Whenever Amy goes on about some health thing she learned from Dr. Google or a parent – and Amy is far more discerning than the other parents – I stay, stick to French literature.
Deepak Chopra, author, public speaker and alternative medicine advocate who shot to fame on The Oprah Winfrey Show in the 1990s, was the first guest at this week’s “Fat Summit” online conference. Hosted by Mark Hyman, celebrity doctor, long time Clinton family advisor and author of upcoming book, Eat Fat, Get Thin, the Fat Summit’s tagline– “Separating Fat From Fiction”– is clever fluff.
Boasting interviews with thirty “top scientists, doctors and health experts,” Hyman’s summit purports to explain to viewers of the online conference, available at no cost for a limited time (after which there is a fee for download), why eating more fat is the key to getting healthy and fit. Featuring the who’s who of food quackery, from David Asprey of the unscientific butter-in-your-coffee school of thought, to Vani “The Food Babe” Hari, known for her fearmongering antics, the summit is less about fat and more about demonizing modern technologies like genetic engineering and ingredients like artificial preservatives.
“I feel like a slacker, I only have nine New York Times bestsellers,” Hyman laughed as he blowed introduced Deepak Chopra, who has more than 20 bestsellers under his belt. The summit’s first guest, he touted the benefits of Indian-style clarified butter known as “ghee,” as well as the advantages of keeping a gratitude journal, which he claims can reduce “leaky gut,” in turn decreasing incidence of heart disease and diabetes.
While “leaky gut syndrome” is poorly understood and is not a diagnosis taught in medical school, Chopra blames stress and an “inflamed microbiome” for causing the condition, which he implicates in a raft of health problems.
According to Chopra, that pesky inflamed microbiome is sentient. The genome, microbiome and epigenome, which the author collectively calls the “super gene,” are referenced throughout the interview. His book, Super Genes: The Key to Health and Well-Being, was published last year.
Chopra has described the AIDS virus as emitting “a sound that lures the DNA to its destruction.” The condition can be treated, according to Chopra, with “Ayurveda’s primordial sound”
Chad Orzel has written that “to a physicist, Chopra’s babble about ‘energy fields’ and ‘congealing quantum soup’ presents as utter gibberish”, but that Chopra makes enough references to technical terminology to convince non-scientists that he understands physics.
Once again, thank you Oprah for promoting quackery.