Is the advice you get from Dr Oz wrong?
Dr Oz’s Television show has recently come under fire in the British Medical Journal, which published a study entitled “Televised medical talk shows—what they recommend and the evidence to support their recommendations: a prospective observational study.” The researchers looked at the Dr. OZ Show’s medical advice and compared it to medical research.
Researchers at the University of Alberta claim that medical research didn’t substantiate, and often contradicted, more than half of Dr. Mehmet Oz’s advice. “Recommendations made on medical talk shows often lack adequate information on specific benefits or the magnitude of the effects of these benefits,” the article said. “… The public should be skeptical about recommendations made on medical talk shows.”
Many doctors have expressed their concerns about Dr Oz wrong or unsubstantiated advice. “Mehmet is now an entertainer,” doctor Eric Rose said to the New Yorker. “And he’s great at it. People learn a lot, and it can be meaningful in their lives. Sometimes Mehmet will entertain wacky ideas — particularly if they are wacky and have entertainment value.”
So, how often is Dr Oz Wrong? The researchers selected 40 episodes from last year, looking at 479 of Dr.Oz’ recommendations. They found evidence supported 46 percent of his recommendations, and contradicted 15 percent. There were no studies available for 39 percent. “Consumers should be skeptical about any recommendations provided on television medical talk shows, as details are limited and only a third to one half of recommendations are based on believable or somewhat believable evidence. Decisions around healthcare issues are often challenging and require much more than non-specific recommendations based on little or no evidence.”
Oz said he’s trying to give people all the options out there. He said data shouldn’t stop patients from trying things like raspberry ketone — a “miracle in a bottle to burn your fat” — even if it hasn’t been tested on humans. “I recognize that oftentimes they don’t have the scientific muster to present as fact,” Dr. Oz stated at a U.S. Senate hearing. “I give my audience the advice I give my family all the time. I give my family these products, specifically the ones you mentioned. I’m comfortable with that part.”
“Much of medicine is just plain old logic,” Oz said to The New Yorker. “So I am out there trying to persuade people to be patients. And that often means telling them what the establishment doesn’t want to hear: that their answers are not only the answers, and their medicine is not the only medicine.”
The researchers noted that it was difficult to determine what was said and what was implied. Some of the advice was so general, like “sneezing into your elbow prevents the spread of germs”, it is difficult to find any medical research to support the advice.
Is Dr Oz Wrong Sometimes?
Is Dr Oz wrong sometimes? Of course. Everybody is wrong sometimes. But with that said, however, sometimes Dr. Oz is right. The book “You: The Owner’s Manual“, for example, is a worthwhile reference book. I think it is worthwhile to consider some of the new or unconventional ideas he shares on The Dr. Oz Show with an open mind. But always use your common sense and look at what the research says. As always, though, before you do anything always consult with your own physician!
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