If last year's creepy New Yorker profile of Dr. Mehmet Oz didn't already have you questioning his health recommendations, the results of a new study might: The findings suggest that more than 50% of his show's advice is either baseless or just plain wrong.
The study, recently published in the British Medical Journal, examined the validity of claims made by two medical television shows by looking at randomly-selected episodes of The Dr. Oz Show and The Doctors (40 episodes of each). From there, the team randomly picked 80 claims from each show to investigate.
The researchers only found evidence to support about 46% of The Dr. Oz Show's advice. That left 39% without anything backing it up and 15% actually contradicting accepted evidence. Most of The Dr. Oz Show episodes covered weight loss, nutrition, and general medical advice (including topics such as the flu and tonsillitis).
The recommendations from The Doctors were somewhat better: 63% were found to be supported, and most of the claims centered around general medical advice. The show regularly encourages viewers to consult their actual doctors, too. However, the study authors advise fans of both shows — and medical TV in general — to be pretty skeptical of what they hear.
These results may not be surprising, but they're a good reminder that what works for some people won't necessarily work for you, and that evidence — as in "evidence-based medicine" — matters. If you have a question about your health, don't leave it to TV or the Internet. You and your doctor know you best.