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  #1   ^
Old Sat, Jul-24-21, 09:36
WereBear's Avatar
WereBear WereBear is offline
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Plan: Epi-Paleo/IF
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Default Warning about Joseph Mercola

If you've been in the low carb world since 2003, like myself, you've more than likely gone through some "Mercola moments."

Usually, it's in the course of researching something, and Mercola seems to be everywhere. And what we land on is likely to echo what we have discovered for ourselves: low carb is healthy, nutritional science is an oxymoron, and good health is more than taking pills.

But the more I delved, the more hinky my impression became. Whenever the search engine uncovered some sort of game-changer claim, I couldn't read the article unless I signed up for all kinds of things, like his newsletter (fair enough) to a special offer (for a one-shot? Foul play.)

The more often I visited his website, the more likely I was to be driven away by the relentless selling. My first impression, that of a dedicated medical doctor driven to heal patients, turned. He began to be far more of a salesman than a dedicated physician.

Turns out, I was not only right, I was giving him too much credit. From the New York Times:

Quote:
Researchers and regulators say Joseph Mercola, an osteopathic physician, creates and profits from misleading claims about Covid-19. “I have every right to inform the public,” he says.

The Most Influential Spreader of Coronavirus Misinformation Online


It's not the first time someone who seemed like the real deal showed feet of clay.

He wants to look like many of the dedicated doctors we do follow: Dr. Georgia Edes on food and mental health, Dr. Terry Wahls on keto and autoimmune, Dr. William Davis of Wheatbelly, and even amateurs with skills and proven ideas. This is more like the "functional medicine" doctors I run across... that then turn up on sites with Tony Robbins, the self-help cult leader.

Quote:
The article that appeared online on Feb. 9 began with a seemingly innocuous question about the legal definition of vaccines. Then over its next 3,400 words, it declared coronavirus vaccines were “a medical fraud” and said the injections did not prevent infections, provide immunity or stop transmission of the disease.

Instead, the article claimed, the shots “alter your genetic coding, turning you into a viral protein factory that has no off-switch.”

Its assertions were easily disprovable. No matter. Over the next few hours, the article was translated from English into Spanish and Polish. It appeared on dozens of blogs and was picked up by anti-vaccination activists, who repeated the false claims online. The article also made its way to Facebook, where it reached 400,000 people, according to data from CrowdTangle, a Facebook-owned tool.

The entire effort traced back to one person: Joseph Mercola.

Dr. Mercola, 67, an osteopathic physician in Cape Coral, Fla., has long been a subject of criticism and government regulatory actions for his promotion of unproven or unapproved treatments. But most recently, he has become the chief spreader of coronavirus misinformation online, according to researchers.


His website looks amateurish but it turns out he's part of a round robin of referring sites that make him seem like an expert... when it's all him and his girlfriend, the article notes.

Quote:
Over the last decade, Dr. Mercola has built a vast operation to push natural health cures, disseminate anti-vaccination content and profit from all of it, said researchers who have studied his network. In 2017, he filed an affidavit claiming his net worth was “in excess of $100 million.”


This is a con artist tactic. They use real research and actual facts to cover up the hard sell lurking underneath. We trust them 90% of the way, and then comes the 10% that rips us off.

Be careful out there.
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  #2   ^
Old Sat, Jul-24-21, 09:47
cotonpal's Avatar
cotonpal cotonpal is offline
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Plan: very low carb real food
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Way back when Mercola appeared legit, when he was a practicing physician, advocating low carb. Maybe even then he wasn't on the up and up. Even before Covid he was anti vaccine. He is definitely to be avoided.
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  #3   ^
Old Sat, Jul-24-21, 10:12
GRB5111's Avatar
GRB5111 GRB5111 is offline
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Plan: Very LC, Higher Protein
Stats: 227/186/185 Male 6' 0"
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I've been skeptical and have avoided anything Mercola for years. For those who use him as an information source, be forewarned. He certainly has an empire selling supplements that are very expensive. I am not aware of his stance on vaccinations because I pay no attention to him. I have him in the same category as Dr. Mehmet Oz and Dr. Eric Berg.

ETA: As mentioned above, my comments about Mercola have nothing to do with his stance on vaccinations. I respect all views and decisions about whether or not to get vaccinated. I have no right to judge people either way, as it's a very personal decision, and I'll leave it at that.

Last edited by GRB5111 : Sat, Jul-24-21 at 18:07.
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  #4   ^
Old Sat, Jul-24-21, 12:30
Dodger's Avatar
Dodger Dodger is offline
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Plan: Paleoish/Keto
Stats: 225/165/175 Male 71.5 inches
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Years ago, I was a Mercola fan but over time he seemed to have contradicting recommendations so I stopped going to his site.
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  #5   ^
Old Sat, Jul-24-21, 13:39
Zei Zei is offline
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Plan: Carb reduction in general
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Not trying to attract criticism from anyone, but I'm still a Mercola fan. Yes, he's trying to make a living selling lots of products (which I never buy), but he's been a real bellwether of warning over the years for me about health things like low carb, avoiding toxic substances (like linoleic acid) in industrial seed oils, get enough sun/vitamin d etc. And unlike many other sources (the ADA, AHA, big government health organizations etc.) he's always been willing to publicly admit in his articles (I do receive his daily newsletter) when he's found what he said in the past was outdated or wrong and updates you on the best newest information he has found. Yes, he (like all of us?) has certain subjects he really likes to get onto the soapbox about, like mercury, fluoride or vaccines. He's been slammed pretty hard as of late by fake IMO "fact" checkers because he doesn't toe the party line of some big well funded organizations, on some currently popular issues to do with how best to handle some COVID related health matters, who would love to take him down and are actively trying to do so for providing a different perspective than theirs. Read his stuff or pass on it as you individually prefer, not trying to suggest anyone change what they're doing, just saying I've found his articles helpful, well researched and not the kind of scam big conventional organizations try to make them out to be.
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  #6   ^
Old Sat, Jul-24-21, 14:21
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Ms Arielle Ms Arielle is offline
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It all comes back to learn your stuff....to better critique the sources. And don't throw the baby out with the bath water.....never met anyone who knows everything in their specialty.

Once read an article in Time magazine on breeding Dutch horses. I could pick out details that were not entirely correct, but gave them an A but not A+. My years of experience breeding horses, Dutch horses, could critique the article.

I read, but engage my brain. And look for more information from other sources. Trusted sources have earned the trust....and know that research keeps the landscape changing.......be open to new ideas or twerked ideas.

Mercola is not a primary go to source.....for me.
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  #7   ^
Old Sat, Jul-24-21, 14:29
Zei Zei is offline
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Plan: Carb reduction in general
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Ms A
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  #8   ^
Old Sat, Jul-24-21, 18:49
Zuleikaa Zuleikaa is offline
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I turned off and tuned out years ago when some things he said and sold were contradicting my own research. And then much of what he wrote would be correct but 10-20% would be erroneous or just proven wrong with a little basic research...it became obvious he wasn't doing his own research.
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  #9   ^
Old Sun, Jul-25-21, 03:15
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Kristine Kristine is offline
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Plan: Primal/P:E
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I called Bee Ess on him a long time ago, when he basically equated Splenda to the chlorine in your swimming pool... just because it contains a chloride ion. You know what else contains chloride? Table salt. And, your blood. It's an electrolyte. Not that I'm president of the Splenda fan club, but it aggravates me when the language someone uses is overly-alarmist and deliberately confusing. This is high school level chemistry, but I'm sure he knows half the masses aren't that smart and takes advantage of them.
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  #10   ^
Old Sun, Jul-25-21, 07:39
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WereBear WereBear is offline
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Plan: Epi-Paleo/IF
Stats: 220/123/150 Female 67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zei
Read his stuff or pass on it as you individually prefer, not trying to suggest anyone change what they're doing, just saying I've found his articles helpful, well researched and not the kind of scam big conventional organizations try to make them out to be.


I'm glad you found useful stuff, but this recent article is an illustration about how he actually does as much harm as good:

Quote:
“Natural health” and the antivaccine movement: The case of Dr. Joseph Mercola

Dr. Joseph Mercola has been selling quackery for over two decades. It turns out that he also promotes antivaccine pseudoscience, as a new report from The Washington Post shows.


My bold. Because now the un-informed will take EVERYTHING Mercola says as quackery: which includes our own lifestyles, health measures, and the science, doctors, and researchers behind it.

That's the real problem with Mercola's "mixed presentation." Sure, some of what he says is accurate and helpful. But this antivaccine stance, which I gather he's been doing for a while, is outright fraud, IMHO.

See how the headline slams "natural health"? Now, any sensible stuff Mercola says will be dumped into the same quackery boat, and used to support vegan propaganda and corporate profit.

And on a similar personal note, as Zei shared their own, I'm super-sensitive to slams on my chosen ways of dealing with a serious auto-immune problem: the Wahls Protocol. The one hook my treatment strategy gets hung upon is Dr. Wahls, the medical doctor and researcher. Whose own dramatic healing story is dismissed as "anecdata" and blamed on the erratic nature of autoimmune itself, and MS in particular.

This doesn't interfere with my own treatment, which has been successful and worth giving up all the foods that create problems for me. But it means almost any person I need to discuss this with, medical or civilian, sees my solution as fooling myself at best, and me faking it at worst.

Invisible illness has enough barriers to successful handling. I'm resentful of anyone who undermines this important cause. Who co-opts truth in the service of their own agenda.
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  #11   ^
Old Sun, Jul-25-21, 08:38
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GRB5111 GRB5111 is offline
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Plan: Very LC, Higher Protein
Stats: 227/186/185 Male 6' 0"
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Progress: 98%
Location: Herndon, VA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WereBear

This doesn't interfere with my own treatment, which has been successful and worth giving up all the foods that create problems for me. But it means almost any person I need to discuss this with, medical or civilian, sees my solution as fooling myself at best, and me faking it at worst.

Invisible illness has enough barriers to successful handling. I'm resentful of anyone who undermines this important cause. Who co-opts truth in the service of their own agenda.

I agree that's an unfortunate byproduct of going against popular opinion, and it's happened throughout history. This is how change happens. I realize that there is a lot of conflicting information out there. That's not going to change. However, conflict and inaccuracies exist with all views and positions. It's essential to be very careful and seek the information required to confirm one's lifestyle decisions. Also, we need to remember to not be too judgemental of those who make different decisions, whether based on fear, fact or somewhere in between. I don't see anyone, especially Mercola, as a Pied Piper for any position other than for people who totally rely on others to make their health decisions. I'm confident that's a minority and have faith that most people typically make sound decisions with access to available, non-distorted information. Sometimes, it just takes a while to sort through the mess.
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  #12   ^
Old Sun, Jul-25-21, 09:07
Zei Zei is offline
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Posts: 1,596
 
Plan: Carb reduction in general
Stats: 230/185/180 Female 5 ft 9 in
BF:
Progress: 90%
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Good points, everyone. While finding many "early warnings" on health topics over the years from Dr. M that led me to look further into matters (to confirm through more reliable sources) and adopt healthier lifestyle choices that aren't favored by mainstream medicine (low carb, vit. d from sunlight/not fearing sun etc.), I always do sift through his stuff with a critical eye because there is a lot of bathwater to be tossed out while looking for those useful babies. Not a website I'd recommend to friends who know only their conventional doctor's received-wisdom because they won't yet have the background knowledge to do that and everything will look to them like fraud even when true. Now I'm picturing snorkeling around in a big bathtub looking for babies and things that quack like a duck...
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  #13   ^
Old Mon, Jul-26-21, 06:59
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Calianna Calianna is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zei
Good points, everyone. While finding many "early warnings" on health topics over the years from Dr. M that led me to look further into matters (to confirm through more reliable sources) and adopt healthier lifestyle choices that aren't favored by mainstream medicine (low carb, vit. d from sunlight/not fearing sun etc.), I always do sift through his stuff with a critical eye because there is a lot of bathwater to be tossed out while looking for those useful babies. Not a website I'd recommend to friends who know only their conventional doctor's received-wisdom because they won't yet have the background knowledge to do that and everything will look to them like fraud even when true. Now I'm picturing snorkeling around in a big bathtub looking for babies and things that quack like a duck...



When I saw his name mentioned as #1 in the stories about vax misinformation, I immediately recognized the name, and knew he was a LC proponent, but as with others on here, I saw much more on his site that gave me good reason to question what he was promoting, especially since it relied so heavily on signing up for this, and buying his "OMG, he's charging how much for that??" supplement. (And the last time I looked at his site was years ago - I can only imagine what's on there now)



You're very right that there's an awful lot of bathwater there to throw out. Sifting through it to sort fraud from truth - and needing to dig through who-knows-how-many other reliable sites to find something that's true is certainly not for most people.



Frankly, when there's sooo much to sift through, it's not worth the time and trouble to me. As the saying goes, even a broken clock is still right twice a day, but that doesn't mean I'm going to keep checking the broken clock all day long, comparing it to working clocks, looking for the one minute twice a day when it's actually right. In other words, throwing in a little snippet of truth here and there among the reams of misinformation doesn't redeem his site for me.



My real concern is that having allied himself with LC, then throwing all the fraud in there just to sell overpriced stuff, he's giving LC a bad name.
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  #14   ^
Old Mon, Jul-26-21, 13:16
Ms Arielle's Avatar
Ms Arielle Ms Arielle is offline
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Plan: atkins
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https://youtu.be/IJUYHKfyV_c


A news outlet reporting Mercola spreading misinformation about Covid .

Dang, people need to get themselves educated.

I did a pile of looking for Vit D3 information, and a number of doctors provide reseach data on vit D for it's affects on Covid. Others discuss VitD3 role in the immune system. All factual.

I am concerned that getting healthy is not on our radar. "Our "meaning Dr Fauci etc. Yes, vaccines are truly valuable but even a wacky immune system cannot process the vaccine into an effective protective response.

I'm sure my family is doing something right. Son had Covid and he didn't miss a beat. We load up on Vit D3, zinc, vit C, etc. Get plenty of sleep in and eat quality food, most of the time.

Again, get educated to sort thru the information. What is good info, what is off target. No one knows everything.....

Last edited by Ms Arielle : Mon, Jul-26-21 at 13:37.
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  #15   ^
Old Tue, Jul-27-21, 04:57
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WereBear WereBear is offline
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Plan: Epi-Paleo/IF
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ms Arielle
Dang, people need to get themselves educated...

Again, get educated to sort thru the information. What is good info, what is off target. No one knows everything.....


I agree. And yet, I have to continually "talk myself down" as people -- in person and online -- continue to not understand why people would self-educate, self-experiment, and venture outside of the mainstream of medical thought.

Part of it is how we are all -- at least those within reach of the internet -- are bombarded with spurious money-making schemes of all shapes and sizes. They take a single sand grain of truth and surround it with their MLM push, their specialized take on the thing, their consultant services, their cold-blooded taking advantage of the desperate. Who make the best and most lucrative customers.

I shared here about the many charlatans I encountered as I tried to treat what I was then calling Adrenal Fatigue. (Dr. Lam's Nutritional Coaching Program -- I'm looking at YOU.) And I was so not alone in that. It turns out it wasn't Adrenal Fatigue, but my own investigation of the possibilities, and basically intimidating a snotty endocrinologist, was a turning point in me figuring out what really was going on, how to treat it, and attaining the decent-level (I'm still not thriving) health I enjoy today.

It's like my own criteria, now that I've actually lost 100 pounds: I don't want to even hear about your "diet plan" unless you have also lost, and kept off, happily, a considerable amount of weight.

NOW we're talking expertise!
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