Skepchick Quickies 1.3


Amanda works in healthcare, is a loudmouthed feminist, and proud supporter of the Oxford comma.

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  1. Dr Oz frustrates me, mostly because he and that Mercola guy come up in google every time I try to research anything related to my health.
    A couple of days ago, my wife was cooking with coconut oil because a recipe called for it. Then she wondered if coconut oil was a healthy choice.
    Go to google? Dr. Oz and Joe Mercola. Great. Thanks. Peer reviewed studies? Not really. Keep looking. It would be nice if there was a no-quack setting on google – a little duck with a red circle and a line through it.
    At some point, I will figure out if coconut oil is bad for me because it’s a saturated fat and all saturated fats are bad, or it’s good for me because saturated fats aren’t a monolithic heart-clogging entity and this is an exception.

  2. It does me good to see reality based articles take on Dr. Oz’s claims.

    That he makes such claims doesn’t amaze me as much as that there are people that take him seriously, including people like my aunt and grandmother.

    I keep trying to educate them about the guy, but they just don’t get it.
    Any advice on a good way to set them straight?

    1. My mom asked me what I knew about the green coffe pills that he was pushing awhile back. So instead of just telling her it sounded like bunk to me, I showed her how I looked into it.

      I kept it simple, a quick google search showed red flags right away. I pointed out that the only “articles” and “studies” were by people who were selling it. As well as my immediate concern because the conditions it was claiming to treat were all over the board, and sometimes contridictory. Finally I took her to the WebMD site and showed her what they had to say. In a nut shell, won’t do you any good and may do you harm if taken to “treat” some conditions.

      While this wouldn’t stop all of it, I think I at least gave my mom a few tools to caution her.

  3. Those parents are lucky their child survived tetanus; that is a very nasty disease. I will never forget that girl that survived rabies; the dad knew she was bitten by a bat but did not take her to the hospital. Later he said “I had no idea it was so serious.” Hello, it’s RABIES! How do parents not know this stuff?

  4. It seems to me that we need to teach more about these diseases that we’ve “defeated”, simply because we humans seem to have an astonishingly short memory when it comes to just how awful they are/were.

    I can’t help but think that if these parents had been shown a child suffering symptoms similar to their son’s, they might have thought twice about foregoing the vaccine.

    I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, but I hope this poor boy’s experience helps save others.

  5. I forgot – I meant to thank a Skepchick blogger (was it Elyse?) for the post about the flu vaccine. Our local pharmacy was out but it reminded us that we needed to check back with them. We got vaccinated and now 2 of our friends, sadly, are very ill with whichever nasty strain is out there and we’re hearing from them it is NOT an illness people should risk getting even if you’re young and healthy. We are glad we were spared thanks to the vaccine.

  6. Amanda,

    Looks like people really need to stop listening to pop “medical experts” like Doctor Oz. Do you have any suggestions for websites were we could look up good medical advice that isn’t tainted with pseudoscience?

    1. University of Maryland Medical Center has some great websites about integrative medicine. I have not investigated how accurate the info is but they cite actual studies (bottom of the page) so the reader can make an informed decision.


      Mayo clinic is good for traditional medicine, although for minor stuff like colds it’s old news. For example there was a study recently that chicken soup reduces inflammation to the point of shortening a cold, and I don’t think that sort of info would be on Mayo clinic.

  7. Re: coffee. That’s funny, because I always thought it wasn’t the caffeine, as this happens to me with whole- and decaf coffee, and hot cocoa, but not with Coca-cola. I assumed it was the hot water (but I don’t drink enough non-caf tea to be sure about that). Maybe it’s a combo of the hot water and caffeine. I must do some tests.
    Dr. Oz connection: once I saw a segment where an audience member [deeply embarrassedly] asked “Why does coffee make you…?” I thought she clearly meant poop, but he answered as if she mean urinate. Poor woman didn’t get her question answered :(

    1. Your body aslo get into a “habit” in regards to pooping — so even without the caffeine, you’re still likely to poop right around the same time every morning, if you’ve been pooping at 7am every morning for years.

      Also, de-caf isn’t 100% caffeine free, just so ya know ;)

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