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First ten, and more recently 1,000 doctors have demanded the ouster of American daytime TV doctor Mehmet Oz from Columbia University, but he's not as harmful as his critics say.

There is no better known doctor in the USA than Mehmet Oz.  The son of a physician father and a pharmacist mother, both of whom emigrated from Turkey to the United States in the 1950's, Dr Oz was a well-regarded cardiothoracic surgeon and professor of medicine at Columbia University in New York City before he became a fixture on the Oprah show and later the host of his own hour-long, daily, nationally televised health program. Oz is the author (with Dr Michael Roizen) of six New York Times bestsellers. He has a regular column in Esquire and in Oprah Winfrey's O Magazine, and he also has a publication entitled Dr Oz THE GOOD LIFE (capitals in the title) that comes out every other month. Oz has received awards ranging from a Daytime Emmy to Turkish-American of the Year.

In 2014, Dr Oz testified before the US Congress with, one could say, unfortunate results. He was ridiculed for his use of the terms "magic" and "miracle" with regard to a particular brand of green coffee bean extract that was later found to have been fraudently promoted, its makers paying a $3.5 million fine to the Federal Trade Commission. In 2015, first ten and later 1,000 American doctors called for Dr Oz's ouster from his academic post at Columbia University, although the university fired back with remonstrations of academic freedom and freedom of speech.

Is Dr Oz really as bad as he is made out to be? Let's take an objective look at the evidence, from an outside-of-America point of view. Not to be offensive to American readers, but lots of Europeans think you really aren't the brightest bulbs on the Marquis. You and I know better. It's all in interpretation.

Dr Oz stated that every preschool child in America needs to get fish oil and vitamin D capsules to prevent concussions.

Let's think about this for a moment. Fish oil and vitamin D are very popular. Nonetheless, most American children don't get them packed in their lunch boxes by their mommies every day. Probably most children who suffer concussions don't get fish oil and vitamin D every day, either.

There's only one conclusion, of course! Fish oil and vitamin D capsule deficiency cause concussions in preschoolers! Since cod liver oil contains both vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids, it's as good as wearing a helmet. What American daytime television viewer would have a problem with that argument? These viewers would not be the people many Europeans talk about. Despite the impression one can get from American television, most Americans actually are intelligent.

Dr Oz promoted green coffee bean extract as a "magic" "miracle" cure for obesity.

No one should have a problem with this claim. Millions of Americans know the history of Jack and the Beanstalk. Jack sold the cow (no more of that fattening butter and cream for him) for a handful of magic beans. It even helped him exercise, since his mother chased him up the beanstalk when she found out about it.

See Also: Dietary Supplements: How Important Are They For Health?

The miracle about green coffee bean extract is you don't even have to sell your cow to buy it, and if it's magical, surely you will lose weight. (Actually, green coffee bean extracts can be helpful in some circumstances and for certain kinds of diet, but most people would not consider the extra weight loss a "miracle." They would consider it the results of a diet.)

Continue reading after recommendations

  • Korownyk C, Kolber MR, McCormack J, Lam V, Overbo K, Cotton C, Finley C, Turgeon RD, Garrison S, Lindblad AJ, Banh HL, Campbell-Scherer D, Vandermeer B, Allan GM. Televised medical talk shows--what they recommend and the evidence to support their recommendations: a prospective observational study. BMJ. 2014 Dec 17
  • 349:g7346. doi: 10.1136/bmj.g7346. PMID: 25520234.
  • Mind map by SteadyHealth.com
  • Photo courtesy of LauraLewis23 via Flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/lauralewis23/6917483605

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