Natural health advocate, Dr. Joseph Mercola, tweeted a story from his website–“Vitamin D Is More Effective Than Flu Vaccine, Study Says”, on his popular website

Image/Twitter screen shot
Image/Twitter screen shot

His text in the tweet stated: Mounting research suggests vitamin D deficiency may actually be a major cause of influenza.

This drew a firestorm in response, questioning everything from his status as a physician to accusing him of failing microbiology:

Aren’t you a doctor? Surely you must’ve been taught that the influenza virus is what causes influenza? No?? Nothing else. Just the virus. Susceptibility is another factor sure, but cause? That’s pretty embarrassing for you I think.

You’re a doctor?? Looks more like quackery to me.

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The difference between ’cause’ and ‘correlation’ is the difference between a quack and a doctor.

No. No no no. Influenza virus – highly contagious – is the cause of influenza. JUST STOP with your pseudoscience and “research.”

As a “Dr.” you should be able to distinguish between a cold and a flu. But since you are neither a doctor nor a scientist I understand this post simply as advertising for your vitamin D products.

Aren’t you supposed to be an actual doctor? Where did you go to medical school? Hogwarts?

What is wrong with you?!? Go back to your microbiology textbook, see under ‘Orthomyxoviridae’. Or remove the honorific ‘Dr.’ from your name.

Joseph Mercola, D.O., who practices in Schaumburg, Illinois, also operates one of the Internet’s largest and most trafficked health information sites. has been described as a horrible chimera of tabloid journalism, late-night infomercials, and amateur pre-scientific medicine, and is the primary web presence of Joseph Mercola.  Unfortunately, it is also one of the more popular alternative medicine sites on the web and as such is uncommonly efficient at spreading misinformation.

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Quackwatch says many of Mercola’s articles make unsubstantiated claims and clash with those of leading medical and public health organizations. For example, he opposes immunization fluoridation. , mammography , and the routine administration of vitamin K shots to the newborn ; claims that amalgam fillings are toxic ; and makes many unsubstantiated recommendations for dietary supplements. Mercola’s reach has been greatly boosted by repeated promotion on the “Dr. Oz Show.”