Local residents getting billed for "free" Dr. Oz-backed supplements

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by KMOV.com staff

KMOV.com

Posted on February 11, 2014 at 7:39 AM

Updated Tuesday, Feb 11 at 7:43 AM

*Watch both parts of News 4 Mike Colombo's investigating by clicking above

(KMOV.com) – Several St. Louis-area residents are feeling buyer’s remorse after getting billed for something they thought was free.

Ads for Garcinia Cambogia are all over the Internet, and it’s even getting a boost from television’s Dr. Oz. Sales took off after Oz said the supplement can help block fat.

But some of those ads often include misleading “free” offers that can cost hundreds of dollars.

Rabia Rahman, an instructor at St. Louis University’s School of Nutrition and Dietetics, said the supplement is basically a pumpkin-shaped fruit that contains an active ingredient called HCA.

“They look at it as an appetite suppressant, but it might also act as an agent that might block converting carbohydrates we’re eating into fat,” Rahman said.

While Rahman said it might work, Oz and online offers have cited clinical studies to support the claims.

But Rahman said the studies don’t mean much yet.

“I would say it is so early in the research stages that we cannot say it is effective or, even safe, to be quite honest,” she said.

Still, Dr. Oz. seems so enthusiastic. He even refers to not having to diet or exercise.

But producers of his show told News 4 that is not the message Oz means to send. They said he always stresses diet and exercise are the best way to lose weight.

They also said Garcinia Cambogia should only be used for short periods of time. Rahman said the bitter truth is, there is no “magic pill.”

“I mean really, the bottom line is controlling your diet and exercising and that is the magic answer that we’re looking for,” she said.

 

So if the offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

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