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PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT
Interview with Dr. Mehmet Oz
Aired January 11, 2013 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PIERS MORGAN, HOST: This is PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT and the doctor is in.
(voice-over): An extraordinary hour with Dr. Oz.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. MEHMET OZ, HOST, "THE DR. OZ SHOW": When I look around this country and I see people with big bellies, I see folks who can't cope with stress.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Taking your questions and taking on the health issues that really matter.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OZ: The number one under appreciated health problem in America is sleep issues.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Crisis facing America.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OZ: French fries themselves are the single worst food in the U.S. diet.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Dangerous flu bug.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OZ: This flu season looks like it might be the worst in ten years.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Also, stress, sleep, sex and the secret for long and healthy life. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: So no exercise, I've drunk far too much alcohol, eaten far too much bad food and I feel great.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Plus, moment of truth. The results of my own 15-minute Dr. Oz physical.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: What are you looking at?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Not yet.
MORGAN: My (INAUDIBLE) of dying.
OZ: Here's the reason, as a friend, that to highlight this last number for you, which is your blood pressure.
MORGAN: But it's high.
OZ: It's high.
MORGAN: How high?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: This is PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT.
MORGAN: Welcome to a special PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT.
Dr. Mehmet Oz is here with a studio audience and questions that only he can really answer.
Let's get right to it.
Dr. Oz, how are you?
OZ: Very, very well.
MORGAN: Happy New Year, first of all.
OZ: The same to you, my friend.
MORGAN: Like everybody in this audience and everybody in America and probably everybody in the entire world, we get to January and we think, wow, I've got to thaw myself out.
I do, anyway. You do, you know. Let's just live with that (ph).
What is the best advice for people to get to January and think New Year, new me, new start?
OZ: Well, resolutions actually do make a difference. It turns out this ancient ritual which comes from the time of Rome is still around because when you focus on what to do and you have a very concrete plan and you go public on it and tell people in your life that you're doing it, they'll hold you accountable if it's ineffective.
The next big challenge is: what are the stories you're telling yourself?
And the problem we run into America, but it's all over the world the same story, is our brains are racing. We're beating ourselves up because we did gain a few pounds over the holidays, we're not happy with something else going on in our life. We try to feed that emotion and that causes a lot of the headaches, obesity top of mind on this example.
MORGAN: Well, seven out of 10 Americans, according to the U.S. government, are overweight.
MORGAN: That's pretty frightening.
OZ: It's frightening for a lot of reasons. And as a doctor, I see the ravages, because I open -- I take a band saw and open people's sternums and I see what's going on with that precious organ in our heart. It's like a python curling in there.
But when it's clogged with cholesterol and it's been forced to work hard against high blood pressure, all of which are, in part, caused by high -- by the overweight belly that so many of us are carrying around, it causes big issues.
So, it has a huge medical impact on us, which, of course, ravages the health care system.
MORGAN: What are the particular issues that face Americans and their health? What are the things about the American diet, the way of life, whatever it may be, that are particular, perhaps, to America?
OZ: Well, we have made it easy to do the wrong thing in America. We subsidize foods that aren't good for us. Grains are a good example.
I mean I don't mind having a bun here and there, but when your main food supply incorporates empty calories, as it often does, you know, that tricks our brain, but not in the right way.
We -- our brains are really smart. They're looking for nutrients, Piers, not calories. So if you eat empty calories, a soft drink, French fries -- French fries by themselves are the single worst food in the U.S. diet, literally it's been looked at. An average person eating French fries would probably gain about three pounds a year just from that alone.
Well, you begin to --
MORGAN: Just from French fries?
OZ: Just from French fries. Potato chips are second in line.
Now, potatoes, real good old-fashioned potatoes, a baked potato, that's fine. But when you add -- you know, sugar or salt to these things and you fry them down, our body can't deal with that. And our brain says wait a minute, Tiger, you gave me calories, but you didn't give me any nutrients.
MORGAN: See, when I came to America about seven years ago, I was struck, coming from Europe, by two things. One, the incredible amount of fast food that you Americans guzzle.
MORGAN: And secondly, the amazing portions that come with almost every meal. You cannot order breakfast in America without somebody in a restaurant shoveling on potatoes or fries or whatever, without anybody asking for it. You just shovel out the food.
OZ: And one of the realities -- and we're all beginning to wake up to --
MORGAN: And, I mean that in a nice way, by the way.
OZ: But we've gotten very comfortable making those portions part of what we do. And, again, this has been looked at. You -- you move the plate size to one large, which is what we have done. Now we have, you know, 11-inch plates. You know, that's a lot more food than a nine-inch plate or a seven-inch plate.
So we end up visually making food look like it's supposed to be that size.
MORGAN: If everybody just exercised better portion control, literally cut the amount they ate by, say, a third, what effect would that have on the average life?
OZ: It would dramatically change our life expectancy, but, more importantly, the quality of our life. And it would also dramatically change the U.S. health care budget, which is the big issue for a lot of folks who are paying attention to the current crisis in Washington.
There is no way, I don't care what side of the aisle you're on, there is no way to balance health care budgets in this country without making us a little less heavy. It probably drives a third, maybe a half, of all health expenditures, because of all the side effects of the extra weight that we cart around.
So when you recognize that, you're right, this is a national security crisis we're talking about. And it's not a battle we're going to win in hospitals. As much as I wish I could heal with steel, with a scalpel blade in your sternum connecting, the reality is, we will win the battle for health in America in our kitchens, in our living rooms, in our boardrooms. That's where the battle has to be won.
That's hard for Washington to legislate. That's -- I mean, we have to change in our own lives by making it easier to do the right thing.
MORGAN: You've been hanging out with the Washington all stars.
Let's take a look -- a little look at you and the first lady here.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHELLE OBAMA, FIRST LADY OF THE UNITED STATES: One of the things that we tried to do is be a source of information and education. And one of the reasons why I started with kids and I'm focused on childhood obesity because I know that people will do for their kids what they are -- they're not willing to do for themselves or not able to do for themselves.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Is it good for America that you have a first lady and president who are obviously very physically fit themselves?
OZ: It's a huge benefit for the country. I think they serve as a role model. Listen, that was a very soulful interview. The first lady spoke pretty honestly about the fact that she feels -- and I think we can all agree on this -- that we are mortgaging the future of our nation on the back of the health care challenges that our kids are going to face.
And for the first time this year, we are seeing a significant reduction in life expectancy, especially among people who never graduated from high school. So, not only are we seeing income splits divide the nation, now we have life expectancy splits, as well.
MORGAN: And how much of that is worsened by a lack of just basic mobility, as we move to a world, really, of computer games, television and all the rest of it. You know, I was struck by my vacation last week with my three teenaged sons, how it compared to 10 years ago --
MORGAN: -- when they were younger. They were outside the whole time. This time, you could barely get them off their computers. It's very different (INAUDIBLE), isn't it?
MORGAN: But not as healthy.
OZ: Well, if it's nice outside, the kids ought to be outside. And that's what I'm --
MORGAN: You try and get them out.
OZ: I -- I know, it's hard. You've got to literally pay to disconnect the television set and pull the keyboards.
That stated, that stated, physical activity for kids is a hugely important reality, but that's not how you lose weight by itself. And, yes, we are struggling in communities not to -- we don't have sidewalks. And we've made it hard for kids to go out and do activity.
Most of us -- how many of you -- put your hands up -- actually walked to school when you were kids?
All right. Pretty much all the adults, except the kids in the back with their hands up, right?
And the data, by the way, is 60 percent of my generation -- and we're just roughly the same age -- walked to school. Today, less than 10 percent.
MORGAN: If you walked as an adult for half an hour a day -- you know, I walk here across Central Park, say, to CNN, and I feel like it's a pretty good exercise if you walk at a reasonable pace, is that enough to be fit?
OZ: It's a perfect amount. The goal to --
MORGAN: Well, I'm basically in perfect physical (INAUDIBLE)?
OZ: Well, we're going to --
OZ: -- (INAUDIBLE) you know, I actually have your lab studies here --
MORGAN: I did that.
Z: -- which, don't -- don't look at yet.
OZ: We will get to these --
MORGAN: Can I get the excuses enough, after a two week break, these are not going to be good? British beer, lots of turkey -- (LAUGHTER)
MORGAN: -- and then lots of rum, wine. It -- it's going to be ghastly.
MORGAN: We'll come to that later on.
OZ: Look, we'll tease that reality, because I've seen the tests. And we will talk about them, because I think you -- you're sort of Mr. America in many ways.
OZ: Just -- but despite your British accent.
You know, the -- physical activity, when you look around the world at places where people live a long time, it's not about going to the gym every day and it's not about, you know, doing an arduous two hour workout once in a while.
It's about -- about 30 minutes of activity that raise your heart rate up a little bit. You climb the top of the hill. You pick up a bucket and carry it down with some water in it.
So walking to work is about the best and smartest thing we could do.
Also, you don't have to do a workout at the end of the day. You've already gotten your activity in. People who have jobs walk the steps when you get there. Or get up and go to your -- your, you know, somewhere else to have lunch.
People who are, you know, at home with the kids, walk to the mall, park further from the mall. These are simple things you ought to meet into your life.
MORGAN: And none of this is obviously about having personal discipline.
I want to play a little clip for an interview I did with Chris Christie, who may well be a future president of the United States and has a well-documented problem with his weight.
Just watch what he said here.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: And the thing that I feel most guilty about, my weight.
CHRISTIE: Yes. Yes, because I'm really struggling. I've been struggling for a long time with it. And I know that it would be better for my kids if I got it more under control. And so I do feel a sense of guilt at times about that.
MORGAN: Why do you think you've had a -- a battle with your weight?
CHRISTIE: If I could figure it out, I'd fix it.
MORGAN: You don't know what it is?
CHRISTIE: I don't.
MORGAN: Did you ever get help for it?
CHRISTIE: Sure, plenty of times.
MORGAN: Where do you -- where do you fall down in terms of dealing with it?
CHRISTIE: I eat too much. I mean, you know, it's not a complicated thing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: I mean, I love -- I love Chris Christie and I loved his honesty there.
MORGAN: And he's got amazing energy for a guy, you know, who people say is too overweight to be president. You know, his work through the -- the storms recently showed that he's -- he's a man of amazing --
MORGAN: -- natural energy. And yet it lives with him every day, this problem.
OZ: It does, and with his family. Mary Pat is a wonderful wife, as I know have -- I've worked with him on this.
Listen, the reality is, there are opportunities to lead and they come in very unique ways. By being overweight, he -- the governor has a chance of losing that weight, which would then -- I think would be a fantastic role model for the nation.
Governor Huckabee did this a few years ago and I think it changed the minds of a lot of people. And (INAUDIBLE) what the governor said. Here's a man who is obviously competent at what he does. He's darned good at it. He's got a lot of wisdom. He speaks glowingly and beautifully about so many things that affect so many of us, with -- with the emotional undertones. But yet when you ask him that key question -- and so -- you're so good at asking these questions that are so simple but right to the point -- why do you do it?
He doesn't know.
That, I think, in a sentence encapsulates the challenge we have in America. We don't know why we're gaining weight. If I could just lay this out for two seconds here, the reality is, there a dozen redundant biologic systems that force us to overeat. There was never a period in our entire history as a species there's been a time when we wanted to lose weight.
So, now, we've got a crisis because the same reality that causes us to overeat a century ago, a thousand years ago, are much more prevalent now. And that is stress.
Think about it. A stress event 1,000 years ago wasn't a deadline, it wasn't a paycheck. It might have been marital stress, we don't know. But it -- it was probably famine, not having enough food.
And that's really what caused chronic stress. Today, chronic stress comes in the form of keyboards, you know, devices never turn off, constant access to information. So that drives us to stress.
When I look around this country and I see people with big bellies, I see folks who can't cope with stress. And the ability to manage stress is the number one undertone to the loss of health in America.
MORGAN: The other big problem at the moment, right now, is this flu epidemic. It is -- it tends to be an annual thing, but it's pretty virulent right now.
What -- what is the best thing people can do? Should they have the jab?
OZ: I think they should have the -- the flu shot, without question. And it's not too late. This is -- this flu season looks like it might be the worst in 10 years. We'll still -- we'll still see.
It certainly is the -- one of the earliest rises of cases that we've seen in a long time.
The flu shot seems to be a pretty good match for the -- for the virus that we're seeing around -- around town.
I must say, just anecdotally, in my own family, we had, you know, a lot of flu going around. I got the shot. As a doctor, I'm obliged to, because I don't want to give it to my patients. And I did OK.
So we'll find out. There are some folks who will get the shot and will still get the flu, but it's -- to me, it's a pretty straightforward decision.
MORGAN: Well, I've -- I've never had a flu jab, uh, but I'm going to let you give me one --
OZ: Oh --
MORGAN: -- on television tonight.
OZ: Where can I give it to you?
MORGAN: I'd rather in the arm, doctor, if that's all right with you?
I just don't know where you're heading with this.
MORGAN: Without me coming in late, it's something for everyone to really enjoy, me being -- me being jabbed by Dr. Oz.
Coming up, I want to talk to you about something very serious, a very emotional trip you made to the Sandy Hook School, and the effects, when you go through a big trauma like that, on adults, on children, on everything as it relates to the stress you just talked about.
MORGAN: We're back with our guest now, Dr. Oz.
Dr. Oz, you recently went up to Sandy Hook, just before Christmas. A very emotional trip, I know, for you.
OZ: Just little nervous.
MORGAN: It raised a number of issues and -- and I've debated the stuff about guns and so on since then. The also is a huge issue there about stress and trauma that comes out of these kinds of incidents. And the world's media tends to move on after a week or so. When people are left there, they've got to try and rebuild their lives.
You've seen lots of this. What is the best advice, if there is any, for people who get caught up in these terrible tragedies, about how to somehow get back?
OZ: What we ought to, I think, crave, is hope. It comes in many different forms and we all have difficult times in our lives. This is a particularly tragic event. I was up there that evening and it was so soulful to see these wonderful human beings who had been traumatized -- they all knew these kids -- sitting in a church singing. I mean, it -- they were like angels. And you could hear the whispers and the -- and the desire to help each other.
And, yes, the world's media was on them, but they're there for each other.
And when you look for hope -- and, remember, hope is not about giving good news. I'm a -- I'm a heart surgeon. I don't always give good news. Sometimes it's bad news I have to give you.
That's not what hope is about, though. Hope is about giving people an explanation, an understanding of why it happened, just making sense of things progresses the story quite a bit.
So I think the folks in Newtown and all over this nation and the world that witness this are trying to make sense of this. We'll never completely understand a senseless act, but at least the aspiration we have to support each other, rebuild with an understanding of what's important in our lives. And that's something that I think many of us struggle with, as we try to put perspective together.
And can I leave it to one word, because we just got past the holidays and for some people, that's a very sad time, others it's exuberant. At its very core, it's about happiness. And happiness is about being grateful for things that happened to you.
And unpredictable things, bad things, sometimes happen. Taking the time to just figure out how to process that and moving on happens to be what we are good at as a species.
MORGAN: In terms of everybody else who watches these things and gets affected, too, lots of things in life have a traumatic effect on people, either observing a terrible event or being involved in one or whatever.
How do you deal with that particular kind of stress, a really -- like a death in the family, a death of a close friend, even, for some people, a death of a beloved pet?
OZ: Because I can't tell you how many times we've lost one couple, a long married couple, and then soon after, we'll lose the spouse. Literally, we've had to operate on the husband and the wife the same night --
MORGAN: And these --
MORGAN: -- literally like a broken heart.
Does that -- does it exist in medical terms, a broken heart?
OZ: There is no question at all that broken hearts exist and they kill people. That's actually been looked at, the ability of a heart to pump changes, the ability of it to squeeze at the right rhythm changes. Stress is incredibly detrimental, especially major stress.
But stress comes from so many unpredictable places. It happens because you lose your loved one, but it happens from divorce, too. In fact, out of the 10 major stressors, six are financial. And they included things like divorce.
So you have -- it -- it's not whether you're going to face stress in life, is whether you're -- you're going to be able to weather it the right way.
And that, I think, is the big takeaway message, especially in the modern era, where every single traumatic event, like the senseless killing of so many children in Newtown, is continually reiterated in our mind. It becomes part of our psyche.
MORGAN: When you try and deal with stress, how important is physical exercise to that process?
Because whenever I've been through a tough time, I've always found that, actually, forcing myself to the gym --
MORGAN: -- sweating it out, you always just feel a little bit better afterwards.
OZ: There's no question it's the antidote to stress. It's probably what our species has always used, because we can go outside. We can begin to rev our engine. It adds -- it discharges a lot of those hormones that are so pent up and either they serve as rage or sorrow hormones, but they -- they can decant and be done with if you can exercise.
But again, it doesn't take a lot. Literally stretching out even for five or 10 minutes will do it for you.
But the other thing I want to share with you for stress, it's something that's used in many parts of the world where there are difficult environmental issues, and that's something called rhodiola.
Have you ever heard of that?
OZ: Rhodiola. It's Siberian ginseng. Now, Siberia is a cold place. And they have a difficult time there. But here's the part you'll like.
You actually take the -- the root of this plant, which is available on the Web readily. And you take the rhodiola root and you put it in vodka.
MORGAN: Oh, now we're talking.
OZ: Now -- now stay with me. You put the vodka in --
MORGAN: It's my kind of medicine.
(LAUGHTER) MORGAN: This is why I like you, Dr. Oz. There's always a moment when I think, great.
OZ: You put that in the freezer and when your friends come over, you've got this gently pinkened vodka which is to die for. And, actually, rhodiola is an adaptogen. It helps cells survive stress.
So I think there are medicinal tools --
MORGAN: I love this.
OZ: -- very natural ones. And there's the emotional ones, as well.
MORGAN: Is it -- is it good before a live show? I mean --
OZ: I just had some.
MORGAN: Are you basically telling me you've been half cut on vodka your entire career?
OZ: No. I wish I could. I wish it was available at the time.
You know, there is actually a survival benefit to a shot of alcohol a day. It can come in any form you want.
MORGAN: Well, the last time I interviewed you, you told me, really, the secret to longevity was more sex and more red wine.
OZ: Yes, in that order.
MORGAN: Can we add a few, you know, cannabis joints to the equation now that they're legal in some states?
OZ: Cannabis, a fascinating story, in part because there is no question there's medicinal benefit. Really. I mean, there's -- it's for people who have some ailments that we don't have good solutions for, it's fabulously useful.
MORGAN: I know somebody with multiple sclerosis who uses it. And it's an enormous relief, a pain relief.
OZ: It's got for chemotherapy treatments, to get people their appetite back. I mean, we actually know, chemically, why these things work. The munchies happen because it turns on those hormones, those chemical receptors, in your brain.
All that said, the overtone of a nation which has been trained, for good reason, to be suspect of addictive substances, has hurt it and hindered it from being used.
(CROSSTALK) MORGAN: How addictive is cannabis?
OZ: It's addictive as cigarettes, in my opinion.
MORGAN: Is it more dangerous than cigarettes?
OZ: It does -- it has more dangers in part because when you're under the influence of cannabis, your judgment is a bit more affected than it would be under cigarettes.
But net-net, it's hard to prove that it's more dangerous than cigarettes. I -- with regard to things like lung cancer rates and the like. But it's an unregulated substance --
MORGAN: But if you, as one of America's topmost renowned doctors, says it's not more dangerous than cigarettes, surely, it should just be legalized, then, right, like cigarettes?
OZ: There are a couple of problems with cannabis.
The first is it alters how you feel about life. And I'm very suspect of any substance that does that, because you shouldn't have to alter how you feel about life to enjoy life.
So it ends up being a gateway tool for some who are susceptible to addictions to move on to other products.
Secondly, it's completely unregulated in most states. So kids get these things. They try them. They don't know what impact they can have. They don't even know what the substance is. And it causes an issue.
That's why I really do believe we ought to legalize it, but only for medicinal use. And then really ratchet down the illegal use of it.
A state like California, that has really freed up cannabis use, does disservice to New Jersey, where I happen to live, because New Jersey, it's legal to use cannabis for medicinal purposes, but illegal to buy it.
Now, how can you have that scenario?
So that's the juggling act we're doing in America right now. I do predict that we will slowly evolve to the position where medical decisions like the use of cannabis appropriately, for people with terminal cancer, for example, is freed up, but we don't let little kids, who should not be susceptible or -- or really even tested with this material, are hindered, just like we would not want those kids to take cigarettes.
MORGAN: I mean, I've interviewed Willie Nelson recently. He admitted he -- he had actually had a joint that morning, before he came on to do the interview. And I've never met a happier guy in my life.
OZ: Yes, he --
MORGAN: It's about what -- I want whatever Willie wants.
MORGAN: Let's take another break.
When we come back, the big moment. I took the 15 minute health test with your team before this show started. I'm going to get the results after the break.
I am not confident about this.
OZ: A diabolically, too, though.
MORGAN: Really not good.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROSIE O'DONNELL: But I did not call 911. And I should have. And I've come to find out that 50 percent of women, while having heart attacks and suspecting they're having heart attacks, do not call 911. And it was the stupidest decision I ever made in my life.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Rosie O'Donnell talking with Dr. Oz about her heart attack and the mistakes she made that could have proved fatal.
I'm back with the doctor now.
So, look, I took this test before this show. I don't know why I allowed myself to do this. But you had your team all over me like a bunch of gannet poking and prodding and pricking my fingers for blood and taking blood -- what are the results?
How bad a shape am I in after -- and I have to say this again -- a two week vacation, including a week in Britain? You know how much we drink over there.
OZ: Well, as a preamble, before I give you your results, let me just comfort you by sharing with everybody that we have been going around the country doing these 15 minute physicals, which, despite all your complaining, that's all the time it took to do.
OZ: And 15 -- the 15 minute physical concept, it -- it came out of a reality that so many folks were fearful of their numbers. And the good news is, all the numbers I'm going to give you -- it's true for all the thousands of people we've taken care of across the country -- can change those numbers for the better. I'm not diagnosing cancer. I'm not diagnosing irreparable issues.
But this is the reality of where America lives. And for everyone out there who is listening to me, who can hear my voice right now, if you don't know your blood pressure, assume it's high. If you don't know your blood sugar, assume you've got diabetes.
These are noble numbers. They're inexpensive. In fact, it's free when we do it in these little events, and it's simple enough to carry out.
MORGAN: OK. Come on. Get on with it.
OZ: All right.
MORGAN: I want to hear it.
OZ: Number one ager of all I will save for last, that's your blood pressure. Your body mass index is 28. It's supposed to be around 25. You want it less than 30 at the worst. So I'll give you that.
Your waist size --
MORGAN: But how -- how bad is that, the mass index?
OZ: Well, the body mass index is -- it's in the overweight category, but I'm not that worried about that. I'm more worried about your waist size, because you -- once your waist size -- and everyone can do this right now -- it should be less than one half your height. So you're 6'1?"
MORGAN: Six-one, yes.
OZ: So at 6'1," which means it's 73 --
MORGAN: What should my waist be?
OZ: Half of your height, half of 73 inches, which is 36 and a half inches.
MORGAN: It's not that.
OZ: No, it's not. It's 39 inches. And more --
OZ: -- thirty-nine inches.
MORGAN: A shocker.
OZ: Yes, and Piers knows this, but most guys never buy a new belt after the age of 40.
OZ: What do they do?
They say -- they go like this. They put the waist down like this and they -- they wander around like this all day long -
OZ: -- right?
OZ: But I've got a 32 inch waist, but you've got problems going. So that's the unfortunate reality of where we live in this country.
So 39 inches is where you are. Now, what does that cost?
When you have belly fat, it does three things. The first thing it does is it irritates your liver. And when you -- when your liver gets irritated, it makes the wrong kind of cholesterol, an irritated kind of cholesterol called lousy LDL cholesterol.
Your number is 145.
MORGAN: How bad is that?
OZ: Well, ideally it would be less than 140. You're not too far off, so it means your liver is able to partly keep up, but the part about the liver --
MORGAN: But I've been punishing it, as we've been saying.
OZ: Yes, you're punishing it. You really are punishing it. But the way I -- the reason I can tell you're punishing it -- and this is the part that concerns me -- is your healthy cholesterol -- it's like Mighty Mouse, the healthy cholesterol, it's in there and it's powerful and it's strong and it grabs the cholesterol and tears it away from your blood vessels to protect you.
That healthy cholesterol number is supposed to be more than 45 to 50.
MORGAN: What's mine?
MORGAN: Wow! That's not good.
OZ: Not good.
MORGAN: I need more healthy cholesterol -- how do I get more healthy cholesterol?
OZ: The best way to do it is to get that waist size down to 36 and a half inches.
MORGAN: What's the best way to do that?
OZ: Uh, there are a couple of little tips.
But can I share that for a second?
OZ: Because that's actually a -- a significant discussion, because it's the big takeaway from this whole exam.
The next thing we looked at was your blood sugar. The good news, your blood sugar is fine. It's got to be less than 100. Yours is 86.
All right, high five.
MORGAN: A round of applause.
OZ: -- just barely dripping into the crevices of life. He's about to fall deep into the abyss, the darkest. OK, now here's the reason, as a friend, uh, that -- that I want to highlight this last number for you, which is your blood pressure.
MORGAN: But it's high.
OZ: It's high.
MORGAN: How high?
OZ: It's supposed to be, ideally, about 115 over 75, ideally.
OZ: Yours is 147 over 89.
MORGAN: Ooh, wow! That is high.
OZ: Yes, it's high.
MORGAN: Is that because I'm under the threat of being deported from America, do you think?
OZ: It could be. It could be that. It could be the -- the knowledge of your test results that we shared on air.
OZ: But your blood pressure should never go that high unless you're in a dire -- you know, in the midst of sexual activity or --
MORGAN: And what causes that kind of thing? OZ: Exercise. Well, it's caused, again, because the belly fat that we have squeezes the kidneys.
MORGAN: Can you call it something else to make it sound a bit more --
OZ: The pouch you have. Uh --
MORGAN: Well, we'll stick to belly fat.
OZ: OK. The protuferous belly button.
OZ: The . So that will -- it's omentum (ph) some fat. So I think momentum, but it's the fat inside the actual muscles of your belly. That actually pushes on the kidneys. And the kidneys regulate your blood pressure.
So when they're being squeezed by the fat, they say give me more blood, I can't breathe down here, give me more blood. And so your body jacks up the blood pressure in order to get it there.
So the blood pressure at that high, it's like a fire hydrant. It's squirting away that delicate Teflon-like lining of the arteries.
So as we're sitting here talking, your blood pressure is scarping the lining of your arteries. You have to fixed that scraped off area.
What do you use?
Cholesterol. You don't have enough of the good cholesterol, you have more of the bad cholesterol. So it's putting little plaster patches in there.
MORGAN: It sounds like a profit storm of hell going on.
OZ: And then, thankfully, the sugar is still OK, because blood sugar, it's like broken pieces of glass shards scraping the lining of the arteries, so you don't have that yet.
But you can understand why, if you have that percolating in your body for enough years, it's pretty difficult to live life normally.
MORGAN: Right. So come on, you've shaken me to the rafters here.
What am I to do? None of it surprises me too much.
So what should I be doing to deal with this?
OZ: Well, the -- the number one thing that folks ought to start doing is to automate their lives so the easy decisions are the right ones and are -- and are easier to make.
So -- so, for example, in the morning, when you first get up, you need a little routine. Don't make any decisions about food until the afternoon. So your breakfast from now on is going to be, for example, eggs, which are just fine. Even with cholesterol issues, they're still fine, because protein will help you lose weight.
So you want some protein within an hour of getting up. It could be yogurt with berries --
OZ: -- you know, something that's got some protein and -- and nutrients in there. It sets you up for the rest of the day.
Then you need a mid-morning snack, let's say a handful of nuts, something else that you adore. But you -- if you don't like it, Piers, you're not going to stay on it.
MORGAN: Yes. Yes.
OZ: And then lunch could be something, again, that -- that you can deal with, a salad, salmon, something that you like and can deal with it and don't have to think about every day.
Then, in the afternoon, start making decisions. Try to figure out what you're going to do.
The second big tip I can offer you is teas are great. Teas, you don't put a lot of cream into. Teas are fantastic because they've got caffeine that will actually stimulate your metabolism a little bit --
MORGAN: I'm drinking a lot of coffee.
Is that bad for me?
OZ: Coffee itself is fine, because it's a -- it's the number one source of antioxidants in America. But most people don't have black coffee. Most people have -- most people have black coffee with a little cream added --
OZ: -- just a little bit more cream, then some non-dairy creamer, and then they put sugar in it. And soon, it's just basically a chocolate bar in the form of a coffee cup.
MORGAN: Hmmm. And what about chocolate bars?
OZ: Incorrigible. You know, chocolate, actually, interestingly, 70 percent cocoa chocolate, which is not too sweet, is rich in flavanoids. It's just fine. If you love chocolate, eat chocolate. That could be your snack.
MORGAN: OK, here's what I'm going to do. I am going to tackle this head-on, because I've been feeling a bit run down by all this, and you've made me feel even worse.
So what I'm going to do --
MORGAN: -- I'm going to get you back in -- how -- how long would I need to try and really deal with this?
OZ: You could dramatically change these numbers in six weeks.
MORGAN: I'm going to get you back in six weeks. These numbers are going to get better.
OZ: All right. You're on.
OZ: And start here.
MORGAN: Right. If I -- if I live long enough, we will be back after the break to take some questions from my audience.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OZ: Most of your anus is actually very similar to the inside of your mouth. You know, it's so delicate and, you know, fragile. You can bite it and hurt it. And you can cut it by mistake.
So you take a hard piece of poop -- and you ready?
And you push it down like this and --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't think I --
OZ: -- and that's what happens.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: I'd really rather have high blood pressure.
OZ: Oh, my goodness. MORGAN: There's nothing too personal, Dr. Oz.
MORGAN: -- questions of my studio audience. I'm not going to go with that horrible --
OZ: My goodness.
MORGAN: That's a horrible video.
All right, let's turn, first of all, to Judy Gulls (ph). Now, you've got a question for the doctor.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, Dr. Oz.
OZ: Hi, Judy.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm 53 and in the throes of menopause.
So my question to you is, why does it seem that some women have it a lot easier and some women have such a difficult time?
Uh, is it diet?
Is it exercise?
Or is it just luck?
OZ: Well, it's -- it's a combination. But let me, if I can, explain to everyone what's going on. So about a third of women have really severe symptoms of menopause. About a third are bothered by it, mostly sleep problems, the emotional disruptions. It's hot all the time. And then about a third of the people just don't have any symptoms at all. They don't even know they're going through menopause.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right.
OZ: Part of it, we believe, is dependent on the body's fat content. You don't have much. But when the body has fat on it, it releases hormones. It actually creates more estrogen. That's why it's particularly a problem with men and women, for the men to lose their libido, even though they're making testosterone, it can bring up the estrogen. In women, they make the estrogen and it makes things like hot flashes worse, it causes breast cancer and ovarian cancer and things like that.
The second big issue is -- is the emotional reality of our lives. Now, menopause is not just estrogen. It's also progesterone problems. And progesterone is like valium to women. That's why when you get pregnant, your progesterone goes through the roof, so you don't rebel against this thing growing inside of you.
And it lets you deal with things you shouldn't have to deal with. You will tolerate transgressions that most people wouldn't have tolerated, because you have high levels of progesterone.
Well, as you enter into your fourth decade of life, literally, in your early '40s, progesterone levels begin to come down. And slights that didn't used to bother you, they begin to bother you.
And that becomes a bigger issue as you add estrogen into the mix. So that combination of some physical realities plus emotional coping skills leads to the symptoms of menopause.
The good news is, if you shift from saturated fats in your diet to the healthier fats, uh, you know, that -- that -- you know, vegetables, for example, that sources, nuts and the like, it seems to help a bit. And black cohosh is really effective for a lot of women who have menopause.
But worst comes to worse, do not shy away from hormone replacement therapy.
OZ: Hormone replacement therapy is not -- I don't think, a danger for women as they're entering menopause, to take for a short period of time, let's say three to five years. Always take it with a little aspirin to reduce the chance of it causing clotting problems.
But I believe that's where the average medical practitioner is going to agree we ought to be using these drugs.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK.
MORGAN: Some good advice there from the doctor.
Let's send it to Sean Teagle.
A question about pain.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, Dr. Oz.
My question is in regards to pain. I have a pre-existing shoulder injury. And I notice the older that I become, the more frequent the pain is starting to appear.
So my question to you is, is there a preventative measure that I could use to help alleviate the pain so that, long-term, it won't turn into arthritis?
MORGAN: That's a great question. So many Americans must suffer from pain in some capacity, long-term pain.
What is the best way to try and deal with it?
OZ: You know, we tackle this on the show a lot because there's actually 116 million Americans with chronic pain issues.
OZ: And a lot of us are on the pills. But pills are not the right solution, because pills just paint over the crack in the foundation of your well being. They don't deal with the core reason.
So let's talk about your shoulder, uh, in two ways.
First, the reality is, most of our joints, which have, of course, two bones involved in them, aren't supposed to let the bones touch. When the muscles get weak around the joints, the -- the bones begin to touch. That's true for knee pain, for example, because when you have knee pain, you begin to hobble. Your muscles quickly atrophy. And when you start to get better again, the bones start to hit each other, because the muscles aren't there.
The same for your shoulder. If those muscles were strong, they'd hold the joint apart. They literally suck the joint apart and prevent those bones from touching and causing discomfort.
The second issue is the amount of inflammation in the body. It will increase sensitivity to all pain. That's why I think take omega 3 fats. Fish oils are hugely effective in reducing pain syndromes.
And, finally, there are over the counter products, alternating magnets and electricity symptoms, you know, the devices. These are FDA-approved. They're inexpensive. You can put them right on top of your shoulder, knee, lower back, neck, whatever part of your body is hurting you. And they are impactful and I would try those there.
Again, they're not very expensive and it's much safer than taking pills.
MORGAN: OK. Good advice.
Let's turn to David Cohen.
You've got a question which I think is right up my alley, longevity and how to get it, presumably.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hello, Dr. Oz.
Well, I come from a -- I'm 61 and I come from a long line of short-lived people. And -- and, granted, following all the rules and regulations you painted before, I almost feel sometimes it's a fait accompli, that genetics play a tremendous role.
And what's the balance between genetics and just good living?
OZ: It turns out that about two thirds of how long you live is based on your lifestyle. Only a third is genetics. And the most genetic of all illnesses is Alzheimer's. And so many other conditions, heart disease, for example, uh, is much more dependent on the risk factors we just talked about with Piers with his study. Uh, they were --
MORGAN: Don't go on about it. OZ: Yes, please.
OZ: They're turning off. The --
OZ: -- but -- but -- but it's, you know, they -- it does -- it does play a small role. A lot of folks get fixated on the day their parents died and what age they were at. And you sort of count the days down until you get to that moment. Very natural.
The reality, though, is you -- anybody right now who can hear my voice, who's in good health, has a really good chance of living to age 100, with the vitality they desire, if they take proactive steps.
MORGAN: Well, that gives me the perfect segue to you, Mimi (ph), because you are, unbelievably, 101 years old.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And a half.
MORGAN: We want to come back and talk to Mimi. And I want to know how that she's gotten to 101. She has the answer.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Don't take that away from me.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, it's me, your fat pants. Look, we've got to talk. I'm going to be honest, I need a break. This is my busy season and even I'm a little stretched. Something's got to give.
Tell them, Dr. Oz. I can't take it anymore.
OZ: So you overdid it last year. That's in the past. All this January, we are sending this guy packing and getting you back in your skinny jeans.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, yes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Fat pants and skinny jeans. We'll get to that in a moment.
But first, Dr. Oz is back with more questions from our studio audience. Now, Mimi, let me come to you, because as we discussed before, you're 101 years old.
What is the secret to long life, do you think, in terms of health?
MIMI: Good diet.
MIMI: Exercise. If you can, do it standing up, get in bed and do it.
OZ: Do what in bed?
MIMI: Good sex.
OZ: I'm proud of you.
MIMI: But --
MORGAN: Mimi -- Mimi, let me ask you, have you ever some kind?
MIMI: Never. I never sat in the sun.
MIMI: I --
MORGAN: So you never smoked, you've never been in the sun. You keep out of the sun.
MORGAN: Do you drink alcohol?
MORGAN: So -- so, here we are, keep out of the sun. No smoking. Very little alcohol, just lots of milk and plenty of sex.
What about that for a recipe for long life?
OZ: It's obviously worked. I bet you if I took Mimi's blood pressure, it actually would be on the low side.
MORGAN: Yes, can we stay off blood pressure. OZ: If you go around the world and look at places where people live a long time, Mimi's story resonates. You know, social structure around family with them here today, and ability to just make -- you know, make peace with what's going on in your life, and then physical activity. And sex does count. And that actually comes up over and over again.
But that's sort of a barometer of whether you're healthy enough --
OZ: -- to do the things you want to do in your life.
MORGAN: Yes. Well, let's turn to Judy behind you, because your problem is about sleep.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm 48 and since I got into my late 40s, I started having sleep problems. And I wake up every night around 3:00 or 4:00 in the morning. And I can't back -- get back to sleep.
So I was wondering --
MORGAN: A lot of people have this. I have it because I've got a one-year-old daughter --
MORGAN: -- who wakes up at 3:00 every morning.
MORGAN: So for people who have broken sleep, either naturally broken or because of other events, how important is sleep?
How many hours should you get?
And if you can't get enough, what do you do about it?
OZ: The -- the number one under appreciated health problem in America is sleep issues. Number one. It drives overeating. It drives high blood pressure.
MORGAN: So I can blame my one-year-old daughter.
OZ: And you actually would --
MORGAN: Elize, if you're watching, it's your fault.
OZ: That's right. Assess, blame and condemn. That's what it often comes down to. But it turns out sleep issues, you mentioned that I can -- you're -- you're awake in the middle of the night -- come from a variety of sources.
One, anxieties can cause it.
Two, as you -- as we get older, we need to go to the bathroom more often at night.
And the mistake that a lot of folks make is they turn the lights on. Big error.
As soon as your eyes see bright, white light, you turn off melatonin in the brain and you're awakened. So you ought to, you know, get one of those night lights or use your cell phone, the -- the red light safe on the cell phone. Leave it on the way to your bathroom trip so that you don't trip over stuff.
OZ: But at least it will allow you to go back to sleep in an effortless fashion.
A couple of other quick things --
MORGAN: Well, what about --
OZ: -- we --
MORGAN: -- technology here, because we're in an era now of BlackBerrys and mobiles and, you know, computers and so on?
How does that affect people's sleep?
I've got a feeling it affects mine, because you're on these things all day long until late at night.
It can't help you sleep, does it?
OZ: It -- it completely disrupts sleep patterns, and for one very important reason. Our ancestors would see the sun set and they didn't -- because the sun's rays were getting longer and longer, it would naturally turn on the sleep mechanism in our brain, primarily driven by a hormone called melatonin.
So when you're on a -- you know, on a -- on a handheld device or watching a TV screen, even, it keeps you up. And that bright light won't let you stimulate the same hormones you're supposed to stimulate, so you don't go to sleep.
The same thing happens if you wake up in the middle of the night.
So the first thing I tell all my patients is about a half an hour before bedtime, either use these lights that don't have a bright white element -- they're cheap little bulbs -- or just turn the lights down and stop looking at bright screens. And in a half hour period, you will feel drowsy.
And one big tip to all the parents out there, it's a good time to tell the kids bedtime stories.
How many of you have told your kids bedtime stories then fallen asleep while you're telling them, right?
The reason that happens is -- it's a great tool because the kids put their defenses down a little bit and as they begin to fall asleep, you can then begin to tell them parable stories, lessons that they can use in their lives.
So it's a great bonding technique. It's probably the best parenting tip I could ever give and -- and I'm a new dad. I've got four kids.
MORGAN: When we come back, I'm going to get my flu shot from this man, Dr. Oz.
MORGAN: Back now with my special guest, Dr. Oz.
And as you can see, I've been taking my clothes off, not just for Mimi's benefit, although she's rather enjoying it. Because I am going to have my first ever flu shot. And I thought who would be a better guy here to do it.
So the myth about these -- and I'm told it's a myth -- is that you can actually get flu or flu-like symptoms simply by having the -- the shot.
Is that true?
OZ: You cannot get the flu from the flu shot because the material is -- is actually dead flu virus.
OZ: So it cannot cause a problem for you. It's based on whatever virus is present in Southeast Asia a few months ago.
MORGAN: OK. So that is a myth.
OZ: That's a myth.
MORGAN: OK. You've got a very large needle.
OZ: I love this part.
MORGAN: You're enjoying this, aren't you?
OZ: This is literally the biggest needle I could find. There are none larger. Please give me a muscle.
OZ: That's it?
OZ: All right, that's it, that's it, one, two, three --
OZ: And hold please.
OZ: No -- no blood even, please.
OZ: I -- I'll give you a Band-Aid if you don't cry.
MORGAN: Yes, OK.
MORGAN: -- it's like a dull ache, isn't it?
It doesn't really hurt.
OZ: No, it doesn't really hurt. And the -- I'd say it's a -- it's about the size of a mosquito bite.
MORGAN: Should children have them?
OZ: It's recommended that after the age of six months, that we give it to our kids.
OZ: And, frankly, it's much more valuable in the really young and the really old. But it's particularly the older folks who get the flu and then they have heart attacks related to it, they get all kinds of complications related to it.
So, listen, it's one of those smart things. In life, there's some things that are predictable, there are some things that aren't. This is one of those events that I think could be beneficial with very low side effects. I mean there -- we've got 130 million of these little vials out there waiting to help people with. Let's take advantage of it.
MORGAN: If I get flu now, I'm coming after you.
OZ: I'm here.
MORGAN: All right?
Let's end with Ellis Island, because you -- you -- it's obviously of great significance to all Americans.
Tell me why you took your show there and why it's important to you.
OZ: Ellis Island is iconic for our nation because it was the place where we got a second start. And I think a lot of Americans think their best years are behind them. They're not sure if the future is as bright as it was, uh, when they were kids. And I think that's not the case. I think we are in a good spot in this country. We have a wonderful series of reasons to be helpful and supportive of each other.
And I've got to say, it starts with simple things that you can control. And the reason I focus on the body is because you can control what's happening in here. If you can control what's happening inside your body, you can change the world outside of it.
And I think that's the mantra we need to take into the new year.
MORGAN: How much of it is mental in the end?
OZ: You know, mental is where you win it all. If you look at the root cause of so many of the problems we face in our lives, it all starts up there.
But again, you want to start with small, actionable steps. And the body is a good place to do it.
If you realize the sacredness of what we were given when we were born, the uniqueness of this valuable inheritance we have, and then you treasure it, because -- as a temple of the soul, which is what it is, it allows you to realize that this is what all the action really is.
And at its very core, it's not about competing in the journey of life, it's about taking a small time out and realizing the wisdom of how beautiful whatever we were handed is. That ultimately takes us to the true bliss of life.
MORGAN: Well, I'm going to show you the power of my own discipline and mental strength. In six week's time, you're coming back.
OZ: All right.
MORGAN: Those numbers are coming down.
Dr. Oz, thank you very much.
OZ: Thank you, Piers.
Thank you very much.
MORGAN: Dr. Oz.
And that's all for us tonight.