Clinicians’ Corner — February 2018

Learn what was on The Dr. Oz Show in the month of February.

By Michael Crupain, MD, MPH
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The Dirty Truth About the Honey Scandal (2:21)

You may remember that last year, I wrote about the show where we hosted the director of the film I Am Jane Doe. The documentary tells the story of young women who were sold online for sex and the battle to shut down the website Backpage.com, where most online sex trafficking occurs. Unfortunately, the efforts of victims and law enforcement were continually impeded by a provision in the Communications Decency Act (CDA), which says that websites are not responsible for third-party content, even if that content includes ads selling children for sex. We teamed up with our guests to start a petition on Change.org to demand that tech companies stop supporting the defense of Backpage.com. We ultimately received more than 214,000 signatures and I’m excited to report that the House and Senate recently passed a bill that has now been signed into law that will amend the CDA so that websites like Backpage can be held accountable for child sex trafficking. In addition, the federal government has seized the website and arrested its owners. We want to thank you for your support on this effort.

Below, please find the show summaries for the month of February.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

ROSE MCGOWAN ON SEXUAL ABUSE, HARASSMENT, AND CHANGE

Actress Rose McGowan joined Dr. Oz to discuss sexism in Hollywood. She emphasized that it's important for everyone to fight for equality in every field.

Next, Dr. Oz warned that this flu season was getting worse and was more widespread than it had been for the last few years. He warned everyone that the flu can be deadly, especially to the young and elderly. He encouraged everyone to get a flu shot and to see the doctor if they experience a fever, chills, aches, fatigue, and other flu symptoms.

Friday, February 2, 2018

ONE-ON-ONE WITH GAYLE KING: SHE SPEAKS OUT ON THE SCANDALS ROCKING MORNING NEWS

On this show, Gayle King sat down with Dr. Oz to celebrate his 1,500th show. She discussed her friendship with Oprah, the #MeToo movement, race relations in our nation, and the Woody Allen sex abuse allegations. Next, Dr. Oz discussed dangerous levels of mercury. Two years ago, Dr. Oz found out his personal blood mercury levels were high. In response, he changed his diet by consuming less high-mercury fish, like seared tuna and Chilean sea bass. He had his mercury levels re-tested this year and discovered he now had normal levels. He encouraged Americans to continue to eat seafood, but to opt for lower-mercury seafood, like chunk light canned tuna, sardines, and salmon.

Monday, February 5, 2018

THE APPLE CIDER VINEGAR DETOX

On this show, Dr. Oz was joined by nutritionist J.J. Smith to discuss her new apple cider vinegar detox. While the body is able to naturally detoxify, this plan was designed to help support that mechanism by encouraging elimination of processed and high-sugar foods and encouraging people to eat healthy meals that incorporate 1 cup of Greek yogurt, 2 tablespoons of coconut oil, and 3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar each day. The yogurt provides protein and helps encourage the growth of good gut bacteria; the apple cider vinegar may help stabilize blood sugar; and the small amount of coconut oil for a limited duration, with meals, provides plant-based fat for satiety.

Finally, we weighed the pros and cons of drinking raw (unpasteurized) milk, a growing food trend. Dr. Oz determined that raw milk has all the same nutritional benefits as pasteurized milk, with the added risk of possible bacterial contamination, and no additional benefit. Overall, he advised against drinking it.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

FEET TO THE FIRE FEBRUARY: THE COCONUT OIL CONSPIRACY

Dr. Oz investigated coconut oil to clear up the confusion about its health benefits. Although it's trendy, the American Heart Association recently advised against eating coconut oil due to its high saturated fat content. Dr. Oz suggested consuming coconut oil only in moderation. He also recommended that viewers pair coconut oil with fiber, which has been shown to decrease the absorption of coconut oil by the small intestine and lead to smaller increases in serum cholesterol.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

OZ INVESTIGATES: ARE BUTTER ALTERNATIVES HEALTHY OR HARMFUL?

On this show, Dr. Oz discussed the differences between butter, margarines, spreads, whips, tubs, and sticks. He advised that real butter and alternatives should be consumed in moderation. Whipped butter is more spreadable and has fewer calories and less fat tablespoon-per-tablespoon. Margarines and buttery spreads are almost universally made from plant-based oils and are trans-fat-free, making them an acceptable alternative as well.

Next, Dan Souza of America's Test Kitchen joined Dr. Oz to discuss cooking sprays. They revealed that while the nutrition label says these sprays contain zero calories, the measure only refers to a spray lasting a third of a second. Most people spray for 3 to 4 seconds, which is equivalent to 30 to 40 calories per spray. However, these sprays are mostly made with canola or olive oil, which are heart-healthy oils.

Then, Dr. Oz turned to a problem many people who go gluten-free aren't aware of: Their diet could be exposing them to higher arsenic levels. Dr. Oz warned his viewers that gluten-free foods are most commonly made with rice, rice flour, and other rice products. Rice is notoriously high in arsenic because of the plant's biology and the soil in which it is grown. Therefore, Dr. Oz encouraged viewers to eat a variety of whole grains.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

TRUE CRIME EXCLUSIVE: BREAKING NEWS: NATALIE WOOD'S SISTER SPEAKS OUT 

On this episode, actress Natalie Wood's younger sister, Lana Wood, joined prosecutor Nancy Grace and Dr. Oz to discuss what she thinks happened to her sister, who died mysteriously while boating near Catalina in 1981. Wood doesn't believe her sister's death was an accidental drowning. Instead, she pins the blame on her sister's husband, Robert Wagner.

Next, we tested different essential oil brands to see if they were genuine. Dr. Oz revealed that three out of the four brands tested contained cheaper oils that weren't on the label. He told consumers to purchase oils from a brand whose production methods are transparent on their website and to be wary of prices that seemed too good to be true. He then noted that while there is anecdotal evidence for the therapeutic properties of some essential oils, like lavender and peppermint oil, there is not enough scientific evidence to recommend them as treatment options.

Friday, February 9, 2018

OZ INVESTIGATES: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT HAMBURGER

On this show, Dr. Oz addressed recent headlines reporting that much of our beef is now being imported from Brazil. While this isn't harmful to viewers' health, he encouraged them to advocate for industry labeling that would indicate the food's country of origin.

Dr. Oz discussed the new 5G cell phone network, coming soon to the United States, which uses a different frequency on the electromagnetic spectrum to deliver the information transmitted by smartphones. In addition to being closer to UV, X-ray, and gamma radiation on the spectrum, these waves require a greater number of towers per square mile to provide reliable service. Radiologist Dr. Nicole Saphier explained that research has demonstrated that this type of radiation is harmless.

Monday, February 12, 2018

IS IT TIME TO END THE WAR ON PASTA?

Food journalist Mark Schatzker joined Dr. Oz to discuss the health impact of eating pasta. They recommended eating smaller portions of pasta as an appetizer (like Italians do), eating pasta with vegetable-heavy instead of dairy-heavy sauces, and eating leftover pasta cold. Pasta that has been cooked and then cooled develops "resistant starches" due to a process called gelatinization. These starches are not absorbed by the small intestine and function essentially as fiber.

Schatzker and Dr. Oz also discussed new low-carb pastas on the market, including black bean, chickpea, and red lentil pastas. These pastas have lower glycemic indices and are higher in nutrients than traditional pasta made with refined flours.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

TRUE CRIME TUESDAY EXCLUSIVE: CASEY ANTHONY'S FORMER ROOMMATES SPEAK OUT

On this show, Dr. Oz and crime correspondent Melissa Moore spoke to two of Casey Anthony's former roommates, who believe the stark change they observed in Anthony's behavior before and after the disappearance of her daughter point to her culpability.

Dr. Oz's next guest was a woman with a binge eating disorder. Using an animation and demonstration, he illustrated the havoc that binge eating wreaks on the body, including insulin surges, extreme changes in serum glucose, depressive symptoms, and weight gain.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

EVIL DOCTORS: BLINDED BY THE LOVE OF A LYING SURGEON

On this show, Dr. Oz spoke with Benita Alexander, a woman who was engaged to a man who posed as a famous doctor. Alexander discussed how his deception affected her.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

THE TRUTH ABOUT THE HONEY SCANDAL: THE BIGGEST FOOD FRAUD THE WORLD HAS EVER SEEN

On this episode, Dr. Oz was joined by investigative journalists to discuss how adulterated and illegal honey ends up on grocery shelves. Some of these honeys are ultra-filtered to remove the pollen that helps determine where they are from. The filtering makes it easy to mix other ingredients into the honey and label it as pure. The experts encouraged viewers to buy local honey or honey bearing a "True Source Certified" label.

Dr. Oz then discussed the case of a woman living with dissociative identity disorder, who apparently has 67 distinct personalities that she fluctuates between every day. Dr. Oz went over some of the difficulties her condition poses for her and her family, since she can't always remember what her last personality was doing or thinking. He also spoke with her therapist, who is optimistic that she will recover.

Friday, February 16, 2018

YOUR GUT TYPE QUIZ: WHAT TO EAT NOW TO CHANGE YOUR BODY

On this show, we introduced a quiz to determine what types of problems the viewer might be having with his/her gut. The hungry gut type eats lots of processed foods and doesn’t give his/her gut bacteria the kind of nourishment it needs. For this type, Dr. Oz recommended viewers eat more inulin-rich foods to feed the microbiome. The wiped gut type takes antibiotics frequently, which also kills healthy bacteria. For this type, Dr. Oz recommended antioxidants to help prevent illness. The gassy gut type refers to those who are not eating enough fiber and have constipation. For this group, Dr. Oz recommended eating more fiber-rich foods.

Later, Dr. Oz showed viewers what heroin addiction looks like through the lens of a woman struggling with it. He discussed her time in rehab and how hard it was for her to fight cravings, even with support. He noted that withdrawal, while not deadly, can feel like dying, which is why medically assisted treatment is so helpful for many patients to get past the first 24 hours, when symptoms are most intense.

Monday, February 19, 2018

OZ INVESTIGATES: CANNED TUNA

Tuna can be a healthy source of omega-3 fatty acids, but people worry about its mercury content. To limit mercury exposure, Dr. Oz suggested choosing "light" over albacore tuna and sticking to around 12 ounces a week. For those who prefer albacore, 4 ounces per week is a more reasonable amount to limit mercury exposure.

Next, Dr. James DiNicolantonio, author of The Salt Fix, joined Dr. Oz to explain his theory that Americans do not need to cut back on salt consumption. Dr. DiNicolantonio emphasized that we need salt for proper kidney function, fluid maintenance, heart rate, and nutrient uptake. Dr. Oz pointed out that while this is true, many viewers do not need much salt to meet their needs. He also noted that it's generally safe to salt food to taste at home, but viewers should avoid processed foods with excess salt.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

TRUE CRIME TUESDAY: OZ EXCLUSIVE: A DAD'S DESPERATE PLEA TO FIND HIS MISSING KIDS

For this show, crime correspondent Melissa Moore covered the story of a man whose children went missing. Their mother, who was known to suffer from severe mental illness — likely schizophrenia — is thought to have murdered the children. However, their bodies have never been found and the suspect was found incompetent to stand trial. Dr. Oz underscored how public engagement and support of resources, such as the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, are paramount to preventing and remedying situations like this one.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

THINGS YOU JUST DON'T TALK ABOUT: MY DOCTOR MADE ME GET NAKED, WAS THAT OKAY?

On this episode, Dr. Oz went over topics that people may be embarrassed to talk about. First, he addressed changing into a gown for physical exams. Many people believe the practice is odd, while others say the practice is routine when they go to the doctor. Dr. Oz's medical unit called doctors' offices across the United States and found the majority of doctors do require gowns for physicals. However, some practitioners opt to let their patients keep their clothes on and only ask them to change if an exam requires it. Overall, Dr. Oz underscored that changing into a gown is the proper protocol, but if a viewer is uncomfortable, he or she should ask to keep his or her clothes on.

Later, Dr. Oz brought a couple on to discuss the uncomfortable subject of passing gas at night. He explained that this is likely due to the fact that people are not consciously constricting their anal sphincters at night, allowing gas to pass. Dr. Oz suggested eating at least three hours before bed to mitigate the situation.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

TRUE CRIME THURSDAY: OZ EXCLUSIVE: WIFE OF POLICE CHIEF CHARGED WITH SOLICITING SEX FROM A MINOR SPEAKS OUT

Dr. Oz and crime correspondent Melissa Moore reviewed the case of Michael Diebold, a policeman who was found guilty of soliciting sex from a minor. Dr. Oz sat down with Diebold's wife to discuss how these types of actions can impact those around the perpetrator — from dissolving trust in a romantic relationship to harming families and communities.

Friday, February 23, 2018

THE TRUTH BEHIND GUT FOODS: FROM KOMBUCHA TO PREMADE PROBIOTIC SHAKES, DO THEY REALLY WORK?

Dr. Oz's medical unit sent out numerous foods fortified with probiotics for quantitative probiotic testing. In the small number of samples tested, kombucha had significantly fewer active cultures (with an average of 6 million colony-forming units per gram) than yogurt smoothies (with an average of 150 million colony-forming units per gram) and probiotic-fortified snack bars (with an average of 110 million colony-forming units per gram). Dr. Oz reminded viewers that they should get their probiotics from a variety of sources, including yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, and homemade pickles.

Monday, February 26, 2018

WHAT IS YOUR METABOLISM SCORE?

Dr. Oz and nutritionist Haylie Pomroy presented a metabolism quiz to help viewers figure out if they are having problems with the speed of their metabolism. Pomroy told the audience the key to keeping a healthy metabolism is not to cut down on food intake but to eat the right foods, including vegetables and protein.

Next, actress and model Vanessa Williams joined Dr. Oz to talk about heart disease, which runs in her family. They discussed the steps people can take to lower their risk, including following healthy eating habits, exercising, and controlling blood pressure.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

TRUE CRIME TUESDAY: OZ EXCLUSIVE: B.T.K. SERIAL KILLER SPEAKS OUT FROM PRISON

On this show, Dr. Oz investigated the story of the "B.T.K." serial killer, Dennis Rader. One survivor, who found his whole family murdered, discussed his pain and survivor's guilt with Dr. Oz. Psychotherapist and licensed clinical social worker Jason Kurtz advised viewers on how they can deal with survivor’s guilt, pointing out that while the pain will always be there, one can combat feelings of helplessness by thinking about the impact their lost loved ones wanted to have on the world.

Next, singer K. Michelle revealed that she had illegal butt injections, which caused her excruciating pain and caused her to seek surgery to revise the procedure. She and her surgeon talked to Dr. Oz about her difficult surgery. Michelle cautioned viewers to think twice before electing to receive illegal butt injections.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

THE BEST COOKING OILS FOR WEIGHT LOSS

On this show, Dr. Oz discussed lesser-known oils that can boost heart health and weight loss, including hemp, walnut, black seed, and flaxseed oils. These oils are high in omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants. For cooking, the best alternative oil was avocado oil, due to its high smoke point.

Next, actor Kirk Cameron joined Dr. Oz to discuss his new documentary, Connect, which warns parents about the dangers of technology addiction in children. Technology opens up young children to cyberbullying, sexually explicit content, depression associated with excessive social media consumption, and decreased social ability due to isolation from in-person relationships.

Article written by Michael Crupain, MD, MPH
Michael Crupain, MD, MPH is the Chief of Staff of the Medical Unit at The Dr. Oz Show.