It's easy to get answers about health and nutrition! Just send your question by email to [email protected] and Dr. Harlan will respond to selected questions of general interest. Answers will be posted in the Ask Dr. Gourmet newsletter (sign up now!) and archived in the Ask Dr. Gourmet section of the website.

Please note that the Ask Dr. Gourmet feature is restricted to questions regarding food and nutrition. Due to the many questions we receive, not all questions may be answered. For more specific questions about your individual health, please contact your doctor. About Timothy S. Harlan, MD, FACP, CCMS | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy



Ask Dr. Gourmet

What are the benefits of chia seeds or acai juice?

What is acai juice and what are its benefits? My husband ordered free acai pills over the Internet and he is not taking them until I can find more information about them. I am very suspect about these pills.

Dr. Gourmet Says...

acai berries in bushel baskets

You are correct to be suspicious of such diet pills. There's no evidence that acai or chia seeds can improve your health or help your husband lose weight. Unfortunately, our government doesn't offer sufficient protection against such scam artists. There is some help from the FDA in alerts such as these:

Many of the diet pills that are being sold actually contain everything from pharmaceutical medications to green tea extract - which has been shown to cause liver damage.

There is no quick fix pill but here's info on how to eat healthy and lose weight sensibly:

Timothy S. Harlan M.D.
Dr. Gourmet