Are Dr. Oz’s Weight Loss Tricks For You?

Is anyone else getting tired of Dr. Oz?  His unsolicited ads are now appearing in my Facebook feed daily and there’s always an ad for a weight loss supplement that he’s promoting in the side bar. What exactly is Dr. Oz peddling?

For a physician he seems to push quick fixes that consist of taking a non-FDA approved supplement that has been through little, if any, legitimate testing.  Most – if not all – of them turn out to be pricey gimmicks that people pay money for without any return on their investment.

Then there is this odd disclaimer on his web site that follows all of the articles promoting the miracle cures that says:  “The Dr. Oz Show will not and does not promote any particular brand. If you see any ads or receive any e-mails that claim Dr. Oz is promoting or recommending a specific brand, ignore it and let The Dr. Oz Show know about it.”

The red one is magic.

The red one is the magic weight loss pill.

So just what is he up to?

From raspberry ketone, to green coffee beans, capsicum, and calcium pyruvate, Dr. Oz promotes one unsubstantiated rapid weight loss fix after another. Here’s the low-down on some of the products found on Dr. Oz’s web site:

Raspberry Ketone – Dr. Oz says that it “can help in your weight-loss efforts, especially when paired with regular exercise and a well-balanced diet of healthy and whole foods.”  Really?  If you’re eating a well-balanced diet of healthy and whole foods and exercising, why do you need the raspberry ketone?

According to both the Mayo Clinic and Web MD, insufficient research has been done on humans to conclude that Raspberry Ketone assists in any way with weight loss.

Capsicum – Dr. Oz says that Capsicum stimulates metabolism by activating a chain of events in the body that helps to melt fat and break it down in the body. The article on his web site about Capsicum also says, “After taking the extract, focus on exercises that build lean muscle, which further burns fat, even while resting.”

Is there a pattern emerging here?  With the raspberry ketone if you eat right and exercise you’ll lose weight.  With the Capsicum if you focus on exercises that builds lean muscle mass you will be more efficient at burning fat.  That’s what strength training does!  It increases muscle mass and as a result your body burns more calories throughout the day.

Again, as with Raspberry Ketone, there has not been sufficient research done on Capsicum to support the claims that it is effective as a weight loss aid.

Calcium Pyruvate – Here’s Dr. Oz’s spin on Calcium Pyruvate: “Pyruvate seems to work by increasing your body’s use of fat as an energy source. Normally, your body first breaks down sugar, then protein, and fat is saved until the end. Pyruvate appears to divert fat to be broken down sooner. The result is that the resting metabolic rate is raised, meaning you could feasibly be melting fat while watching TV if you have ingested the right amount of pyruvate.”

Feasibly, I’ve always wanted to melt fat while I’m having a glass of wine watching re-runs of Two and A Half Men so go ahead and sign me up for this one.

Dr. Bill Sukala, Phd Exercise and Sports Science, wrote an excellent and very thorough article, Pyruvate Suppmenets: A Comprehensive Review Of Marketing Claims, on the research that has been done on Calcium Pyruvate.  Sukala says  “the most popular [pyruvate] weight loss claims are supported by limited evidence, and there are many more with no basis in fact whatsoever. Some are downright false and others are deceptive half-truths.”  You can read the full article here.

Saffron Extract – – Dr. Oz gets zuber-excited about saffron extract which he refers to as a ‘miracle appetite suppressant’.  Watch this video of him telling his audience about all of the science behind it.  At around  2.39 minutes into the video he says not once, but twice, that the people in the study were allowed to eat whatever they want and they still lost weight.  He is able to convince the audience that saffron extract is the miracle that everyone has been waiting for.

Green Coffee Beans – From Dr. Oz:  “Various studies have suggested that chlorogenic acid [found in coffee beans] slows absorption of fat from food intake and also activates metabolism of extra fat. Unfortunately, traditional brewed coffee doesn’t serve as a good source of chlorogenic acid. While roasting green coffee beans removes its naturally bitter taste, it also removes a significant portion of chlorogenic acid. Hence, green coffee beans remain one of the best natural sources for chlorogenic acid.

Research on green coffee beans and weight loss is relatively new.  The one study that has been done is considered to be preliminary and results were inconclusive.  Even the study Dr. Oz did himself is questionable.  He divided 100 women into two groups.  One group took the green coffee beans, the other took a placebo.  The women that took the coffee beans lost an average of two pounds.  The placebo group lost one pound.  This study raises so many questions I couldn’t possibly address them all in this article except to ask, why did the women on the placebo lose one pound?

Fact Or Fiction?

How does someone that wants to lose weight sort through all of these products that Dr. Oz is so enthusiastic about?

On his web site Dr. Oz refers to them as diet ‘tricks’ which is the first clue that what you’re going to hear or read about has sketchy – if any – research backing it up.

He also consistently uses phrases like:

  • melts fat
  • activates metabolism
  • increases body’s use of fat
  • burns fat while resting
  • lose weight without diet or exercise
  • miracle

If there were miracle products that would help people lose and keep weight off we would all know about, and have access to, them.  The truth is there is only one way to lose weight.  You have to burn more calories than you consume by eating less and moving more.  The best way to do this is to limit portions, select low-calorie/nutrient-dense foods, get 30 minutes of physical activity every day, and sleep seven to eight hours a night.

We all wish there were an easier way but until a real miracle comes along this is what we have to work with.  That’s why it is so irritating to see this constant dribble from Dr. Oz about one fat melting trick after another.

It’s also disheartening that all of the ‘diet trick’ posts have dozens of comments from people that say they are going to go out and buy the products that Dr. Oz is promoting (but not endorsing) and that haven’t been proven to work.

I’m thinking maybe a Green Coffee Bean Ketone Capsicum Saffron stacker would be a trick. Or, at the very least, tricky.

What’s your take on Dr. Oz’s diet tricks?  Be Social! Share!