Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
12 Oct

Uno, Dos, Tres: 3 Health Products Debunked

There’s always some new product anxious to help you part with your hard-earned cash. Some products are healthy or helpful, but some are downright dishonest scams. These three have become popular of late. Don’t fall for the hype!

Oil pulling

Nonsensical and useless, the popularity of oil pulling persists. Through very particular “sieving” of an oil mixture in the mouth (think mouth rinse in slow motion), the oil supposedly draws toxins from the blood. If it were possible for oil to “pull” toxins out of the veins in the tongue, it would also be possible for oil to enter the bloodstream through your tongue. A molecule is a molecule. Toxins can’t “leak” out of your veins – if they could, you wouldn’t need to “pull” them out. Besides, even if toxins could “leak” from your veins, it would take far more than 15 or 20 minutes of “pulling” to cleanse your entire blood supply. Furthermore, fat-soluble toxins (the kind that would bind to oil) are not in the bloodstream. They are in your…fat cells! And on and on it goes. Read this terrific expose if you still think oil pulling is effective – it’s guaranteed to change your mind.

Homeopathic Compact Discs

Oh, brother. There are some discs out there that apparently “transmit” homeopathic waves to your body via your computer. What will they come up with next? See Mark’s scathing breakdown of homeopathy – or, more accurately, of bad science.

Toxin-Removing Skin Patches

Patches that claim to draw toxins out of the skin are bogus. It’s simply not possible.

Further reading to protect your pocketbook and your health:

Top 10 Dumbest Drugs

Worst Health Scams (from hoodia to cellulite treatments to oxygenated water)

The Apple Patch Diet Scam

The Mesunique Scam (and more)

The Colloidal Silver Scam

– via New Scientist

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Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. The “expose” on oil pulling seems to link to a pro-oil pulling site? I am confused and curious.

    Nancy S wrote on October 12th, 2007
  2. Yeah, I’m thinking the “” link was pasted twice by accident because both links are the same, there’s no expose link. Still, thanks for the info, I hadn’t even heard of it before.

    Lemur wrote on October 13th, 2007
  3. Oops, thanks for catching that, Lemur. It has been switched. :)

    Sara wrote on October 13th, 2007
  4. Thanks for changing it, Sara. :)

    And just FYI, the link is still slightly wrong, it’s got an extra “/” at the end that will take you to a “can’t locate that file” page. If you delete that “/” the page will load correctly.

    Sorry, not trying to be a nitpicker!

    Lemur wrote on October 13th, 2007
  5. Ummm…I thought oil pulling was not to remove toxins from your blood, but to remove bacteria from between your teeth, kind of like flossing. The whole toxins thing sound bogus, but just cleaning your gums seems possible.

    Cat wrote on October 15th, 2007
  6. You are not nit picking! :) I am clearly html challenged this weekend 😉


    Sara wrote on October 15th, 2007
  7. I decided to try oil pulling instead of taking antibiotics to get rid of a sinus infection. I figured it was worth a try, and if it didn’t work, then I’d go to the doctor and take whatever was perscribed to me. The first day that I tried, my headaches went away. My sinus infection is gone, and I haven’t done anything differently other than the oil pulling. My skin looks a lot better and my teeth are stronger. I don’t know about it being a “cure-all” for disease, but I do know that it has helped me out. It’s worth a try considering it’s only $5 for a bottle of sesame oil (that you can cook with if the pulling doesn’t work). With all of the money spent on drugs and supplements, $5 doesn’t seem so bad.

    Suzanne wrote on October 17th, 2007
  8. Merry Christmas!Hope you has a good day!If you have the time, Welcome to my Web

    Rose wrote on December 24th, 2008
  9. This is what oil pulling has done for me over three years:

    Keratosis Pilaris (skin condition with no medical remedy) healed by 90%

    Facial wrinkles and crows feet diminished by more than 50%

    Ear wax diminished by 75%

    Aches in joints diminished 100% (this after years of taking ibuprofen so I could get to sleep despite the aches

    Teeth whitened

    My son no longer needs his allergy meds as long as he oil pulls.

    Be fair, and post all sides of this.

    Kathleen wrote on May 29th, 2009
  10. Aren’t all those oils high in Omega 6?

    Why would I gargle with something for 10-20 every day that I’m trying to avoid ?

    And what toxins does it pull from your teeth? If you have toxins in your mouth, you’re eating the wrong kind of foods!

    Suvetar wrote on April 11th, 2011
  11. @Suvelar, there is always coconut oil.

    As for toxins, maybe they mean oral bacteria.

    I think this is a poorly written article since the section on oil pulling focuses on one statement (removing toxins) and yawns about it.

    2011 version update would be awesome.

    Ken Smith wrote on June 15th, 2011
  12. Seems to me that the oil pulling mimics the effects of getting enough healthy fat in your diet. Seems like the health benefits of the oil are being absorbed as you gargle?

    I don’t oil pull (hate the taste of oil on it’s own) but I do take plenty of coconut oil and use olive oil as a moisturizer, and have many of the same benefits.

    Mary wrote on November 16th, 2011
  13. I don’t say that oil-pulling “works” or doesn’t work, just that the logic behind the dismissal is weak. A molecule is not a molecule. Every molecule is different and has different properties. If nothing could enter or leave the bloodstream through the tissues and vessels under the tongue, then why have doctors prescribed that nitroglycerin be administered there for immediate treatment of an angina attack? Now, whether any particular fat-soluble contaminants could pass through the barrier is a different (or more specific) question.

    PrimalPerson wrote on January 25th, 2013
  14. that’s a strawman argument. nobody is claiming it pulls toxins from the blood except for the skeptics. it cleanses bacteria from your mouth. a healthy mouth means a healthier body. other skeptics claim its a scam. so who is being scammed and who is getting rich off it? you flat earthers won’t try to heal yourselves but depend on big pharma to load you up with $500/mo drugs that won’t even cure you. who’s the real suckers being scammed?

    bob wrote on February 28th, 2013
  15. “it would take far more than 15 or 20 minutes of “pulling” to cleanse your entire blood supply..

    Um, I am not an advocate for oil pulling nor am I against it. But I do like to read the pros and cons of it since I do practice it quite frequently(for better oral health more than anything.) I have heard this argument that I quoted from the person who wrote this article above before. I can “debunk” that argument with “sheer logic” as “debunkers” love to do and say. You aren’t supposed to cleanse your entire blood supply in just one 15 or 20 minute period. Did it ever occur to these people that you aren’t supposed to do it just once and then quit? It is supposed to be a practice that goes on for weeks if not months(maybe even a lifetime if you choose.) It is just at least 15 to 20 minutes A DAY that you are supposed to it. But when you add that up over weeks, months, and possibly years, I am sure if it does any sort of cleansing it would be cleaning your “entire blood supply” over time. Not saying it works or not(because I don’t know, I am new too it as well,) just pointing this simple logical point out.

    Erik wrote on April 9th, 2013
  16. I have oil pulled off and on for general oral health. It does wonders for my gums, my teeth, and my skin. It does absorb well this way, while I have digestive issues with fat right now, this is helping me absorb healthy oils. Also, it gives me very fresh breath. I use the extra virgin coconut oil. My older son had a toothache and while having to wait for his dentist appt. I suggested he use this for relief. He did, and being the skeptic he is, could not believe the tooth pain was gone in just one pull. He had to wait an entire day for his dentist appt. So he oil pulled again and the pain did not come back. He didnt take the antibiotics the dentist wanted to give him because the tooth no longer ached. He did have to get the cavity filled. He is now oil pulling for prevention.

    connie wrote on August 14th, 2013
  17. A molecule is a molecule, sounds right. But before and after, is a molecule still that molecule?
    A strawberry (before) turns to poop (after), not really the same, is it?
    I only wrote this because oil pulling has worked great for me! Seriously!! :)

    apps wrote on June 2nd, 2014
  18. I highly respect this website and Mark for all the research he has put into the quality information he brings our way.

    But this article just sucks. It’s a dissapointment some other “worker bee” writer is allowed to post to this site and taint the good name it has.

    Besides having poor taste in “logic” about Oil pulling, they don’t even have there facts straight about what Oil pulling actually is. It’s not supposed to pull toxins from the blood, but bacteria from the mouth that is breathed in and enters by the things we put in our mouth.

    There is TONS of testimony about what it has done for oral health and general health. Including my own.

    Mark, please do a rewrite with your good research and name behind it?!

    Heidi wrote on November 9th, 2014
  19. Oil pulling works, but it is not even supposed to pull out anything from the veins. The bacteria or plaque that is between teeth, and especially between teeth and gum tissue (especially when the gum is receding with age) is impossible to get clean with just a brush, so you first use oil to “pull” the plaque from there, and then you finish with your normal tooth brushing (after first rinsing and spitting the oil out). Most people have some level of gum infection sometime or another, and the bacteria can enter the bloodstream via that, causing all kinds of ailments (that’s the reason why surgeons want to know if you have gum disease, before beginning an operation). Oil pulling is simply a method to keep the gum lines clean from plaque.

    Dilt wrote on March 30th, 2015
  20. Mark Sisson, I’m really keen on hearing your response to all the comments about this article!

    Steve wrote on April 10th, 2015
    • I’m very surprised we haven’t heard from you Mark. It seems you don’t like to accept that you’re wrong? Or maybe your popularity has caused you to think you’re above people questioning your wisdom? Whatever is, oil pulling seems to persist because it works.

      Steve wrote on June 5th, 2015
  21. Try oil pulling first for at least a month before you write an article to debunk oil pulling. Oil pulling has improved the overall health of my gums, now pink and way less sensitive, stopped ALL gum bleeding, removed bad breath, whitened my teeth and reduced my pockets from 4 and 5’s to 1 and 2. Research and rewrite will you.

    Rolan wrote on June 5th, 2015

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