So you’ve had another gut-wrenching GMO-free meal at Chi-coli (aka Chipotle) and you’re in need of a quick detox? Is that what’s bothering you Bunky? Well set your mind at ease. According to chiropractor and “natural medicine doctor” Josh Axe, all you need to do is eat some dirt. But not just any dirt. No, what’s needed here is bentonite clay, a miracle soil that will cleanse and heal the body (get your credit cards ready).1
“Bentonite clay benefits your body by helping to expel many of these toxins [mercury, cadmium, lead, and benzene] and therefore increases immunity and reduces inflammation” 1 — Josh Axe
Golly gee! I want to know more!
“On top of being able to draw-out toxins from the body, the clay itself has a range of nutrients” 1 — Josh Axe
Wait. Hold on. Does the clay draw elements out of the body, or put them in?
“When ingested into the body, either in a drink form or by eating the clay, its vitamins and minerals are absorbed similarly to how a supplement would be. Therefore some people use it as a supplement since the clay is a natural source of important dietary nutrients.” 1 –Axe, again
Clay is a source of “important dietary nutrients”, so it puts them into the body? OK, I’ll bite (no pun intended). For the sake of argument, let’s take this claim and run with it. What are the nutritional benefits of bentonite clay, Dr. Axe?1
¡Madre de Dios! Let’s look at some of the “nutritional elements” I’ve highlighted in the above graphic from draxe.com, and see what the man himself has to say about them:
“Mercury exposure, both in one large dose and through low level exposure over time, is linked through scientific data to kidney, brain, urological, fertility, neurological, and renal problems” 2 (emphasis mine)
Low level exposure to mercury over time is linked to some very nasty problems by Axe. But you’ll find it in the clay he wants you to eat. The story is even worse with lead:
“No level of lead exposure appears to be ‘safe’ and even the current ‘low’ levels of exposure in children are associated with neurodevelopmental deficits.” 3 (emphasis mine)
Axe’s lead quote comes from an article he penned on “toxic” chemicals found in lipstick. According to him, there’s no safe level of this poisonous element, but you’ll find 1.17mg of lead in each heaping helping tablespoon of his recommended clay.1
Not content with both feet in his mouth, Axe figuratively inserts other remaining body parts as well: in his bentonite clay, you’ll find each and every element I emphasize in his following quote:
“The European Union has banned the presence of cadmium, chromium and lead altogether in cosmetics. The Canadian government has set limits for the content of antimony, arsenic, cadmium, chromium, mercury and lead in cosmetics. They’re still trying to determine what levels are avoidable in the manufacturing process.” 3
Why limit the levels of these elements, Dr. Axe?
“While the FDA does limit lead in certain color additives used in cosmetics, it doesn’t set limits on lead in final products. This is troubling because heavy metals accumulate in the body over time. Low amounts can add up to big effects.” 3
But… but… all of these “heavy metals”, according to you, Dr. Axe, are found in the clay you’re pushing. But do go on… what kind of “big effects” can consumers of your super soil expect to experience as the toxins accumulate in their bodies over time?
Pot. Kettle. Black.
Of course, you could still buy into Axe’s contradictory argument that bentonite clay hunts down and removes these metals from the body. The problem is, he can’t explain how the good metals are dropped off at the physiological bus stop while the bad ones are picked up by the heavy metal police and carted off to jail without ever passing go. He makes a hilarious attempt, referencing “positively charged electrons” (that’s antimatter!), but in the end it boils down to magic. So that I’m not accused of quote mining, I invite you to read his entire article.
Speaking of buying: Bien sûr, after Axe sings the praises of bentonite clay, he just so happens to have a particular brand he recommends…
Not only does Axe recommend bentonite, he earns money when you buy it. In the above image, I’ve highlighted the hidden, encoded Amazon.com affiliate link. When you’re redirected to Amazon to snag this product, not only does Josh Axe get a cut of the purchase price, he’s also set up to earn commissions on anything else you happen to buy during your shopping session.4,5 Amazon pays out because they’re grateful to Axe for directing you to their web site. The problem is, legally, the good doctor is supposed to clearly disclose his affiliation when he sends you off to buy–but he never does.
I’ve covered a lot of ground (another dirt pun; sorry) in this piece, and for good reason: there are few things worse, in my humble opinion, than a person hiding behind the title of “doctor” using bad science and fear mongering to sell you products that contain the very same ingredients they’re telling you will harm you. Here’s a brief recap and, as always, thanks for reading:
- Axe simultaneously claims bentonite clay both sweeps elements out of your system and puts them in. Which is it?
- No scientific explanation is given for the above contradiction. Axe ascribes near-magical abilities to bentonite, allowing it to hunt down toxins with “positively charged electrons” (antimatter? WTF?) after coming into contact with water. Harry Potter would be proud.
- The so-called doctor’s mastery of chemistry is so poor he can’t differentiate between elements and minerals.
- The “no safe level of chemical to ingest” mantra could not be more clear in Axe’s writing, yet he proudly lists the levels of each proclaimed toxic chemical in bentonite clay. Does he ever read his own words and labels?
Josh Axe, Redmond Clay, and Amazon.com website screen snapshots are used in strict compliance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 of United States copyright law (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.
Snippet of the periodic table of the elements taken from ptable.com and also used under Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 of United States copyright law (commonly known as “fair use law”) with the intent of providing education. Happy faces poorly drawn by the author.
(1) 10 Proven Bentonite Clay Benefits And Uses
(2) Dangers of Amalgam Fillings
(3) Is Your Lipstick Toxic?
(4) Amazon.com Affiliate Program Description
(5) Amazon.com Affiliate Compensation Schedule
You might want to start providing “archive” URLs to these webpages because charlatans have a bad habit of deleting stuff without making note of it. This has become very popular recently with regards to shoddy journalism but this is another useful application.
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Good suggestion Travis. At a minimum, I usually screen snapshot and save the page source. Vani Hari is notorious for deleting content after getting caught out.
Dr. Axe is the best. Don’t be jel cos you ain’t him 👌🏻
Great to see that “Dr.” Axe’s followers use proper grammar and spelling…..not! And yes, screenshots rock. I use them regularly when I am exposing misdeeds by the corrupt majority of my local city council : )
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Yes, you are right, I don’t know how people can trust in these quacks, they don’t even care about those visiting their websites, they just justify their nonsense saying that government makes us sick, that’s a disrespect to all doctors and scientists who have been working to improve medicine, but of course that’s not enough, anyway we don’t live in a perfect world, that doesn’t mean we should leave our life in hands of quacks because they have the cure for everything, good job Mark!
Thanks for posting this. Calling this guy a quack is an insult to quacks. There are some alternative med people doing really good work but if they’re trying to sell you something, run don’t walk.
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I’m glad someone else is saying this.
All too often people assume you have to be either pro-western medicine or pro-alternative medicine. There is misinformation on both sides; whether it’s from pharmaceutical companies or hacks like Dr Axe. But that doesn’t mean that either are entirely bullshit.
I was recently introduced to this Dirty Crack, D.C. via Facebook inviting me to an online seminar that promised to solve all of my unknown problems. Hmmm? A few keys and clicks later, I’m finishing up a comment in reply to one of the most amusing and well-stated articles I’ve enjoyed, thanks!
I just saw him on PBS, categorizing people according to gut type. Autoimmune diseases defined one group; skin diseases, another. Psoriasis, a skin disease, is an autoimmune disease,as are some other skin diseases. His ignorance of basic science and medicine is worrisome.
Oh wow. PBS?!?! 😦
Local PBS station (KAKM, Anchorage) has his quack-a-thon playing right now.
Oh, to be in Anchorage 🙂
I love Dr. Axe and have followed some of his protocol for leaky gut and am having wonderful results so far. I have been studying natural health as a hobby for over 20 years now and I feel he is right on target from things I’ve learned through the years. I feel he is very trustworthy. Dr Axe is NOT a quack…sorry to disagree. I think he’s great!!
Thanks for reading and commenting Pam. Disagreement is great and debate is welcome here. I’d be honestly interested in knowing how you feel about the fact that Axe is selling products with the same ingredients he says will poison you.
If you bother to listen to the video, he does explain. The heavy metals are already bonded or will bond with other minerals in the clay, and it passes right through your body. The bad led & other heavy metals are not bonded, so they stick around and accumulate. The clay sucks those unbounded heavy metals and removes them out your poop shooter. I listened to the video, then wanted to check for myself, as any responsible person should. I found this website, but honestly, it looks like you guys just saw that key words like led / mercury / ect. and stopped researching there. That does make sense, thinking “why would I put something in my body that I’m trying to remove,” but he also breaks down how spinach, for example, has many, many times led than anything you’d be getting from the clay. It’s always good to get a different viewpoint, but I’d hate for someone to get turned off from something that could be very healthy for them by a bit of non-fully researched misinformation presented on this website. I have MS & very much wanting to remove any unwanted heavy metals from my brain. Do you personally have any suggestions? I’d love to hear. Thanks 😉
Aluminum very rarely does NOT form a compound with other elements, even if it’s just oxygen when exposed to air. So his argument applies to both his compounds and those he criticizes.
What about the other toxic elements, like lead, arsenic and cadmium, do they stay bonded in the clay, or get released in the body?
I’m sure the clay is perfectly safe. The claims of the danger come from the man selling the clay. As with any other product where the metals are found, he doesn’t care if they’re in elemental form or bound up as molecules. The very fact they exist is reason enough for him to condemn the product. Unwittingly, he does the same to his own clay as well.
read about dr swank and his diet that slows and sometimes stops ms.
Mark, your article is a gift. Thanks for the clear and well-documented info.
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Thank you Sally 🙂
I was looking at some of his products on-line. I was curious about his bone broth, collagen and leaky gut powders. I defintely have gut issues I am working to remedy. I understand the clay issue but are you saying none his product have merit or value or just particulary when we are talking about the clay. With other products I have ask the same question – how does a product keep the good and only eliminate the bad….. ?
// I understand the clay issue but are you saying none his product have merit or value or just particulary when we are talking about the clay //
He himself says the products aren’t intended to diagnose or cure any disease. They’re not tested or approved for such purposes. In this particular case, you are asking a very wise question: how does a product keep the good features and only eliminate the bad, when it contains the very ingredients that Josh Axe says are dangerous? I’d love to talk to Axe himself and have him explain this.
This is a legal issue, not an evidentiary one. These products are dietary supplements under DSHEA (Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act) and are treated as food, so the FDA doesn’t subject them to the rigorous approval process applied to drugs. Since they are not drugs, the Act requires the disclaimer, “This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.” Essentially, it’s boilerplate language that you’ll find on virtually all supplement labels. The burden is on the FDA to restrict products that are obviously unsafe; the manufacturer has no duty to establish that the products are safe and/or effective before they are marketed. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dietary_Supplement_Health_and_Education_Act_of_1994#Criticism
It’s been an little over 2 years since this post. Have you spoken to Dr. Axe about your statement/question above?
Thanks for your question. I’ve tried to contact Axe on several occasions via Facebook and Twitter but have never received a response.
Of course, your suggestion is correct: Axe can’t have it both ways. Some forms of heavy metals are more toxic than others, such as methyl mercury vs elemental mercury, and the amounts may differ depending on where the mineral is sourced. These factors are unlikely to change the bottom line that the product contains unsafe ingredients. Unfortunately, there’s no duty on the part of Axe (and little inclination on the part of the FDA due to staffing, $, etc.) to delve into this and determine whether the benefits outweigh the risks. Caveat emptor.
I love these comments trying to call Dr. Axe a quack…I didn’t know people even used that terminology anymore??? You’re right why should I listen to this guy who obviously incredibly healthy when I can go to my 300lb medical doctor because they are doing a fantastic job getting Americans healthy! Oh wait, they’ve tried for over 100 years with their medical practices to restore health and we now lead the WORLD in cancer, heart disease, depression and obesity….so yeah I’m going with the “quacks” every day of the week because I figure the value of a doctor should be determined not by the number of meds they are able to put their patients on but by the number of meds they are able to help them get off of or even better prevent them from ever taking!!! Oh and don’t forget if you’re just concerned about what the FDA says is safe, remember they say that McDonald’s and Twinkees are safe…let that sink in!!!
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Aaron, thank you for taking the time to read and comment. I’m hoping you’ll write back with one more reply because I appreciate honest dialogue: how do you feel about the fact the Axe is selling supplements that contain exactly the same in ingredients he says will harm you?
Also, I’m not sure where you’re getting your information on the USA leading the world in heart disease? Unless I’m mistaken, the top 5 countries are
And we’ve lowered the cancer death rates in nearly every category.
Looking forward to hearing back from you.
“how do you feel about the fact the Axe is selling supplements that contain exactly the same in ingredients he says will harm you?”
Why are you obsessing over this point so greatly? Several people have tried to widen the discussion to something more constructive and this is all you seem to be able to respond with?
Of course if it is effing ridiculous if Dr Axe is pushing a product containing ingredients he says are harmful. Anyone can see that. It is dishonest and unprofessional.
However, this does not discredit all of his views on the benefits of nutrition – many of which are held by people of whom I hold in high regard, unlike Dr Axe.
All too often people seem so hell-bent on debunking “shills” that they are unable to see the flaws in our own western model of medicine.
The reason he is pushing that point is because nobody has been able to come up with a valid reason. There are no links to case studies proving the function of said clay. As of now, it’s merely a speculation sold as a product for his profit.
If you look around the net you will see that Dr. Axe has TERRIBLE service. Often not delivering the products people order, not responding to email, not responding on live web chats, emails. It’s a scam. He is using sick people to put money in his own pocket. It’s not the first time people in the medical field do this, and sadly, I see this time and time again.
Anyone can pull up some information from the net, with medical journals and studies made available for anyone to digest. He is not a DOCTOR, he is a chiropractor. It’s actually quite astonishing how well he plays it. NEVER trust a doctor that is on TV…
Exactly, JJ. He is not in the medical field. He is a chiropractor. I would like to know exactly what his degrees are and where he got them.
And Doctors influenced by $ from zealous drug companies have ensured Americans have the greatest addiction to opiates in the world. All thanks to “science” willing to prostitute itself. Its no wonder people look for alternatives.
Your logical fallacy is known as shifting the burden of proof, Paul. (https://www.logicallyfallacious.com/tools/lp/Bo/LogicalFallacies/222/Shifting-of-the-Burden-of-Proof)
The debate over opiate addiction is a great one to have and you’ll find no argument here that it has merit. Good conversation to have, let’s do it, but not as a diversion from Axe, who is pushing products that he himself says contain ingredients that will kill you.
When we do get around to the opiate debate, it would be worth looking at how the different sides have responded. Real medicine has acknowledged a crisis and is working to solve it. Axe and his compadres? They ignore, deny, refuse to answer questions, and even block critics on social media.
I understand your point (and really liked your article) but I am in a quandary, I would like your opinion on something (because I see you are independent) but I have no peer reviewed science backing it. I would be the lamb to the slaughterhouse. A potential snake oil salesman nipped in the bud, no less.
Sometimes ordinary people find out effects from alternative or new treatments that have not been researched scientifically but appear to work in situations where conventional medicine has not. When this happens in the absence of patentable molecules or without the funding available to institutions the way forward is precarious.
I am currently testing a controversial but well studied molecule in a completely unique form and using a unique application method The more case studies I do the more compelling the observed results are becoming. If I send you a link would you please comment?
Paul, it sounds that for something like this a research laboratory would be the proper venue. In my writings on Axe, the goal is to point out his blatant hypocrisy.
Thank you for taking the time to debunk the claims made by this guy. He is obviously not trained in Medicine. All of these people use the same basic template to market their products, same buzz words and phrases. if you watch or listen to enough of their infomercials ,you can begin to see the same patterns.
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Seems like he has deleted his profile!! Can’t find your health degrees or credentials anywhere Mr. Alsip. Enlighten me so…. what college did you graduate from? What degree in any medical field do you have? Or are you simply just a nieve idiot like the millions of other Americans who refuse to see what our food supply and medical doctors are doing to us. Go ahead live up your life eating all the non organic gmo pesticide laced food and when you fall ill maybe you’ll realize what these people were trying to tell you. You have a great day sir!! Oh top it off with some good ole’ Mt. Dew for us…
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Thanks for reading and commenting. In your reply, I don’t see any rebuttal of the fact that Axe is selling supplements that contain the same ingredients he says are dangerous. Did you accidentally leave that out?
I use bentonite clay to make pottery…in powder form, you need to wear a mask so as to not inhale it. Not something I would want to ingest! I don’t know a lot about this guy, but a lot of what he is promoting/ selling seems fishy. Thanks for the story.
Thanks Amy! I’ve seen people drink this sludge and they gag even as they swear how good it tastes. Argh!
Thank you for your post. I am an MD who is open to natural medicine but not MLM supplement hype or quackery. For some reason I had liked this guy’s page on facebook. He was “live” today with some other guy (probably another one touting himself as a “physician” when he is not an MD), Their topic was “5 steps to improve autism and ADHD”. They had the usual — eliminate gluten, casein, add omega 3’s, but then of course they recommended essential oils and he was talking about his bone broth. Then of course they added “there are many causes — vaccines, heavy metals….” The sketchy “doctor” had just stepped into the realm of quackery. I also heard how if these products were eliminated and others were added, that the kids would be “cured”. “i had a patient who blah blah blah and after we made these changes, he was suddenly talking!” I guess the 1850’s snake oil salesman never faded away. I finally had to add my comments — said he had veered into quack territory with his implication of vaccines. Almost immediately, someone said “were you sent by big Pharma?” And a few seconds later, I was muted by someone monitoring his page, and could no longer post. After all, anyone dissenting with this man’s schlock recommendations might reduce his ability to make $$$$! I’m sure “Dr.” Axe, himself makes quite a profit, but I guess that’s OK because it’s not “big pharma”? I also went back to his facebook page and there’s a photo of him with Dr. Oz. Nuff said. Keep exposing this fraud!!
Thanks so much for sharing your experience. Not coincidentally, I was just banned by Axe for pointing out he’s selling supplements that contain PABA while at the same time claiming PABA will kill you! And, of course, before my comments were deleted, I was accused of fronting for Big Pharma. (sigh) 🙂
I am not a doctor but have been a caregiver for two terminally ill cancer patients.
One was given a prognosis of three to six months without chemo and nine months if she took the chemo option for inoperable stage four oesophageal cancer and she survived five years while adamantly claiming that she felt the best ever for four and a half years of that without taking chemo.
The other suffered with stage four carcinoid cancer with massive liver mets and was given a nine month prognosis TEN years ago and she is still with us and is in better health than she had 9 years ago.
Neither followed the advice of their doctors.
Doctors are not infallible, some are careless or lazy and healthy changes to lifestyle are extremely helpful in my experience.
But I also agree that we have more snake oil salesman than ever, the real shame is it’s difficult to tell whether the doctors or the alternative medicine peddlers are worse.
as a person with aspergers all i can say is focusing on nutrition and aiming to improve digestion (or know what works well for myself and what sets me feeling worse) and absorption has benifited me the most. the struggles an autistic person faces are often a matter of trial and error with our own selves, no, it doesnt give me the right to say for certain that “this substance works in this way,” but i would be readily happy and totally up for doing any volunteer as a guinea pig for bonafide scientific trial research into whether any of such folk remedies, traditional hebals, natural and other quakery claims, if i thought it would help science get a firm understanding on how or why something worked/failed, i am just as interested as anyone else to know the specifics of why if i ate this i get this result and why if i ate that i had this result. As much of the advice given about autism is aimed for the parents of autistic kids, and that tends to focus on the behavioural therapies, which can definitly help,( im glad there is more awareness these days about how autistics need different kinds of methods ) but autism doesn’t disappear when you grow up, a good foundation and optimal nutrition is a good start for us autistics who tend to be more sensitive to basically everything, ..Im talking about managment, not cure, no way, i don’t expect a cure, I was told by my doctor that Aspergers has a specific genetic pattern of it’s own, so i doubt any claims of silver bullet cures unless you want to claim to be modifing my dna, (who is brave for that? maybe i can join the xmen) but everyone autistic or not would want to aim for optimal health that they can afford to maintain. then again, I see every time a food / vegetable / fruit is “scientifically proven” to actually be good for you, and it can be clearly explained why and how …thats when it’s price skyrockets, so. yeah.
Thanks for the time you take, for research and clear straightforward thinking.
I wonder, if he wouldn’t have made this “big mistake” about what the clay actually has in it, how easy it would have been to debunk other stuff he is doing. Its probably getting easier with time, as he must be getting sloppy to miss something that obvious. Of course, you have to pick the lowest hanging fruit and go for the simplest, most obvious – with so many quacks, how else can you hope to get to them all!
Thanks Bob. He’s pretty easy to catch, and doesn’t seem to practice any due diligence. It seems pretty obvious he doesn’t read the labels. Check this one out (and thanks for reading and commenting!):
Mr. Dr. Axe is not a real doctor, Ms. Dr. Axe is neither.. this is called scam. Some of the stuff he says makes sense, but seeing how he uses the word Dr, makes me cringe and get sick. Abuse of image for self-profit.
Yep. I usually have great respect for anyone who earns the title “doctor” but not chiropractors.
How do you feel about the ingredients in the Multi collagen powder and organic sprouted protein powder by Dr Axe?
I’m not a professional dietician but it looks like a lot of woo. I don’t see any contradictions vs. the ingredients he says to avoid, but I know you can easily get the same nutrients from less expensive food.
Excellent post, Mr. Alsip!!
I love seeing pseudo-scientific B.S. debunked.
I’m also really enjoying all the Axe defenders lame attempts to stick up for the dude, and not responding when you get back to them showing evidence of his quackery, or asking their opinions on his frequent self-contradiction and harmful ideas.
Any chance you’d consider doing a few about Anabolic Men?
It’s a website and youtube page, that basically sells people a lot of crazy ideas.
Like telling people “we should all be eating more salt and sugar, and drinking less water”, and selling herbal pills that “increase testosterone and improve metabolism”.
Hi George, thanks for reading and commenting. Anabolic Men sounds like a fun one to take on. I’ll give them a look for sure. A lot of my leads come from alert readers like you and I really appreciate the tips. Thanks so much!
Excellent! Thank you!
Anyone who goes on the Dr Oz show should be taken with a grain of salt and not be trusted. I am trying MCT oils now because i did find legit studies on PUB Med, i almost did not try them because i saw that Dr Axe commented on them. Most things coming out of Dr Axe and Dr Oz should be avoided most of the time and the claims for these products is highly exaggerated, same as Dr Mercola.
I was just about to sign up for his program to heal the leaky gut syndrome! I am glad I did some research online and came across your site.
I am sadden that you can not trust anything that sound so good and promising. I was so looking forward to get some help with his program…..now back to do more
It’s okay this doesn’t mean you have to stop searching for a nutrition/lifestyle based method of recovery. Now you just know where not to look!
I’m sure you can find someone more honest and qualified than Dr Axe to get information from 🙂
I am also concerned about Dr Axe promoting the ingestion of essential oils. It is basic science that oil and water don’t mix yet he says it’s OK. This is something that should concern people as well.
Hey Alsip, There is nothing worse than someone “debunking” something they know nothing about. Here are PEER REVIEWED scientific studies showing bentonite removes lead. Where are yours?Also why did you not answer “Concerned American” when he requested your credentials, educational background, etc. ?http://www.earthpaste.com/prop65/science/
Your logical fallacies are “argument from authority” and “ad hominem”. Oh, and “shifting the burden of proof.”
Now, back to it: I believe the article you’re commenting on shows one of your Heroes selling a product that contains the same ingredient he says is toxic. Rather than pivoting, why not address the topic? Looking forward to your reply?
Second time you’ve dodged your credentials and the peer reviewed studies above? And then you say people are pivoting because they want to know with what authority you make your claims. Dr. Axe is clearly out to make a buck, but to say he is a quack is like throwing out the baby with the bath water.
I’ll try to help you out again, but you seem determined to miss the point. The authority on which I’m making my claims is that Axe says this ingredient is poisonous and the label on the product he’s hawking says it includes that ingredient.
So once again I very politely suggest you read the Josh Axe article, written by Josh Axe, published on Josh Axe’s web site, see what Josh Axe has to say about the subject, and then read the product label. Let me know what you find there.
(When we’re done with that, we can talk about how my being a bus driver, chemist, airplane pilot, doctor, janitor, or (insert noun here) has any bearing on what Axe wrote and what’s on the product label.
Thanks again for reading and commenting.
Does the discrepancy have nothing to do with organic vs. man-made aluminum? I was under the impression that the aluminum, lead, chromium, copper, etc. that occur naturally in our dirt, water, and plant life was ok – and that it is the industrial aluminum in things such as deodorant, that can accumulate in the body causing issues. Is this not the case?
Thanks for reading and commenting Sarah.
There’s no such thing as man-made aluminum, so no, that line of reasoning wouldn’t apply. The aluminum you find in your deodorants (and wherever else you look) came out of the ground, just like the aluminum you find in dirt, water, etc. Anyone who tells you differently is playing fast and loose with facts.
I do appreciate the response. If you have time, would you look into this link and tell me your thoughts? I understand that you’re likely to dismiss it because it comes from a site which sells the clay, but it also references a published journal.
Thank you for your help!
To be blunt Sarah, it is an outright lie. You do not have to take my word for this. The link claims there is no aluminum in the clay, but openly admits there is “alumina oxide” (Al2SO3).
Al2SO3 means that there are two ALUMINUM atoms, one sulphur atom, and three oxygen atoms in a molecule of their clay. They’re openly showing you the aluminum.
They also are wrong in identifying Al2SO3 as an “element”. It absolutely is not an element. Aluminum, sulphur, and oxygen are elements. In their clay, they make up the compound named ALUMINUM OXIDE. Note how they say “alumina” instead of aluminum to seemingly further disguise the presence of aluminum.
I believe “man made aluminum” would refer to the process of extracting aluminum from the soil and all the other nutrients around it. Kind of how cocoa leaves contain cocaine, but until you “man make” that cocaine, by removing all the other nutrients & plant parts, it’s just a mild stimulant in a leaf. Cocoa leaves = basically ok, cocaine = highly addictive drug with horrible & potential fatal side effects. Aluminum is definitely not man made, but the bulk amount that is sold as aluminum foil & other products is definitely a processed material. As with most / any heavily processed materiel, you’re making a potentially dangerous product.
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Thanks for reading and commenting Jason.
The hucksters I’m criticizing say the mere presence of aluminum is dangerous, so you’d have to fight that battle with them. It IS in their products. They claim it is dangerous, not me.
toxicity isn’t determined by whether something is “natural” or “processed”. Dosage, route of administration, even a condition such as kidney disease (which would hamper an individual’s ability to eliminate aluminum) are some of the many factors that come into play.
Please don’t fall into the “appeal to nature” fallacy. It’s a dangerous trap. Thanks again for the feedback!
Sadly, he suggest eating Liver to “detox” your own liver, after saying to stop eating regular meat found in stores. Makes no sense, since the Liver of the animal you are eating was used to STRAIN all the TOXINS out of that ANIMALS BODY in the first place. Bad, bad advice.
LOL, good catch! Maybe he’s suggesting homeopathic liver… taking all the toxin-retaining tissue and diluting it until there’s no original material left and… and…
no I just can’t go there. One of his followers might pick up on the theory and believe it’s real 😉
Thanks for reading and commenting nolivereatinghere!
Liver to detox? Interesting. Everyone I know, who understand the function of the liver, stopped eating it when they realized that Liver = Septic Tank. Ugh.
Liver contains a lot of nutrients though, so eating it is not bad for you. Make sure it is from a healthy animal then you will be fine.
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Bentonite haz vitamins?! Maybe if it contains remnants of recently-dead things.
Pehaps Axe’s clay gets its magic properties from its notable radioactive components thorium and uranium. Then there’s the thallium (from Wikipedia:)
.And his bentonite has plenty of sodium chloride – I guess that would be for blood pressure support.
Bentonite is the main ingredient of many bowel “cleanse” nostrums. You can find lots of toilet bowl photos from people who have used it and think what they are seeing is crud build-up that has been stripped from their intestinal walls, rather than mostly the bentonite itself.
This is so crazy! Talk to a doctor who does colonoscopies all day: there is no crud build-up. This bowel cleansing hysteria reminds me of the lady on “Fernwood Tonight” who constantly moaned about the waxy yellow build-up on her kitchen floor!
While we are at it, we should eat playdough because he lists ‘scientific studies’ of it’s benefits.
I ran across your article while doing research on heavy metals. Just to give you a little background on me and where I grew up. I’m 46 and from Upper East Tennessee, the good old Appalachian Mountains. My family and ancestors have lived in the same two counties since the 1700s. I was fortunate growing up to have both my parental and maternal grandparents and great grandparents. Through them I learned tons of folk medicine and forging for wild foods. So, I guess you can say I have lived this “natural trendy” stuff my whole life. I don’t take advice from strangers unless I can research it at the library or from my own knowledge or books I own and trust. I use herbs to heal problems that might pop up and I do use essential oil. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t have at least 2 essentials on my body or a herb tincture in my belly. I rarely eat red meat but when I do it’s from my families cows. I grew up eating veggies from the garden and wild veggies from the forests. Branch lettuce was my favorite, sadly it’s dying out and very hard to come by…….
That being said and blah, blah…..I have actually ingested clay from the ground, many times. I can’t tell you what made it good to eat, only it was part of my life for many years. The saying was, if you get a cold, eat dirt. My great grandfather had land that had a natural salt deposit on it and down from it was a deposit of clay. We would climb a steep hill to get to the salt and clay. A couple of times a year he would make the trek up the hill for the clay. He would chip out a bowl full and take it home. My grandmother would them “wash it” which she would actually make a mud pie. She would then bake it for a bit in the oven and break it up and give it out. I remember them doing this up until I moved away from home at 19. My great grandmother lived to be 93 and died from old age. My great grandfather lived to be 86 and died from a brain aneurysm.
I have read a few of Dr. Axe’s articles and do follow him on facebook and get his emails. He does have some sound advice. BUT the contradictions that he makes at times is a little troubling. I don’t buy his products and don’t follow him like he is a god. BUT there are a lot of great cures out there in nature that the modern world has lost. I still follow the old ways and I’m pretty darn healthy and very rarely take over the counter or prescription drugs.
To be truly informed about anything, research, research, research. Never take advice from just anyone and even from an actual MD, you should always research. Ask questions and if they can’t answer the question, leave it and move on.
Thank you for your article.
Thanks for reading and commenting Angie! Part of my family is from Appalachia and I have a deep sense of appreciation for “the old ways”. I would like to point out, without any intent of making light of your message, but instead to reinforce it, that a great deal of modern medicine came from researching the very same natural ways that your and my ancestors used.
Scientists learned what worked, what didn’t work, and found new methods for developing medicine. Most importantly though, to me at least, they based their findings on evidence and experiments others could repeat and verify. That’s one of the many ways I think Axe falls short–if you’re claiming something is going to poison your patients and then you’re selling it to them via your online store… “Houston, we have a problem.” 🙂
Thanks again for checking in!
My Wisconsin grandmother lived to 97 and she never ate dirt. She ate beef, butter, bread, and had a Brandy Manhattan every day at 5:00. It the genes, not the dirt.
I do not know anything about clay but I have enough knowledge of nutrition to see that his articles have a lot of misinformation and so I do not follow him but only accidentally stumble upon some of his articles as I surf the Internet on nutrition.
I am not a fan of big government but I do not think USDA or FDA does enough for the consumer.
Having a degree only shows that you met the requirements of the issuer and had enough money to pay for it. It does not bestow competence or confer integrity, it seems that most who seek degrees, whether doctors or engineers do so to make more money following their life interests.
Not sure if your blog makes much money, but it does make an interesting read and hopefully gives another viewpoint for those looking for answers….. after all we cannot depend on government, or companies to protect us, but must be vigilant for ourselves.
Thank you for your efforts,
I eat a very clean detoxing diet and I’m always in search of the most natral products I can make for myself right down to my toothpaste. My body is very sensitive to chemicals and unnatural things. Even the synthetic antibiotics they make nowadays my body does not respond well to them at all. I could not imagine puting clay into my body or thinking anyone would think it would be a good idea. As you mentioned in your article all the toxic ingredients that are in clay how could anybody think it be a good idea to ingest it?!?!? I’ve come across some of “Dr. Axe’s” stuff while looking up essential oils (EO) but never knew all this other claims he has made, quite the contradiction that’s for sure. His EO are pretty much on par with what other say from what I have read so far but have not read a lot. Very much enjoyed your blog and it’s great to see someone speak out when they see a public figure stick their foot in their mouth. I will for sure be checking back to see what else you write. As I mentioned I am always in search of info on natural medicine. The truth the real turth. Cheers.
Hi Mark, do you really just hold a B.S. in Computer Science?
No, but why the “just”?
Loretta, not sure what your point is here, and I don’t know Mark’s degrees, but it is obvious you aren’t aware of what is involved in obtaining “just” a BS in Computer Science. It’s not an easy major. Abstract algebra slays many. I say this as someone with an MD. A legitimate bachelor’s degree is worth much more than the joke degrees of so many of these quacks. The ND’s, the pseudo-PhD’s obtained from diploma mills, are worthless. “Dr.” Josh Axe’s degrees are questionable at best, fraudulent at worst.
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I am so glad I found this article and website. As someone who subscribes and reads many health publications monthly like Tufts, Harvard, Berkeley and Nutrition Action Letter of the Science for the public interest newsletters I have educated myself on many of the things Dr. Axe claims are true.
I think he picks and chooses the studies and the info and the outcomes to his advantage when citing some of the studies he discloses. Studies have to be performed correctly then analyzed. Moreover, the big question is also who funded them and who interpreted the results?
For example he says on his website and YouTube channel that apple cider vinegar with lemon juice and honey in the morning revs your metabolism and adds and protects good bacteria and probiotics into your intestines. Well, in a recent an issue of Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter it ran an article saying that in-spite of recent popularity of this supposed health drink In two double blind studies there was no change to the insulin levels or probiotics in participants in the study group. The recommendation was drink it if you want, but not for health benefits.
Now, to be fair I also had grandparents who came from small town in the midwest and had homeopathic remedies and a town homeopathic town Dr. that my grandmother swears cured her on numerous occasions and I believe natural is good and I have used some natural remedies in my life that have worked. I also acknowledge that there is both practical and Scientific evidence for many natural remedies; like Ginger for nausea and Turmeric for inflammation. I also know health Science is evolving we are learning more everyday about food, health, the mind, intestines as our second brain what constitutes health in general.
However, as someone who suffers from an auto immune illness Psoriatic Arthritis and who cut gluten and dairy out of my diet for a year…did yoga meditated, drank bone broth. I still could barely walk without extreme pain until broke down and started on a Biologic and Methotrexate gave me my life back.
But my issue with Dr. Axe is, he is not the mother of invention on any of these topics he is just the tech marketing savvy snake oil salesman of his time with the internet as his podium and a Tony Robbins following. There are other more seasoned Dr.’s and practitioners and scientists with a lot more years and most important moe experience under their belts who are too busy in the lab or treating patient or too selfless to get on this bandwagon.
Now Dr. Axe ….he’s selling essential oil certification for $1,999. He’s into every fad, Essential oils, bone broth, autoimmune….he even has a Keto-diet section of his website…seriously, why not a forks over knives section. Hey I’m Dr. Axe I can cure you of what ever you suffer from.
Interesting blog/articles, but every time your credentials are requested, you do not give them…same MO as Axe. What gives?
Actually I have a standard WordPress “about” page that discusses my background (https://badscidebunked.wordpress.com/author/markaaronky/), it’s been there since I started my blog in 2014.
I’m not sure exactly what you’re referring to re: Axe and credentials. I don’t resort to the Argument from Authority fallacy when I write. If I’ve made a factual error, please point it out so that I can correct it. Thanks!
I love it and hate it when you question people about unsubstantiated claims and simply ask for real evidence of the claim, such as a peer reviewed study or group of independent studies that show at least some potential basis for the claim, that may be worthy of further investigation.
What you get is not list from reputable sources such as PubMed, British Nutrition Foundation, National Library of Medicine or any number of respected institutions, what you get, is a list of URLs and postings for youtube and for websites like Doc Mercola’s, Doc Axe’s, Doc Oz’s, Doc Power Ranger, and lets not leave out Vani Hari, there are of course more I know but we have finite time, space and patience.
I am currently studying nutrition with a course from Wageningen University, I wanted to understand more about the whole subject itself, this was in part fuelled by the amount of misinformation being bandied about, and I was getting conflicting information from lots of places, and was frustrated, so decided that the best thing to do was actually learn about what the science and people behind the subject actually say about food and health, as opposed to what a non-doctor or non-nutritional scientist says about it.
I have learned more about the science and subject, though I still have a huge amount to learn and do, and I am astounded by just how willing people are to believe this stuff, with no proof, and how easily swallowed it is, and when you try to interject with some sense, it is amazing just how loyal the beleivers are to the fallacy and the lies spread by these people and how, despite the evidence or in these cases, the lack of it, they will adhere to false claim.
I was actually interested in your story and was following along until the sarcasm rolled out. Why is it that every time someone wants to debunk a natural health story or concept they must use sarcasm or jump at the word quack? I’m fine with science and I’m fine with natural health solutions as well – I ask the same question when a natural health writer uses sarcasm. If you’re a real and true believer or even an expert in whatever the topic is, there shouldn’t be any need to use sarcasm – science or natural health answers should be good enough. And then the comments from professional doctors commenting using words like quack. Really? It’s just as silly. No wonder no one seems to trust anyone in the health industry anymore, its convoluted with attacking the individual and not the subject. At this point, I trust no one. I appreciate that you’re an advocate, but please try to be a professionally-voiced advocate.
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I’ll wager you don’t much like the term “tone troll” either.
I agree with your articles and advise everyone to avoid his website. Although some of his statements make sense, some of them cause me to wonder. I unsubscribed from his FB posts because I feel that the posts are motivated by his desire to sell products. It seems like so many doctors are trying to sell their special blend of something, essential oils, supplement line etc. If they aren’t they making enough money in their practice, there’s got to be a reason!
I am beginning to see references to studies being done by legitimate medical research entities that have been forced to put a great deal of money and time into the efforts – simply to give the public some scientific data to confirm or refute the claims of all these snake oil salesmen. I have read Axe, Oz (the wizard?), and that woman who made up some thyroid “cure.” I have then read the science – even though it is not all understandable to me. There were enough facts in these peer-reviewed articles to expose all these quacks for what they are: greedy charlatans who prey on people with real (or imagined!) problems. Thank you for this website!
I have to research Dr. Axe for a homework assignment, and I was wondering, what are the references to the medical research entities that you found that “exposed” Dr. Axe’s “quacks”?
You consistently mention that Dr Axe is “just a chiropractor” You fail to mention he is also a naturopathic doctor. This takes 4 years of training, the same as a medical doctor and he is a fully accredited naturopathic doctor which entitles him to us the title Dr. As you seem to know so much about Dr. Axe I I am surprised this is never mentioned by you.
Thanks for reading and commenting–much appreciated.
Naturopaths are not equivalent to MDs; to say they undergo similar training would be a Donald Trump-like alternative fact. Their studies include the non-science of homeopathy and the use of botanicals (e.g. Elderberry syrup) to “cure”disease.
So when I say Axe is not a medical doctor, I am being truthful. Please keep in mind I bring this up only to remind readers that he’s abusing their understanding of a specific word in order to lend false authority to the platform from which he sells products that he himself claims are dangerous.
Thanks, once again, for clarifying that a naturopathic “doctor” is not equivalent to an MD or DO. My 4 years of medical school training in no way is equivalent to the arbitrary, nebulous, and non-peer reviewed training of “Dr.” Axe.
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Since 2013 “Dr Axe” is an unlicensed chiropractor, see … https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Joshua_Lee_Axe#cite_note-2 , (as is his wife).
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How long have you been studying smectite clay? surely you looked at more people than doctor axe and co.?
please talk to us about calcium carbonate, processed sugar, fluoride and prescribed medication….
please talk about the amygdale and pineal gland and the real battle between good and evil.
if you research the science reports the government didn’t want you to see, you will find the lead etc. is what structures the clay particles.
why do you think they made an illusion of a devil living inside centre of earth… when really that is the start of life?
We cannot deny the truth. Smectite clay is by far the best form of detoxification… along with colloidal silver.
or are you going to deny the scientific research that is now available?
Garlic is one of the most valuable tools for mental slavery. you are trapped in the front part of your brains. kings and queens at justifying… haha oh wait you don’t believe me…. 1938 is when they took silica away (the most important mineral) + clay and silver and then turned everyone into drug addicts… coffee sugar TV, lies crack cocaine. GMO skunk and so on….
moral of my story is this:
you are doing their dirty work by mocking smectite clay.
IF YOU LOOK DEEP ENOUGH. THE CLAY IS NOT MIRACULOUS, IT IS SCIENCE. NATURES FINEST INGREDIENTS. THEY BEEN KEPT SECRET FOR A VERY CLEAR REASON AND THAT IS WHY WE KNOW HARDLY ANYTHING ABOUT IT
You didn’t touch on the fact that Axe is selling the same ingredients that he says will kill you, which is the entire point of the article on which you commented.
ALSO A DOCTOR STUDYING NATUROPATHY IS MORE THAN LIKELY NOT TO BE BRAINWASHED BY MAINSTREAM EDUCATION. HENCE Y THEY ARE STUDYING NATUROPATHY RATHER THAN MATERIALISM… JUST BECAUSE SOMEONE HAS A PHD IT DOESN’T MEAN THEY ARE BETTER THAN US. HOW COMES NONE OF THE DOCTORS OR SO CALLED HEAD SPECIALISTS THAT I SPOKE TO CAN TALK IN DETAIL ABOUT THE PINEAL GLAND, AMYGDALAE AND NEUROTOXINS….? MAYB BECAUSE THEY ARE ALSO BRAINWASHED.
STUDY NEUROTOXICTY AND SUBLIMINAL MESSAGING AND YOU WILL PROBABLY BUCKLE UNDER PRESSURE AND RETREAT BACK TO THE THOUGHTS THAT YOU UNCONSCIOUSLY PROGRAMMED IN YOUR AMYGDALAE.. BUT STILL ITS WORTH A TRY BECAUSE MAYB YOU WILL ACTUALLY PULL THRU.
I have read through most of the above comments with interests and am offering an analogy. It is not directly answering your question Mark, but may offer some perspective for the use of bentonite clay and other substances not recommended by conventional medical authorities. Conventional medical treatments include radiation, chemotherapy, and a host of pharmaceutical compounds with attendant possible side effects.
These therapies cause a degree of injury to the body (hair loss, nausea, etc) and if you listen to the pharmaceutical ads or read the information that is provided with prescriptions, the list of potential side effects are often pretty scary.
There is a cost benefit ratio in using these therapies.
Perhaps the body’s metabolic processing of bentonite is able to derive more benefit than harm?
Thanks for reading and commenting Roy.
We mention bentonite here because it contains the very same elements that Josh Axe says are harmful–with no qualifiers, full stop. The argument against him is that if he says an element will harm you when found in Product X, he must admit it is harmful when found in his bentonite clay.
The list of side effects on a pharmaceutical product can indeed be scary. When one studies something in depth and is honest about all POSSIBLE outcomes, that would be expected. Conversely, the types of studies done on, say, digoxin or gleevec are not done on unregulated, untested, unproven things like bentonite clay–it’s just clay. For better or worse, in the United States, you can pretty much make anecdotal claims that *anything* has helped you, with no studies at all, then put a small disclaimer on the label “these claims have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease.”
Anyway, I greatly appreciate you checking in. Please understand I’m not claiming bentonite is harmful. I’m pointing out that by Josh Axe’s own arguments, HE is claiming it’s harmful 🙂
What schools have you graduated from and what degrees do you hold?
Hi Jim. Can you please explain how that answer would change the fact that Axe’s products contain the same ingredients he says are poisonous?
Lol and also, “Dr.” Josh Axe is not an MD or DO, and he does not have a PhD or advanced degree in any science subject, so he has no business recommending nonsense to the public. But it pays the bills! Generously, it seems.
Indeed it does pay his bills ☺. Now if we could only get him to explain why said bills are paid from sales of the very same chemicals he says will kill us, we’d be getting somewhere!
Just have to wonder, is “Dr” Axe a true believer, or just a huckster, preying on ignorance and desperation?
Great question Germain. I’d love to hear other readers weigh in on this.
My own humble opinion has him as a believer with cognitive dissonance (he ignores an evidence that disagrees with him, looks for anecdotes that support him). AND a huckster preying on scientific illiteracy. I think he’s a bit on the scientifically illiterate side himself.
I think the greed factor helps drive the cognitive dissonance. It’s much easier to look the other way when you’re selling a self-proclaimed “poison” if that poison is making you money.
Most of his followers that I’ve engaged fall into two camps:
(1) What he’s selling is “natural” so it’s safe (the appeal to nature fallacy). Doesn’t matter if I tell them that crude oil and cyanide are 100% organic and natural. 🙂
(2) “argument from authority”… they point out Axe is a doctor–when he really isn’t, just a chiropractor. Since I’m not a doctor, according to his followers, I don’t have the right to challenge him. Oddly, they never challenge my chemistry and sources (e.g. PubMed). Apparently two additional years of university organic and inorganic chem aren’t enough to point out the clearly labeled aluminum on the label of his products… you just can’t win!
I suppose it’s my error in thinking either/or.
Cognitive dissonance? I thought there was supposed to be elements of unconscious or lack of awareness to it. Axe’s conscious intent could not be more clear.
There are times when I wish I was a religious man, and could believe that Axe and his ilk were facing a biblical style reckoning. Oh well…
Please keep up this work. It’s important (and I enjoy it, if occasionally infuriating).
Thanks for the kind words and I couldn’t agree more: his intent is very, very clear.
I’d love to once–just once–be able to engage someone like him in debate over what he is getting away with via his store. Then again, I want to win the lottery also. Odds are probably the same in each case.
I have been in conversation with Dr Axe’s support team regarding his EO training material relating to a particular essential oil having unfortunately been sucked into enrolling in his course. Having provided them with several pieces of published scientific evidence and excerpts from respected texts that conflicts with their own material I asking for clarification. I was referred to a single source book which they say had been confirmed by their ‘medical reviewer’ (unnamed). I further researched both the EO and the book and still being unsatified with their response tried again. Same response. Dr Axe talks about the science of EO’s and refers in his material to numerous studies but apparently in his own organisation only uses information from one source; to quote “ She confirmed that was the information that they went off of and also that we had expert medical reviewers verify our chemistry sections through the text to confirm what we went with.“. The book in they refer to for reliable information is also, in itself, at the very least, questionable. I also wonder whether for all his talk of research whether he has actually read any of that research. I certainly was left unimpressed with his very poor explanation of the chemistry of EO’s which is rushed and shallow.
Being dissatisfied I would like to think I might get my money back….
Thank you so much for your story Caroline. This doesn’t surprise me at all. I routinely contact the support staff for the companies whose products I review and quite often get the runaround you did.
More frustrating is the “sorry that information is proprietary” dodge. I would bet grandma’s pension that I caught one of the nation’s largest “natural” cosmetics firms using GMO soy in all their products (it matters not, except they claim to be all lovey-dovey with the organic movement), but when I pressed them for proof of their nonGMO claim they said it was proprietary inf
I keep saying, honest folks like us are in the wrong business. We could be like Axe, make claims we don’t have to back up, and watch the cash roll in 😔😡
Wow read article and all comments and am in shock, after reading all this, how in the world does Dr Axe justify this ruse he is pulling online. I guess greed has no limits, they say the real evil is in high places, positions of power that Dr Axe finds himself in with his traffic and SEO and people seeking him out for supplements and/or as an alternative to their own doctors advice.
But the fact that he acts like he is some saviour, and moreover would block, and insinuate big pharma if he is attacked on social media is such horse **** , this guy will find out one day that karma is a bit**
Thanks for reading and commenting Joe. I think poor laws in the USA that allow people to make incredible health claims without assuming any responsibility are part of the problem. Basically all you have to do is put the “these statements have not been evaluated by the FDA…” disclaimer and you can get away with anything. Please understand I’m not against free speech–I’m simply saying that these people ARE making definitive health claims, despite the disclaimer, and they aren’t being called out for it.
It sounds self-serving, but I suggest people share the stuff that I and others write about Axe in hopes of making more people aware of what he is doing. There is a whole community of skeptics out there taking on Axe and his ilk. We just don’t get the attention he does because we aren’t making claims of miracles as he does 😦
Yep, absolutely agree with you, well said. The disclaimer requirement seems to be the only thing a company really needs to comply with…even if he was sued for the outlandish claims I am sure a guy like Axe prolly has a decent size product liability insurance policy in addition to a legal team… still it would be nice to see him get trumped by a bigshot lawyer one day and have to admit to have made these false claims and have to make a payout to duped consumers, but at the least have to admit wrongdoing, that day would be a sweet win for the people seeing these supplement companies get away with robbery thru these cyber-blogging sites they create and try to capitalize on it in such a unethical way….exposing this guy and winning in court may straighten out or set the tone for some badly needed changes and new laws to be put in place for this industry. Keep doing what your doing man, love your site and your work is downright amazing!!!
I have read this article and most of the comments above. I’d like to add my bit. I’m sorry that it is rather long, but there seems to be alot to answer here.
To start, I would just like to second Dan Savole’s comment further up on the topic of sarcasm. It does not constitute good debate, nor does extensive use of it entitle you to claim that you have ‘debunked’ something. To do that is just as presumptive and sweeping as the so called pseudo-science you are claiming to debunk. As far as I can see, nothing has been demonstrated in this article other than that the author does not ‘like’ Mr Axe’s vibe.
To be more specific, the particular point of the article that I thought took an unnecessary turn in logic was the sharp skepticism over ionic charge, ““positively charged electrons” (that’s antimatter!).” … “How are iron and copper released by bentonite clay while chromium and manganese are targeted and swept away? Dr. Axe doesn’t sufficiently explain this, but accidentally delves into antimatter and magic in his attempt (see text).”
I’m not how this concept equates to ‘antimatter’.
A quick bit of research would show you that clay is in fact negatively charged, and has the capacity to adsorb positively charged particles from its surroundings- “Clays have a net negative surface charge, which allows the free exchange of particles from the environment, including bacteria, viruses, proteins, nucleic acids and cations (McLaren, 1963)” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4756756/
Just because you don’t understand the scientific process of something doesn’t mean it’s magic, pseudo-science, quackery or bunk.
For a deeper understanding on how this works, try this http://www.pnas.org/content/96/7/3358
In answer to the challenge you keep reiterating on the hypocrisy of “selling a product that contains the same toxins it purports to clear away”, I would like to point to some articles, linked below, to demonstrate that the use of bentonite clays to remove lead and other metals, bacteria, viruses and other toxins has been well documented and researched, and whilst the specific mechanisms for its action are still under investigation in the scientific community, the cleansing action itself not in doubt.
Therefore, the fact that these clays contain some of these heavy metals, and yet manage to effectively clean the same metals out from their surroundings, should surely be enough for you to accept that there is a one way exchange going on here, and that lead in clay is not equal to lead in lipstick, at least as far as its interaction with other ionic surfaces is concerned.
Here are some articles that you might find interesting. I think the first two approach the clay topic in the most clear way for our purposes.
A review on the adsorption of heavy metals by clay minerals, with special focus on the past decade: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1385894716312670
Evaluation of the medicinal use of clay minerals as antibacterial agents: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2904249/
Adsorption of Lead by Bentonite Clay: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/318288202_Adsorption_of_Lead_by_Bentonite_Clay
Broad-spectrum in vitro antibacterial activities of clay minerals against antibiotic-susceptible and antibiotic-resistant bacterial pathogens: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2413170/
I think I have answered all of these now:
Axe simultaneously claims bentonite clay both sweeps elements out of your system and puts them in. Which is it?
> Both. Mineral supplementation with clay is well documented, as is heavy metal adsorption.
The so-called doctor’s mastery of chemistry is so poor he can’t differentiate between elements and minerals.
>Many elements are also minerals- think silver, iron, copper. Come on.
The “no safe level of chemical to ingest” mantra could not be more clear in Axe’s writing, yet he proudly lists the levels of each proclaimed toxic chemical in bentonite clay. Does he ever read his own words and labels?
>I’m sure he does read them. Things are not always black and white, especially in chemistry. The way different compounds move between substances is very complex. A heavy metal in one chemical structure is not equal to the same heavy metal in another. Let’s stick with scientific observations, not get lost in words.
Finally, while I read some of Axe’s stuff with interest, I generally do so as a supplement to my own research in to a topic. I never take his opinion as final, neither do I yours, and neither should you mine. This is the world we live in now with so many voices on the internet trying to outcompete eachother. I’m afraid I put you both in a similar category as far as soapboxes are concerned, but where he (rightly or wrongly) sees himself as a torch bearer, you seem to be carrying only a pitchfork. Alot of his ‘scientific explanations’ may be off kilter at best, but who of us can claim to comb through all the data, collate it into decipherable language for the layman and come out unscathed? This is a difficult thing to do. At least he is trying to build something positive. What is of more concern is not that his language may be flawed in promoting clay as a detoxifying agent, but that the efforts you have made to smear his name for it serve only to deter people from using this amazing ingredient to improve their health.
Thanks for reading.
Thanks so much for reading and commenting Jamie. I always appreciate differing views here.
First, what was clearly demonstrated in the article (sarcasm intentionally included) is that Axe pushes a supplement that contains exactly the ingredients he claims are harmful. Full stop.
If you want to send links on the benefits of heavy metals in Axe’s clay, I suggest sending them not to me, but to Axe himself, as he is the one claiming that any product containing these metals is a toxic product, and that the metals build up in the body over time. Of course, I would not be surprised if he claimed that the one he happens to profit from is somehow different from all the rest, but then I’d want him to demonstrate that he’s given the same consideration to all of the products he’s knocking. That’s a common theme among just about everyone hawking health products on the internet.
I’m sorry you didn’t get the reference to antimatter. It requires a physics background. Axe refers to positively charged electrons. Electrons do not have positive charges, they have negative charges. The exception is with antimatter, where we’d be referring to positrons. This is just another case of Axe making things up as he goes, with no understanding of the underlying science.
Finally, on the subject of sarcasm, that’s a writing style, not a method of debunking. A great deal of my followers have said they love the style. I’m not disillusioned to the point that I believe everyone appreciates it, but sarcasm is a valuable critical tool and is used by many writers and speakers to drive home a point. In the case of people like Axe, who peddle misleading health information and profit from it, I feel sarcasm is warranted. I understand and respect that not everyone may agree, but that’s the thing about writing. You can’t please everyone all of the time.
I disagree with this article debunking what benefits bentonite clay can do. I had multiple bouts of diverticulitis over a period of 4 months was told if I had one more incident, I would require surgery to remove part of her colon. I had fecal matter lodged in my colon which was causing infection which antibiotics cure. Nothing I did would clear up my colon including eating a heavy fiber diet.
A clinical nutritionist friend advised I take this clay powder (Sonne brand) daily and assured me it would cleanse my colon and I wouldn’t have further diverticulitis problems. I’m on a high dosage of coumadin and having surgery is always risky for me. I’ves now been using it daily (mixing 1 tbls with water, twice per day) for 18 months and have never had another bout of diverticulitis. It works!!! All of this was done before I ever knew of Dr. Axe.
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Thanks for reading and commenting Joe. Actually, the article doesn’t “debunk the clay”. It points out that the clay contains the same ingredients that Josh Axe says will cause great harm to your health. If you follow Axe’s advice to avoid heavy metals, you need to avoid the clay, as it contains those same metals.
Forgot to say, my doctor was so surprised how clean my colon was in my last colonoscopy this year. All contributed to taking Sonne7 which is bentonite clay. No more problems with diverticulitis. It works! I’ve told others about who have had chronic diverticulitis and it’s worked for them also. I now use it daily in my supplement routine
That’s one of the problems with alternative health products in the USA. Anyone is allowed to make such a claim about a product, with no scientific evidence to back up the claim. Sonne 7 is labeled with a disclaimer that the product isn’t intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease. In other words, the stories about its effectiveness are just stories. We could make the same claim about the clay in my back yard, or the grass 😦 All we have to do is throw that disclaimer on there…
Everything had disclaimers. Testimonials of how something has helped individuals had to be considered especially when there’s no research done to prove it. It’s no different than how medical marijuana CBD/THC oil has proven to kill cancer cells , reduce size of tumors. Many testimonials on how tumors have disappeared. Yet there’s no medical research on humans to confirm this. Who do you believe and trust in if people attest to how it’s helped them vs medical dr’s who only believe in pushing chemo, radiation or surgery to treat cancer.
I know Sonne has proven to work for me in a short period of time. It’s proven itself. I learned about Sonne from a clinical nutritionist friend who’s been in his career 40+ years and has clients all over the world. He’s known in his field. I trust his recommendations. He’s never been wrong so far with his recommendations for me
Some things Dr. Axe talks about are nice. I don’t think everything is bad. It gives good ideas and I did some of the things he suggests and It worked. In fact he mentions stuff you can buy and he gives you the option to buy it where he does it, but he doesn’t give you just one option and is more open compared to other books I bought. His website is different. If he has a lot of clients… then he gets enough money to avoid selling stuff directly in his website. That’s not good, I think.
The only thing that put me off a little when reading his book about dirt eating is that he’s deeply christian and thanks God before anything else, with words that sound truly intense. That’s not bad, but gives me a little bit of that scary thought about him… as being a “not very scientific” kind of person. Somebody who tries to be alternative and gives more details about how things work …and then how he looks in the pictures (seems like extreme christian american smiley person)… I don’t know. Gives me the creeps a little. It’s that kind of feeling…
Just something weird… but still his ideas are interesting, though. I’m just confused.
Thanks so much for reading and commenting. My biggest problems with Axe are his scientific inaccuracy and his hypocrisy. So many other writers have already attacked his science problems that I focus on the hypocrisy. I don’t feel it gets enough attention.
You are correct of course that not everything he says is bad. A lot of folks in his genre will say common sense things about eating a healthy diet, exercise, etc. No argument from me there.
Like you, I’m also put off by the overtly religious stuff. I usually stay away from religion and politics on the blog though unless they intersect (read: contradict) science. It’s not that I’m afraid to speak out. Rather, I’ve learned from experience that once you stray away from fact-based conversations and stray into faith-based ones, you’re rarely going to have a chance to sway opinion.
Thanks again for dropping in and taking the time to comment. Much appreciated!