Where we get fit and spin (wool)

Let the Buyer Beware

I’m always looking for new podcasts on health and fitness. It is such a rapidly growing and changing feild that there is no end things to learn about and new information. However, there is a lot of junk out there. One of the new podcasts I sampled is an example of the junk that is out there. It’s called “Duke and the Doctor” . They are entertaining, and there is some fact mixed in with the sales pitch, but make no mistake, they are hawking products and that is the entire thrust of the show.

Here are my problems with their show and the products they are selling:

  1. They are selling “natural” remedies to any and all complaints- any time you take an ingredient and make a pill out of it, it is no longer “natural”.
  2. Their products are all formulas, not individual ingredients. Do you really need all those other components? How do they work together? If you are allergic, which one are you allergic to?
  3. They are selling their remedies as cures for illness. While many herbs do cure illness, most simply support your health for your body to take care of itself
  4. They do mention the real health facts of most of the questions they get- the importance of diet and exercise to most any problem, but then gloss over it to get to selling their solution.
  5. It’s still the mindset that a pill will solve all your problems.
picture of supplements

Does this look natural to you?

People- unless you are eating fresh herbs, there are no “natural” remedies.  The fact that they are made from natural ingredients doesn’t mean much. So are fruit loops, and no one is calling them natural. We need to be honest and smart about what we put in our bodies. Do I take “supplements” to help problems? Yes. Do I think they are safer than what the drug companies sell? Not necessarily. The health food industry is an industry, just like the drug companies. Just like the drug companies, they make money selling drugs. You are buying them to affect your bodily processes- they are drugs. Is a vitamin safer than any other concoction? That depends. If you are on blood thinners, vitamin K can stop them from working. You can o.d. on fat soluable vitamins. Also,  how do the natural drug companies get their vitamin D? E? K? Is the source safe? You would be hard pressed to eat enough carrots to get too much beta caratene, but you can pop a handfull of pills easy enough. Fitday has a blog that covers some of the issues.

In the episode I was listening to, they were comparing an energy drink to coffee, saying that Starbucks coffee had more caffeine than the energy drink, and that the drink was going to market itself as a beverage, rather than an energy supplement, do avoid all the stringent oversight about the amount of caffeine in their product. The hosts made the comment that it proved that the supplement industry was more regulated. Than what? Than food? People, when we say the supplement industry has less stringent regulations, we aren’t comparing it to food regulations, but to drug regulations.

I don’t mind if people who put podcasts out sell products. Everyone has to make a living, and most of the podcasters who sell health products really believe in those products. I do mind if that is the main thrust of the show, and the answer to every question. I have tried some products that seem almost miraculous, but I don’t think pills are the main answer to most questions. Get your diet right, exercise regularly, with thoughtful care, and you’ll find many of your problems go away on their own.



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