July 20, 2009

Is Dr. Oz Really selling Miracle Cures?

In the past few weeks I've started to notice a fair number of web ads with the image of Dr. Mehmet Oz pitching what seems to be some sort of elixir of youth called resveratrol. The ads immediately strike me as snake oil sales. Not cause they have Dr. Oz in them but because of the nature of the ads themselves.

Apparently Dr. Oz did actually endorse the use of resveratrol during an episode of the Oprah show. But Dr. Oz isn't really part of these ads. A statement on the Oprah website says very specifically that Dr. Oz and Oprah are not affiliated with these people: "Neither Oprah nor Dr. Oz are associated with nor do they endorse any specific resveratrol product, company or online solicitation of such products. Any companies that misrepresent their affiliation are making false claims. Harpo attorneys are pursuing companies that claim such an affiliation."

According to Forbes this is causing a bit of A headache for Dr. Oz. Unsurprisingly some of the companies pitching resveratrol are virtually scam artists that will send you a free 30 day sample and then start charging you over $80 a month to send you more and you only realize that is going to happen if you read all the fine print carefully. Some of these companies selling the stuff online using Dr. Oz in their ads are rated F by the BBB and being investigated by the Florida state attorney general.

I did a google search for resveratrol and the top ad sent me to a site offering a free trial. But I was warned that I should hurry since supplies are limited. I followed their order page and found this:Notice the "Only 3:26 left!" bit. I'm sure that counter starts fresh anytime anyone hits their site. Its undoubtedly totally bogus time limit to rush you into purchasing and not noticing the fine print found at the bottom of the page:If you read all that small font text in their "money back guarantee" you'll see that you're signing up to have them ship you more every month and charge you $87.13.

Is resveratrol really any good for you?

Maybe. There are studies that demonstrate positive health impacts to lab animals from resveratrol. But its exact impact on human health is not yet known. Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University says "At present, relatively little is known about the effects of resveratrol in humans." So I'd say at this point it might be good for you but theres certainly nothing conclusive. I'm not a doctor by any stretch so don't take my word for it, instead go do your own research and make your own conclusion. Or better yet ask your own doctor.

If you're still inclined to buy resveratrol then shop around a little. Amazon has 60 count of 200mg of resveratrol for $17.96. Thats a whole lot cheaper than $87.13 a month and theres no bogus marketing tactics involved.

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