Reader Beware

Do you remember the quote "I see dead people" from the movie titled The Sixth Sense? That one phrase really captured the essence of that movie. It is also the most memorable part of that movie. I have a quote that is not as impactful but in my view more significant. "I see stupid information regarding health." I see it so much and every day, that unfortunately it has become our baseline to have stupid health information in every form of media. Which makes this issue even more dangerous.

Here is just one example I will use to express my point. Parade magazine printed an article entitled "15 Energy Boosters for Baby Boomers." Here is the link if you want to waste your time reading it.

The writer of this stupid article took excerpts from material sourced by Dr. Michael Roizen, M.D. Occasionally she added some content from Elizabeth Ward, a registered dietitian. As you will hopefully see, some of the information is good but lots of it is just plain stupid. Which in my view makes all of it useless. Because if you were savvy enough to know how to accurately vet out the good parts, then there is no upside for you to spend your time reading it.

The layout of this article was to state an energy problem as a buster, and then provide a solution in the form of a booster. I guess this was the writer's nifty way to tie the reader back into the 15 energy boosters referenced in the title. I will list their buster followed by their "expert endorsed" solution called the booster, and then add my smart or smart aleck comments. I will also only be commenting on the first five and continue this discussion in a future article. One can only take so much stupidity at a time.

1. Buster: Too-Big Meals - A huge dinner sends blood to the digestive tract and away from muscles and other areas that need it for energy. The sugar dump from a big plate of food produces more cell-damaging free radicals than your natural antioxidant defenses can handle, and your mitochondria may take the hit. Booster: Smaller snacks - Eat throughout the day for ongoing energy. At snack time, don’t just eat pretzels. “Every snack should have complex carbs plus protein,” says Elizabeth Ward, RD, author of several nutrition books. Add peanut butter or cottage cheese to that pretzel break.

There is an assumption that a huge meal has lots of sugar. Unless he is implying that a meal consisting of excess dietary protein, beyond what the body needs, will be turned into sugar. In theory, there is an argument that eating excessive protein will eventually get converted to glucose. But I very rarely see this as a real clinical concern. Just follow my P:C ratio calculation to ensure you are getting the proper protein at every meal. Regarding free radicals, it's important to take Diphasic AM and PM daily.

Their booster saying eat throughout the day for ongoing energy is stupid. We should only eat three meals a day, for some people two is even better. Constantly eating does not allow our digestive system to rest. This 'snack attack' pattern leads to over-stimulation of our pancreas to secrete insulin. This is a common issue related to obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, fatigue, depression, and cancer. Also, it is suggested to eat to provide energy. If that was true, then we should eat carbohydrates all day. Now that would be stupid. Be smart and eat to sustain life.

2. Buster: Your “bad” bacteria - Your gut is home to an array of bacteria, some beneficial, others not. “You eat steak, you change the bacteria inside your gut to those that like steak,” says Roizen. Too many of these “bad” bugs leads to inflammation, which saps energy. Booster: Probiotics - Start taking a probiotic pill, such as Digestive Advantage (available at Walmart and drugstores), every day to repopulate the gut with “good” bacteria, Roizen suggests.

I agree with him on the bad bacteria issue. I do not however, think eating steak is particularly bad as he subtly suggested. Also, I would not choose Digestive Advantage as my probiotic. It only includes the Bacillus coagulans organism. I currently stock four separate combination probiotic products, and recommend them based upon an individual's unique metabolic needs. Each contains 5 to 7 strains and none of them include the Bacillus coagulans. If you're aware enough to appreciate the value of using a probiotic, then why use such an inadequate product?

3. Buster: Your older gut - People over 50 sometimes have trouble absorbing nutrients, such as B12, from natural sources like red meat. “B12 is involved in nerve conduction, and the central nervous system is involved in feeling fatigued,” Ward says. Booster: Take supplements or eat fortified grains - “It’s recommended that you get the majority of nutrients in fortified foods or as dietary supplements,” says Ward. Roizen suggests half a multivitamin in the morning and half at night to keep the level in your body steady (you lose the soluble vitamins in 12 to 16 hours).

I agree with the premise of an older gut needing additional supplementation. But it is stupid to think we can get adequate dosages of vitamins with one pill a day. I guess he is referring to One A Day multivitamin manufactured by Bayer. Yes, the one that also includes FD&C Blue #2 Aluminum Lake, FD&C Yellow #5 (tartrazine) Aluminum Lake, and FD&C Yellow #6 Aluminum Lake.

Or you can take fortified grains!!?? Now that's stupid, and so is this next statement. In the United States, breakfast cereals are one of the most common sources of vitamin B12. That's correct, and the cereals with the highest B12 content include Honey Bunches of Oats, Malt-O-Meal, Cheerios, Golden Crisp and Fruity Pebbles. Enough said.

4. Buster: Your meds - Sometimes the drugs you take to keep you healthy can have an impact on energy production, says Ward. “Certain diuretics deplete potassium, for example. That can lead to an energy slump,” she says. Booster: Fill in the gaps with supplements - Talk to your doctor. “You’ve got to drill down and find the potential nutrient interactions and compensate,” says Ward.

I don't remember any of those uplifting prescription drug commercials seen on TV warning us about the potential of busting our energy production. I do however recall statements referring to anal leakage and death. She says to talk with your doctor about nutrient interactions.... I guess the same one that prescribed the Rx initially. Do I need to say it, that is a stupid idea.

5. Buster: Lack of protein - “I find people, especially women, are really short on their protein. They save it up for dinner,” says Ward. Booster: Eat protein at every meal and snack - “Getting 20 to 30 grams of protein per meal is a very good way to give your body a steady source of amino acids that it needs to build neurotransmitters, which help you to feel in a good mood and more energetic or awake,” says Ward. Her favorite sources of concentrated protein: Greek nonfat yogurt and cottage cheese. Her favorite protein tips: --> Blend cottage cheese and marinara in a blender for creamy, high-protein pasta sauce. --> Mix cottage cheese with fruit, honey and nuts and add to whole-grain toast for a high-protein breakfast.

I'm going to leave this one alone. The cottage cheese/marinara sauce sounds good. I'm also going to stop here on a high note.

The news outlets are rampant with these types of goofy articles. Often including partially accurate, mixed with inaccurate information. So what is the average consumer to do with the data? You may be better off to avoid wasting your time reading them. Let's be honest, how often have you adopted a new health strategy due to the influence of an article?

Don't believe everything you read.

Don't believe everything you think.

Find a trusted source.

Ask me about your health.

Recent Posts

See All


Our house in Tennessee was built in 2001. I'm not a Realtor, but my speculation is that a 19 year old house would not be considered an old house. To support my opinion, I found a reference online indi

The Enemy Within

As a kid, I can remember a subtle but pervasive fear that lingered in our society regarding health. No one wanted to have to discuss this scary topic and as such, it was often referred to as the C wor

Pandemic Influence

There is a common underlying and often undetected health issue that plagues many individuals. It is at the core of what drives health seeking individuals to go to a healthcare practitioner and subject