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Dr. Mehmet Oz is not only a shouter of “miracle” cures on a syndicated television show. He’s also a practicing surgeon with Columbia University. His colleagues aren’t pleased to be associated with Oz, who many believe is nothing but a snake oil pusher. 1000 doctors have called for his resignation as a surgeon. Here are 10 of Oz’s craziest medical claims.
1. The 200 Orgasms-Per-Year Prescription: Let’s start off with one of Oz’s particularly ridiculous claims. During one of his Oprah appearances, Oz stated, “If you have more than 200 orgasms a year, you can reduce your physiologic age by six years.” His advice is based upon the idea that one can only achieve orgasms if the body is functioning properly in the first place. Regardless, Oz insists that the “spiritual event” of getting it on with a loved one “seems to offer some survival benefit.”
2. Communicating With the Dead Can Save Your Life: Oz interviewed Cher Margois, a self-proclaimed psychic medium, on more than one occasion. Oz believes there are direct health benefits associated with shooting the breeze with dead relatives. Oz claims that people who participate in these successful séances can (according to brain scans) enter “a different type of consciousness” during their interactions. The after effects include diminished stress levels.
3. Soap Can Cure Restless Leg Syndrome: While it may sound amazing that people would take this method seriously, suffers of Restless Leg Syndrome will try anything for relief. Unfortunately, Dr. Oz’s suggestion of placing lavender soap bars underneath bedsheets fails to treat RLS. It simply offers a sweet smelling bedroom for frustrated suffers to enjoy while enduring their nightly paces. Oz believes that the smell of lavender will coax one’s leg muscles into relaxing, but no scientific research has supported his hypothesis.
4. Chili Peppers Can Make You Lose Weight: Oz devoted an episode to the supposed metabolism-boosting effects of hot peppers. He believes that the relevant ingredient, capsaicin extract, can make the body’s heat furnace leap into overdrive, which “raises your body temperature, which may boost your metabolism.” He also states that capsaicin will naturally lower one’s appetite. If anything, chili peppers will make a person drink more water, which promotes a feeling of fullness. But capsaicin can also cause side effects like stomach irritation and diarrhea, which are hefty tradeoffs for a pepper that (although delicious) carries no proven effects on metabolism.
5. Obsessing Over Your Poop Can Save Your Life: On repeated occasions, Dr. Oz insists that poop shape matters. He tells his viewers to always turn around and stare into the toilet to check on their health. He and wacky actress Cameron Diaz clued the audience into their own poop shapes, which reportedly provide clues to well-being and can indicate a whole host of body ailments.
6. People Can Survive Surgery With The Help Of A Reiki Master: Oz, who still performs surgery on a regular basis, strongly believes that the Japanese technique of “laying on hands” will help maintain a surgery patient’s unseen “life force energy” during risky procedures. Yes, he never operates without one. Reiki master Julie Motz hangs out in the room during all of Oz’s surgeries. Nice gig if you can get it.
7. Presenting the cure for the common cold: Oz not only believes the common cold can be prevented but also entirely cured by the Umckaloabo root extract: “It has been incredibly effective at relieving cold symptoms, and a new study shows it helps the flu.” The National Institutes of Health shot down this claim and warns of side effects: “There is weak evidence that an extract from the root of the plant Pelargonium sidoides could shorten the length of respiratory tract infections and relieve symptoms. But these extracts can have side effects like stomach and bowel problems.”
8. Raspberry Ketones Can Burn Fat: Sure, it sounds like a “miracle” to watch fat melt away after taking a pill supplement. Oz came under so much scrutiny for this claim that he deleted this episode from his website (although it is still available on YouTube). Oz claimed that raspberry ketone increases the release of norephineprine in the bloodstream. This is the same hormone that presents in life-threatening situations. Oz says this hormone increases glucose blood levels and provides energy to survive without thinking about food. Hence the weight loss claims. What’s particularly important here is the fact that scientists haven’t acknowledged Oz’s claim with a human study. Oh, and raspberry ketones may negatively affect thyroid health.
9. Whitening Teeth The “Natural” Way: Dr. Oz says all of his family members follow this easy method of whitening their teeth. It sounds so simple — simply brushing teeth with a mixture of crushed strawberries and baking soda. Oz’s method may be counterproductive. A study from Operative Dentistry revealed that this method “produced no discernible whitening” because it lacked hydrogen peroxide and carbamide proxide (the two most active ingredients in commercial tooth-whitening products). Even worse, the presence of citirc acid and malic acid can actually promote tooth decay.
10. Green Coffee Bea Extract Promotes Weight Loss: This claim was swiftly called out by the Federal Trade Commission as “fraudulent.” Oz believes green tea is a sort of cure all, thanks to the presence of non-fermented leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. Oz supported his claims with a botched study, which was retracted after the FTC’s rulings. Oz himself will suffer no direct consequence for all of his fraudulent claims, but sooner or later, his viewers will stop believing him.