Doctor's Note

And be sure to check out Is Homeopathy Just Placebo?

Also, be sure to check out my associated blog post for more context: Half of Doctors Give Placebos.

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  • Michael Greger M.D.

    Please feel free to post any ask-the-doctor type questions here in the comments section and I’d be happy to try to answer them. And be sure to check out Is Homeopathy Just Placebo?

  • Louis

    The conclusion in this video is incorrect. Xylitol is the culprit and the authors of the report say so. I’m against the use of homeopathy beyond the placebo-effect at his point in time, but as a scientific researcher, I think the conclusion in this video is one step too far. Can you overdose on homeopathy in general ? No, there is no proof of that. Can you overdose on xylitol covered homeopathic pills ? Well, one child in Switzerland did. Can we conclude that xylitol is dangerous using this one isolated case as proof ? No not at all ! (1) Can we conclude that homeopathy is dangerous from this one case ? Absolutely not ! It is a scientific fallacy to do so, because the homeopathic solution in the pills was not defined as the causative factor in this adverse reaction report ! Therefore, may I express my personal opinion on this ? I absolutely hate this kind of (ab)use of evidence based science, and that’s what triggered my somewhat dismayed reply.


    • El

      never used homeopathic remedies nor inclined to do so but on the subject matter of Xylitol I feel this is a toxic ingredient that should be used in creations such as homemade or organic toothpastes/mouthwashes but never ingested.

  • Geoffrey Levens

    There is so much wrong with this video it is almost difficult to sort it all so just a couple comments.

    Xylitol is not commonly used to coat homeopathic pills. Most by far are made of either lactose or sucrose.

    Out of the millions of doses of homeopathy given each year, can you find even one death or serious problem that was proven to be caused by the remedy in question? This one does not qualify as Louis so clearly pointed out.

    While it is true that there isn’t much in the way of solid research at this time, there is an abundance of clinical evidence pointing to the efficacy and safety of homeopathy as a modality.

    When one considers the incredible safety record for homeopathy and compares it with the appalling record for pharmaceutical drugs, perhaps it makes sense to give a very safe, though “unproven” treatment a try as a first rather than a last resort.

  • Valerie Warwick

    This should be about the dangers of xylitol not about the dangers of homeopathy.

    • Guest

      I just came to this website and was enjoying the videos until this one. Now I have to doubt the validity of any of the other videos. I have used Homeopathic remedies for 35 yrs & they have helped my family thru many illnesses. Placebo? I know this is not true.

  • Jordan Hale

    When I saw this video I was a little startled. But I realized that I didn’t really know the exact meaning of homeopathy. So I looked in the dictionary and Wikipedia. Perhaps some of your readers could benefit from similar investigation.

    So,… what’s the argument about really? This site is designed to bring a new insight into a terribly flawed practice of a large part of most of mankind. Picking Nits about the fact that God himself does not edit Dr. Greger videos is not productive is it? So instead of nit picking my response,… Take a moment to connect with one of your loved ones and tell them about the profound truth of a plant based diet. No amount of bitching ever saved anyone from a terrible disease or death. So please,… speak about that which serves rather than complaining about what does not.


  • Richard Gelber, MD

    Xylitol may not qualify as homeopathy. Xylarex, a xylitol containing syrup was marketed to pediatricians from 4-5 until about 2 years ago as useful in preventing otitis media. I believe there are CRTs showing safety and efficacy. I used it in my practice while it was available and in my experience was safe and efficacious in preventing otitis in many patients. It was classified as a food additive not a drug so no insurance company would reimburse or cover it and its manufacturer stopped production. Xylitol is available in sugar free chewing gum which I continue to advocate for older children prone to sinusitis and otitis. I’d love to see more information on xylitol if you feel this would be appropriate for your site.


    • Thea

      Richard Gelber, MD: Thanks for this post. I’m an adult, but I enjoy sucking on xylitol mints and chewing the gum. While it is my understanding that the science is mixed on it’s effectiveness in preventing caveties (the benefit I am most personally interested in), I don’t feel like it is doing me any harm. Like you, I’m interested in learning about more research on xylitol as it comes out.

      That said, I don’t know if you have done a search on this site yet or not, but Dr. Greger has already addressed xylitol in at least once in one of his videos. Just an idea for you.

      • Richard Gelber, MD

        Thanks Thea. I searched your site before responding. There’s nothing specific about using xylitol as prophylaxis for dental caries, otitis or sinusitis. I also question xylitol’s characterization as homeopathy if it’s active this way. Losing it as a therapeutic option as well because it’s a “food additive” sparks my interest in knowing more and and my above request. (As Dr. Greggor has said he scours the nutritional literature so I don’t have to, but I’ll try when I have time)

    • Paddy

      homeopathic remedies contain ZERO XYLITOL . where did you get this from ???? never did . in fact you should make a trip to Boiron or any other homeopathic lab before you make these outrageous statements. Nothing but the remedy in question coats the pellets in question which for most are made of milk sugar or plain sugar . the pellets are rolled around in a vat of potentised liquid remedy then dried and packaged .No chemicals other than the natural remedy in question added EVER. If some co. claimed to be homeopathic was using XYLITOL they where miss leading the masses as it would NEVER be considered homeopathic. Many people use this term for stuff they want to sell and it is in fact very misleading . i strongly suggest you do your homework before jumping into a vat of poor information . And also there is tremendous work being done all over the world by MD’s and a huge array of scientist on patients using homeopathy with enormous success . chk out what the Cuban government did with their vaccine , what Jeremy Sherr is doing in the Bush of Africa with Aids and on and on and on . It is time to start thinking out of the box . the box has not served the masses it has only filled the pockets of the pharmaceutical co. But the people are getting it and also are sick and tired of being sick and tired and are seeking better more effective and certainly safer ways . THANK GOD :))

  • As sad as this incident is – and it IS sad – how many infants were killed by allopathy that year?… :-(