Friday, February 3, 2012

Anatomy 101: Dissecting the Dr. Oz Show

After watching a dozen or so straight episodes of the Dr. Oz show, it has become clear to me that someone needs to offer a counterpoint to his daily health clams.  Accordingly, and with time permitting, whenever I have time to review an episode in which he makes an unsubstantiated health claim, I will attempt to offer some additional information to set the record straight.  Often, I will rely on as a reliable source of information. This Harvard pharmacist and MD created database collects and analyzes studies of supplements and grades them based on the US Preventive Service Task Force criteria. Only those supplements with a grade of A or B may be deemed useful in the treatment of certain conditions.

On Thursday, February 3, 2012, Dr. Oz had a show featuring Rosie O'Donnell. Later in that episode, he discussed foods that affect moods.  He recommended drinking Kefir Milk to affect mood. He stated that it was good for moods because it contained tryptophan which is a substance believed to increase levels of serotonin and melatonin.  In fact, many antidepressants work by keeping serotonin around longer at nerve endings. Melatonin has been shown to be useful as a short term sleep aid.  Notwithstanding, if one wants a good source of tryptophan, one can more easily consume the white of an egg which as twice the tryptophan as Kefir Milk. He also made reference that Kefir Milk was good because it contained probiotics. As for probiotics, the science is clear that for the average person probiotics confer no real benefit.  All said, there is no good science behind suggesting Kefir Milk to control mood.

Moving on to asparagus, Dr. Oz did not explain why he recommends this vegetable as a super food to control mood swings. Clearly, asparagus is a healthy green vegetable that contains numerous vitamins and minerals and should be a part of any healthy meal plan. However, there is no validated science to support its specific use as a mood swing control.

Finally, Dr. Oz recommended oranges, which contain Vitamin C, for stress. There is not a single reliable study that shows any relationship between Vitamin C and stress. In fact, if there were, there are fruits which are far better sources of Vitamin C than oranges. Notwithstanding, I consider it an outlandish claim that should be widely ignored.

Finally, in a cooking demonstration, Dr. Oz allowed his chef guest to use margarine in preparing a recipe. Margarine is a common source of trans-fats which should never be consumed because of their health effects on heart health. Enough said.

No comments:

Post a Comment