Five [Medical] lies the TV told me
Fad diets, miracle weight loss super foods, and vaccines! Oh my! We live in the information age, a time where webMD will tell me what kind of cancer I am suffering from today and Dr. Oz will be more than happy to give me advice on the 5 superfoods I should include in my diet so I can live to see a healthy 160.
Sadly, even people with the credentials you think you can trust are trying to sell you something, distorting the facts and teaching you things about your health that are less truth and more tailored to convincing you to buy a product. I cannot express my complete disdain for TV Doctors enough.
This is TV however, and the only way you will have a show is if you have ratings. So you can’t push boring fact and expect to have people interested. Unfortunately that leaves people confused about truth and TV, so hopefully we can set some of that straight. Here is five medical lies the TV told me:
1. That new miracle weight loss pill? Well at least your wallet is lighter.
Weight loss, it’s everywhere. Dr.Oz has, at some counts, trumpeted at least 16 different weight loss pills that are “panaceas,” “game-changers,” and “miracles.” How much was he paid to say that? I don’t know, but there is a good chance he isn’t using the education he got with his medical credentials to vet the effectiveness of the things he’s pushing.
The truth is that most diet pills don’t do anything, the ones on the market that do actually have some effect are caffeine based and nothing more. Caffeine is a natural mood elevator, appetite suppressor, and it increases resting metabolic rate, which is the biggest factor in weight loss, which is why it works.
The bad news? That much caffeine has been shown to change the way the heart beats [yes that is on energy drinks, same principle since they were talking about caffeine content]. The bottom line, eat healthy and worry less about your weight, there are more important things to spend your time on.
2. URGENT PSA: Vaccines DO NOT cause Autism
Jenny McCarthy and other celebs have pushed this lie and I still cannot believe that they feel the need to push something they are so misinformed about. Really it’s sad we waste our time on this subject, but it needs to be said.
There is no link to vaccines and autism. The truth is that autism is now [thanks to new research] being show to be caused by genetics and starts before birth. It has gotten so bad that even autism organizations have to push the truth because precious funding for finding the actual cause and possible cure for autism is being wasted on anti-vaccination based campaigns.
Multiple studies have been completed which investigated the measles, mumps and rubella vaccination in relation to autism. Researchers have also studied thimerosal, a mercury-based preservative, to see if it had any relation to autism. The results of studies are very clear; the data show no relationship between vaccines and autism. -Quote from: Autism Science Foundation [with links provided to other materials on the subject as well]
Mercury? Not any more, although the truth is that the type of mercury counts [there is more than one type, just like the type of alcohol matters, one will kill you the other will just get you drunk]. In any case mercury is a non-issue since it is no longer in vaccines.
The truth is that you should vaccinate your children unless they have a legitimate medical condition keeping them from doing so [mostly immune diseases]. With the outbreaks of preventable, very horrible disease that can kill, you are doing a disservice not getting your children vaccinated.
Vaccines are some of the most studied, safest science that has ever come out of medicine, sleep easy knowing that.
3. “Super” Foods? More like… foods.
There is nothing super about “super” foods. Unless they are fighting crime in Gotham City, they are just foods. Sure some are better than others, but can we call broccoli a super food just because it is super good for you compared to ice cream?
The truth is that most TV shows want to simplify things, that isn’t bad but diets are complex, people are complex, and health is complex. So it is easy to say eat those acai berries because they will cure X, Y, or Z. But really, no food will cure anything alone, it’s more about general diet. If you are really worried about that, eat healthy.
What’s healthy look like? Moderate fast or processed food and more homemade things is going to be a good start. Besides, if you don’t like the taste of aloe juice, which is supposed to be very good for you [it tastes awful, trust me I’ve tried it] then it doesn’t matter if it will keep you alive for another 20 years, you won’t drink it [the bottle in the back of my fridge supports that theory].
4. Colon cleanse, because you can’t be healthy when you are full of shit.
The idea behind colon cleanses are that your colon is lazy. I know mine is, it hardly does any work, I haven’t seen it even look for a job and it just follows me around all day making inappropriate noises and smells.
The truth is that cleanses are horrible for so many reasons, no one likes poop, it smells, looks ugly and we never really talk about it. Which is probably why so many people stress when they think about their bowls being dirty.
Your bowels have tons of good bacteria that you need and more importantly want– which are needed in order for you to stay healthy. So for the love of bowels, leave them alone to do their own thing.
Want to hi five your bowels for being good to you? One word, fiber. Your bowels and general health for that matter will thank you.
5. Toxins in the body… Wait, what the hell is a toxin?
Not satisfied with bowel cleanses people needed to create, whole body cleanses! Sucker punch your liver and kidneys because in todays modern world they just don’t cut it… right?
Well the fact of the matter is there is no such thing as a ‘toxin’, not in the sense of the Detox diets, pills, towels, patches, etc. that are being sold and pushed so very thoroughly.
Detox is a myth, which has so many different actual peer reviewed papers written about it, it’s amazing people just don’t google it, like this one from The Lancet.
The truth is your liver and kidneys do a great job of filtering out all the bad things that are produced by the body or that is thrown in by the way we live. Real “detox” is liver or kidney dialysis, which if you need dialysis, well then you have health issues that can’t be resolved by a diet change, detox pill, or a “pad to pull out toxins”.
So turn off the TV and take your health into your own hands. Google Scholar can help point you in the general direction of information that is peer reviewed with articles you can trust. It’s not foolproof, not by a longshot, but when in doubt keep reading and find the general consensus from scientists on a subject.
Heres to your health!