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Friday, November 16, 2012

Watching Dr Oz 11/16/12: Sensa – Sensation or Senseless?, Anger Quiz, Anger Management Tips

The Dr. Oz Show
Airdate: November 16, 2012
Dr. Oz Alert: Sensa – Sensation or Senseless?

  • Dr. Oz investigates the Sensa weight loss craze
  • 20 women share their Sensa experience
  • Rate your anger
  • Temper tamers

Is it hype or a miracle weight loss product? Dr. Oz takes a look at Sensa to determine if it's a sensation or senseless.


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Dr. Oz Alert: Sensa – Sensation or Senseless?

The ads for Sensa say: What if you can what you want and still lose weight? Sprinkle a little white powder on your food and eat away why you lose weight. Sensa calls them taste bits and are touted to change your sense of taste and smell.

Dr. Alan Hirsch, the creator of Sensa, found in his medical practice that when his patients lost their sense of taste and sense of smell they gained weight. So he thought if he could enhance these senses then people might lose weight. His studies show that when people use Sensa on sweet or salty foods the taste and smell of these foods are enhanced and people tend to eat less and then lose weight.

Sensa costs about $60 per month, said Dr. Hirsch. Millions of users have lost millions of pounds. Consumers of Sensa can expect to lose about 30 pounds over 6 months, said Dr. Hirsch, and some people have used Sensa for years and continue to lose weight.

Dr. Oz illustrated what happens when we eat food. The food goes in the mouth then down to the stomach. When the food hits the stomach, the stomach sends messages to the brain that you're full. With Sensa, the senses are enhanced and as you take a few bites those messages of being full go directly from the mouth to the brain. The message of being full gets to the brain faster and stops behavior sooner, at least that's how it's advertised.

Dr. Louis Aronne, director of the comprehensive weight loss program at NY Presbyterian Hospital, thinks there's something fishy with the Sensa weight loss craze. Dr. Aronne says Dr. Hrisch's studies are not scientific they are consumer based studies and therefore the results are unproven. The claims made by the makers of Sensa have not been proven or tested and therefore should not considered as safe or effective.

Kristen Kirkpatrick, MS, registered dietitian and Wellness Manager for Cleveland Clinic's Lifestyle 180 program [and contributing blogger on], contains maltodextrin a starch which causes bloating in many people. Maltodextrin can be derived from corn or wheat, two foods that are highly allergenic and could be problematic for people with allergies to them and unfortunately the product does not disclose these potential allergens. Ms. Kirkpatrick stated that she also has a problem with a product the relies on natural or artificial ingredients that are disclosed on the label.

Dr. Hirsch essentially said it's too complicated for the company to disclose all ingredients in the product because the formulation changes every month. The company discovered the if the product stayed the same then people would not experience such great weight loss over time instead they would plateau. Changing the formula allows for consumers to receive different ingredients every time they purchase a bottle and that allows them to never hit a plateau and steadily lose weight over months or years.

Dr. Hirsch agreed with Dr. Oz and the other specialists on the stage that exercise is best for losing weight however there is a large segment of the population who are unable to achieve results with just exercise and instead, said Dr. Hirsch, they can turn to Sensa.

Fourteen women who have used Sensa for at least a month were invited on to the Dr. Oz Show stage as well. Some of the women achieved results and some didn't see any results.

One women lost an amazing amount of weight and sounded like a paid spokesperson. She's not a paid spokesperson but she has received several months of free product. Using Sensa, she lost over 128 pounds and said this was the only product that allowed her to finally lose weight and keep it off. Before Sensa, she would eat four slices of pizza for dinner before feeling full but with Sensa she eats 1 ½ slices of pizza and feels as full as she did before. For the first year while using Sensa, she wasn't exercising because of her size but as she began losing weight her energy returned and now she's active and exercises regularly.

Dr. Aronne said her results are wonderful however he can also bring many people to the stage who lost as much weight and more through healthy eating and exercise alone.

The next Sensa user said she tried it over the summer and didn't lose any weight, in fact, she believes she gained a few pounds. Another woman on the stage said it also didn't work for her and the real reason is that she couldn't remember to use it everyday on every bit of food.

Dr. Hirsch said that Sensa isn't an instant weight loss solution, that's not how it was designed It's meant to be used over a long-term for gradual and sustainable weight loss.

Dr. Oz asked six women to try Sensa for five days before today's show. As a group, they lost about five pounds. Some lost weight and some didn't. Kim found that she was full sooner and did lose some weight. The woman sitting next to her said she didn't notice feeling full faster and didn't lose any weight.

Dr. Oz: Is Sensa Right For You?

Dr. Aronne says Sensa not a magic bullet and it's not proven. He says people should still focus on healthy eating and exercise.

Ms. Kirkpatrick said one drawback with Sensa is that people don't learn how to eat the right foods they are eating anything they want. She's concerned about long-term results and sustainability. What happens when people go off the product? What are the long-term health implications, such as chronic inflammation, from eating whatever they want and not looking at getting a variety of healthy foods?

Dr. Oz weighed in and said while Sensa has been labeled as generally safe it's still a crutch. There's nothing that can replace healthy eating and exercise for over all health.

Click here to read other posts from Ms. Kirkpatrick's previous appearances on The Dr. Oz Show:

Dr. Oz: What's Your Anger Boiling Point?

What does it take to get your blood boiling and your anger to explode and overflow? Dr. Oz wanted to find out what upset people and how did they react to stressful situations. He sent two actors to a grocery store and acted as rude as they possibly could and once they upset everyone Dr. Oz's medical staff checked their vital signs.

Michelle said she was trying to manage her anger while watching the actor argue over peanut butter and it resulted in her stress levels rising sky high. Her hands were shaking and she had to cover her ears to close out the sound. Her heart rate went from 86 to 95 and her blood pressure went 107/75 to 123/79 in the pre-hypertension range.

Nancy was also getting ticked off by the actors in the grocery store. Her heart rate went from 78 to 85 which isn't that much of a change but the biggest change was alarming. Nancy's blood pressure went from 123/85 to 168/100. She normally has low blood pressure however when she gets angry her blood boils and her blood pressure rises. Dr. Oz said if she was to have this reaction to anger every day it would greatly increase her risks for heart disease.

When anger rears it's ugly head, the hormones cortisol and epinephrin spike which causes a rise in blood pressure and heart rate, you may start to sweat and shake. That cortisol will cause fat to accumulate around the belly with chronic stress.

Dr. Oz: Is Your Temper Harming Your Health

Dr. Charles Sophy, MD, psychiatrist, said that anger can creep up on us in ways that we never expect. From sleep issues to strain on the heart and circulation to liver and weight issues as well.

Dr. Oz has a quiz to determine if your temper is putting your health at risk for heart attack and stroke. For each scenario, rate your anger on a scale from 0 to 5. Click here to take the quiz on

5 = Boiling point
4 = very angry
3 = Angry
2 = Agitated
1 = A little annoyed
0 = Unaffected

Dr. Oz Anger Scenario #1: Traffic
You're late for work and stuck in traffic. The light turns green but the person in front doesn't move causing you to miss the light. How angry are you? Dr. Sophy says a healthy degree of anger is in the range of 2 and perhaps as high as a 3.

Dr. Oz Anger Scenario #2: Work
work deadline ask someone to do an important part but they don't

Dr. Oz Anger Scenario #3: Home
No one is allowed to eat in living room yet someone did and they spilled juice on the couch and rug. Dr. Sophy said a normal response is 2.5 to 3.

Dr. Oz Anger Scenario #4: Night Out
While having dinner at a fancy restaurant and there's a baby at the next table crying.

The lower the score then the better you deal with anger. The higher the score, then it's time for some anger management.

Dr. Sophy says another way to determine how you deal with anger is to look at how anger is intruding in your normal activities and he has a handy acronym for that: S.W.E.E.P.
S – Sleep. Is sleep being effect by anger?
W – Work. Is the quality and quantity of work changing?
E – Eating. Are you eating well or not eating enough?
E – Expressing Emotions. Are your expressions of emotion age appropriate?
P – Play. What are your hobbies? Are you engaging in hobbies as frequently?

If these areas of life are out of balance, said Dr. Sophy, if anger has effected your ability to engage in these normal activities then there could be a problem with your anger management. Look at your answers to the above quiz and see where you scored higher, these are areas where you need to find ways to diffuse anger.

Dr. Oz: Tame Your Temper

Dr. Oz and Dr. Sophy have put together some tips to help prevent stress and anger as well as tips to diffuse anger once your temper has begun to rise.

Dr. Oz Tame Your Temper Tip #1: Valerian Root
As a stress preventative, Dr. Sophy recommends valerian root. It's important to read the label and be sure you are getting valerian root and not leaf. Dr. Sophy recommends to take 300mg of valerian root one hour before bed to support restful sleep as well as support a more calm attitude during the day. 

Dr. Oz Tame Your Temper Tip #2: Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Another preventative measure is a technique to release tension in the muscles before stress begins. Stand with your back against a wall. Tighten muscles groups and hold for a count of 10 seconds then relax. Repeat two more times and then go on to another muscle group. Think about acting with an equal mix of heart and head during stressful situations for a more balanced approach.

Dr. Oz Tame Your Temper Tip #3: “Unhook and Take a Look”
In a potentially stressful situation, say to yourself “unhook and take a look”. Step back from a situation and understand that people aren't necessarily doing things deliberately to you, situations unfold around you and you are in control of your response. That baby at the restaurant didn't purposefully cry to cause you stress. Try to come back to the situation with a little more understanding and patience.
that baby didn't intend

Dr. Oz Tame Your Temper Tip #4: “No Thanks I Won't Go There”
Make a choice to not join in the anger with other people. Keep your power by staying calm.

Dr. Oz Tame Your Temper Tip #5: Acupressure
Lots of headaches are caused by stress. Try to diffuse a tension headache use acupressure on the back of the neck. Take both hands and gently press the fingers into the back of the neck for 10 seconds, repeat as necessary while pressing in a different area.

Dr. Oz: What's In Your Freezer

Dr. Oz asked audience member to share the crazy things they keep in their freezers.

One fan shared that she keeps her nail polish in the freezer to keep it lasting longer. It doesn't freeze and it doesn't clump.

Pam, another fan, keeps keeps her daughter's stuffed animals in the freezer. Her daughter is allergic to dust mites which can reproduce overnight. To prevent dust mites from growing, she puts the toy in the freezer to reduce the amount of mites.

Another fan shared that just before winter she puts her warm wool clothing in the freezer to kill off any moths that may have moved in during their storage in the attic.

What's in Dr. Oz's freezer? Why, vodka, of course. He says his family has always kept the vodka in the freezer so they can drink it ice cold.

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

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1 comment:

  1. The whole Sensa argument is a bit odd to me. It worked for her, didn't work for her, so that proves...what? People are different. Nothing is going to work for everyone, and it's not as simple as "eat right and exercise." Why would anyone begrudge someone a tool that might help? At least it's not speed, like doctors might have prescribed to our mothers years ago.