Dr. Oz: Genius or Generic?

In a day and age where medical knowledge is at the touch of a button, we are exposed to a variety of contradictions in medical opinions. Even worse, people flock to the next best health tip without even questioning where it came from. People look to medical professionals and experts for the life changing information they hope exists. So where is everyone turning now? Dr. Oz, a man who mesmerizes the audience with his great medical secrets that can supposedly change your life.

Dr. Oz does provide excellent information on nutrition habits. He demonstrates the healthiest foods to cook such as farm fresh salmon over other fish and to only eat red meat once a week. He also does research and finds new methods of eating that could potentially help you lose weight, or just provide a healthier diet. One my favorite guests on the show was a member from the new diet “Hungry Girls,” which provides recipes that allow a person to eat twice as much food  with half the calories, such as a lasagna that uses eggplant slices instead of noodles and feta cheese instead of a heavier cheese like mozzarella.

In my experience, I found Dr. Oz’s food tips to be the best part of his show. His food tips and facts are usually correct making Dr. Oz’s show an easy source of great nutritional information. He also does a great job at promoting unknown diets that he has researched and deemed safe for people to try. I found the recipes that he endorsed by Hungry Girls to be incredible and would recommend them to anyone.

But what about the information that isn’t quite as easy to believe? About a month ago, Dr. Oz discussed a natural extract pill called Raspberry Ketone, which contains a high amount of an enzyme from raspberries equivalent to the amount found in 90lb of raspberries. The enzyme is supposed to make fat cells less solid, allowing weight loss to be easier, because the cells would take less energy to burn off.

After going to both GNC and Complete Nutrition,  both locations were sold out, and after talking with the salesmen from the stores they both said that the Dr. Oz show caused a high demand for the supplement, but that none of their customers had come back for more. They both told me to take that as a sign not to take the supplement because in their time of working, anytime a supplement works well the customers are coming in consistently to buy more.

After learning of the interesting lack of faith in the product by supplement salesmen, I conducted some more research on the product. There weren’t any negative reviews; however I noticed that all of the reviews were by people related to the Dr. Oz show which made me question the validity of the statements. Furthermore, in an article by ABC news discussing the new hype of raspberry ketone through the Dr. Oz show, the writer had mentioned that other medical experts are concerned about the product, as it has never been through human studies.

Furthermore, Dr. Oz does not mention the key details of product that make his tip for the product fiction. The more weight a person carries, the longer it takes the raspberry ketone enzyme to break down the fat cells. Also, people with diabetes are recommended to not even be around the ketone enzyme, let alone consume it. But mentioning this would make Dr. Oz sound less sensational and take away from the atmosphere of his show.

So, the question is do we keep listening to Dr. Oz? If some of his tips aren’t so great, should we believe anything he says? The answer is yes, with skepticism. Just like critics have to be objective when they review a book or television show, fans of Dr. Oz need to protect themselves and do their own research on the tips he gives. Take everything he says as having two sides of the story, and search for that other side. You wouldn’t buy a car without researching it first would you? So don’t take a health tip without researching it.


By: Cristina Himka