In 2010, the FDA essentially said, "Hey! Stop poisoning the public, supplement companies." and "Hey! Stop buying poison from supplement companies, the public!"
Well, supplement companies and the public responded. The former is selling more toxins, and the latter is buying more. Heck, we can't get enough of it!
How did this happen?
The reality of what has happened is so complex and mind-numbing that we have shunned the truth. In other words, many Americans have turned their backs on science and made alternative medicine into a faith-based practice because no one has the time or energy to research the truth.
Beliefs around dietary supplements have become like a strained religion: Everyone has a personal opinion that overrules the facts.
Save us from ourselves, Doctor Oz!
The self-appointed and rather detestable holy father, Doctor Oz, enjoys a salary of four million dollars a year at the cost of the health of our friends, family, and neighbors; a foul trade-off if you ask me.
Power to the guy because this is America where B.S. artists can thrive (Bill Nye comes to mind) but please note that Mehmet Oz has his very own IMDb page in which he is cited as an actor, having appeared in several un-health-related films. Power to us because this is America where free speech allows us to expose those who do not deserve their clout.
Sure, Oz puts out some useful health tips (no...no, nevermind). When it comes to supplements, he is no more a force for good to the cause than the hepatoxic green tea pills he pushes are to our livers.
I went there, so you do not have to.
Using the man's website requires the dedication of a monk as one must trudge through a one-minute commercial in order to watch a three-minute video. Not even YouTube delivers such a cruel blow to our ever-dwindling spare time.
Think I'm nitpicky? I am.
Take this video, for example, a video that lasts 1 minute and 22 seconds, prologued by a 1-minute advertisement.
The video is entitled, "The 2-Minute Rule That Helps You Stay Organized."
I have saved your brain cells by watching the content for you: The first minute was an ad for an asthma injection and the second minute was spent learning that I should get a filing cabinet.
Look at it this way; I spend two minutes and 22 seconds learning about a drug and a filing cabinet. The former is irrelevant to me, and the latter will in no way save me the two minutes I lost watching the "content" because I already own three of them and I was made aware of them at age 3 when I first walked into pre-school.
Why do I care so much about Doctor Oz?
As the owner of a supplement company and someone who uses dietary supplements daily, I believe Doctor Oz is undermining the progress of our industry and, while he is not the sole perpetrator, he is a good target because he is both popular and cavalier with his approach to medicine.
Do you want to know a secret no other company will tell you? When I was deciding what ingredients to use in my products, I was reminded by others in the industry that garcinia cambogia and green tea extract are very popular right now. Why are they popular? Because of research? Nope! Because of Doctor Oz!
If I was a less informed new-supplement-company-owner with money signs in place of my pupils, I would have reacted by metaphorically shaking the hand of the shady dealer and nodding agreeably, thus continuing the endless cycle of madness propelled forwards by none-other-than Mehmet Oz.
If that run-on sentence was not clear, let me put it simply: If you want to get into the supplement industry, it is easy for those with no convictions.
All you have to do is this- sell whatever Dr. Oz is currently promoting. There are companies that only sell what Dr. Oz is actively discussing and that is their entire business model. They are extraordinarily successful, and I will not give you their names for fear of promoting them.
Everything the guy touches becomes gold, and because this is metaphorical gold whose value is based on faith, everything anyone claims he touched also becomes gold. For example, if I lied and wrote, "Doctor Oz approves of my Saffron!" Well, this meme sums it up nicely:
This has become such a prolific issue that Dr. Oz can often be found denouncing companies that use his name to promote their product. Imagine if religious leaders claimed that their deity personally approved of their church. Actually, that is sort of already happening... Moving on!
The supplement industry needs help, but more regulation is unrealistic and dangerous. You cannot take away the supplements of 147 million Americans while forcing all supplement-selling companies to throw away or return their products nor does the FDA have the means to micromanage the thousands of supplement companies out there.
Any nuanced combination of those tactics is still far too large of a project for our government, and it would likely end up looking similar to the war on drugs. Besides, the supplement industry has rights just like every other religious group, darn it!
I want more transparency from the supplement companies and I want chuckleheads like Doctor Oz to take a moment to educate people on what to purchase.*
I own a company and therefore have no platform on which to stand when it comes to high-quality products (nor should I). Doctor Oz is one of the only people who talk about supplements yet does not have a specific brand.
The only advice he offers is to- check the ingredients list to make sure you get 100% daily value of your vitamins. As a Medical Doctor, he ought not to pretend he has superior knowledge of daily values. Though, I admit, as a professional actor, honesty is not in his job description so we should not expect any from the guy.
Look, a Medical Degree gives someone a lot of privileges. Understanding the supplement industry (and the nuances thereof) is not one of them but, since he has become the father of all things natural medicine- he ought to be improving our health rather than illegally promoting toxic products and making hilarious-yet-dangerous claims.
Something negative...When his show finally comes to an end, it will be too late. The seeds he has planted are already sprouting and he has what amounts to a rather large army of followers who obey him and believe every last word he says.
Doctor Oz makes for a perfect example of what millions of people want but the opposite of what they need.
We do not need a religious leader in this industry; instead, we need-
1) transparent companies willing to discuss their ingredients openly and
2) an educated populace of consumers.
Do your research. Learn for yourself what a good supplement looks like and then come back and compare the products of different companies to find out who is selling garbage and who is selling great supplements. Take your time, I'm not going anywhere. ;)
*No, I do not want him to promote Stern Healing because that would be a permanent and hypocritical stain on the white slate that represents the integrity of my company. Instead, I want him to discuss products with honesty and teach consumers what that means.
That's all for now. Thanks for reading!