The worst mistake I ever made.

  • I grew up eating plenty of junk food and thought cereal for breakfast and margarine on toast was healthy. In my journey to get healthier, I made plenty of mistakes. Here are some of the lies and deceptions I believed before my eyes were finally opened.
  • Conventional medicine is excellent at diagnosing disease, but where it fails miserably is in the treatment approaches. It only treats the symptoms, not the cause, typically using toxic drugs
  • There are safer, less expensive alternatives that can truly address the cause of disease. Invariably, reclaiming health and treating disease involves addressing your diet, exercise and other lifestyle factors
  • Alongside medicine, I’ve always had a passion for technology, which led to the launch of this website in 1997. Over the past 24 years, we’ve reached hundreds of millions of people all over the world with information that can improve their health

I went to grade school, high school and college, graduated medical school in 1982, finished my residency and opened my private practice in 1985, all inside the city limits of Chicago, Illinois. I then moved to the suburbs and opened up my private practice in 1985. And, in the decades that followed, I had the privilege of treating well over 20,000 patients.

Alongside medicine, I’ve always had a passion for technology, which led to the launch of this website in 1997. These days, my time is dedicated to research and sharing my findings with you. Through the years, we’ve reached hundreds of millions of people through this site, which has grown exponentially over the past two decades.

Your Optimal Health Is My Goal and Mission

While the look and feel of this site has morphed through the years, my intention for its existence has never changed. My goal has always been to provide you with all the information you need to take control of your health — free of charge! I am so happy to have the ability to interview world-leading experts, which now number in the hundreds — learning with you along the way.

We have also built the world’s best natural health website for your pets — — led by Dr. Karen Becker, a whole-spectrum holistic veterinarian, to help you optimize your pet’s health as well.

In the mini-documentary above, originally published in 2015, I discuss my own journey toward health, which ultimately led me to my present-day philosophies and recommendations. Experience is a formidable teacher, and much of what I’m teaching today has grown out of the lessons I learned as I tried to get healthier. I made plenty of mistakes, and fell for many of the lies, deceptions and confusion of conventional medicine.

The video was a big hit at the time, and since we’ve had a significant influx of new subscribers in recent times, I’m rerunning it for those who missed it. I’ve only updated the introduction, to show off our new Mercola Market and Café in Cape Coral, Florida, on the bottom floor of our company headquarters.

Aside from providing free health information, I am also passionate about making the highest quality products I can, and providing our customers with top-notch customer service, whether you’re shopping online or in person in our Cape Coral brick and mortar store.

It’s unlikely you were reading this site 24 years ago, so you probably don’t remember the very first product I created to help fund our mission and that of our nonprofit partners. It was a cookbook called “Just What the Doctor Ordered.”

This was the ketogenic cookbook before keto even existed. We’ve come a long way since then, and now have a full line of supplements, foods, drinks, air and water filters, and even a line of organic clothing and bedding certified to the highest regenerative standards.

Mistakes Are Learning (and Teaching) Opportunities

Like so many others, I grew up eating plenty of junk foods, including cereal for breakfast, and I fully believed margarine was healthy. My diet was high in carbs and sugars and low in fat, and there’s little doubt this played a significant role in dental decay, which I struggled with throughout a large portion of my life.

By the time I was an adult, I had a mouth full of amalgam fillings. Eventually, I discovered the truth about amalgam — that it’s actually 50% mercury — and in 2009 I approached Charlie Brown (president of the Alliance for Mercury Free Dentistry) at a Health Freedom Expo in Chicago. At that event, I offered to partner with him to raise awareness about mercury in dentistry and to help get this toxin out of dentistry for good.

It’s been a highly successful partnership, and October 10, 2013, a legally binding international treaty to control the use of this toxic metal was signed into action, thanks largely to the work of the Campaign for Mercury-Free Dentistry, the project organized and led by Brown.

Health Liberty Is More Important Than Ever

Since then, I’ve partnered with a number of select health and research organizations that are true health advocates and educators, including GrassrootsHealth, Fluoride Action Network (FAN), the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC), the Institute for Responsible Technology (IRT) and the Organic Consumers Association (OCA).

Together, we’ve formed a nonprofit coalition known as Health Liberty, dedicated to improving fundamental education to all on important health, food and drug safety and informed consent issues.

The importance of these issues has truly been driven home over the past 17 months, as information about nutrition to support healthy immune function has been suppressed, COVID-19 treatments have been censored, and informed consent to medical experimentation has been completely tossed out the window.

Nutrition as Medicine

Conventional medicine is excellent at diagnosing disease, but it fails miserably when it comes to treatment approaches. It typically focuses on treating the symptoms, not the root cause, and it does so using toxic drugs that frequently cause problems that are more dangerous than the original complaint.

The discovery of nutrition as a method of healing was nothing short of revolutionary for me. It really opened my eyes and gave me a whole different perspective on health and healing.

I began scouring the medical and lay literature on nutrition, and started attending conferences on alternative healing modalities, typically every month, to acquire the knowledge and skills to help people heal.

I would then apply what I’d learned in my medical practice and get tremendous results — so much so I finally reached the point where I said, “This stuff really works!” and with that, I made a commitment to practice medicine without drugs.

When I notified my patients of this new direction, 70% of them left. They were unwilling to quit using the drugs they were on and to address their health problems with nutrition and other lifestyle changes.

This turned out to be a blessing, as the patients I had left really wanted to get better and were willing to do the work. Eventually, word spread about their healing successes, and over the years I ended up treating patients from all over the world.

Blazing Trails and Staying Ahead of the Curve

Over the past 24 years, I’ve often been among the first in the media to communicate commonsense strategies of healing and staying well naturally to the wider audience. The truth is your body has an innate ability to heal. It is designed to move toward health and away from disease, provided you give it the basic support it needs in terms of nutrition, physical movement, exposure to sunlight and myriad other natural health strategies.

For example, I began talking about the importance of vitamin D for health beyond rickets back in 2000, and have warned people about the adverse effects of shunning sun exposure for over 21 years.

Thankfully, the medical literature has now firmly established that vitamin D is essential for health. Vitamin D deficiency plays a role in dozens of chronic diseases, and appears to be foundational when it comes to acute respiratory infections too.

October 31, 2020, I published a vitamin D review1 titled “Evidence Regarding Vitamin D and Risk of COVID-19 and Its Severity” in the journal Nutrients. The paper was co-written with William Grant, Ph.D., and Dr. Carol Wagner, both of whom are part of the GrassrootsHealth expert vitamin D panel.

I also addressed the importance of vitamin D for healthy immune function in my live presentation at the Mid-Cape Summerfest and Mercola Market inauguration, August 7, 2021 (video below).

In fact, my passion for vitamin D is such that I not only moved my own residence but the entire company from Illinois to Florida several years ago. I now take a long walk on the beach every day, wearing nothing but shorts and a hat, and have not needed to take a vitamin D supplement in years.

Early Warnings Issued — Years in Advance

While pharma-funded mainstream media like to vilify me, and have done so for years, I have a solid track record of eventually being proven correct. In 2006, I began warning about the artificial sweetener aspartame, convinced it was one of the most dangerous additives in the food supply.

Since then, the medical literature has become filled with studies demonstrating its harmful effects. Not only do artificial sweeteners actually promote obesity, they also worsen diabetes, and it’s fraught with side effects. In fact, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has received more health complaints stemming from aspartame than all other food additives combined.

I was also among the first to issue a stern warning against Vioxx. In 1999 I uncovered a study that showed people taking this drug were at massively increased risk of dying from heart disease and stroke, and I published this information in my newsletter.

I actually issued the first public warning about Vioxx while it was still in clinical trials — a year before it became available by prescription. I predicted Vioxx would be pulled from the market once the increased cardiac deaths were finally recognized and, indeed, that’s exactly what happened — but not before more than 60,000 people had died from taking the blockbuster drug.

Time will tell how true that label is. I for one am not worried. I believe in time the true disinformation agents will be revealed for what they are.

Take Control of Your Health, for Life!

I would encourage anyone who feels skeptical to really evaluate the evidence and put some of my healthy lifestyle principles to the test, because the ultimate proof for most people is their own experience. It either works or it doesn’t. You feel better and get healthier, or you don’t.

My mantra is “Take Control of Your Health,” and my goal is to teach you how to get off the merry-go-round of drugs, which typically treat only the symptoms while actually deteriorating your health.

Drugs can also be lethal, and even when properly prescribed and administered they kill hundreds of thousands of people each year. My message is: There are safer, less expensive alternatives that can truly address the root cause of your disease. Invariably, reclaiming health and treating disease involves addressing your diet, exercise and other lifestyle factors, most of which cost little or nothing.