's Step 1: Eliminate bad or white carbohydrates
On Saturday and Sunday eat wheat berries which are high in fiber. During the week, Dr. Ashton wants people to try to eliminate grains and stick to fruit and veggies along with lean proetin.

Dr. Ashton's Step 2: Add a protein rich snack every day
Dr. Ashton says to focus on plant based protein shakes such as whey [whey is a dairy product, not a plant product], hemp and soy – but there are problems with too much soy. Have a protein shake for a mid-morning or afternoon snack.

Dr. Ashton's Step 3: Add power purple foods
Fill your plate with a rainbow of foods and be sure to include purple: eggplant, red cabbage, plums, blue/purple potatoes.

Dr. Ashton's Step 4: No packaged foods
Eat from the farm more than the factory, Dr. Ashton says. Sometimes there's not choice so plan in advance. Use segmented containers filled with healthy foods to have them ready to go. She cautioned to never, ever heat plastic.

If you have a sweet tooth, reward yourself on the weekend. You can't do anything rigid forever but you can do a better job Monday-Friday.

Repair Damaged Skin

We know about the effects of stress on the heart but how much do we talk about the effects stress has on the skin? Dehydration, pimples, discoloration and wrinkles can all be blamed on stress. So how do you get rid of them? Dr. Ashton says the solution may be in your kitchen.

The Ayurvedic philosophy [practiced in India for thousands of years and is based on utilizing herbs to support health] can be used with a few ingredients from the kitchen to reduce the effects of stress on the skin. Dr. Ashton explained that the skin is the largest organ of the body [the liver being the largest internal organ]. She said that most of us take care and caution about the food and vitamins they put in their body but don't think as much about the skin care products they put on their skin.

The skin absorbs whatever is placed on it. Dr. Ashton says if you can't pronounce it or wouldn't eat it then think twice about putting it on the skin.

Cooking Oils
Dr. Ashton recommends using sunflower oil or organic coconut oil as a body and hair moisturizer.

Mix one cup of sunflower oil with ½ teaspoon vanilla or lavender extract. Apply the oil the to hair and body straight out of the shower. For extra moisturizing to the hair, apply the oil again in the middle of the day or at night.

Use cumin and coriander as an anti-inflammatory with aromatherapy benefits. The spices are stimulating to the skin as well as cleansing. Dr. A says to look at Indian women in their 70's and they will look like they are in their 50's and these spices are reason.

Mix a pinch to a teaspoon of both cumin and coriander with water into a paste, apply to the face for up to 30 minutes.

Make a cleansing facial mask for wrinkles with dried milk. This mask will hydrate the skin as well as sooth and smooth the skin. The natural acids in the milk are beneficial to the skin.

Cleansing Milk Facial Mask
½ teaspoon dry milk
Pinch of sugar
3 ground almonds
Water to paste consistency

Mix ingredients together into a paste and apply to the face, neck, and chest. Leave the mask on for 30 minutes and wipe off with a warm cloth.

Bonus Tip!
Dr. Oz recommends that when eating meal to start with the low-calorie foods first before the higher-calorie or fatty foods to support weight loss.

Place your vote for this week's quiz
and return on Saturday for the answer.

Thank you for making Watching Dr Oz a success!


  1. Has anyone used Reumofan Plus for arthritis pain? It comes from Mexico. Can't find out whats in it. It sure works.

  2. I've not heard of this before. I did a search online for Reumofan Plus and the first website that came up,, says "The ingredients used in manufacturing this herbal product are Guasima, Holm oak, Easter Tea berry, Cancernia, matarique, shark cartilage, white willow, Glucosamine, Curcumin, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, magnesium and Calcium."

    I've not heard of the first five ingredients. Do some simple searching online to find out more about the ingredients and talk with your doctor to find out if this product and these ingredients are appropriate.

    If it's only availabe from Mexico, it could be possible that one of the ingredients is not allowed for sale in the US for a number of reasons. Again, I encourage you to do more research. I found the ingredient list on the first result of a search.

  3. I did diet supplements like these and hated them. They make you feel awful. Our neighbor Jill Knapp was on the Dr OZ show and she said that he does really know what he is talking about when it comes to supplements. Don't do it. not worth it.