What does our fourth expert have to say about dietary oils?

Part 4 of the Experts and Oils Series
See Part 1 – Dr. Neal Barnard
See Part 2 – Dr. Joel Fuhrman
See Part 3 – Dr. Mark Hyman

DO: Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine (now Midwestern University).
Undergraduate: University of Illinois Chicago – Biology (I think)

Board-certified Family Medicine Osteopathic Physician (DO)
Dr. Mercola no longer sees patients and stopped doing so in 2007.

Dr. Joseph Mercola

Dr. Joseph Mercola is an American alternative medicine proponent who promotes alternative medicine and natural health remedies. On his website, Mercola.com, which he established in the 1990s, he advances his viewpoints on nutrition, supplements and holistic health practices. He’s a New York Times Bestselling author and has authored or co-authored several books.

Dr. Mercola is a member of several alternative medicine organizations as well as the political advocacy group Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS). The AAPS is a politically conservative non-profit organization founded in 1943, which promotes individual liberty, limited government and the free market in healthcare.

The organization staunchly advocates for individual freedom, limited government intervention and the principles of the free market within the realm of healthcare. Its mission includes advocating for free-market healthcare reforms, defense of traditional medical ethics, opposition to mandatory vaccinations and skepticism toward certain public health policies.

AAPS has been the subject of controversy due to its positions on various healthcare issues, which have sometimes contradicted mainstream medical and scientific consensus. It has faced criticism from mainstream medical organizations, public health experts and others who argue that some of its views are not evidence-based and could potentially undermine public health initiatives.

Dr. Mercola does not advocate for veganism and instead emphasizes the importance of consuming organic, nutrient-dense foods, including animal products sourced from pasture-raised, grass-fed animals.

Joseph Mercola is the most controversial of the doctors I’ve discussed so far. A quick Google inquiry will provide you with perspective. Joseph Mercola is a loud voice on the topic of holistic nutrition, so whatever your take on Dr. Mercola, just know he’s a well-known figure in this sphere.

The good. Dr. Mercola has raised awareness about the importance of organic food, the perils of processed foods and the benefits of lifestyle changes like exercise and stress reduction. He has also challenged conventional medical wisdom and pushed for greater transparency in the healthcare industry.

The bad. The ugly. Dr. Mercola has been embroiled in controversy for some time. He’s been on the receiving end of criticism from mainstream medical professionals and others in the scientific and business communities as well as regulatory agencies. His sales of dietary supplements and medical devices have drawn persistent criticism. He’s been accused of promoting pseudoscience and disseminating misinformation that could potentially harm people. In particular, his controversial stance on vaccines has sparked widespread concern, as he’s been accused of contributing to vaccine hesitancy and public health risks.

Dr. Mercola’s marketing practices have come under scrutiny, with accusations of relying on slick marketing promotion and scare tactics. Over the years — and as recently as 2021 — the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued warnings to Dr. Mercola and his company for making illegal claims around their products’ ability to detect, prevent and treat diseases. And Quackwatch has criticized him for making unsubstantiated claims that clash with leading medical and public health organizations’ recommendations, especially about dietary supplements.

Keep in mind this Experts and Oils series is a mixed bag of perspectives from well-known authorities in the field. You should know of his voice and all the other influential voices concerning such matters. Hate ‘em or love ‘em. Just know they exist.

Dr. Mercola’s influence within the health and wellness community elicits varied responses. Some applaud his promotion of natural remedies while others express reservations about his unconventional and occasionally misleading health guidance.. Treat him like everyone else. Examine his positions and decide if they align with your understandings and health goals. Keep what resonates. Discard the rest.

With that out of the way, let’s get his take on dietary oils.

No.

I came across the nicely packaged graphic below, which I grabbed from his Instagram page. It serves as a quick and easy visual representation of his position.    

He correlates recommended consumption of dietary oils based on one’s intake of Linoleic Acid. But without examining that detail, you can see his opinion the amounts of these oils he recommends in our diet. He refers to Safflower, Grape seed, Sunflower, Corn, Cottonseed, Soybean, Rice bran, Peanut and Canola oils as “toxic seed oils” that he says should be “completely avoided at all times.”

Yes (for coconut oil). He doesn’t say no to palm oil, but he highly encourages coconut oil.

Dr. Mercola supports the use of coconut oil for its potential health benefits, including its antimicrobial properties, but advises moderation. He says, “Coconut oil is good for you” and recommends that we “consider consuming coconut oil.” Dr. Mercola has also mentioned, on a personal note, “Coconut oil is something that I really enjoy and use quite regularly myself … because of all the health benefits it provides.” As for some of the benefits of coconut oil, he cites improved immunity, prevention of candida, improved heart health, stress relief, its ability to aid in weight loss, plus its antioxidant, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties.

Dr. Mercola has a large social media presence. A quick Google search will uncover details about Dr. Mercola, his influence and his opinions. Find him if you want to learn more about his stance on dietary oils and other nutrition topics.


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