A TV Story Hyping Coconut Oil for Alzheimers: A Reader Reacts

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    A TV Story Hyping Coconut Oil for Alzheimers: A Reader Reacts

      By Gary Schwitzer, Published: March 06, 2012 

    The reason we have dedicated ourselves to our HealthNewsReview.org project is that we believe that health care news can influence people  and it can either help them or hurt them. In the crush of meeting their daily quotas, journalists and their news organizations  may sometimes forget that what they report may influence individual decision-making. Here is a case in point.

    A reader wrote to me that he had received an email about a story produced by CBN-TV (the Christian Broadcasting Network) about the benefits of coconut oil for Alzheimers Disease.

    This man wrote to me:

    I have a brother recently diagnosed with dementia. Our hopes took a giant leap. On further reading my hopes nosedived when reading the critique of the coconut oil treatment. There were too many unanswered questions about how (the doctor in the video) reported how her husband was treated. Maybe it was just to sell a book.

    Well, such book promotions work and this man, indeed, bought the book before he did his homework.

    The story is about a doctor treating her own husbands dementia  which she called a type of diabetes of the brain. The story weaves a tale of what ketones from coconut oil can do. The reporter says that after two weeks of adding coconut oil to his diet, the man had stunning improvement.  Of course, there is a book behind this. The doctor wrote, Alzheimers Disease: What If There Was a Cure?

    Look at this one screenshot from the story:

     

    The story also says that coconut oil is a natural antibiotic that also helps kill viruses like HIV and herpes viruses.

    No evidence no data was provided to back up any of these bold claims. The story ran almost 6 minutes an eternity in a TV story so there was plenty of time to provide evidence.

    The man who wrote me finally did some homework and he says that what he found hit me between the eyes. There are gobs of web sites promoting coconut oil and many stating it helped their loved ones. I truly hoped it did but am still skeptical. About CBN-TV, well, when they tell you something you want to believe they are great. Then when you find out they are just reporting something without authentication, you realize they are just filling a time slot.

    But journalists you are not just filling a time slot or filling space or meeting the expected story output quota: your stories may help or harm, inform or misinform.

    Related content: About a year ago, we criticized a Denver Post story,Coconuts are busting out all over

       

     

     

    Gary Schwitzer

    Health News Watchdog Blog

    Gary Schwitzer has specialized in health care journalism in his more than 30-year career in radio, television, interactive multimedia and the Internet. He is publisher of the website HealthNewsReview.org, leading a team of more than two dozen people who grade daily health news reporting by major U.S. news organizations. In its first year, the project was honored with several journalism industry awards - the Mirror Award, honoring those who "hold a mirror to their own industry for the publics benefit," and the Knight-Batten Award for Innovations in Journalism. His blog - which is embedded within HealthNewsReview.org - was voted 2009 Best Medical Blog in competition hosted by Medgadget.com

     

     

     
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    Re: A TV Story Hyping Coconut Oil for Alzheimers: A Reader Reacts

    http://www.alzheimersreadingroom.com/2012/07/Alzheimers-Coconut-Oil-Antioxidants.html

    Excerpt from article:   "First it must be noted that coconut oil has more saturated fats than lard and can thus be very detrimental for the cardiovascular system."

     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from AcheNot. Show AcheNot's posts

    Re: A TV Story Hyping Coconut Oil for Alzheimers: A Reader Reacts

    Hi, Robin

    Gee, what prompted you to post this thread, I wonder?:)

    Do you think any in your target audience has seen it yet?

    The fact none of them has responded is a pretty good indicator that they have:)

     
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    Re: A TV Story Hyping Coconut Oil for Alzheimers: A Reader Reacts

    Hi Ache,   I know...I need a hobby.   I'd consider a job, but it seems I've developed an allergy to work!

    PS:  I just hope someone benefits from the info, because coconut oil will raise your cholesterol,  and that is a fact.

     
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    Re: A TV Story Hyping Coconut Oil for Alzheimers: A Reader Reacts

    "Days of Our Lives"   soap opera 1p-2p channel 7 has a storyline (Caroline) regarding Alzheimers Disease going on right now,  sometimes these programs can offer some helpful insights.

     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from toytrumpet. Show toytrumpet's posts

    Re: A TV Story Hyping Coconut Oil for Alzheimers: A Reader Reacts

    I would not look for any seriously helpful ideas regarding a medical condition from a soap opera.  They write in whatever fits their story line at the moment.  -  "just saying"  --

     
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    Re: A TV Story Hyping Coconut Oil for Alzheimers: A Reader Reacts

    http://daysofourlives.about.com/od/ActorInterviews/a/Peggy-Mccay-Eager-To-Tackle-Caroline-Brady-S-Alzheimer-Story.htm 

         They consult with health care professionals that are involved in the latest Alzheimers Disease treatments and research.  They identify these individuals and organizations in their credits. 

    Unlike anonymous internet posters.   Just saying.

     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from toytrumpet. Show toytrumpet's posts

    Re: A TV Story Hyping Coconut Oil for Alzheimers: A Reader Reacts

    There is so much medical information available from so many sources (as you well know), that I myself, would prefer to get it directly from my primary care, or groups he could direct me to.   Each individual case is different.  However, whatever one is comfortable with - just saying - it wouldn't be my line of resource.

    "I would not look for any seriously helpful ideas regarding a medical condition from a soap opera.  They write in whatever fits their story line at the moment.  -  "just saying"  --"

     
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    Re: A TV Story Hyping Coconut Oil for Alzheimers: A Reader Reacts

    "Days of our Lives" is entertainment, I said it may provide helpful information on the subject of Alzheimers Disease due to a current storyline, I never suggested it would take the place of a primary care physician.   As you know many people disregard the advice of their drs, so maybe if they hear it again in a different venue...they might listen.

     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from toytrumpet. Show toytrumpet's posts

    Re: A TV Story Hyping Coconut Oil for Alzheimers: A Reader Reacts

    Have no intention of going back and forth.  Stated my own opinion.  Excuse me now while I dip into the candy bowl, and check out back to see if Harry, my stray cat, unowned by anyone, is out there looking for more food or whether he is perhaps at the Cat Lady's getting a handout. Such a handsome boy.

     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from AcheNot. Show AcheNot's posts

    Re: A TV Story Hyping Coconut Oil for Alzheimers: A Reader Reacts

    In response to toytrumpet's comment:

    I would not look for any seriously helpful ideas regarding a medical condition from a soap opera.  They write in whatever fits their story line at the moment.  -  "just saying"  --



    Wow. Didnt take tt long to post a negative message in response to Robin's rather positive posting about the role soap opera storylines play in educating the public about important issues (like, for instance, Alzheimer's Disease)

    If I didnt know any better, I'd swear tt is guilty of the exact same thing that she and her friends at OBN/MGAA accuse Robin of all the time, ie, butting in, offering unsolicited advice, voicing contrary opinion...that sort of thing

    Very interesting, dont you think, Robin? 

     
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    Re: A TV Story Hyping Coconut Oil for Alzheimers: A Reader Reacts

    Hi Ache,  another example of a show providing education is  Parenthood, they have a storyline about a child with Asperger syndrome    http://www.nbc.com/parenthood/the-experts-speak/

     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from AcheNot. Show AcheNot's posts

    Re: A TV Story Hyping Coconut Oil for Alzheimers: A Reader Reacts

    Many people wouldnt even know what Asperger syndrome was if not for that program, I'm sure

    Thank you for posting about it, Robin

    Dont let a Negative Nelly like tt trumpet get you down...

     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from toytrumpet. Show toytrumpet's posts

    Re: A TV Story Hyping Coconut Oil for Alzheimers: A Reader Reacts

    OMG!  As always, you give me a chuckle, Ache, even if it's at my own expense.  I was just giving the poster a taste of her own medicine.

    Negative Nelly signing off - - -  LOL

     

     

     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from StalkingButler. Show StalkingButler's posts

    Re: A TV Story Hyping Coconut Oil for Alzheimers: A Reader Reacts

    And a lot more misinformation, at that.

    Quite true. I've been paying close attention to diet issues lately, especially as they relate to cognitive function (long story.) It's my understanding that, despite the official USDA line, polyunsaturated fats are actually quite good for you.

     

     
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    Re: A TV Story Hyping Coconut Oil for Alzheimers: A Reader Reacts

    http://openi.nlm.nih.gov/detailedresult.php?img=2703237_GMS-05-04-g-001&query=the&fields=all&favor=none&it=none&sub=none&uniq=0&sp=none&req=4&simCollection=3046533_ar3207-3&npos=23&prt=3     Atherosclerosis, cholesterol, nutrition, and statins a critical review

     
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