Should you listen to Dr. Oz?

Green-coffee extract as a “miracle” weight-loss method? Lemon juice and baking soda as an effective teeth whitener?

Lisa and Mehmet Oz at Time 100 celebration

Lisa and Mehmet Oz at the 2010 Time 100 gala (David Shankbone photo via Wikimedia Commons)

“With his charisma, good looks and enthusiasm,” the host of TV’s most popular syndicated medical talk program, celebrity doctor Mehmet Oz, “certainly puts on a good show,” writes clinical professor emeritus John Swartzberg on the health website Berkeley Wellness. “Entertainment it is indeed; good medical advice it often is not.”

“That’s why,” he says, “I was glad to see a recent study in the medical journal BMJ that, for the first time, system­atically analyzed the recommendations and claims made on The Dr. Oz Show,” along with those on The Doctors, the second most popular show of its kind.

For the BMJ study, researchers watched 40 episodes of each show and looked for published studies to support the recommendations being made. Their conclusion? Out of 160 recommen­dations made by Oz, only 46 percent were backed by research findings.

Swartzberg is the longtime chair of the UC Berkeley Wellness Letter editorial board, which in recent years has also called attention to Oz, many of whose health recommendations are “wacky or downright wrong,” writes Swartzberg. Read his recent piece “Should you listen to Dr. Oz?” on Berkeley Wellness.