10 Times Dr. Oz Has Been Flat Out Wrong Slideshow

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He has the best intentions, but sometimes the good doctor embellishes the truth
Blueberry Concentrate
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The benefits of blueberries are well documented, and this spring superfood should definitely be included in your diet, but are blueberries really a “brain-boosting food?” Well, according to Dr. Oz, they are, but there’s little evidence supporting this extreme claim. There is limited data on human intervention studies, and although blueberry antioxidants are linked to brain health, there is no evidence that they will improve cognitive functioning or intelligence.

Blueberry Concentrate

Blueberry Concentrate
istock

The benefits of blueberries are well documented, and this spring superfood should definitely be included in your diet, but are blueberries really a “brain-boosting food?” Well, according to Dr. Oz, they are, but there’s little evidence supporting this extreme claim. There is limited data on human intervention studies, and although blueberry antioxidants are linked to brain health, there is no evidence that they will improve cognitive functioning or intelligence.

Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) Supplements

Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) Supplements
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Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is one of three omega-3 fatty acids, and it’s an important component of the human brain, cerebral cortex, skin, and retinas, but Dr. Oz claimed that DHA supplements are “the miracle plan” towards preventing Alzheimer’s because they reduce the plaque associated with Alzheimer’s disease. A large-scale human study of 402 individuals with moderate Alzheimer’s tested the effects of DHA supplementation compared to a placebo, and after 18 months concluded that “DHA supplementation is not useful for the population of individuals with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s.”

Genetically Modified Organisms

Genetically Modified Organisms
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The continued debate over the safety of and politics governing genetically modified organisms is well warranted, but the current consensus of the scientific community is that genetically modified grains, fruits, and vegetables are just as healthy as their conventional counterparts. In 2012 the American Association for the Advancement of Science stated that, “Foods containing ingredients from genetically modified crops pose no greater risk than the same foods made from crops modified by conventional plant-breeding techniques.”  But Dr. Oz isn’t convinced, and used his television show as a political platform to advocate for the labeling of food products containing any genetically modified ingredients.

Green Coffee Extract

Green Coffee Extract
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Approach every “magic weight-loss cure” with a degree of caution. Dr. Oz came under fire for advocating green coffee extract as the end-all-be-all diet supplement, specifically saying, “You may think magic is make-believe, but this little bean has scientists saying they’ve found the magic weight-loss cure for every body type.” Well, it turns out they haven’t. The only evidence supporting green coffee extract as a weight-loss miracle was funded by the products manufacturer.

Lavender Soap

Lavender Soap
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Dr. Oz doesn’t limit his medical advice to dietary supplements and bizarre extracts. For those suffering from restless leg syndrome — a condition that affects 10 percent of the U.S. population by causing an uncomfortable tingling sensation in the legs during sleep — Oz recommended placing a bar of lavender soap underneath the bed sheets (the smell is supposed to be relaxing). The National Institute of Health lists a number of potential remedies for this disorder, none of which include putting soap in your bed.

Raspberry Ketones

Dr. Oz called it “a number one miracle in a bottle to burn your fat,” a statement that is both grammatically and factually questionable. According to WebMD, raspberry ketones are natural chemicals that give raspberries their signature scent. A small study showed that when people took 200 milligrams of raspberry ketones combined with 1,200 milligrams of vitamin C for four weeks lost weight and body fat, but this study didn’t follow proper scientific procedures, and failed to indicate the catalyst of the weight loss. Chemically, raspberry ketones are similar to other stimulants which means they could lead to increased blood pressure and rapid heartbeat.  

Sage Oil

Sage Oil
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Dr. Oz recommends sage oil as a way to make your brain “10 years younger” —  especially if you have memory issues. Although a clinical trial assessing the memory enhancement effects of sage oil did conclude that, compared to the placebo group, those that took sage oil showed improved memory recall, there’s no evidence that it reverses aging, improves cognitive functioning, or makes the brain any younger. However, sage is useful in soothing a sore throat.

Saffron Extract

Saffron Extract
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The price of a little vial of saffron makes us savor this aromatic spice, but Dr. Oz says saffron is good for more than just paella. Oz claimed that saffron extract can optimize your brain and acts as a fast-acting, “miracle appetite suppressant.” No substantial human trials exist to substantiate the claim that saffron can help obese individuals lose weight, and one study argues that although saffron extract may potentially be used as an appetite suppressant, “both pre-clinical and clinical studies are warranted to demonstrate its full health potential.”

Strawberries and Baking Soda

Strawberries and Baking Soda
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To give credit where credit is due, Dr. Oz is a real, board-certified doctor (he’s technically a surgeon), but he is definitely not a dentist. That’s why his suggestion of using a mixture of strawberries and baking soda to whiten your teeth raised some eyebrows. According to the American Dental Association, this combination lacks hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide, two chemicals which are essential ingredient in tooth whitening products. Strawberries can actually damage teeth because of their high concentration of citric acid.

Umckaloabo Root Extract

Society has been seeking a cure for the common cold for decades, and Dr. Oz seems to think he’s found one. He’s recorded in a video saying that it has been incredibly effective at relieving cold symptoms, and that there is a new study showing it helps the flu. The National Institutes of Health acknowledges that “weak” evidence links umckaloabo root extract to a shortened length of respiratory tract infections, but this extract also has side effects like stomach and bowel problems.