Suzanne Somers should stick to acting, health experts say.
The 66-year-old actress and author has become something of a self-professed health expert, with a series of books and articles doling out advice on fitness and nutrition. But real health experts say the things Somers is recommending are not only wrong, in many cases they’re dangerous.
In an appearance on Fox News, for example, Suzanne Somers said that when the brain perceives a person is no longer reproductive, “it tries to get rid of you, and it usually activates the cancers in perimenopause.”
This is wrong, experts point out, but not as dangerous as other claims.
When talking about her bout with breast cancer, Somers noted, “When I didn’t take chemotherapy, and decided to go another way….”
She goes on to imply that with “all-natural” food and vitamins she was able to overcome cancer, but in reality Somers was treated with a conventional lumpectomy along with radiation therapy. The chemotherapy would not have been part of the initial treatment, but instead as a follow-up that doctors describe as extra insurance. Somers declined the additional therapy.
Somers also promotes a controversial form of hormone therapy, one whose effects are little known.
“The biggest issue is the lack of evidence for safety or efficacy,” said Nanette Santoro, a professor of ob/gyn and medicine at the University of Colorado in Denver. “The available evidence suggests that overdosage and underdosage can be common. There are many perfectly acceptable, FDA-approved forms of hormone therapy that provide natural estradiol that is chemically identical to the steroid that circulates in the bloodstream, and there is natural progesterone that is identical to what is made in the ovary that is FDA-approved, so there is really no reason for compounded hormones for the vast majority of people.”
Suzanne Somers as gotten into some other trouble for inserting herself in health care debates. The actress recently wrote a column for The Wall Street Journal comparing Obamacare to socialism and using quotes from Winston Churchill and Vladimir Lenin to back up her point. Only there was one problem — the quotes were made up. The WSJ later issued a correction.