Dr. Oz promises to come out swinging on Thursday, both against the 10 physicians who wrote a letter to the Dean of Medicine at Columbia and to defend himself against the charges of quakery.

Here are 10 of his recommendations I’d like to see him explain/defend with science (i.e. provide medical evidence above personal experience). Medical textbook or studies (preferable) are required (no case reports or retrospective case series of 10 or fewer patients allowed).

1. Communicating with the dead.

2. Detoxing.

3. What is a toxin and why do so many people have them?

4. Multivitamins (apart from women trying to conceive or pregnant women).

5. Reiki.

6. Homeopathy.

7. Appearances of Joe Merola on the Dr. Oz show when frequently Oz doesn’t directly endorse his claims. Pro-tip: being a maverick in medicine means questioning poorly done studies and ill-conceived national guidelines or discovering something new and proving it with science, not questioning the laws of physics and ignoring medical evidence in favor of expensive “natural” products.

8. HepasilDTX


9. Vitamin D to prevent colds/cancer/reverse aging.

10. Every single weight loss “miracle” mentioned on the show. OK that’s too many, let’s start with these 10.

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  1. Assuming he has tenure, Dr. Oz may be a poster boy for its downside–lifetime job security for irresponsible, sometimes deplorable free speech, like Holocaust denial by tenured academics. He (& HLN’s Drew Pinsky, MD, among others) have also promoted Daniel Amen, MD, PhD. It’s been reported that Amen won’t submit the results of his research to peer review. (Do we need a reminder that this is the gold standard for accuracy in science?) Amen has had a forum on my local PBS station’s “Members’ Choice” fundraisers/(infomercials?). That was my introduction to him–he claimed that for $3XX viewers could take his paper-and-pencil tests and the results of these were like those from a brain scan. Remember: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is! Perhaps scariest of all is that “experts” like these help the anti-science Luddites out there, especially when they control the NIH’s budget.

  2. Jen: I just wanted you to see this about MMR. I thought it an interesting take and one the medical community should be talking about. Your thoughts?

    This appeared in today’s issue of the LA TIMES. author below.

    Amid hysterics on all sides about the MMR vaccine and the measles outbreak at Disneyland, no one is thinking ahead to future outbreaks of the “R” part of the MMR — rubella.

    Rubella is a relatively mild disease when you have it as a kid. I can barely remember it, as I contracted it the same spring that I had the measles, which was a brutal experience, with high fever and a very itchy rash.

    The problem with rubella comes when you are pregnant. Rubella in pregnancy is devastating to the fetus, causing deafness, blindness, heart malformations, mental retardation, enlarged liver and spleen and more. Yet no one is talking about what happens in 15 years or so when all of these unvaccinated little girls get to childbearing age and the next outbreak of a totally preventable disease occurs, only this time it’s rubella.

    The results could be devastating, and it will all be grandma’s and grandpa’s fault.

    Jane Moment Jordan, Oak Park

    1. You are absolutely correct that the rubella-syndrome baby is being thrown out with the measles bathwater. I’m old enough to have seen TORCH (toxo/rubella/cmv/herpes) syndrome kids with congenital deafness, blindness and mental handicap. It will come back if young girls aren’t immunised and don’t happen to contract rubella until they are pregnant. Good point, and worth bringing up when arguing against the anti-vaccine nuts.

    2. The devastating result of lacking immunity to rubella and being pregnant could have happened to me. I missed my vaccination because my mother said, ‘I didn’t get it and I was fine. You don’t need it, either.’ I felt quite smug when the other kids were lining up for the school nurse.

      Years later, pregnant with my first child, my doctor gave me a blood test: no immunity. I worried constantly until my son was born (healthy). When he got his first vaccinations, I rolled up my sleeve too.

      Fortunate? I’d say so.

  3. I hate to get all pedantic on an otherwise excellent summary of Oz’s quackery, but it’s Joe Mercola.

    This happens frequently on science blogs. Merola is the last name of Burzynski’s lapdog Eric Merola, the former Gap and Campbell Soup adman turned Burzynski “documentarian.”

    Speaking of whom, an eleventh quack treatment Oz endorses: he had Burzynski on his radio show. (I believe he appeared on the same show as Mercola.) You can find the segment on YouTube.

    And don’t forget Oz recently invited Mike Adams on his show…

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