The Biggest Lies Dr. Oz Ever Told Viewers About Their Health (and the 1 Thing He May Have Gotten Right)

On his self-titled TV show, Dr. Oz uses his far-reaching platform to promote a variety of health messages. He’s given diet advice, shared tips about tooth health, and promoted questionable weight loss remedies. It turns out more than half of what he’s said on-air isn’t even true.

Dr. Oz has told plenty of lies since his show started. One study found that only 46% of the claims analyzed were accurate. Find out what he had to say about cancer-fighting foods (page 5) — and the one claim he’s made that might actually be true (page 7).

The lie: You can whiten your teeth with lemons

Dr. Oz speaking

Dr. Oz has a tendency to bend the truth sometimes. | Riccardo Savi/Getty Images for Concordia Summit

  • The truth: His suggestions could actually destroy your teeth over time.

Dr. Oz’s blog featured a post featuring a natural teeth-whitening remedy. One dentist responded to his claims to make sure people didn’t follow the advice of someone who never went to dental school.

Lance Timmerman, D.M.D., warned that a substance as acidic as lemon juice shouldn’t make frequent contact with anyone’s teeth. As he put it, “Acid is bad.” Adding baking soda to the mix doesn’t make things any better.

Next: He claimed this food could poison you. He was wrong.

The lie: Apples are poisonous

fresh apples in wicker basket on wooden table

Don’t worry, apples won’t poison you. | YelenaYemchuk/iStock/Getty Images

  • The truth: Apple juice does contain arsenic — but not the dangerous kind.

In 2011, The Dr. Oz Show investigated the levels of arsenic in apple juice. This caused way more panic and confusion than necessary.

According to the Food and Drug Administration, “Arsenic is present in the environment as a naturally occurring substance or as a result of contamination from human activity. It is found in water, air, soil and foods … The latest [test] results confirmed that the amount of arsenic in apple juice is low.”

Next: Dr. Oz may have played a role in a law some say is unnecessary.

The lie: GMOs will kill you

Popcorn with non GMO label

They might get a bad rap, but GMOs haven’t proven to be unsafe. | Robyn Beck/Getty Images

  • The truth: There’s no evidence — yet — that GM foods cause harm.

Dr. Oz was one of many experts who advocated for a federal law requiring the labeling of GMOs on food products. This could still potentially cause more harm than good.

According to an article in The New York Times, there isn’t enough evidence to claim foods containing GMOs are unsafe. Some might even have health benefits.

Next: This might be the strangest claim he’s ever made.

The lie: Orgasms will make you live longer

Condom left on a hotel bed

Unfortunately, lots of orgasms aren’t going to add years to your life. | DmitriMaruta/iStock/Getty Images

  • The truth: The specifics were a bit exaggerated.

According to Dr. Oz, if you have at least 200 orgasms a year, you can live up to six years longer. If only.

Technically, there are health benefits to having more orgasms. But in no way does that prove you have to have 200 of them to live longer — or that you would, if you did. This is one example of taking facts and twisting them into exaggerated claims.

Next: Many cancers can be cured — but not like this.

The lie: Eating certain foods can ‘cure’ your cancer

Man Receiving Radiation Therapy for Cancer Treatment

There isn’t any superfood out there that can cure cancer.| Jovanmandic/Getty Images

  • The truth: Food is not a viable cancer treatment.

More than once, Dr. Oz has used his show to promote the idea that eating certain foods can cure cancer. This just isn’t a misconception any health expert should promote.

People living with cancer do often follow specific diets during treatment. But there isn’t any evidence that a specific diet can cure the disease.

Next: That’s not how weight loss works.

The lie: Green coffee extract can help you lose weight

Sorry, there’s no quick fix for weight loss. | Reserveage Nutrion

  • The truth: It probably doesn’t.

Dr. Oz told viewers green coffee extract could help them lose weight. Other medical experts didn’t respond too kindly to that.

The small number of studies that suggest this product promotes weight loss were poorly designed and small. There is no “quick fix” for weight loss.

Next: Here’s one thing he’s promoted on the show that’s not a lie.

The truth: Eating carbs can help you lose weight

Carbs on a wooden surface

Some carbs can help you lose weight, but not all of them. | Bit245/iStock/Getty Images

  • Certain carbs really can help you lose weight, 

The Biggest Loser‘s Bob Harper appeared on Oz’s show a year after his heart attack to discuss the Super Carb Diet. He claimed the diet helped him get healthy, and Oz used the interview to promote it.

Oz and Harper discussed the concept of “super carbs” — foods such as whole grains that can promote weight loss over time. This can actually happen, as long as you rid your diet of “carbage” — refined foods high in sugar.

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