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Dr. Mercola


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I wouldn't rely on Quackwatch for reliable information- it's about as biased and closed minded as you can get. People love to feel cynical about alternative health practitioners.

 

I find some of Dr Mercola's info useful, but I stopped getting the newsletters because I also find his presentation painful. Too sales oriented- turns me off. However, I think he has his place and he gets some good information more widespread than it otherwise would be. It's up to people to verify it for themselves but as far as I am concerned, I am glad that there are people like him to be a voice for certain treatments and information. I might not like his delivery, but here's to free speech .

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I'm curious why people don't like Dr. Mercola. I've heard of him, but know little of him, but what I had heard was positive. What's your POV?

I like him and get his news letters. I read what he says and try to stay balanced with it but I do believe that what he says is very needful information for us to know.

As far as him playing on peoples fears, I believe that what we have seen with the H1N1 fiasco and the government is a prime example of that.

Anytime you listen to someone that has a major focus you may need to take a step back and bring some balance to what they are saying such as eating everything raw. He promotes this as long as it is organic and fresh. Do/can't do that. There is information that he is giving out that not many are talking about though that we do need.

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I dislike him because he's a fraud who preys upon people's fears to sell his products.

 

Yep....I partake of natural/alternative health practitioners and products, but as a biostatistician, I don't believe this guy's science. I stay away from Mercola/Nourishing Traditions posts in these forums.

 

That being said, I thought the vidoes by Taubes and the one on Sugar (forget the guy's name) were brilliant.

 

YMMV.

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I wouldn't rely on Quackwatch for reliable information- it's about as biased and closed minded as you can get.

 

A quick Google search will reveal that he has indeed gotten warnings from the FDA about making unverified claims about his products.

 

I went to his products and picked a product the FDA had warned him about in terms of the claims he made. I was sort of interested in just seeing for myself what claims he made. The one I picked was Chlorella, an algae supplement that supposed to detoxify your body of mercury.

 

I noticed:

 

The claim about what Chlorella does was footnoted to make it clear the claims had not been evaluated by the FDA. Indeed, every single claim on the page is footnoted with the same message.

 

Mercola claims, "Together, we produced a paper published in the Journal of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine (March 2001).

From our studies, we both concluded that an amazing natural green algae, chlorella, is an excellent source for detoxification."

 

Yes, he did produce a paper. The paper contains lots of citations on studies about the harmfullness of mercury but nothing on the effectiveness of algae in detoxifying someone as is quite clearly implied.

 

The only information I could find on algae and mercury is on how the algae can deal with mercury in the environment. There's nothing I could find in terms of studies of effectiveness in getting rid of mercury in the human body. This is important. Guinea Fowl may get rid of ticks but I can't get rid of a tick on my body by ingesting Guinea Fowl. In fact, this is what Mercola essentialy does with algae. Algae gets rid of mercury in the enviroment because live algae eats it. Mercola boasts of the digestibility of his broken cell-wall Chlorella. In other words, his deader-then-dead algae. He's got no studies and not even a reasonable hypothesis anymore for how Chlorella is supposed to work.

 

The whole page has a veneer of science that, with a little examination, falls apart. People should put a little work into evaluating his claims. Otherwise they're basically accepting him as a faith healer.

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I dislike him because he's a fraud who preys upon people's fears to sell his products.

 

:iagree:

 

His whole set-up is about selling his products, not providing valid health info.

 

People love to feel cynical about alternative health practitioners.

 

We have no problem with alternative health practitioners, and we use alternative health treatments in some instances. I still think Mercola is a shyster.

 

Tara

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I dislike him because he's a fraud who preys upon people's fears to sell his products.

 

Exactly so. And he bad-mouths real medicine to get people to use his "natural" treatments. Folks around here in the autism community largely dislike him. When I drive past his office once a week I sneer at the building. Ok, more of a scoff.

 

A friend's son, like mine, was improving on Depakote and steroids. She decided that she'd rather use "natural" treatments from Mercola and stopped the effective meds. Sigh. If you had a kid with cancer would you stop chemo that was helping to switch to herbs and vitamins because YOU thought it more "natural"????

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I dislike him because he's a fraud who preys upon people's fears to sell his products.

 

A quick Google search will reveal that he has indeed gotten warnings from the FDA about making unverified claims about his products.

 

I went to his products and picked a product the FDA had warned him about in terms of the claims he made. I was sort of interested in just seeing for myself what claims he made. The one I picked was Chlorella, an algae supplement that supposed to detoxify your body of mercury.

 

I noticed:

 

The claim about what Chlorella does was footnoted to make it clear the claims had not been evaluated by the FDA. Indeed, every single claim on the page is footnoted with the same message.

 

Mercola claims, "Together, we produced a paper published in the Journal of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine (March 2001).

From our studies, we both concluded that an amazing natural green algae, chlorella, is an excellent source for detoxification."

 

Yes, he did produce a paper. The paper contains lots of citations on studies about the harmfullness of mercury but nothing on the effectiveness of algae in detoxifying someone as is quite clearly implied.

 

The only information I could find on algae and mercury is on how the algae can deal with mercury in the environment. There's nothing I could find in terms of studies of effectiveness in getting rid of mercury in the human body. This is important. Guinea Fowl may get rid of ticks but I can't get rid of a tick on my body by ingesting Guinea Fowl. In fact, this is what Mercola essentialy does with algae. Algae gets rid of mercury in the enviroment because live algae eats it. Mercola boasts of the digestibility of his broken cell-wall Chlorella. In other words, his deader-then-dead algae. He's got no studies and not even a reasonable hypothesis anymore for how Chlorella is supposed to work.

 

The whole page has a veneer of science that, with a little examination, falls apart. People should put a little work into evaluating his claims. Otherwise they're basically accepting him as a faith healer.

 

:iagree::iagree::iagree:

 

(and I'm not "anti-alternative-medicine" either)

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You need to take any doctor's advise with a grain of salt. Yes, Mercola appears to try to sell you his products, but traditional doctors do the same thing. They're called prescriptions that support the major pharmaceutical companies. Just as with natural alternatives, FDA-approved pills and treatments are making someone money.

 

We use a common sense approach around here. We begin treatment with natural alternatives and if that doesn't work use Western medicine to treat. I can say that, personally, we are hardly ever sick using natural alternatives. I could not say that when we used only FDA-approved Western approaches to treat.

 

I don't agree with everything Mercola says, just as I don't believe everything the FDA says.

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Exactly so. And he bad-mouths real medicine to get people to use his "natural" treatments. Folks around here in the autism community largely dislike him. When I drive past his office once a week I sneer at the building. Ok, more of a scoff.

 

A friend's son, like mine, was improving on Depakote and steroids. She decided that she'd rather use "natural" treatments from Mercola and stopped the effective meds. Sigh. If you had a kid with cancer would you stop chemo that was helping to switch to herbs and vitamins because YOU thought it more "natural"????

It is very inadvisable to switch to a natural method of fighting cancer after already pursuing traditional treatments. Traditional treatments tend to weaken all of the body's systems that are needed for the natural treatments to work. You are better off sticking with how you started off.

 

My condition (Ulcerative Colitis) seemed to improve on traditional medical treatments (prescription drugs to control inflammation). However, my overall health and strength was getting worse and worse until finally the prescription stopped working, and I was diagnosed with a precancerous condition. So, I do believe that with some health conditions switching from a traditional treatment method to natural medicine is advisable. I wish I had switched earlier.

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You need to take any doctor's advise with a grain of salt. Yes, Mercola appears to try to sell you his products, but traditional doctors do the same thing. They're called prescriptions that support the major pharmaceutical companies. Just as with natural alternatives, FDA-approved pills and treatments are making someone money.

 

We use a common sense approach around here. We begin treatment with natural alternatives and if that doesn't work use Western medicine to treat. I can say that, personally, we are hardly ever sick using natural alternatives. I could not say that when we used only FDA-approved Western approaches to treat.

 

I don't agree with everything Mercola says, just as I don't believe everything the FDA says.

The fact that a treatment was approved by the FDA means that someone was able to pay the millions of dollars to get the approval. Nothing more.
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I prefer to listen to the advice of Mark Hyman, Andrew Weil, Mehmet Oz, Ralph Moss and one of my lovely doctors who is the head of Northwestern U's integrative medicine department. :)

 

Besides the put-offish sales pitches, Mercola is too judgemental and rigid for me. He's a huge fan of homeschooling, though.

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Don't mainstream doctors get some sort of reward by pharma reps? Free goodies and maybe a fun trip if they have enough of their patients taking certain prescriptions. Kick backs? Maybe I am making this up.

 

I don't know if we can be certain of the FDA's desire to protect the consumer. Remember the Merck/Vioxx scandal? I can't remember exactly, but didn't the FDA know for quite sometime that Vioxx caused heart related deaths. They urged Merck to use a label to state that risk but Merck was hesitant. The government agency and Merck went back and forth for awhile (was it nine months?) in the mean time people were being injured or dying. The FDA appeared to be more concerned with protecting Merck and its shareholders. I thought I read that Merck knew for 3 years that its product was causing deaths. Does anyone remember this? I think I will do a google now.

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Don't mainstream doctors get some sort of reward by pharma reps? Free goodies and maybe a fun trip if they have enough of their patients taking certain prescriptions. Kick backs? Maybe I am making this up.

 

I don't know if we can be certain of the FDA's desire to protect the consumer. Remember the Merck/Vioxx scandal? I can't remember exactly, but didn't the FDA know for quite sometime that Vioxx caused heart related deaths. They urged Merck to use a label to state that risk but Merck was hesitant. The government agency and Merck went back and forth for awhile (was it nine months?) in the mean time people were being injured or dying. The FDA appeared to be more concerned with protecting Merck and its shareholders. I thought I read that Merck knew for 3 years that its product was causing deaths. Does anyone remember this? I think I will do a google now.

 

 

:iagree: My best friend is a nurse and the number of PERKS even the nurses get from drug reps is incredible. My bf has gone to NASCAR races and sat in the boxes with a full free bar on the dime of the drug companies. The kickbacks are more than anyone who doesn't work in the medical field would imagine.

 

I am not saying this to promote Mercola. I take him with a grain of salt and use common sense when reading his claims. Some of the things he says make a lot of sense....others, maybe not so much.

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:iagree: My best friend is a nurse and the number of PERKS even the nurses get from drug reps is incredible. My bf has gone to NASCAR races and sat in the boxes with a full free bar on the dime of the drug companies. The kickbacks are more than anyone who doesn't work in the medical field would imagine.

 

I am not saying this to promote Mercola. I take him with a grain of salt and use common sense when reading his claims. Some of the things he says make a lot of sense....others, maybe not so much.

The freebies are outrageous. But if you accept them you are just as culpable as the pharmaceutical companies.

 

Lots of doctors and clinics have policies not to accept anything but samples from drug reps.

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You need to take any doctor's advise with a grain of salt. Yes, Mercola appears to try to sell you his products, but traditional doctors do the same thing. They're called prescriptions that support the major pharmaceutical companies. Just as with natural alternatives, FDA-approved pills and treatments are making someone money.

 

We use a common sense approach around here. We begin treatment with natural alternatives and if that doesn't work use Western medicine to treat. I can say that, personally, we are hardly ever sick using natural alternatives. I could not say that when we used only FDA-approved Western approaches to treat.

 

I don't agree with everything Mercola says, just as I don't believe everything the FDA says.

:iagree:100%. Same here.

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:iagree: My best friend is a nurse and the number of PERKS even the nurses get from drug reps is incredible. My bf has gone to NASCAR races and sat in the boxes with a full free bar on the dime of the drug companies. The kickbacks are more than anyone who doesn't work in the medical field would imagine.

 

.

 

Still? The drug companies out here have ceased anything so much as a PEN.

 

But, maybe I run in the different circles. Not to slight your bf, but I would have considered it unethical and a huge waste of time. Drug reps, also, are among the most boring people on earth, at least when they are on the job. (But then, I also consider NASCAR a decadent waste of gasoline.:))

 

I used to talk to drug reps and take the cheap pens (they break right away). It was a time-wasting, boring thing. However, I found that if you made had a rapport with one, when you needed to get free meds for a patient, it was much easier. If I considered a patient needy (e.g. 35 year old step dad of 4 who'd had 2 bleeding ulcers and couldn't afford the PPI (this was back when there were no generics) and had no insurance (heavy equipment operator, and went from job to job)), I was never turned down. (I had to fill out paper work, however, and get the med mailed to my office each month and patient had to pick it up.)

 

I appreciated the samples. If someone has some hypertension, do I write them a month script of the starting dose, find they can't tolerate it, then they throw it out (their penny, or the insurance companies penny) and I try again? Or, do I write them a week's prescription and they pay a co-pay with each fill? Do I spend the time tracking down which is the most cost effective way for each patient?

 

Patients appreciated the "starter" pack, and once we had the dose right, were happy to go buy their lisinopril. I believe it encouraged compliance, esp. with "painless" problems like hypertension. If you are hacking mercilessly, you are more likely to fill your script than if you feel nothing. It is human.

 

However, right as I got out of office practice, the office was so paranoid about suits, we would have to track each number on each bottle with each patient so we could contact them if there was a recall on the 2 tabs of Zithromax I'd handed over to Mrs. X so she could take them now and not have to get her Rx filled until hubby got home. Too much paper work, and samples stopped.

 

Did the drug reps influence my rx'ing. Yes. If there was no known difference of effect (prilosec vs. prevacid), I Rx'd the one that gave me the most samples, as often I got people through bad months or lay-offs with samples. Help me help one weeping single mother, and I will listen to you yap about statistics.

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I get his newsletters and I while I don't agree with everything he puts out there, I take the good and leave the bad. Some of the stuff he brings up peaks my curiosity enough to do my own research. I do think the way he presents his articles seem a bit "alarmist". Overall, I've found some info to be credible and interesting and others not. Just like many other news sources out there..

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Exactly so. And he bad-mouths real medicine to get people to use his "natural" treatments. Folks around here in the autism community largely dislike him. When I drive past his office once a week I sneer at the building. Ok, more of a scoff.

 

A friend's son, like mine, was improving on Depakote and steroids. She decided that she'd rather use "natural" treatments from Mercola and stopped the effective meds. Sigh. If you had a kid with cancer would you stop chemo that was helping to switch to herbs and vitamins because YOU thought it more "natural"????

 

I do have a kid with cancer and I have seen parents want to do this, but the funny thing is that many chemo drugs are naturally based (vincristine is from the periwinkle flower, PEG Asperiginase contains modified e.coli, and so on). Just because it is natrual does not make it good for us. Glad that your son is doing well with his treatment.

 

As for Dr. Mercola I do read some of his stuff, but just like with MDs I check it out before deciding if it is good for my family or not. I do not buy any of his products. IMO he has put as much fear into people concerning the H1N1 vaccine as the government has about the disease. Neither is completely correct.

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I wouldn't rely on Quackwatch for reliable information- it's about as biased and closed minded as you can get. People love to feel cynical about alternative health practitioners.

 

I find some of Dr Mercola's info useful, but I stopped getting the newsletters because I also find his presentation painful. Too sales oriented- turns me off. However, I think he has his place and he gets some good information more widespread than it otherwise would be. It's up to people to verify it for themselves but as far as I am concerned, I am glad that there are people like him to be a voice for certain treatments and information. I might not like his delivery, but here's to free speech .

 

Peela, I've seen the actual FDA letters. Quackwatch is simply an easy place to link to that information, because it doesn't require linking to a .pdf or .doc file, which some people don't like. :)

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I will also say that I do believe strongly in the power of natural remedies, but I would go to an herbalist or naturopath for advice in those situations, not buy supplements online from a doctor who writes sensationalist articles in order to sell those same supplements. Never take advice on which products are best from someone trying to sell you products of that nature.

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I do have a kid with cancer and I have seen parents want to do this, but the funny thing is that many chemo drugs are naturally based (vincristine is from the periwinkle flower, PEG Asperiginase contains modified e.coli, and so on).
Very interesting!
Just because it is natrual does not make it good for us.
:iagree:I couldn't agree more! I hate that attitude! Arsenic is natural, poison ivy is natural, foxtail is natural, venom is natural...
As for Dr. Mercola I do read some of his stuff, but just like with MDs I check it out before deciding if it is good for my family or not. I do not buy any of his products. IMO he has put as much fear into people concerning the H1N1 vaccine as the government has about the disease. Neither is completely correct.
:iagree:

 

I will also say that I do believe strongly in the power of natural remedies, but I would go to an herbalist or naturopath for advice in those situations, not buy supplements online from a doctor who writes sensationalist articles in order to sell those same supplements. Never take advice on which products are best from someone trying to sell you products of that nature.
:iagree:Feeling around trying this and trying that is usually non-productive, and can be dangerous. I made myself much worse when I was first dealing with my disease. I soon ended up in the hospital and learned my lesson. That wasted time robbed my baby and my body of some nourishment. If only I hadn't tried to deal with it myself and had gotten into a doctor sooner! I didn't have time to waste on natural methods. The Medical Doctors saved my baby's life.

 

If I choose Natural Medicine, then I prefer to know what will work best for my body with some sort of testing from an ND.

Edited by Lovedtodeath
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The fact that a treatment was approved by the FDA means that someone was able to pay the millions of dollars to get the approval. Nothing more.

 

Yes, this is the problem I see. "Natural " treatments that may have been used for centuries are frequently not patentable, therefore the millions of $ are not spent on testing them. Therefore they can't say on the bottle that it does cure something, and often can't do the big studies.

On the other hand, the medicine that is actually approved by the FDA/equivalent in whatever country, is hardly "safe". If you can get a copy of MIMS (that's the Australian version of the side effects and combination side ffects - its a huge book, not sure what the U.S. version is)) you will see that the list of possible side effects of just about every medicine is absolutely horrendous and it makes you wonder how these drugs actually get approved. Yet people trust them because we are brainwashed to trust "science". Far more people are hurt through prescription medication, and trips to the hospital, than are hurt through alternative medicine, even through possibly questionable salespeople such as Mercola.

 

Our society has such a strange prejudice against anything that is not scientifically proven, yet so much is unprovable, and just because your pharmacy sells it doesnt make it safe at all, even if you have a prescription. People want to trust someone. I suggest we all get better educated and take responsibility for our own health.

Here is some info I just googled- I cant verify the source. But honestly, I wouldnt be worried by people like Mercola, compared to the actual medical system.

http://www.cancure.org/medical_errors.htm

One quote:

 

Medical Errors - A Leading Cause of Death

 

 

The JOURNAL of the AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION (JAMA) Vol 284, No 4, July 26th 2000 article written by Dr Barbara Starfield, MD, MPH, of the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health, shows that medical errors may be the third leading cause of death in the United States.

 

The report apparently shows there are 2,000 deaths/year from unnecessary surgery; 7000 deaths/year from medication errors in hospitals; 20,000 deaths/year from other errors in hospitals; 80,000 deaths/year from infections in hospitals; 106,000 deaths/year from non-error, adverse effects of medications - these total up to 225,000 deaths per year in the US from iatrogenic causes which ranks these deaths as the # 3 killer. Iatrogenic is a term used when a patient dies as a direct result of treatments by a physician, whether it is from misdiagnosis of the ailment or from adverse drug reactions used to treat the illness. (drug reactions are the most common cause).

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I don't know what Mercola says, but some forms of alternative medicine have their own very reliable screenings for cancer. I don't go once a year to a traditional MD to check for various cancers in different parts of my body. I go to the ND and I know if I have cancer anywhere... not just the parts that the MD checks with a separate test for each.

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:iagree: My best friend is a nurse and the number of PERKS even the nurses get from drug reps is incredible. My bf has gone to NASCAR races and sat in the boxes with a full free bar on the dime of the drug companies. The kickbacks are more than anyone who doesn't work in the medical field would imagine.

 

I am not saying this to promote Mercola. I take him with a grain of salt and use common sense when reading his claims. Some of the things he says make a lot of sense....others, maybe not so much.

 

Yep, my sister has taken her family to Disney World compliments of pharma companies. She's a nurse who works in a doctor's office.

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"Natural " treatments that may have been used for centuries are frequently not patentable, therefore the millions of $ are not spent on testing them.

 

Is that what it is? I've often wondered why the pharm companies didn't jump on the "natural" bandwagon. That acutally makes quite a bit of sense.

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You need to take any doctor's advise with a grain of salt. Yes, Mercola appears to try to sell you his products, but traditional doctors do the same thing. They're called prescriptions that support the major pharmaceutical companies. Just as with natural alternatives, FDA-approved pills and treatments are making someone money.

 

I think this is neither here nor there. There are specific and provable concerns with Mercola that should call his advice and authority into question and they can't be countered or assuaged with vague generalizations about more conventional doctors.

 

I can take my own doctor's advice with more then simply a grain of salt for instance because I've known her for years, I know where she got her degree, what her personality and character is, what she's willing to prescribe, etc. I don't deal with docters in the general, I deal with them in the specific and so I can evaluate their opinions and advice much better then I can with Mercola.

 

I basically think that there must be much better sources of advice out there then Mercola and that if he's proven himself to be deceptive in his marketing and a phony in terms of how he supports those claims then it's best to ignore him in general.

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I am interested in alternative medicine and do believe a great deal of what Nourishing Traditions has to offer. My husband is in animal nutrition and has a very solid understanding of the effects of what we put in to our bodies. He, too, agrees with a lot of what Nourishing Traditions claims.

 

That being said, I recently typed in a search for "Dr. Mercola complaints" and was amazed at the number of patient complaints at the state level. I am afraid he has become part of the problem (IMHO) instead of part of the solution.

 

There are many good sites out there with information that is thought provoking, so I go to those sites instead.

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Not sure I know how to do this cut and paste stuff:

 

Kelly on the Prarie said:

 

That being said, I recently typed in a search for "Dr. Mercola complaints" and was amazed at the number of patient complaints at the state level. I am afraid he has become part of the problem (IMHO) instead of part of the solution.

 

I googled Dr. Mercola complaints, fraud, lawsuits. The only thing I could find was where a woman received selenium instead of what she was suppose to receive. That didn't concern me too much as errors like that happen at Pharmacies.

 

I saw where the FDA wrote him a letter about some of his claims on products. That didn't concern me too much either. I'm not so sure the FDA always has consumers best interests in mind anyway.

 

People comment about him selling stuff on his website. That doesn't concern me either. My dermatologist sells sunscreen. I might try some of Mercola's products because the fish oil I bought at a health food store gave me the worse horrific taste in my mouth that I will never take any more of that brand again.

Edited by Carpe Diem
error
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I appreciate all your thoughts and opinions. I have a family member that sends some of his newsletters to me and wholeheartedly believes in him, so I wanted to see what others thought. I think I agree with many of you that he's probably right about some things and not so right about others; like anything we just need to discern for ourselves. Thank you for your assistance!

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he's probably right about some things and not so right about others; like anything we just need to discern for ourselves.

 

The way I see it, if I am going to go to someone for advice on how to care for my body, being right sometimes is not enough. I have to trust the person I am seeking advice from. Medical doctors are not infallible, but the doctors we see do much better than being "right about some things and not so right about others."

 

Tara

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The FDA only regulates drugs and food. Herbs and natural supplements by their very nature make them fall out of the FDA's jurisdiction and they cannot endorse or test any of that sort of treatment, so everything about those treatments has to have the disclaimer. However, as such, "natural" treatments are not legally allowed to claim to cure any disease, which seems to be what Mercola was slammed with, at least in the first link. GNC has been sued multiple times for the same type of infraction, claiming their products were effective against heart disease, cancers, etc, as has HerbaLife and other companies.

 

(I can cite all of this but my book is on the other side of the room and dd is on top of me :tongue_smilie:. I've got a book written by the Stephen Barrett who wrote the QuackWatch piece. He is extremely biased, according to his writings in my book, but there are some basic facts like those that seem to pan out :lol:.)

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I don't know what Mercola says, but some forms of alternative medicine have their own very reliable screenings for cancer. I don't go once a year to a traditional MD to check for various cancers in different parts of my body. I go to the ND and I know if I have cancer anywhere... not just the parts that the MD checks with a separate test for each.

 

What does that consist of?

 

My grandmother was seeing a Dr that tended to prefer alternative methods. She was seeing him for issues and he kept telling her she was fine. She died six months later. By the time she decided to just see a different Dr it was too late.

 

So...I do use some alternative methods for some things but for others I do see a mainstream Dr. I really miss my grandmother every day. I really wish she was here. I would really have preferred someone just run over that Dr with a train than to see him kill anyone else with his crazy crap.

Edited by Sis
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