I recently posted a Reel about Anthony William, the Medical Medium. For some reason, people are still commenting on the video, even though it’s months old.
This led me to believe that I needed to write a follow-up to my Medical Medium cleanse post from 2021.
In doing research for this Medical Medium review update, I figured out that Anthony William has actually blocked me on Instagram. Luckily he hasn’t blocked my dog, whose account I used to get all of the images and some information you see below. Thanks, Sammy!
Most of us know that a spirit has apparently been giving William nutrition advice since he was 4 years old. He has built quite the empire on this dubious source of information.
William is known for being the inventor of the celery juice trend, but that’s not all he has invented. You’ll know what I mean in a minute.
To begin, I can’t write about William without writing about EBV.
Epstein-Barr virus – the conveniently vague scapegoat.
Epstein Barr virus (EBV) is all over William’s content. It’s a great example of how he seems to use mystery, vagueness, promises, and no science whatsoever to sell his narrative.
EBV is prevalent – 90% of the population has been infected by it in their lifetimes. It’s also vague enough that people with medical questions that have no answers, can easily be convinced that their issue stems from EBV…and this is exactly what’s happening.
William declares that EBV is responsible for ‘mysterious’ symptoms and illnesses of every kind. He believes EBV causes menopause. He says it leads to chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, tinnitus, lupus, thyroid disease, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Although a recent review on EBV published in Nature drew a correlation between EBV and MS, this does not equal causation. This review also does not confirm that EBV ‘causes’ everything William says it does.
The problem with William’s EBV theory is that out of the 90% of people who have been infected with Epstein-Barr, the vast majority of them don’t suffer any negative effects as a result.
Yes, the virus lies dormant in our bodies, so if you go looking for it to explain your symptoms, you will probably find it (because most of us have it). That’s a whole different thing than proving that EPV is causing your illness.
EBV is also incurable, but not to the Medical Medium!
To ‘heal’ your EBV, William suggests people eat lots of fruits and vegetables. He also recommends a huge list of supplements, and conveniently links each one to his affiliate.
In order to increase peoples’ suspicion with mainstream medicine that hasn’t been able to give them answers, William often throws in something about how it hasn’t yet caught up to the ‘facts.’ He claims to know better than doctors, because, well…Spirit told him.
This is straight off the MM site:
Medical communities have no understanding that lupus is just the body reacting to Epstein-Barr’s byproducts and neurotoxins….Medical research has not yet uncovered the true causes of thyroid disorders, and it’s still decades away from discovering that EBV is the virus that causes them.
Maybe that’s because the medical community uses actual research and science? It can take decades to establish a relationship between X and Y, and without that proof, doctors can’t responsibly treat your illnesses. This isn’t because they don’t want to; it’s because they took an oath to protect you from unproven and potentially harmful interventions.
In this post, William claims that he knows what causes ulcerative colitis, but the medical community doesn’t:
To even suggest that he knows more than trained physicians is incredibly offensive to those who have devoted their lives to using science to help people with this condition.
He claims that ADHD is not genetic (we know that it is). Instead, he tells us that it’s caused by heavy metals and ‘toxins.’ In theory, then, removing these ‘toxins’ from the body would ‘cure’ ADHD.
That’s a convenient way to sell his heavy metal cleanse. It’s also absolute ignorant garbage that he can’t actually prove, which is par for the course. William does seem to have a total hard-on for heavy metal detoxes, which he claims can help autism, ADHD, OCD, depression, anxiety, MS, Parkinson’s, tics, and addictions, among other diagnoses.
That is a disgusting, irresponsible, and dangerous thing to tell people. Nothing about his detox shake ‘heals’ these very serious conditions. Telling people that they can cause positive changes in their symptoms from a simple drink may lead them to ignore medical advice and discontinue essential medications.
As far as celery juice, there are no quality studies from the last ten years involving celery juice and any curative outcomes to illness and/or disease. It’s hydrating, and it’s not dangerous, but it’s not a miracle anything. Also: the ‘cluster salts’ that William claims are what make this juice special, do not exist.
Because William claims to treat numerous symptoms that could be attributed to many illnesses and lifestyle factors, there’s often no way for his followers to know if 1. they have what he says they have and 2. if they’re being ‘cured’ of it.
This is a common trick in the wellness industry. Tell people that they have something scary that they can’t test for, then sell them the solution that they can’t prove actually worked.
Compounding this by currying distrust in the medical community ensures that William can push his own agenda every further. But this behaviour can be deadly.
When people delay life-saving medical treatment for serious illness in favour of his protocols and detoxes, it can be detrimental. As we know, people who do this often have poor outcomes.
This person’s posts are a great example of that. Here, she’s saying that people have cured their cancer by following the Medical Medium’s advice.
Here’s she’s telling people to go taper down their anxiety medications as they do the Medical Medium protocols.
She’s not alone – there are a lot of people using the Medical Medium’s content to convince their audience to make ill-informed choices.
Medical Medium and chemicals.
Medical Medium is all about food as medicine. One of his MOs is to tell people that they’re eating something horrible for them *gasp* CHEMICALS!!!, then come in like a knight in shining armour with the TRUTH:
Most of the claims he makes in this caption aren’t even close to being true.
‘Your liver could be holding on to preservatives from hot dogs you ate decades ago.’ That is ridiculous, and he conveniently doesn’t name these preservatives, keeping them mysterious and scary.
MSG is safe and doesn’t do anything to human nervous systems.
Citric acid is naturally occurring in a lot of foods. I hope you don’t like citrus, because it has a ton of it.
Formaldehyde is naturally occurring in a lot of fruits, including apples. Interesting how William promotes eating apples to ‘cleanse toxins from the body.’ His whole ‘chemicals are scary’ narrative is really tiresome, and now he’s even contradicting himself.
Why do people listen to the Medical Medium?
If we wouldn’t hire a plumber to defend us in court, and we wouldn’t hire an accountant to perform surgery on us, why in the world are we trusting our health to Anthony William?
Because he seems to offer people simple solutions to problems that aren’t easily solvable. It often has nothing to do with a person’s intelligence; rather, how we respond to quackery involves emotion.
If you’re struggling, and the Medical Medium shows up with a protocol that promises to cure you, you’re probably going to buy into it. False hope sells, unfortunately.
It seems like many Medical Medium followers fall into one or more of the following groups: 1. conspiracy theorists with a distrust of mainstream medicine 2. don’t understand science (a quick read in the comments section of any of my Medical Medium posts will confirm that) and 3. have strong faith in god. These sorts of people are more likely to accept his wild theories as fact.
There’s a strong faith healing component to William’s entire brand, starting with the ‘Spirit’ connection. Faith healing has been around for centuries, and is generally associated with quackery.
While spirituality can be a helpful part of healing and life in general, it has never been known to cure anyone of an incurable illness.
Plenty of these people have told me that William has ‘healed’ them and others. That’s nice, and I offer some alternative theories below about why some of these individuals may feel better.
One person told me that they feel great because they’ve ‘gotten rid of their heavy metals and toxins.’ If they knew better, they’d understand that true heavy metal poisoning requires a hospital, not a detox shake.
Despite these anecdotes, I still believe as a dietitian that Anthony William is doing people a great disservice.
Nobody likes to talk about the people who William hasn’t ‘healed.’
They can’t provide proof that they’re actually ‘cured.’
They don’t like to discuss the fact that much of his information is scientifically false.
And god forbid you should bring up the fact that he is literally pulling his advice out of thin air.
Medical Medium supplements, store, and marketing.
I’ve had countless Medical Medium followers tell me that William makes NO money on any of the content he puts out, so why am I such a hater?
It might be difficult for some people to believe, but any time they share William’s content, there’s the potential of him making money. It looks like every single one of the captions on his Instagram posts ends with some variation of, ‘find out more in my BOOK!’
So even if they haven’t spent a dime, the more his content spreads, the more people are swindled into buying William’s garbage. He also has a big online store with all sorts of garbage.
Can I interest you in a $300 low-speed masticating celery juicer from the MM’s Amazon? Any time you share his content, he gains influence. This translates into money.
Hey, I can explain it to you, but I can’t make you understand it. Sorry.
Why do some people feel better on the Medical Medium’s protocols?
There’s a few simple possibilities.
First of all, they may have changed their diets to include more whole foods and fewer ultra-processed ones. This is great, but doing it under the burden of misinformation and fear, is not.
Or, they’ve removed whatever food was triggering their symptoms. The Medical Medium loves to tell people to cut out eggs, MSG, and plenty of other things. For most healthy people, there’s no reason to remove these things for our diet. It’s all spin and no substance. Just like a broken clock is right twice a day, sometimes removing random foods from our diet may hit on what’s been bothering us. But to recommend this to everyone while using fear tactics and misinformation to support it, is reprehensible.
Lastly, they might be experiencing the placebo effect. When we believe so hard that something is going to make us feel better, sometimes it does – at least, in our minds.
It’s also safe to say though that if you believe that the Medical Medium has ‘cured’ your incurable disease, you may not have actually had that disease in the first place.
Cluster salts don’t exist. He made them up. He is not ‘ahead of the science’; he is making things up. Period.
Aside from making things up, William has mastered the game of highlighting a new fruit or vegetable every once in a while, searching for a correlation with a health outcome in the literature, then marketing it to his followers as a wonder food.
Apples, papaya, celery, blackberries, cherries… they’ve all been highlighted for some kind of anti-cancer, liver supporting, anti-viral magic. This is what his books are based on.
You can’t reliably tell people that certain foods have these sorts of effects on the body. That’s a gross oversimplification and a dumbing down of how physiology works.
I recently got a DM from someone asked me why I care HOW people feel better by following the Medical Medium – as long as they end up better in the end.
Basically, she was asking why I care which road someone takes, if it eventually gets there where they want to be.
My issue with people like Anthony William is that they are predatory, and they are using misinformation to make money.
Misinformation about how our bodies work. This leads people to believe things about their bodies that aren’t true.
Misinformation about humans being ‘full of toxins’ that we need their ‘cleanses’ and ‘detoxes’ and shakes for. This creates anxiety.
Misinformation about curing incurable diseases. This gives false hope.
Misinformation that perfectly safe food is somehow harmful. This confuses people and makes them afraid to eat.
Misinformation that they are qualified to provide advice to people who are struggling with their health. This is potentially harmful.
If Williams’ protocols worked, wouldn’t modern medicine have caught on by now? The inevitable answer from his followers will be some conspiracy theory about how conventional medicine is corrupt. But this doesn’t make sense, since conventional medicine would surely steal his ideas and make money with them if it were corrupt.
Williams can evade having to provide evidence because the information all came from Spirit – he is just the messenger. In the real world, knowledge translation should come from unbiased, peer reviewed evidence.
If William actually cared about his followers, he would publish research that backs up his claims.
If any of William’s claims about foods and illness were valid, he would be jumping at the opportunity to put together a clinical trial to gain the support of the scientific community.
Imagine how much MORE he could sell with the scientific proof to garner real endorsements! Oh wait! There is no incentive for him to do this because he has the support of celebrities and the general public who know nothing about science but trust in Spirits, and he makes more money selling unverified claims than he would investing in research that would inevitably prove him wrong.
Seeking out or providing evidence beyond anecdotes for his claims will only compromise his business. It’s a house of cards.
co-written by Lise Wolyniuk