Regular readers of this blog are familiar enough with my debunking methods that I think we can dispense with a verbose rundown on today’s featured snake oil salesman, Dr. Joseph Mercola, and just leap to the big “reveal”. Here’s the scoop: Like others of his ilk, Mercola is selling products that contain the same ingredients he says are dangerous. I’m going to quickly tour his online store and expose his hypocrisy.
In a “sky is falling” article on fructose found in food, Mercola warns readers about hidden sources of this innocent sugar. Quoting biochemist Russ Bianchi, Mercola warns: 1
Oh dear. Tapioca syrup can be an “intentionally or deceptively labeled” source of fructose? Mercola goes on to flag fructose as a danger to our diets, warning that in many cases we’ll want to keep our total fructose intake below 25 grams per day (no more than 15 grams from fruit sources).1 We’re cautioned to keep an eye out for that sneaky fructose because, apparently, there’s no telling where it’ll be found. I’ll keep that in mind as I go shopping.
Right then. Off we go to Mercola.com!
How about some tasty protein bars? 2
Hmm. We better take a look at the ingredients…
Zut Alors! Mercola just finished warning us about hidden tapioca syrup in our food,1 and here he is selling us food with… tapioca syrup!
Nutrition information on the protein bars only goes so far as to tell us there are 10 grams of sugar per bar. We don’t get a breakdown of the fructose content, so it’s hard to say how close we’re coming to Mercola’s arbitrary limit of 15-25 grams of fructose if we eat one or two of these things.
But that’s not the point of the debunking. The issue is that Mercola warns about hidden sources of fructose, then proceeds to sell his followers a food that contains, by his own admission, a hidden source of fructose. A hidden source he mentioned by name!
Wouldn’t it be amazing if Mercola’s followers took his advice and actually read the labels of the products they’re buying?
(1) The Plague of High Fructose Corn Syrup in Processed Foods (Mercola.com)
(2) Pure Power Protein Bars (Mercola.com)
Dr. Mercola/Pure Power Protein Bar screen snapshots are used in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, commonly known as “fair use law”. This material is distributed without profit with the intent to provide commentary, review, education, parody, and increase public health knowledge.
Either Mercola is misquoting Russ Bianchi, or Russ Bianchi is a terrible biochemist and doesn’t recognize that inulin isn’t fructose, it’s fructooligosaccharides (FOS), which have been shown to reduce blood glucose levels. Not that I am partial to FOS, it causes flatulence.
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