Monday, September 3, 2012

Can You Trust Andrew Saul?

Mark Twain once wrote, "Don't take advice from a health book. You could die from a misprint."

Although Twain passed about 102 years ago, I think that advice was prescient and equally applies today to health books, newsletters, websites, blogs (including mine), etc. This isn't the first time you've heard this warning from me and you should be pretty confident it won't be the last.

My compunction against such marketing-driven news sources is that I find most of them consistently misleading and most importantly derived from suspect sources of authority. For the fifth time in as many months, I have come across yet another self-proclaimed expert in nutrition with a no less than dubious PhD from yet another mail order program.

In this case, it's Andrew Saul whose PhD, as he describes on his website, doctoryourself.com, hails from a "non-traditional PhD program," from the non-accredited, degree mill called Greenwich University. His degree in Ethology, which is the scientific study of animal behavior, apparently makes him an expert comfortable telling people to "Doctor Yourself" and "Fire Your Doctor," two of his book titles.

I was asked to consider the writings of Saul based on his apparent success as a prolific author and proponent of dietary supplements. The little I have read so far leads me to best describe his writing as gibberish, not worthy of further contemplation. Nevertheless, I promised an associate I would read in entirety Saul's book "Doctor Yourself," and I will report my conclusions upon completion.

What I find most dismaying is that the real PhDs in nutrition seem to do a poorer job of making their writings well known. It seems the higher the quality of the authorship, the more difficult for the writing to gain widespread circulation. Perhaps the truth simply isn't that interesting?

BTW, I picked up the Mark Twain quote above from Saul's website (and confirmed its accuracy independently).  I guess his website is good for something after all.

I apologize for the negative tone of this blog, but someone needs to bring this type of information to light and there are very few others doing so.

The problem is, as Twain once also eloquently wrote, "A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is still putting on its shoes."

Caveat Lector!

6 comments:

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  2. Dear Dr. Charlap,

    I was just searching for information on Andrew Saul and I was glad to find your blog post.

    Were you ever able to make it through Saul's book "Doctor Yourself"? If so, I would love to hear your feedback on it.

    Thanks,
    X

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