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Dr. Oz and the lack of FDA Regulation for Dietary Supplements

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  • Center Left
    Independent
    Denton, TX
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    The Dr. Oz show's host Mehmet Oz was pulled in front of a panel of Senators last week. They questioned him harshly over his "flowery" and misguiding language used time and time again on his show when recommending products for viewers to seek out. Dr. Oz makes incredible claims regularly about several natural weight loss, dietary and nutritional supplements, using words like "magic" often.

    Given the size of his audience and the influence he has in this world, (he's basically Oprah's go-to diet guy, lots of pull) the Senators rightly pointed out that he is failing the public by abusing his pulpit with misleading information, instead of being the doctor of science and medicine that he was trained to be.

    What's more interesting though is this highlights just how unregulated the supplement world is, and the lack of FDA restrictions that go on, in that world. On one hand, I appreciate the un-regulatedness of the market. You can buy virtually any supplement out there from any number of distributors, as long as it doesn't specifically have an illegal substance on the ingredient list.

    On the other hand though, sifting through the nonsense and snake oil is always irritating. And, even though I'm judicious and cautious when taking ANYTHING, I admit to have been duped a time or two with "miracle" diet plans or "magic" natural supplements that in reality did little or nothing more than act as an expensive, glorified placebo.

    Given the potential danger in hap-hazardly recommending products in a market that gets away with very little regulation, what do you make of what Dr. Oz does? Should he be ashamed of himself? Or is it within his right to spout nonsense every once in a while, if he is overall helping people?

  • Center Left
    Independent
    Central, FL
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    I've not yet watched the video. This is just so typical. Money, money, money. Pharma companies don't want you to think there might be something natural that will help with your symptoms or condition..... WHY, Pharma makes no money on the natural stuff. I remind you that people have used natural remedies for hundreds and hundreds of years. I think this is controlled by the Pharma lobby. I can't imagine a supplement maker making bold statements about effectiveness. Perhaps a compromised statement "Vitamin X can reduce swelling and give relief to those suffering from:

    Many would like a more natural approach to dealing with age, sickness, or disease.
    I realize (admit as a user) that most vitamins are passed right through. My hope is maybe 15% is absorbed and can lead to a more balanced dietary condition.

    FDA is in bed with Money/Pharma. If Dr. Oz wasn't so successful, his ratings would be much lower. I love that there's a voice on the other side of these issues.
  • Center Left
    Independent
    Denton, TX
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    Oh yeah. I thought twice before uploading this, as I didn't want to give the impression that I'm on the big pharma side, and don't believe in vitamins. Quite the opposite. I would have to be quite ill to ever consider taking anything stronger than over the counter. And I take vitamins almost daily (Vitamin C, B12, Biotin, Multivitamin powder mix, Magnesium, etc.)

    Where the conversation lies is in the "miracle" and "magic" aspect of hyping up "natural" supplements as wonder cure-alls for weight loss. It's deceiving, at best. In some rarer cases, its dangerous.

    I believe in vitamin supplementation as a stop gap for a less than nutritious diet. But, not a replacement. Nothing is quite as good for you as a clean and healthy diet, exercise and good sleep, with healthy stress throughout the day. Supplements do what the name suggests, they supplement in vitamin (and other) deficiencies. Vitamin D is an good example: don't get a lot of sun during the day, due to work environment? Supplement with appropriate dosage of Vitamin D; that can seriously help.

    Optimization is another reason for taking pills and powders. Neurotropics (natural brain chemical boosters) are controversial, but if taken correctly, can be largely beneficial. You just have to weed through the nonsense once again, do lots of research, and be smart about what you take into your body. But, in many cases, when your aim is optimization, taking certain supplements (especially in the neurotropic field) is a worthwhile investment. You simply can't regularly get what they have to offer from any realistic diet plan, no matter how healthy.

    Wonder weight loss promises are what gives the "natural" supplementation industry a bad name. Twisting potential side-effects as THE effect, and making untrue, blanket statements like "this will work for anyone and everyone, across the board" is irresponsible.
  • Center Left
    Independent
    Central, FL
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    I know the weight loss topic is volatile. As the video mentions over a billion dollars a year are spent on such products.
    Look at it this way. 50 years ago, if something seemed to work well (for weight loss), it was found to have positive results.
    Then tests were done..... publication in some medical periodical.....Then maybe a year or two later it would have become common knowledge.
    Now in this age of the internet, twitter, etc. Things go from New Zealand to Chicago to London in seconds.
    I've seen two instances where Dr. Oz spoke on the topic of weight loss. One product was green coffee beans. The other was a natural product that has been used for decades in Indonesia. Garcinia Cambogia
    Currently supplement makers can almost say nothing about their products. I think that's wrong.
    I take Vit. D, B complex, Magnesium, Potassium, Centrum Silver - high dose multi.
    I am a fan of higher dosages of C, B, and a few others. 100% of RDA keeps you at/above malnutrition.
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    There is so much "hype" about medicine these days, both natural & pharmaceutical. But it is TRUE that the huge multi-billion dollar Pharmaceutical Industry has gotten so filthy corrupt, it is like dealing with the Mafia. I saw a 3 BILLION dollar lawsuit recently, where a pharma company had put on the air totally misleading commercials about their products. Not only lying to the public (their clients) but covering up terrible side effects, while totally exaggerating their benefits. They had PAID doctors to "hype" & increase sales of certain drugs, for fun & profit. Often doctors get extra perks for "pushing" certain drugs on their patients, AND labs had been actually compensated for "lying" about lab results on certain drugs.

    Patients are often used as human "lab rats" to be experimented on, by giving them untested drugs, & SOME LABS have told LIES about these results, in order to get extra perks from drug companies. In case I didn't mention it, Doctors can get "kick-backs" for prescribing some drugs in excessive amounts, even if another cheaper drug would be as easily available. It has all gotten to be "business as usual" for the GOP.

    If a patient "dares" to suggest he or she does not WANT a certain drug being "hyped" by the medical profession, they can be put on a "list" that they should not get medical care, "without the permission of the CEO" of a certain medical facility. NO LIE. They have actually put some major clinics into a position where the CEO (not a medically trained person, but a "Business Grad") can make decisions about YOUR medical care, if they decide you are not as easily suggestible to taking any and all medications the Pharma industry is seriously "pushing" this year. (Senior citizens are being targeted in this manner the most). It reminds me of the Final Solution (as in Nazi Germany) for getting rid of older folks.

    The 3 billion dollar lawsuit found all these flaws listed above, & yet consider this: Vitamins are natural ingredients that nature or God put into your body, & all animal & human life depend on them, either from nature or from organic natural vitamin supplements. Safe and natural. THEN consider that you do not require a Doctor's prescription for them. So no expensive doctor visits & co-pays. Then, they are MUCH cheaper than any drug you can get from the RX dept of your pharmacist. Those can cost you $500+ a month for ordinary drugs. But Vitamins are only about $30 - $50 at most.

    THAT is why the medical profession and Big Pharma will FIGHT and LIE all day long to convince you that you must depend on their hugely profitable RX drugs, instead of "natural" inexpensive remedies. So study up, & trust your common sense.