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Question Authority and Use Your Critical Thinking Skills

Robyn Openshaw - Jul 25, 2011 - This Post May Contain Affiliate Links

One of my readers, Amanda, sent me this exchange that got her labeled a ‘Dissenter’ and ejected from Joe Mercola’s forum. Whey protein, including his, is a highly processed food with additives and flavorings you should avoid. Most Americans are overdosing on protein, but if you feel you need more, I hope you look to whole foods or better products than this. Eat more yogurt, nuts, legumes, and greens–all high in protein–or a whole-foods, plant-source protein powder. I would put you into the forum Amanda was rejected from to see an M.D. and others disagree with Joe’s sales claims, but you are forced to sign up for his newsletter in order to see the discussion.

And regarding the convo below (I have not changed Joe’s misspellings or anything in either party’s words), it’s fine to have heroes as long as we maintain our critical thinking skills, ask questions, and put our own instincts and research first as Amanda is doing here.

Let’s don’t eat “byproducts” of anything.

Posted On Jul 13, 2011

Just discovered that one of my health heroes, Dr. Mercola, is using maltodextrin, a corn by-product, in his Miracle Whey powder. Not just any maltodextrin, mind you, but one produced by a “joint venture” of Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), one of the massively corrupt Big Ag companies, and the Matsutani Chemical Industry Company. Ew! Didn’t say this on the label–in fact, the Nutritional Information panel for Miracle Whey was not available in the store.

I received the product and asked why there is maltodextrin in it, when Dr. Mercola writes articles saying not to use it. I received a reply saying basically that THIS maltodextrin is GOOD for me because it’s Fibersol! Oh, phew, I feel better! Another Frankenfood in my breakfast bowl made by ADM, a heavily subsidized Big Ag conglomerate, and a chemical industry company, which I’m sure is concerned only for my health and well-being. Yea! I’m so relieved.

ADM is one of the world’s largest producers of high-fructose corn syrup and many other of the toxic, processed foods that Dr. Mercola is always warning us about. Makes me wonder–does he know anymore what’s going into his products???

Ask questions, and don’t be afraid to be a pain in a–. It’s your health and our environment at stake! We must regularly challenge all authorities–even those we think we can trust.


Dr. Mercola  

Joined On 12/1997

Posted On Jul 13, 2011

This has been mentioned dozens of times on the site, you have just never seen it. The maltodextrin content in our products is naturally occurring  digestive resistant maltodextrin, which Is a non-digestible fiber. It is NOT the cheap maltodextrin your are referring to which is easily broken down and will stimulate insulin release.

Our maltodextrin is just another name for a water soluble fiber (long chain saccarides) that naturally occur in maize and other plants. That fiber has shown to help lower blood sugar and blood lipids. And it also works as a pre-biotic food to support health gut flora. Probiotics are essentially important for the digestion and utilization of protein. In fact, probiotics increase the biological value of the protein. This is completely different than the typical NON digestive resistant maltodextrin that is use in many other products that will raise your insulin level and also has MSG.


Joined On 4/2009

Posted On Jul 13, 2011

Dr. Mercola, thanks for your reply. However, you seem to have completely missed my point.

I understand what Fibersol, the type of maltodextrin you include in your Miracle Whey formulation, is and why you’re using it. My problem with Fibersol, and thus your Miracle Whey, is its source.

As I stated in my original post, a quick Google search revealed that Fibersol is a “joint venture” between Archer Daniels Midland–one of the world’s most egregious examples of Big Ag corruption and environmental devastation, and the Matsutani Chemical Industry Corporation, whose name alone is sufficient evidence that their products do not belong in our food supply.

You yourself have been a vociferous and passionate advocate of withdrawing support from Big Ag by using our main power as consumers: not buying their products and eating whole, fresh foods as much as possible. You have also been one of my main teachers and information sources in the health field, and I’ve paid attention when you say to read labels, ask questions, and do research. That’s all I’m doing now.

If I’d known that your product contained maltodextrin, which I didn’t because the Nutritional Information panel is not available in your store (why?), I would have asked these questions earlier and probably not bought the product for ethical reasons–not merely because it contains maltodextrin.

I want to thank you for all you do and for the excellent information you disseminate. Having been ranked as the No. 1 source for health information, it’s essential now that you live up to your own standards.  With great respect,  Amanda de la Garza

Dr. Mercola  

Joined On 12/1997

Posted On Jul 13, 2011

The digestive resistant maltodextrin (from maze) that we use in our whey protein has unmatched nutritional properties particularly regarding the sustainability of blood sugar and blood lipids. It is by all means a water soluble fiber (unlike conventional maltodextrin which is a high glycemic carbohydrate). Unfortunately some unique and valuable products are produced by companies which may not fit your ethical standards but the products that they produce have no substitute – that’s including the gasoline you put in your car, the antibiotics you need to use against infection, etc.

Nutritional information is available for all our products at the bottom of the sales page. Seems you just overlooked it.


Joined On 4/2009

Posted On Jul 14, 2011

Dr. Mercola, with all due respect, your ethical standards are in question here, not mine. I’m not formulating and marketing a product whose second ingredient is a fake fiber co-manufactured by a Big Ag conglomerate and a chemical company.

I strongly disagree with your assertion that your use of Fibersol in Miracle Whey is an unavoidable choice similar to us having to use gasoline for our cars and antibiotics for infection (particularly that last, coming from you!). We have many choices available to us in terms of what we put in our bodies, including whether we eat at McDonald’s or have a grass-fed, organic steak for dinner. Indeed, you yourself were a major influence on my awareness that we must be informed about the sources of our food!

I’d like to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you’ve been too busy to stay in close touch with your formulation process and supply chain, rather than think that you knowingly chose to include Fibersol-brand maltodextrin, which might rightly be called a “Frankenfood,” in a product that you are now marketing heavily on your web site.

In the former case, I hope that as one of the world’s leading authorities on health, you will do the right thing and reformulate your Miracle Whey to follow the very same good advice you frequently offer your many readers–namely, to avoid Big Ag- and chemical company-created “food products” like the plague that they are.

I have been one of your biggest fans and supporters, Dr. Mercola. All I’m asking is that you uphold the same high standards you’ve encouraged me and millions of others to live by. Thank you for your time, and best regards, Amanda de la Garza


Joined On 4/2009

Posted On Jul 15, 2011

Dr. Mercola, I notice you’ve slapped a “Dissenter Badge” on my posts now, indicating that I post “comments that are in disagreement with the community” and that my comments “should be viewed with caution.”

It’s very telling that such a designation exists in your forum.

Thanks for letting me know exactly where you stand on my request that you observe the same standards you encourage your readers to live by.

I hope that Archer Daniels Midland and the Matsutani Chemical Industry Corporation appreciate your continuing financial support through the inclusion of Fibersol-brand maltodextrin in your Miracle Whey products.

Best of luck with your business.

Received within a half-hour of above post: 7/15: “Content contained within your posting violated our terms of service and your posting has been deleted. Repeat or flagrant offenses of this nature may result in your account being banned.”

Posted in: Whole Food

15 thoughts on “Question Authority and Use Your Critical Thinking Skills”

Leave a Comment
  1. Good for you! Dr. Mercola is obviously not living up to what he preaches, and unfortunately, we see this far to often, which is why it is up to each of us to do our homework, so we can make informed choices. By the way, there is a totally raw, completely cold-processed whey, made from milk from grass-fed dairy cows that’s available. We’ve been using this product for some time, and have seen many health benefits. The company that produces this wonderful product is One World Whey.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Maltodextrin is a simple harmless additive generally speaking.I can see why the web master stopped the never ending thread.

    There is a lot of miss and diss information on the web.And the raw foodism is full of bogus information.

    I do like Robyn`s approach for she is centered in most of her writings.Jeff.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Other companies, such as HealthForce Nutritionals, manage to make protein powders without maltodextrin. I wonder why Mercola’s company “needs” to use it. Inferior product, I would guess.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I found out that if you want to see something on Mercola’s site without subscribing to the newsletter, you can use the email address

  5. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for sharing this! I have been feeling that Dr. Mercola’s emails have been turning into a bunch of very confusing and misleading hype lately. It appears he has sold out to the money game.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Wow, interesting! I’ve been a long-time subscriber and follower of Mercola, but it’s clear that he’s a businessman as well as health promoter. Doctors get sick of the long hours and being nothing but a drug pusher, especially after they’ve spent 10+ years earning their credentials. Meanwhile, they watch high school drop-outs make millions in real estate or peddling a new product on infomercials. So they find some other way… they already command authority in the public eye, so they simply continue to do so, except this time, they are Mr. Nice Guys – they are on our side! They understand our pain, our sickness is not our fault! They will save us from cancer for real now!! (Sorry I got carried away.)

    But instead of maltodextrin as a prebiotic, he could’ve easily used inulin, which is natural, comes from vegetable fibers (i.e., Jerusalem artichoke). It is of course not as sweet as maltodextrin and probably not as cheap.

    The whole thing about liver damage from eating “crap” (food-grade additives)… well truth is we breathe a lot of crap too. I’ve come to the conclusion that the most dangerous substances is unseen: mold. And it’s everywhere. It makes it even more critical that we don’t add to our body burden by eating crap too.

    Robyn, have you addressed the oxalic acid issue of vegetables yet? If you have, can someone post the link to the discussion? I am reading that oxalic acid as well as phytic acid are what causes us to lose minerals and get cavities. My daughter hardly eats any sweets except fruit, no refined flours or on occasion, a little meat every day, drinks no milk -we refuse the bagels and juice every Sunday at the church hospitality table- yet she had 8 cavities…!? She is 6. She ate a ton of nuts & seeds. I did a little research and discovered that raw foodies and vegans are notorious for having bad teeth and gums!!!

  7. Anonymous says:

    HealthForce Nutritionals does not make a whey protein.

    But they do make some very expensive blends.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Thank you so much for informing us about the Dr’s whey protein. I am so glad that I did not order his product a couple weeks ago. Doctor, you otta be ashamed of yourself. As soon as I write my comment, I will go and unsubscribe to your newsletter. I had a feeling that you were full of crap, and now I know. What else is he trying to hide from us, I wonder!!!!!

  9. There is a great list of additives to avoid in foods and cosmetics in 2 books. The Natural beauty guide and Suzanne Somers “Breakthrough”.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I have purchased Mercola’s Miracle Whey and the latest addition Pure Power Protein! After this, I am seriously unsure about these whey products….. I did wonder why maltodextrin was included when I first got them and seemed cluttered with additional ingredients!! I now know of another whey product called ‘Vital Whey’ in Natural by which contains only pure native whey concentrate from grass-fed, hormone-free, GMO-free, pesticide- & chemical-free cows. This product does not contain maltodextrin!! Now I’m wondering about the credibility of his other products….

  11. Anonymous says:

    Thanks, everyone, for your support on my call-out of Dr. Mercola. It’s essential to keep questioning and doing our own research–particularly when someone we regard as an expert has SO much money at stake. Mercola has helped a lot of people and continues to do so, but we must stop giving away our power and abdicating our responsibility for our own health! We did it (and in many cases are still doing it) with medical doctors, with Big Pharma, and other so-called “authorities.” Don’t even get me started on the government. Now it’s time to take back that power.

    For the record: Mercola says his Miracle Whey uses GMO-free corn. I was surprised to learn that ADM, one of the world’s largest producers of high-fructose corn syrup, has non-GMO corn available. Hopefully, its non-GMO fields are not in close proximity to its millions of acres of GMO corn, which contaminate all life for miles around.

    Also, when I was posting on Mercola’s site, I checked for thumbs-up and thumbs-down ratings on my comments and there never were any of either, so I can only conclude that I received a “dissenter badge” because Mercola or his staff didn’t like my posts.

    Again, thanks for your support and keep asking questions! You might be called a dissenter or a pain in the a–, but so what? Better that than a sheep…. And by the way, in case you haven’t noticed, a true master of any discipline will welcome comments and questions, and is always willing to examine his or her motivations, beliefs, and actions.

  12. This is exactly why I no longer get anything from Mercola. His heavy handed required subscribing, his extreme switch to commercialism, and some discrepancies in what he teaches. Can anyone say, “what a crock!”

  13. Anonymous says:

    Good for you Robyn, standing up for what you believe in. I have received his newsletters for some time now. Although much of it has been informative, sometimes it just goes a little too far. After reading this I decided to post the question on his facebook page, and it was deleted twice. The only thing that surprises me is that I am not banned!

  14. Anonymous says:

    I buy Vital Whey and have been very pleased with it. I had considered Mercola’s Miracle Whey but the price scared me away. I, too, had trouble finding the ingredient list – eventually I found it at the bottom of one of his article pages on the product. I read his articles with interest but am now cautious. I find his products expensive – esp the shipping plus an additional handling charge.

  15. Well done Amanda! You are my hero taking on Mercola like that! I don’t doubt that what Mercola presents to the public is great knowledge. I’m glad he is educating people on how to take control of their own health issues but I’ve always been able to see through his scare tactic and pushes to sell his products. Why? because I used to work for a dr who was exactly the same as Mercola. Although I’m grateful that he puts out good info on the internet, I disagree with HOW he does it: by preying on the fear he evokes in his readers. Yes, he’s a knowledgable dr, but he’s still a business man and using a product that involves a big ag corporation proves that. Very sad.

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