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Dr. Oz and Supplements: Where He May Be Wrong

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On The Issue Of Spiked Health Supplements

We have heard, multiple times, of athletes getting caught cheating and then blaming supplements for their woes. In fact, this appears to be a trend. Now enter Dr. Oz. When it comes to Dr. Oz and supplements, there appears to be two sides of the same man. One is for, and the other is against.

Okay, to be fair, the Dr. Oz show is highly educational. I have learnt a lot about health and nutrition, including dietary supplements, just by watching this show (whenever I find the time). But his recent “undercover” investigation on health products appears to have touched a nerve.

As usual, the media with its penchant for the sensational (read negative), really loved it. Which added to the consternation of the other side; you know, supplements makers, distributors et al. Here is an excerpt from one interesting article about the Dr. Oz and supplements issue:

The media, though, is not as well-informed on this issue as we would like. Most recently, the Dr. Oz Show, “Who’s Spiking Your Supplements?”, set the tone from the start with an introduction claiming America has a hidden health scandal. It went downhill from there.

Dr. Oz proceeded to describe an undercover investigation of weight loss supplements that he purchased in New York. Unfortunately, Dr. Oz purchased a couple of products already known to be adulterated, including Fruta Planta and Health Slimming Coffee. FDA released warnings about them in December 2010 and October 2011, respectively.

Other products Dr. Oz highlighted seemed to be labeled solely in Chinese characters. These products are troubling for reasons beyond that they are apparently contaminated. Any product labeled in a foreign language should raise an immediate red flag for any consumer buying the product as well as the store selling the product. How do consumers know what they are buying if they cannot read the label?

At one point, Dr. Oz mentions the majority of supplements are safe. While we appreciate this shout-out, his segment is doing much more to hurt the industry than to help it. I will give Dr. Oz credit; he is correct that millions of Americans take supplements every day, but he doesn’t include that millions take these supplements safely, without any health problems. It makes for better headlines if that part is left out. See original story

The article, rightly, goes on to point out that spiked supplements are real problem and concern. The supplements sectors, if I may call them that, most affected are sexual enhancement, weight loss and bodybuilding. Not surprising, considering that buyers of these types of supplements want fast if not immediate results.

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