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June 07, 2009


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One point you missed: Oprah's viewers probably expect her to have done her research, and only display the good stuff. So it's not just that most people wouldn't do their research anyway, it's that they think that Oprah has, and feel even less of a need to do so.

Somers has responded on her own blog.

She supplied supporting evidence for her regimen which she claims Newsweek ignored. Take a look at the first study she links to and read the conclusion.

I didn't bother reading any more but I imagine you'd have some fun Skeptico.

Andy, that's hilarious. This is the study you are referring to: Risks and Benefits of Estrogen Plus Progestin in Healthy Postmenopausal Women

I just left this comment on Somers' blog:

The conclusion of the first study you link is:

"Conclusions Overall health risks exceeded benefits from use of combined estrogen plus progestin for an average 5.2-year follow-up among healthy postmenopausal US women."

Risks exceeded benefits. This was your study that you linked. Remind me - why should anyone take you seriously?

I got the message: "The comment is now awaiting moderation". Stay tuned.

I had already done the same.

I went back, after posting here and looked at the second study conclusion:

Results.— Overall, there were no significant differences between groups in the primary outcome or in any of the secondary cardiovascular outcomes:

Conclusions.— During an average follow-up of 4.1 years, treatment with oral conjugated equine estrogen plus medroxyprogesterone acetate did not reduce the overall rate of CHD events in postmenopausal women with established coronary disease. The treatment did increase the rate of thromboembolic events and gallbladder disease. Based on the finding of no overall cardiovascular benefit and a pattern of early increase in risk of CHD events, we do not recommend starting this treatment for the purpose of secondary prevention of CHD. However, given the favorable pattern of CHD events after several years of therapy, it could be appropriate for women already receiving this treatment to continue.

I'm not experienced at reading such trials but the conclusions, in the main, seem self-apparent. It presumably should also be noted that these studies were looking for specific results for specific conditions - but I wonder if any of them even vaguely relate to anything Somers is recommending them for?

*SORRY, I should have added that the "result" quote above was an excerpt from a much longer text.

I just left a similar comment quoting basically the same language as well as language from later that talks about the harms that the regimen could cause, Skeptico. I also addressed the fact that she clearly stated on Oprah that she injected stuff into her vagina (with a link to the clip from the Huffington Post, of all places).

I doubt any of our comments will ever get out of moderation, but it makes me feel better to have tried.

Also, I emailed the editors of Newsweek to thank them for their reporting - I figured it would be good for some people who didn't blindly support Ms. Somers to let Newsweek know that their reporting is appreciated.

I'm hoping at least some get through. The last comment that's sitting there currently, from Adam, is less than supportive and points to an article in which doctors she mentions in her book take her to task.

The book, though, has raised the hormone levels of at least seven medical doctors. The doctors — three of whom are quoted in the book — generally support the concept of bioidentical hormone therapies but say that too little research has been done to assure that they are safe.

Further, they said, they are outraged that Ms. Somers endorses a treatment plan created by T. S. Wiley, a former actress with no formal medical training. Although Ms. Wiley described herself in an interview as “a molecular biologist” and has published two books on women’s health, Ms. Wiley only holds a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from Webster University, in St. Louis.

She edited the post, but she didn't change the nonsense about not injecting anything into her vagina. In the Oprah clip, she makes it quite clear that she does, in fact, do this. (I mean, they even showed that clip on The Soup, for cryin' out loud.)

Oh well.

I received a reply to my comment on Somer's blog:

"This first link references the Women's Health Initiative which was study of synthetic hormones, made from equine (a mare's urine) estriol - not the bioidentical hormones which Suzanne uses. These synthetic hormones are the ones the FDA has approved, even though there are studies to prove they increase many health risks for women. Suzanne included this study for reference.

She included references to studies involving both types of hormones for comparison. We apologize for any confusion and thank you for your comments."

This then just leaves me asking whether this study is relevant since it was discussing, I believe, the value of estriol in treating heart disease, not womanhood in general.

Can anyone tell me why hormones made from horse urine are synthetic but those made from plants not?

Yeah I got the same message. Pity she didn’t think her post through carefully enough to make that clear to start with. Assuming she even knew.

Later on this week I’ll have a look at those other studies - I don’t have time tight now.

The damage Oprah does is not just restricted to the US. Many other countries pick up on whatever is successful in the US. As soon as The Secret appeared on Oprah, publishers would've been falling over themselves to translate it.

In the mid 1990s she was in large part responsible for the success of Marlo Morgan, who claimed to be the true guardian of Australian Aboriginal culture. Her book, Mutant Message Down Under has now sold over 20 million copies world wide. And that book is so appalling that it makes The Secret look like a sober work of serious philosophy.

She claimed that she met the last tribe of "true" aborigines and that they have decided to voluntarily go extinct and have chosen her as the keeper of their culture. She told a rollicking tale of rugged survival in the Australian desert, which she claimed was literally true. In actual fact, she was working in a pharmacy in Brisbane the whole time.

Oprah didn't care about the truth any more than her publisher Rupert Murdoch, or her new age fans do.

Are you seriously saying that you doubt Oprah's ability to fully vet people she supports?

Clearly, that is a baseless, ludicrous claim.

And even if she were to slip in her clearly thorough research, it's not like anyone ever gets hurt by it.

Seriously dudes, 40 year old fat divorced women can be fooled by astrology, tarot cards and magic pendulums. To them, Oprah I think is like a Christ figure.

I think in the future (1000, 2000 years or so) her teachings will be gathered into a book, and her ascension to the presidency is nigh.

You gotta feel sorry for people who think "Oprah/Oprah's guest said it, it must be true!"


Oh yeah, I'm back for awhile. Nobody hires musicians so I cut my hair and am looking for a real job. Why not blog too?!

I used to love watching oprah but when she put the secret on i couldnt support her show anymore. So much bull.

BUT, I must mention though that she had a show on autism and when one of the mothers claimed she was sure her son got autism from vaccination Oprah shot her down saying that there was no proof of that link. And she also interviewed a woman who stopped her breast cancer treatment because she now had the Secret. Oprah told the woman and her audience that she did not mean people to take the Secret literally and urged the woman to return to her original treatment.

Yet despite this, I think you are right Skeptico, she has a significan influence on people who might not think straight themselves, she needs to be more responsible and clear in the messages she sends out.

Here are the basic. Most of humanity is stupid and will fall for some pig like Oprah who has pocketed a lot of money because of the shit that is stupid enough to base their existence on her every useless word. Same people who elected the moron who leads our country. This the reason being why the literacy rate in the U.S is so low compared to other countries.

S wrote-
she has a significan influence on people who might not think straight themselves, she needs to be more responsible and clear in the messages she sends out.

Her promotion of Louise Hay, for example - Oprah blasted her sales into orbit, but didn't even raise the issue of whether her affirmations really cured her cancer. A simple question would've revealed Louise didn't even have cancer.

Oprah should get her back on and ask her why, if she could cure cancer without surgery, did she need surgery for a facelift?

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