One would think that producers of the Dr. Oz show would pay at least a little attention to the widely publicized study that appeared in the British Medical Journal examining the health recommendations made on medical talk shows. The researchers looked at eighty recommendations made on the Oz Show and found that evidence supported 46%, contradicted 15%, and no evidence was found for 39%. Not exactly a stellar performance. Yet on the heels of the stinging paper, what does the Dr. Oz Show come up with? A segment that has no supportive evidence whatsoever.
“Dr. Oz’s Two Day Holiday Detox” promises a “quick fix to offset the damage from holiday eating.” “It can’t miss,” quips Oz. Oh yes it can. The whole notion of “detox” is nonsense and the idea that you can eat whatever you want and then repair the damage with two days of feasting on melon juice, coconut water, oatmeal, lentil soup, cabbage salad and chocolate tea is absurd. But according to Oz, this diet will release retained water, rebalance blood sugar, remove “fat promoting toxins” and recharge your metabolism. What evidence is provided? A couple of meaningless but entertaining demonstrations. To show how the melon juice and oatmeal reduce bloating, Oz and a guest spray water at a TV screen showing a bloated silhouette which then magically transforms into a svelte figure. If only it were that easy. As far as oatmeal goes, I think it does make for a great breakfast. But there is not a single reference listed in PubMed for oatmeal having a diuretic effect.
Next, Oz presents a long rope and begins to make waves with it to explain how blood sugar can fluctuate during holiday feasts. Then pulling the rope taut supposedly indicates how lentil soup, being of low glycemic index, straightens out blood sugar fluctuations. Eating low glycemic index foods does result in less fluctuation of blood glucose, but it doesn’t undo any previous damage that such fluctuations may have caused by having gorged on eggnog. What about cabbage salad removing “fat promoting toxins,” that according to Oz are found in high sugar junk food? I would like to know what these unnamed fat-promoting toxins are. The only info we are given is a graphic with some sort of muck stuck in the colon, supposedly the “toxins.” Cabbage, because of its fiber content, acts as a laxative, which is the argument used for it “flushing out the toxins.” Nothing wrong with eating cabbage, but the idea that it flushes out toxins deserves to be flushed.
Finally, for people who have overindulged in marshmallow cookies, Oz recommends chocolate tea for “boosting metabolism,” but curiously points out that it has very little caffeine, a substance that may actually boost metabolism. There is nothing in the scientific literature that lends any significant support to specific foods or beverages boosting metabolism in any practical fashion. Aside from making recommendations without any evidential basis, Oz’s real crime here is to offer a magical solution to overindulgence instead of emphasizing the need for a proper well-balanced diet and exercise year-round.