"Beauty and the Bleccccch!"

“Beauty and the Bleccccch!”

A few weeks back, one of the members of the “Bodybuilding Revealed” forum directed me to this 4-alarm advertisement from “Dr. Suzanne” Gudakunst. In his query, he gave a quick rundown of “facts” he learned from her site: how icky parasites and disgusting intestinal plaque are responsible for making us sick and fat – and how the powers-that-be are not only profiting from this situation, but are deliberately adding parasites to our food to make us worse!  Apparently Dr. Suzanne has received death threats for revealing this information – but, as a noble martyr to the cause of YOUR health – she’s defiantly and bravely persisting, because she cares about you and wants to become “close friends starting YESTERDAY.”

Of course, you have to cough up $37.00 first ($57.00 if you choose “Option 2”) – but it’s a small price to pay for the “truth,” no?

Well, it would be…if it really is the truth.  Let’s take a closer look, and see if it passes the test.

Dr. Suzanne’s site is cleverly done:  there’s the requisite “SHOCKING PROOF!” in eye-catching 72 pt. red “Impact” font, lurid photos of the nightmarish crud and creepy crawlers infesting your body;  and – best of all – a video clip of the lovely “doctor” herself. She’s a cutie alright: dark-haired and elfin…an internet Arwen in camo capris.   I really liked how the vid was integrated into the site: there are no borders, so it looks like she’s walking straight into the ad. Neat.

Ok, maybe I shouldn’t pick on Dr. Suzanne – she has to make a living, after all, and Lord knows what protective body armor and bullet-proof glass cost these days. Her site, however, is practically a textbook illustration on how to abuse people’s trust in order to separate them from their money, so it’s worth taking a closer look at Dr. Suzanne and her collection of “facts.” 

To start, let’s break Dr. Suzanne’s spiel down. In her ad, she lays out a pretty shocking indictment.  It’s not just that you’re unhealthy, it’s also that others are to blame for it!  She proceeds:

  • If you’re fat, it’s because you have “disgusting plaque and horrible little ‘CRITTERS’ living in your guts!”
  • Worse, if you don’t get rid of them ASAP, they will not only keep you from losing weight, they may kill you.
  • Doctors, diet gurus and fitness experts are either liars or fools who don’t know what they’re talking about.
  • “Diets, diet foods, organic foods, healthy foods and medicines” not only don’t work, but they were “deliberately designed not to.”

Even she realizes this last point is a real stretch, so she offers up a “fact” to support it:

“Here’s a fact that may shock the daylights out of you!…

Japan refuses to accept a single export from the United States in meat & dairy produce! Now, what does that tell you? That Japan is snobby? Nope! That Japan citizens hate milk and meat? Come on, you know better than that!

What it REALLY tells you is that the Government of Japan is on to something few (if any) people really know about! – That our foods have been filled with “unnatural” things that they aren’t supposed to have!”

This looks like a good place to begin deconstructing her pitch. It doesn’t have much to do with your health, perhaps, but it says a lot about Dr. Suzanne’s research skills and respect for the truth. 

To start: let’s take a look at what the Iowa State University Agricultural Marketing Resource Center has to say about US dairy exports to Japan (June, 2008):

Primary markets for U.S. dairy exports are (in order) Mexico, Canada and Japan.…The demand for dairy products should remain strong in 2008, particularly in Asia.”

Now, that’s just dairy. What about meat?

Feel free to take a look at the USDA’s Export Requirements for Japan concerning red meat and poultry. If you’re curious about that “July 27, 2006” date in the first paragraph, there’s a simple explanation. There was a brief, 2 year period that Japan had – in fact – banned the importation of US Beef (not “meat” – just beef). But it wasn’t due to “unnatural” things being added to the meat. It was due to the discovery of BSE (bovine spongiform encephalitis or “Mad Cow Disease”) in a small number of US cattle. Prior to the ban, Japan was one of the largest foreign markets for US beef. And now that it’s over, trade is picking up steam again: Japanese demand is now exceeding the supply.

Oh my.  Looks like Dr. Suzanne isn’t quite on the level here.

But…but…but…she said:

“I promise as your new friend never to lie to you (like all the others) and to only give you the absolute truth (absolutely UNLIKE all the others!).”

Hmmmm…

Well, c’mon, you should trust your friends, right?  So let’s cut the lady some slack on this one…maybe she had good intentions, but just didn’t rely on authoritative industry and government reports. We’ll look at some other info instead…stuff that a “doctor” really ought to know about.

About half way down her site (it’s a looooong scroll…), Dr. Suzanne has helpfully posted an illustration of a parasite life cycle + an accompanying caption. The parasite is Paragonimus westermani – sez so right there on the pic. It’s a suitably chilling name for something living in your guts, isn’t it?

Ummmm…not really. The “informal” name for Paragonimus westermani is “lung fluke.” I’m not sure how a diet program designed to clear out your colon will have any effect on something living in your lungs – but I’m sure Dr. Suzanne must know what she’s talking about.

Or does she? Here’s the caption for the pic:

“Life cycle. Infection with the adult worm is acquired by the ingestion of raw, poorly cooked, or pickled salmon, trout, perch, pike, whitefish, grayling, ruff, eel, etc., harboring the plerocercoid larvae. After five or six weeks, the larva matures to the adult worm. Both eggs and proglottids are passed in the stool. The eggs develop in 2 weeks, and hatch to become ciliated coracidium larvae, and are ingested by the first intermediate host, the copepod. The copepods, containing the procercoid larvae, are ingested by fish, the second intermediate host, contains the plerocercoid larvae.”

Damn, that’s a mouthful. Bet it doesn’t make a bit of sense to you, either. But it does to me…this was covered in an epidemiology class I took in grad school. This caption is describing A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT PARASITE: Diphyllobothrium latum – the fish tapeworm. She even provides the link for the text, so you can see for yourself.

The caption and pic don’t belong together at all. But the life cycle illustration on the page she links to is pretty dull, while the Paragonimus pic is in color and is much prettier.  So why not put the two together? Who’s going to bother to check?

The photo of bladder tissue infected with Schistosoma haematobium is just as deceptive. Do schistosomes infect human bladders? You betcha they do. But this parasite isn’t found in the US at all – so unless you live in Africa, Southeast Asia, or the Caribbean, you don’t have a whole lot to worry about.

This is pretty lame – and totally unnecessary.  Dr. Suzanne’s sales pitch is just a collection of random, scary stuff about parasites designed to creep you out and keep you from thinking critically.  It’s really not hard to get it right…if you know what the hell you’re talking about.  Honestly, you’d think a medical doctor – especially one who wants to be YOUR doctor – would be a little more scrupulous about her “facts.” 

Hold on a sec…Dr. Suzanne IS a medical doctor…isn’t she? I mean, she writes things like “As a doctor I’ve seen far more than my fair share of people who were alive one day and then dead the next.

I wonder…What med school did she attend? What’s her specialty? What professional organizations is she an accredited member of? The ad doesn’t say. 

Isn’t this important information that you’d want to know about someone who wants to be YOUR doctor?  Just askin’.

Fortunately, the American Medical Association keeps the largest database (814,000) of licensed physicians in the US – both for member and non-member doctors. And it just so happens they have a “Doctor Finder” that anyone can use. I checked it out by putting in the names and states of a couple of docs I know, and they came right up. Dr. Suzanne lists Arizona as her state of residence at the bottom of the page – but when I typed “Gudakunst,” “S” and “Arizona” into the search engine, I drew a blank. Next, I went through every single state – and non-state – location in the drop down box, just in case she practices somewhere else. I got exactly two hits on the last name for a couple of non-AMA members (Craig Gudakunst and Jane Gudakunst) in Pennsylvania, but as Porky Pig used to say: “Th-th-th-that’s all folks!”

Now maybe Dr. Suzanne is unknown to the AMA – they are part of the vast conspiracy to keep you fat and ill after all. Maybe they’re even the ones issuing the death threats – lol.

Is Dr. Suzanne really an accredited health professional?  If she was, you’d think she’d be in that database.  It’s not up to me to disprove it, however…IMHO, the burden of proof is on her. 

I got a hyoooge laugh over this one:

“…But then they found out the TRUTH about foods poisoned by dangerous chemicals that resulted in Plaque, and how food companies actually put in Parasites deliberately designed to make you fat and to make you sick…”

Food companies deliberately put parasites in their products? Who knew? After all those years I spent in the Food Science and Technology Department at UC Davis – makes you wonder how I missed it.

Sorry, this one doesn’t pass the smell test. Think about it for a moment: if food companies were adding parasites to their products, there would have to be sources – right? Just like for any other food “ingredient.” Are there really suppliers out there who are mass producing/harvesting parasite eggs and larvae for their “customers?” If so, what “critters” and hosts are being used?  Are they “super bugs” designed to survive retort sterilization, flash freezing, extrusion, baking, and dehydrating?  And how would you keep something like this a secret? Do you have any idea how BIG the major food companies are? Can you imagine how many employees that Kellogg’s has? Cargill? Pillsbury? Archer Daniels Midland? PepsiCo? Thousands of people would know about it – not just Dr. Suzanne.

This is just silly: it’s real tin-foil hat stuff. Cheez Whiz, Coke and Twinkies aren’t good for you, but we don’t have to invent goofy conspiracy theories to explain why. 

Sorry: I know that this is a lonnnnnnng post.  But if you’re still with me, then you should realize that the claims made by Dr. Suzanne simply aren’t credible: there’s little evidence that parasitic infections are making people fat (in fact, weight loss may be a symptom in some cases).  Sure, people can get parasites: and if you think you have this problem, then you should schedule an appointment with your doc: intestinal parasites are easily found under the microscope.  Parasitic infections can be serious: do-it-yourself cures are no way to go about getting rid of them. 

Fine then…but maybe all this is just a sales tactic. Even if the worm and plaque stuff are a bunch of s**t (no pun intended) – surely Dr. Suzanne must know something about how to get into good shape. I mean, just LOOK at her…She’s gorgeous!!! So maybe her program is worth it, anyway.

Well, I may not be eligible for a job at “Hooters” – but I’m no slacker in the bod department either. You know what they say: “A picture is worth a thousand words” – so here we go…
Happy Birthday to Me!

This is a pic I posted on the BBR forum for my last birthday – so I posed in my birthday suit: get it? And I’m the mother of two teenagers, one already in college, so I’m not a sweet young thing like Dr. Suzanne, either.

So what’s MY secret?

Sorry kids, I don’t have one: no magic pills, no superfoods, no fantastical secret formula translated from ancient papyrus texts. And despite Dr. Suzanne’s insistence that “everybody” has this horrible plaque stuff and parasites in them that’s making them fat – they seem to have missed me – I’ve never done a “detox” program or anything else to get rid of them.

Here’s the real truth: anything and everything I do is really quite basic and freely available, so you don’t need to pay me –  or anyone else – to discover it. Most of it’s covered right here on the Ultimate Fat Burner site already. What I do and how I do it will be included in the things I blog about, so all you have to do is check back here every once in a while.

And no, I’m not writing about this stuff because I want to be your doctor, best friend or guardian angel. I’m just someone with a background in genuine science, who’s sick and tired of seeing it abused by self-styled internet “experts” trying to make a fast buck.

Like “Dr. Suzanne.”

Author: elissa

Elissa is a former research associate with the University of California at Davis, and the author/co-author of over a dozen articles published in scientific journals. Currently a freelance writer and researcher, Elissa brings her multidisciplinary education and training to her writing on nutrition and supplements.

24 Comments

  1. What’s worse is that this program is being promoted online by a zillion affiliates eager to tap into the generous commissions offered on the sale of this “digital” product. No one seems to be thinking critically about what “doctor” Suzanne is saying, and presenting THAT to their respective audiences. Instead, promoters are focused on making a quick buck.

    Sad but true.

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  2. Great review! Thank you. Having followed the Kimkins Diet Scam now for almost a year, I was curious when receiving an affiliate email about “Dr” Suzanne and googled her. She sounds just like Kimmer (I know the secret, I’m your friend,…) but I hope that her diet at least is harmless and that people will just be out of money and not lose their health in the process.

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  3. What a great critique exposing this charlatan! The sad thing is she is the product of our society, a people where taking responsibility for our situation is now a thing of the past. Why blame yourself when you can blame parasites? But its amazing, when you do take responsibility, you actually take control. That was how I lost a huge amount of weight, and kept it off for more than a year to date. Again, great review, I hope this reaches many people before they are scammed!

    PS Just had to say this; you look great!

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  4. Thanks, Don.

    You too. I took a look at the “before/after” pics on your site: very impressive. Congrats!

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  5. Thank you so much for this public service. This “doctor” sounds like a real scammer.

    And now I want to read your site! Your birthday pic is BUFF, woman, BUFF!!!!

    The P

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  6. Thanks so much for the great info. I am forwarding this to my little sister as she expressed interest in this plan(scam?).

    Also, where can I find a link to your website? I think that she would benefit from your insights re: diet and exercise. It is obvious that your picture speaks VOLUMES! Your incredible physique should be an inspiration to any female struggling with body issues.

    My teenage son even thinks that you are HOT!

    Chet

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  7. Chet,

    Elissa is the scientific/technical advisor to UltimateFatBurner.com. She authors most of the articles in our Body Building section and the “yet to be launched” functional foods section. I’m a little ashamed to say that she’s authored the vast majority of posts on the blog too. We’re lucky to have her as part of the team. 😉

    Additionally, Elissa is a moderator at Will Brink’s Body Building Revealed & Fat Loss Revealed Forums.

    Sign up to out RSS feeds to be informed immediately of Elissa’s new articles.

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  8. Chet: Thanks for the kind words. Sorry for the delay in responding, but I’ve been on the road for the last week, and completely out of touch with the site. Time to catch up!

    Please feel free to send your sister over here: “Dr. Suzanne” is just the tip of the iceberg as far as unreliable info on health/fitness/nutrition is concerned.

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  9. I think you might be surprised to learn that Dr. Suzie, like Barney, is only a figment of your imagination. She only exists in some copywriters mind.

    What do I mean?

    It’s rather complicated, but I have a thread going over at Quatloos! that gives the details. Check it out on this link if you’re interested in finding out who Dr. Suzie really is – or isn’t!

    http://www.quatloos.com/Q-Forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=3559

    Look for my post on Dec. 30th – about half way down when I realize that I too, like everyone else, had likely been duped!

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  10. Dr. Suzanne is at it again with the release of her Lotus Purity Product. Her site looks even more compelling than the last one. Anyhow, I just wanted to check into her claims before I go off trying a $88 product (She advertises it as 50% off for pre-launch)that may or may not work. I’m a former fitness trainer and was hoping to jump start my energy and metabolism for the new year. I can guarantee it won’t be with Dr. Suzanne G’s product. Thanks for taking the time out to research. I’ll check out your blog soon.

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  11. LOL – actually, very little surprises me w/respect to fraudulent supplement marketing practices. Some weeks back, Paul made note of a site that specializes in doing the “walk in” talking ads, which raised the possibility that the “Dr. Suzanne” seen in the ads could be a paid model.

    Your last post is quite interesting: the plot thickens! Thanks for the link.

    Personally, I think there’s a sufficient number of internal errors, inconsistencies and flat out lies in the good “doctor’s” ads to sink the premise of this program on its own merits, but it’s always good to reveal additional layers of deception, where they exist.

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  12. This blog has a little more info about Dr. Suzie and was the basis of my post at Quatloos!

    Only the links don’t all work in them – I updated the links on my post at Q!

    – – – –

    BTW, if you’re curious about what Suzie the Scammer is peddling and want to save yourself $57, you can read her gobbledygook on this link:

    [link removed by administrator]

    Yep, that’s the link to the 50 page e-book she’s peddling for $57 or whatever the price.

    Sorry about giving that link away Suzie! 🙂

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  13. No probs.

    I’m sure it’s okay to say though, that over on scam.com on this thread about Dr. Suzie – http://www.scam.com/showthread.php?t=33625 – if you look at Post #21 by WhiteHat, you might find the link that was removed from my post?

    Just as well.

    I wouldn’t want anyone trying to kill me for divulging that information. 🙂

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  14. Just as an FYI, I recently noted some dead links in the post, as the original pages were updated/changed. These have now been fixed.

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  15. Nice blog. I just read the ad and was just disgusted. “Dr.” Suzanne is right up there with Kevin Trudeau. It’s funny how all of this stuff is seen in one’s colon, but it’s never observed when people get a colonoscopy.

    I’m a family medicine physician, and happen to train quite a lot as well. Ads like this just tend to piss me off, because they are simply aimed at extracting money from people.

    I notice that Dr. Suzanne has an office in Scottsdale, where I happen to live. I might have to drop by and see what her credentials are.

    Of note, if she were an osteopath (a D.O.) she wouldn’t show up with the AMA. But she couldn’t advertise as Dr either, it’s against AOA policy. She would have to identify herself as Suzanne Gudakunst DO. My guess is she either has a PhD in liberal arts, or she is a naturopath. The latter I tend to think are good and valid physicians, but there are a smattering of them engaged in this kind of marketing and they do identify themselves as Dr., which they can by law, since they are Doctors of Naturopathy.

    Not sure how someone sleeps at night, doing what she’s doing, but I wouldn’t want to be the owner of that karmic account.

    By the way, the author of this blog…nice physique! I know how much hard work, nutrition, etc., went into that body! Keep it up!

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  16. Thanks Brent! And if you find anything out about Dr. S., let me know.

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  17. It would be interesting if you dropped by 4400 North Scottsdale Road # 9372, Scottsdale, AZ, Brent, and see just what’s there. Dr. Suzanne Gudakunst, Inc and Ask Dr Suzanne, Inc – according to the AZ Corporations Commission do not exist.

    Dr. Suzie apparently lives in the Atlanta area.

    Anyhow, something you said has me puzzled, Brent. You noted in your post: “It’s funny how all of this stuff is seen in one’s colon, but it’s never observed when people get a colonoscopy.”

    Well, when a person’s going for a colonoscopy, they have to drink a bottle of that magic poo juice the night before to clean out the colon so they can drive the scope up the ol’ Hershey Highway – right?

    So by the time you show up at the hospital in the morning for the procedure, you’ve already crapped yourself clean.

    So why would you expect to see all this goop in the colon then? The idea was to clean it out before you showed up, wasn’t it?

    Just wondering exactly what you meant.

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  18. Dr. Suzanne was a practicing chiropractor in Roswell, GA. I was one of her patients. She claims to have moved to AZ, but is suspected to live in FL. She is NOT to be trusted. Her online SCAM is really a ponzi scheme and the legal authorities are all over it.

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  19. Call me squeamish, but I tend to try and avoid doctors who say they’ve seen more than their fair share of people alive one day and dead the next: kind of like a dentist enticing me in with the promise he’s seen more than his fair share of patient’s teeth fall out!

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  20. Thank you sooo much. I would love to get some more insight from you. You are awesome. I am a 41 year old mother of 25 and 17 year old girls,their dad and I just recently started to care about our health.(grandbabies?)I WONT pay for pills or books,but would you know of any good sites I could check out. Do you have a sight?

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  21. Tammy: I don’t have a public site, beyond this one – which is mostly devoted to supps, although I do discuss various health/nutrition/exercise topics here on the blog.

    I also moderate a couple of private, members only sites: Brink’s Bodybuilding Revealed and Brink’s Fat Loss Revealed – both sites are connected to their respective e-books, and members can ask questions about their diets and workouts on the forums (a 1 year membership comes with each book purchase).

    Nonetheless, there’s some good, free content out there, too. On the nutrition side of things, The World’s Healthiest Foods has a lot of good info and recipes. ExRx.net has a lot of good exercise/workout-related info as well, ranging from beginner to advanced. One source I like concerning vitamins, minerals and key nutraceuticals is the Linus Pauling Institute Micronutrient Information Center at Oregon State University. And, of course, the ultimatefatburner.com site is a great resource for info on commercial supplements. Natural bodybuilder and fitness guru Tom Venuto’s site also has a lot of good health/fitness articles and tips.

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