During the five years that his talk show has aired, Dr. Mehmet Oz has hosted celebrities ranging from Gwyneth Paltrow to Whoopi Goldberg. On his July 18 episode, Dr. Oz talked with rock star Steven Tyler about the singer's drug addiction battle. Plus: Find out why many physicians feel furious about Dr. Oz's ongoing hype of weight loss supplement "miracles."
Tyler described how he stayed sober for more than 10 years before returning to his addiction. Although he has been sober for three years now, he still clearly recalls the downside of depending on cocaine and alcohol to fuel his life.
But it's not the drug dealers that Tyler wants to attack. He views doctors as the most serious offenders when it comes to drugs. As an example, he described telling physicians that he was in a 12-step program and being offered sleeping pills.
Is it safe to turn to coffee for energy? Dr. Oz says that drinking too much coffee can cause nervousness. He recommends limiting your intake to three cups a day.
Ironically, while Dr. Oz solemnly listened to Steven Tyler talk about doctors as "dealers," many physicians and health experts are angry at the celebrity physician-turned-talk-show-host for his touting of "miracle" supplements. When Medscape Connect hosted a discussion for physicians on the subject, most of the doctors vehemently objected to Oz's actions, reported Medscape on July 18.
"Oz is an embarrassment to the medical profession," said an internist. Others agreed, with some particularly vocal about precisely what infuriated them.
Said one physician of Dr. Oz: "He is a quack, peddling snake oil." That and similar statements made it clear that the group of doctors engaged in the discussion feel frustrated by Oz's style of flowery speech when it comes to dubious weight loss supplements.
"We all know he is smart enough to know he's spouting false claims and advice. The next question is why. It's about time somebody investigated," said an emergency room physician.
Two separate investigations have occurred. Senator Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill earned her own media attention by grilling Dr. Oz about the way he repeatedly shines his TV spotlight on what he terms "weight loss supplement miracles. In addition, a medical student has publicized his battle to change the policy for the Medical Society of the State of New York, where Dr. Oz is licensed, and the American Medical Association (AMA) in a way that will block those carb-blocking miracle claims often aired on the show.
So will Dr. Oz change his ways and stop hyping hope in the form of weight loss supplements that have minimal clinical studies to back them? Because it's summer, he's primarily airing reruns. The new shows thus far have not included weight loss supplements that he describes with labels such as "fat burner in a bottle"...but stay tuned.