Too good to be true- Supplements in the fantasy land of Oz

Photo courtesy Insomnia Cured Here

Q: I am currently getting over Covid and playing way too many solitaire and word games! The commercials that show up often, are for these keto Gummies, which promise to burn off the fat while you sleep! 40 pounds, in three weeks. How can they do that and how do they get away with it? ‘Just wondering. Thanks for looking into it, if you decide to do so. Dr. Oz and Oprah are involved.

A: Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could lose 40 pounds in three weeks- firstly, safely and secondly, keep it off? If you buy these gummies I can assure you that you will end up being lighter but that would be because of the cash gone from your wallet.

It’s key when looking at any weight loss program to understand what is happening to your body. While it may be wonderful to see the numbers on the scale dropping, when you’re trying to lose weight, it’s fat that you want to shed.

On keto or low-carb diets, because of the severe carbohydrate restriction, the result is quick water loss. Frequent urination usually follows cutting out carbs. So while the scale may drop, even 5 pounds or more in the first week, as soon as you add the carbs was back in, the water weight pounds reappear. As well, after the first week, the extreme water loss stops.

40 pounds in 3 weeks? I don’t think so. Besides that kind of weight loss simply isn’t safe.

In addition, sticking to these types of regimes, especially the keto diet, can be really difficult for most people. The keto diet is a very-low carbohydrate, high-fat program. While many people find it easier to drop pounds on these programs, over long term, it’s not the healthiest way to eat.

That being said, keto diets are being used for certain medical conditions, such as in the treatment of epilepsy.

But for weight loss, research shows that, over long term, there’s really no difference in the weight loss maintained by those eating these low-carb diets versus high-carb but there can be negative effects, such as increases in artery-clogging LDL cholesterol levels.

But restricting carbs to this extent, besides depriving your body of so many health promoting nutrients, also takes away the pleasure of eating.

Too Good To Be True
If it sounds too good to be true, chances are it is. So you ask how can they say that and get away with it. It’s very simple. On the internet, you can say anything you like- well almost anything. You can’t smear someone’s name but you can certainly try to use their name in any way you like and if that person comes after you with legal recourse, then you might have to remove that name. But as for selling all kinds of bogus items on the internet, it’s buyer beware.

Now to Oprah and Dr. Oz.

Like other celebrities, Oprah’s name is frequently falsely used as endorsing for all kinds of scams and these keto gummies are just one of many.

Dr. Mehmet Oz, well, that’s a very different story. His credibility has long been questioned, even as far back as 2014, when he testified at a U.S. Senate committee hearing about various weight loss supplements that he was promoting on his TV show.

It wasn’t pretty as he was grilled about misleading his TV audiences.

Over the years, many health professionals have called for his being stripped of his medical license because of the long list of unscientific nonsense he has promoted.

But there may have been a method to his madness – for him anyway. As we all know, there’s lots of money to be made in the area of nutritional supplements. And it’s not always done in an ethical manner. It’s when you follow the money, you can get a glimpse into what is happening. It’s not always a transparent one, though.

Check out the video Dr. Oz made for Walmart last year.


His topic was healthy immune systems – obviously a current concern during the pandemic. In the video, he extols the benefit of a particular probiotic supplement. What he didn’t tell his viewers is that he has been the board of directors of PanTheryx, the brand’s parent company since 2019 and is reported to own about about $1 million worth of the company’s stock. He did not disclose his relationship with the company in the video.

The financial ties only came to light as Dr. Oz wants to run for the U.S. Senate and as part of the process, he had to disclose his financial holdings. According to his disclosure form, he is set to be awarded with over 700,000 shares of restricted stock in the company in return for three years of work.

There have been questions about other dubious products he has promoted and the financial compensation he has quietly received.

And now that he’s making a run for the Senate, he’s even changed his tune about nutrition. He used to be a purist stating that certain foods shouldn’t be eaten. Now that he’s appealing to voters, he’s tweeting about milkshakes being “heaven in a way”.

Check out his tweet.

Keep in mind, that when it comes to supplements in general, you can still get hoodwinked and doesn’t have to be via the internet. The regulations around supplements leave much to be desired.

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Categories: Your Questions Answered

Author:Rosie Schwartz

Rosie Schwartz is a Toronto-based consulting dietitian and writer.

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2 Comments on “Too good to be true- Supplements in the fantasy land of Oz”

  1. Terry Lander
    August 12, 2022 at 12:01 am #

    Hi, I wanted to read the article but It states that the page is not found and error. Thanks, Terry ________________________________

    • August 12, 2022 at 7:43 am #

      I’m sorry, Terry! There were technical issues but it’s up now. Please enjoy!

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