Transcript: Health Food Store Supplement Advice
How many times has this happened to you? You’re in a natural food store, walking near the supplement section, and an employee graciously offers advice; asks if you need any help. Very kind of them, but I’m always left wondering how these people were trained. Were they trained? Do they have any idea what they’re talking about? So, I was delighted to learn that that very question was the subject of multiple studies, spanning a decade.
“Health Food Store Recommendations for Breast Cancer Patients”—a researcher posing as a daughter of a breast cancer patient went in to 40 health food stores asking for their recommendations on cancer care.
36 out of 40 stores tried to sell them something. Understandable; that’s their job. But 95% didn’t even ask a single question about their mom, or her diagnosis, before recommending 38 different types of products at an annual cost of between $300 and $3,000. The most common recommendation was shark cartilage; apparently found effective at causing nausea, fever, dizziness, life-threatening hypercalcemia, and liver failure—but effective at little else.
The same study was repeated up in Canada: “Health food store recommendations: implications for breast cancer patients”—34 stores; 33 different products, one of which cost $18,000 a year. One of the fake patients was even told to stop the tamoxifen she said she had been prescribed—a drug credited for playing a large part in decreasing breast cancer mortality over the last 30 years.
To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Serena Mylchreest.
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