Should We Trust Doctor Mercola?

Doctor Mercola – Media Doctor

Doctor MercolaAs many of you may know, Dr. Joseph Mercola is one of the most popular “Media Doctors” on the scene right now. He has appeared on the Dr. Oz show many times to share his expert advice. He is particularly an advocate of unconventional medicine and the use of natural supplements to cure illness and improve health. He was also featured in the well known film – Food Matters which centers on bad diet as the primary cause for illness and disease.

Being a believer in many of the same ideas I was a big fan of Dr. Mercola’s – at first. You may also be aware that Dr. Mercola owns one of the top supplement retailing sites on the internet. The first few years the site didn’t sell supplements, but was a source of information only. Mercola claims though, that he had to start selling supplements eventually, to cover the costs of running the website.

It’s hard not to “sell out” once you’re actually pushing your product over another though. I do however believe that the site does sell only high quality supplements. There are many very well written and convincing articles on the product pages that discuss topics such as:

-Why this particular supplement is important to take
-Why other brands may be of lower quality, and therefore dangerous

The site also includes jargon filled videos of Dr. Mercola discussing his supplements and how they work, which probably confuse many people and at the same time make them trust him even more, because of their own lack of knowledge.

Dr. Mercola is in a unique position, of being a well known doctor that is trusted by the public. He has then used that trust to sell us stuff. I say “stuff” because he doesn’t just sell supplements on the site anymore. Mercola.com calls itself ‘The World’s #1 Natural Health Website.’ Here’s a list of other stuff that he sells now:

Cookware
Fitness equipment
Tanning Beds
Air Purifiers
Water filters
Pet Supplements
Lots of other stuff

I guess there’s nothing wrong with being a capitalist, but can we really trust everything were told from someone who sells just about everything. He can’t be the ‘unbiased physician who’s looking out for our health’ and ‘one of the internet’s largest retailers’ at the same time.

Although I still think that Dr. Mercola is a much more trusted source than many other supplement and health products retailers, it is important to question what he tells us and to do our own research.

After doing some research on Dr. Mercola himself, I’ve found that many people pointed out the fact that he cherry picks information and uses it to his advantage. He’s known to pull only select pieces of information from studies and other sources that benefit his cause and ignore anything he finds inconvenient.

Not only does he cherry pick, but he presents his newest findings, that many times contradict conventional wisdom and knowledge, as fact. One example of this can be found in a video on his website, in which he calls whey protein isolate dangerous and states that whey protein concentrate is the only safe form of whey protein.

Dr. Mercola now has a large following of people, who will essentially do whatever he tells them. Don’t be one of these people, instead think for yourself and question everything you’re told. While I think Dr. Mercola can still be a source of knowledge for many people, following him blindly is not the smart play.

John McKiernan is the owner of Supplement Helper

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