Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Quack Attack

I don’t know much about Oprah’s resident doctor, Mehmet Oz, but the fact that he appears on her show can’t speak well for the efficacy of his recommendations. You’d think any doctor interested in real medicine wouldn’t associate himself with a woman hell-bent on making sure children remain unvaccinated and telling all of America about her colon cleanses. But Oprah loves Dr. Oz. She’s even giving him his own talk show. Which is why it should come as no surprise that unscrupulous (well, more unscrupulous) people are trying to piggyback on his shaky claims. Case in point: Dr. Oz’s endorsement of resveratrol, a plant-based chemical found in red wine, as an anti-aging elixir. Now, before you go drinking yourself into alcohol poisoning, you should know that it supposedly takes twenty-four bottles of wine per day to receive any noticeable effect from the resveratrol in them. You should also know that there’s far from any kind of medical consensus on whether the stuff is beneficial at all. Or, for that matter, whether it could be harmful. But that’s not stopping supplement companies from churning out resveratrol pills and marketing them as the anti-aging miracle drugs Dr. Oz seems to think they are. However, Dr. Oz isn’t personally endorsing these pills. The companies are simply appropriating his image and quotes in their advertising. And that makes Dr. Oz mad. No, not mad that his name is being used to push untested medications. Mad that he’s not seeing a dime of the profits. See, Dr. Oz loves him some profits, as evidenced by his association with RealAge.com, a website that tricks you into revealing your medical information by claiming to calculate your “real age”, then selling that information to drug companies so they can plaster you with targeted advertising. In short, Dr. Oz is a douche. But what do you expect from Oprah’s doctor? More details here.