On Dec. 15, 2021, Rep. McClintock discovered his spouse mendacity unresponsive within the couple’s residence in Elk Grove, California. McClintock, who had returned from Washington, D.C., for the congressional break, later said that the day earlier than, his spouse, Lori McClintock, 61, had complained of an upset abdomen. He additionally confirmed she had been “fastidiously” weight-reduction plan. Her reason behind demise was initially “pending,” however now, in response to Kaiser Well being Information which obtained a replica of the Sacramento county coroner’s report, McClintock’s reason behind demise has been clarified:

Lori McClintock, the spouse of U.S. Rep. Tom McClintock, died from dehydration attributable to gastroenteritis — an irritation of the abdomen and intestines — that was attributable to “hostile results of white mulberry leaf ingestion,” in response to a report from the Sacramento County coroner that’s dated March 10 however was not instantly launched to the general public. KHN obtained that report — along with the post-mortem report and an amended demise certificates containing an up to date reason behind demise — in July.


It’s unclear from the post-mortem report whether or not Lori McClintock took a dietary complement containing white mulberry leaf, ate contemporary or dried leaves, or drank them in a tea, however a “partially intact” white mulberry leaf was present in her abdomen, in response to the report.

White mulberry has had numerous advantages attributed to it; it’s even touted as a “superfood” on Mehmet Oz’s web site. As seen on this September 2013 phase from his eponymous tv present, Oz promoted white mulberry as “the latest well being sensation” that can “dominate well being meals shops throughout the nation.” Oz claims he “did his analysis” earlier than he touts the advantages of the substance, which he says “fights excessive ldl cholesterol and coronary heart illness.” Considerably, Oz additionally mentions that “its leaves have potent sugar blocking properties” which make it interesting to diabetics and pre-diabetics.

What Oz doesn’t point out? These purported “sugar blocking properties” can also sound fairly interesting to those that are merely weight-reduction plan. As reported by Sophia Putka, writing for Medpage As we speak:

White mulberry is marketed largely as a option to “assist” glucose ranges, though various manufacturers place themselves as weight reduction or “urge for food management” dietary supplements.


Presently, white mulberry is widespread in soft-gel capsules, tablets, powders, and liquid extracts. It is obtainable as an natural complement on-line or over-the-counter, or from practitioners of naturopathy, and conventional and various medicines.

Testimonies to the alleged weight-loss properties of white mulberry leaf by the natural complement business abound on the internet. Many websites that promote the stuff particularly cite Mehmet Oz’s 2013 endorsement as proof of its efficacy.

From nutrabusiness:

So what is that this “subsequent well being meals sensation” which Dr. Oz has been raving about and even referred to as a “superfood”. White Mulberry leaf accommodates a substance referred to as 1-deoxynojirimycen (DNJ) which alters the best way some abdomen enzymes take in fats and sugars. That is nice for individuals who have diabetes or need to drop some pounds. Taking white mulberry leaf extract can offset the occasional time for supper indulgence, which is what Dr. Oz beneficial. 

From GreeNoodle:

Natural White Mulberry Tea (15 Tea Luggage) Dr. OZ Recommends for blocking sugar…

…One of the distinctive qualities of the Mulberry leaf is the prevention of extreme sugars from getting into into the bloodstream. Subsequently, ingesting Mulberry Leaf Tea is a good alternative for these looking for to scale back hypertension and keep a wholesome weight.

And as marketed on Amazon, Mulberry Slim:

SUMMER SALE on Mulberry SLIM – (AS SEEN ON DR. OZ) White Mulberry Leaf Extract Weight Loss & Blood Sugar Help Plus Garcinia Cambogia, Inexperienced Espresso Bean, and African Mango Extract by Pure Doctor Sciences

After all, there’s no proof that Lori McClintock ingested the mulberry leaf primarily based as a result of she noticed it on The Dr. Oz Present, and even because of being suggested by anybody who watched it. She doubtless discovered about it from merely been searching the online for natural or “pure” weight reduction cures.

However Oz’s public endorsement of such cures and their subsequent advertising and marketing (or mis-marketing) touting Oz’s “suggestion” has been beforehand referred to as out as creating what’s referred to as the “Dr. Oz impact,” as NBC Information famous in 2014. Basically, his assist of a product catalyzes and drives gross sales all through what’s an enormous and barely regulated market. 

On Tuesday, throughout a Senate listening to on false diet-product advertisements, senators chided Oz for not directly perpetuating advert scams. Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill, a Democrat, cited a number of examples. Oz referred to as inexperienced espresso extract a “magic weight reduction remedy.” Raspberry ketone was “the primary miracle in a bottle to burn your fats.” He mentioned Garcina cambogia “would be the easy answer you’ve been on the lookout for to bust your physique fats for good.”

McCaskill informed Oz: “Once you characteristic a product in your present it creates what has turn into often called the ‘Dr. Oz Impact’ — dramatically boosting gross sales and driving rip-off artists to pop up in a single day utilizing false and misleading advertisements to promote questionable merchandise.”

For his part, Oz acknowledges that his “enthusiastic language has made the issue [of scam products] worse at occasions,” however believes it might be a “disservice” to his viewers to not “have the dialog” about dietary dietary supplements. 

Besides the “dialog” on this case is a bit one-sided. On the one hand there’s (as NBC Information calls him) ”the nation’s most telegenic physician,” talking with the imprimatur of authority about medical issues. And on the opposite, there’s an viewers of wholly unsophisticated, unquestioning shoppers, each within the studio and watching on tens of millions of screens.

Not less than one physician interviewed by NBC Information was lower than impressed with Oz’s place.

“He’s properly conscious that these firms are selling issues with none proof of (advantages), however he doesn’t do something to preempt it,” mentioned Dr. Eric J. Topol, director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute in La Jolla, California.

“He can declare it’s all carried out unwittingly, or unknowingly, and that these items are being taken out of context. However his personal reveals display that isn’t that case,” Topol added. “This has been perpetuated for a very long time. These items he calls ‘miracles,’ for instance. What do you suppose goes to occur once you name one thing a miracle and there may be completely no proof?”

Within the case of white mulberry leaf, negative effects are very uncommon, restricted in one examine to “mild diarrhea, constipation, bloating, and dizziness.” Assuming the Sacramento County coroner’s workplace is right in its evaluation, Ms. McClintock’s demise seems to be a case of 1 prone particular person having an excessive, sudden and unlucky response to a product that simply occurs to be pretty unregulated … a product that was additionally as soon as celebrated on nationwide TV by a celeb doctor-turned-Senate-candidate, who claimed it was “the latest well being sensation.” 

Editor’s Observe: This story’s headline has been modified.

Mehmet Oz has no enterprise representing the individuals of Pennsylvania within the U.S. Senate. Will you assist Democratic Lt. Gov. John Fetterman defeat him in November?

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