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Dr. Oz: Camille Grammer battles cancer; diet cures; yacon syrup supplement

Dr. Oz reflects on cancer and diet.
Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images

Former "Real Housewife" Camille Grammer is going public with her radical hysterectomy for early stage endometrial cancer. To help other women learn from her experience, she talked with Dr. Mehmet Oz on his Thursday talk show. Plus: Find out how to use food as medicine, and get an update on Dr. Oz's weight loss supplement controversy.

Camille is taking a positive attitude about her future. "My life is moving forward and I'm feeling very well," she told Dr. Oz.

Helping Camille share what women should know, Dr. Lauren Streicher emphasized that endometrial (uterine) cancer is the most common gynecologic malignancy. When diagnosed early before it has spread, the five-year survival rate is 95 percent.

Signs of uterine cancer include abnormal bleeding and spotting. An important step in reducing your risk: Maintain a healthy weight.

Obese women are three times as likely to develop uterine cancer. Obesity is viewed as the probable reason that the rates of this type of cancer are increasing in the nation.

In addition, Dr. Oz dished up diet-friendly ways to use food as medicine. His guest expert: Jack Bishop from America’s Test Kitchen, which recently authored "The How Can It Be Gluten Free Cookbook."

If you suffer from muscle pain, try sweet potatoes because they are high in potassium. Enjoy a sweet potato three times a week to minimize your risk of muscular aches.

Got indigestion? Jack suggests using ginger root, which also can help with nausea.

And if you have a headache and want a non-medication solution, try Crimini mushrooms. Saute in oil with seasonings for a snack or as a side dish to a meal.

While Dr. Oz emphasized the use of food rather than supplements for health solutions on this episode, he recently was grilled by a Senate subcommittee for his frequent emphasis on remedies such as green coffee bean extract for weight loss, reported the South Florida Times on Wednesday.

Claire McCaskill, chairwoman of the Senate’s consumer protection panel, challenged him for his statement that green coffee bean extract is "magic weight loss cure for every body type." Admitting that his descriptions tend to be "flowery," Dr. Oz said he will publish a list of products that he thinks really can help with weight loss.

Although Dr. Oz emphasized that no supplement can replace diet and exercise, he insisted that featuring products such as yacon syrup on his show offers hope to viewers. He describes his role as a health talk show host as a "cheerleader" and feels these weight loss supplements might give someone extra incentive to try a diet and fitness plan.

However, in many cases Dr. Oz features supplements without emphasizing that they should be used in conjunction with diet and exercise. When he featured yacon syrup, for example, he announced that his own test of the product involved women who ate one teaspoon of yacon syrup with or before each meal.

"They were told not to otherwise change their usual diets or exercise habits," emphasized Dr. Oz. On average, the women lost about three pounds in four weeks and reduced their waists by two inches.

But rather than tell viewers to try it with diet as he indicated to the Senate, Dr. Oz advised those who wanted to try it for weight loss to take one teaspoon of yacon syrup before or with each meal. He noted that it could be "especially helpful if you are overweight or obese."

And although Dr. Oz has declined to recommend brands thus far, many products are advertised using his name. This use of his name for promotional purposes is particularly egregious online, with descriptions such as "Pure Yacon Syrup...Dr Oz Recommended Low Calorie Sugar Substitute & Metabolism Booster."