Drs. Oz and Roizen Praise Science-Backed Supplements

Sandy Almendarez, VP of Content

October 11, 2012

3 Min Read
Drs. Oz and Roizen Praise Science-Backed Supplements

While the headline from Dr. Mehmet Oz and Dr. Michael Roizen's recent article "Not all supplements are worth taking" seems negative to the supplement community, the article is balanced, and the doctors make points that any responsible person in the industry would make. They even called out four herbs they recommend.

Dr. Oz has been an influential force in the supplement industry. Just a mention of raspberry ketones or astaxanthin on his Dr. Oz Show and sales surge. Then, he gets consumers up in arms over illegal supplements, and we wish he would provide more context.

Dr. Oz is not leaving the industry alone anytime soon. Seeing as how he mostly promotes supplements, this is a good thing. In his most recent supplement suggestions, in a article for the Windsor Star, he and Dr. Roizen (his coauthor of "YOU: the Owner's Manual") said turmeric, Aloe vera, saw palmetto and garlic are generally safe and have scientific backing.

They said consumers should be proactive in their supplement purchases by researching which have supporting science and which ones don't. The article offers resources for consumers to check on supplement science, such as The Cleveland Clinic Wellness Supplement Review (Dr. Roizen is its chief medical officer), the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center's Integrative Medicine and the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

I agree with the doctors on this point. If consumers are choosing supplements based on science, companies will have more incentive to fund studies, and the industry will only get stronger with proven ingredients. I'd also add the Office of Dietary Supplements and the Council for Responsible Nutrition's LifeSupplemented program as great consumer resources.

Dr. Oz and Dr. Roizen also said consumers should talk their doctor before taking any supplement or over-the-counter (OTC) drug for longer than three days. They said it best to get a confirmation on self-diagnosed conditions, and medical practitioners can alert consumers to potential medication interactions. The supplement industry agrees with this too. "The Natural Products Association encourages Americans to talk to their doctors and health care providers about what they may need to supplement their diet and exercise program," wrote Cara Welch, Ph.D., senior vice president of scientific and regulatory affairs at the Natural Products Association (NPA), in a recent INSIDER article.

In the Dr. Oz and Dr. Roizen article, they suggested consumers look for third-party seals, such as the U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP), and for products that are made in the United States. I agree third-party seals are definite indicators of quality, but many quality supplements can be produced outside of the United States. For instance, just last month, Unigen Inc.'s ingredient manufacturing facility in Byeongcheon, South Korea, successfully passed FDA's cGMP (current good manufacturing practice) inspection. FDA did not issue any Form 483 observations during it's visit, showing its supplement manufacturing is up to U.S. standards.

Lastly, Dr. Oz and Dr. Roizen recommended stopping supplementation three days before surgery and following doctors' orders on phasing back supplement use after surgery. Again, this is good advise that most in the supplement industry would agree with.

In this instance, Dr. Oz and Dr. Roizen are on our side, and industry should be promoting this article to its customers.

Find out more on how to handle the spotlight that Dr. Oz shines on the industry in the INSIDER article, "Be the Good Witch: Navigating the Dr. Oz Effect" by Suzanne Shelton.

About the Author(s)

Sandy Almendarez

VP of Content, Informa


• Well-known subject matter expert within the health & nutrition industry with more than 15 years’ experience reporting on natural products.

• She cares a lot about how healthy products are made, where their ingredients are sourced and how they affect human health.

• She knows that it’s the people behind the businesses — their motivations, feelings and emotions — drive industry growth, so that’s where she looks for content opportunities.

Sandy Almendarez is VP of Content for SupplySide and an award-winning journalist. She oversees the editorial and content marketing teams for the B2B media brands Natural Products Insider and Food and Beverage Insider, the education programming for the health and nutrition trade shows SupplySide East and SupplySide West, and community engagement across the SupplySide portfolio. She is a seasoned content strategist with a passion for health, good nutrition, sustainability and inclusion. With over 15 years of experience in the health and nutrition industry, Sandy brings a wealth of knowledge to her role as a content-focused business leader. With specialization in topics ranging from product development to content engagement, creative marketing and c-suite decision making, her work is known for its engaging style and its relevance for business leaders in the health and nutrition industry.

In her free time, Sandy loves running, drinking hot tea and watching her two kids grow up. She brews her own “Sandbucha” homemade kombucha; she’s happy to share if you’re ever in Phoenix!


Speaker credentials

Resides in

  • Phoenix, AZ


  • Arizona State University


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