Dr. Mehmet Oz

Dr. Mehmet Oz is one of the most respected surgeons in the world, as well as host of Second Opinion on the Discovery Health Channel.

Today, Dr. Oz brought a selection of real healthy and damaged organs to demonstrate what goes on inside the human body. If you overeat, smoke or drink too much, you may be surprised to see what you're doing to your body.
A healthy heart and an unhealthy heart

The healthy heart (left) is very supple, firm and poetic, according to Dr. Oz.

The unhealthy heart (right) is larger and paler. The lighter spot in the middle indicates that this person had a heart attack. That scarred vessel was unable to bring blood to the heart, and the damage can be seen on the inside.

Once an artery is closed, it doesn't heal, which is a devastating problem, Dr. Oz says. While medicine has gotten better at curing heart attacks, damage is still done after a heart attack, creating an epidemic of heart failure.
A healthy aorta and an unhealthy aorta

Surprisingly, Dr. Oz says it's nearly impossible to find an aorta without plaque. The healthy aorta (left) is such a rarity, it took Dr. Oz a month to find one. Most people's aortas look more like the unhealthy example (right).

The plaque that is created in the aorta is hard, like a rock, so it literally causes hardening. While plaque is dangerous, the possibility of a clot forming is even more worrisome. It is possible to reverse some of the effects of plaque on the aorta, but the best solution is prevention, says Dr. Oz.
Five pounds of human fat

This should put your dieting into perspective—this container holds five pounds of human body fat! Imagine carrying five or ten of these on your back. That's what you're doing to your body when you gain weight.

The reason we get fat, Dr. Oz explained, is because our ancestors survived because they could store fat. In modern society, with no problems of food shortage, we're taking in more fat than we need to survive. By controlling your weight, Dr. Oz says, you can add years to your life.
A healthy liver, an unhealthy liver and a cancerous liver.

Dr. Oz took a cross-section of a healthy liver (left) and an unhealthy liver (middle) to better demonstrate the differences.

The healthy liver is soft, smooth and supple. The unhealthy liver contains little nodules, which is an example of cirrhosis, caused by drinking too much alcohol. The liver serves to process all the materials you bring into your body, which it can't do if it's diseased.

The worst thing that can happen to your liver is cancer (right). When your liver becomes damaged, and the body is continually trying to repair itself, it can lead to cancer.
A healthy lung, an unhealthy lung and a cancerous lung

If you're trying to quit smoking, this could be the day you go cold turkey. The healthy lung (left) is generally pinkish and healthy, with a bit of damage from living in an urban area. The unhealthy lung (middle) comes from a smoker, and is riddled with dark tar from cigarettes.

What's even more worrisome than tar, according to Dr. Oz, is cancer. A cancerous lung (right) will have nodules of cancer cells that grow and spread, invading into everything around them.
A portion of an unhealthy spine and an unhealthy knee

In this cross-section of the spine (left), there's a bit of tissue called the meniscus that acts as a shock absorber between the pieces of the spine. If you're overweight, every time you take a step, you take seven times that weight on your spine. If you don't stay limber or lose weight, over time that piece of tissue can get crushed down. In addition, according to Dr. Oz, you recreate your bones every ten years. If you don't do some sort of weight-bearing exercise, your bones will become fragile from osteoporosis and break more easily.

The knee (right), also has the meniscus to protect your joint. In an overweight person, it can get fractured and the bones begin to wear. This can lead to knee pain, back pain, and a number of orthopedic ailments.

If you fall into the Four F's (Fat, Female, near Forty and Fertile), you're a likely candidate for gallstones. Gallstones are created in the gallbladder, which stores materials including cholesterol and bile, usually squeezed into our intestines to digest. When that doesn't happen, the stones can get lodged in the gallbladder, which is painful, especially under your ribcage on the right side.

To alleviate the problem, the gallbladder is often removed, which Dr. Oz says is one of the most common operations performed by doctors.

According to the American Diabetes Association, more than 18 million people in the United States have diabetes. Dr. Oz says that although diabetes can be managed, it's important to pay the right kind of attention to the disease. "One of the problems with diabetes is that you feel normal, so you don't take things seriously," he says.

What diabetics can't see is how blood vessels can shrink, causing harm to the kidneys. On the left is a normal kidney; on the right, a damaged kidney. The good news is that Type 2 diabetes can be prevented through exercise and diet.

Using the term "egghead" to describe a genius isn't too far off from reality. That's because the consistency of the human brain is similar to the white part of eggs.

Dr. Oz calls the brain a "spectacular" organ that can actually shrink if you don't exercise it. What's the best way to do that?

"Daydream," says Dr. Oz. "You finally have an excuse!"

There's a lot more to the tongue than you might think: when you stick it out, you're actually seeing only part of it. The full tongue muscle reaches back to include the Adam's apple.

Dr. Oz says that if the tip of your tongue is too red, it could mean emotional or physical stress.

The stomach is an amazing organ. When you eat, its muscular walls stretch to hold up to three pints of food.

Unfortunately, stress can literally eat away at the body, says Dr. Oz. That's a leading cause of painful stomach ulcers, shown here at left. The black spots and discolored craters are signs of an overworked stomach. To protect your own stomach from these problems, try relaxing, stress-busting exercises like meditation.

Along with a lack of fiber and insufficient water, stress can cause major problems for the colon. "When you eat food that isn't high in fiber," explains Dr. Oz, "food gets caught in the crevices. Years of abuse can create bigger problems."

Foods high in fiber include oatmeal, blueberries, brown rice, strawberries, carrots, beans, and peas.
Uterus and penis

You might be surprised by how small the uterus is (left). The fallopian tubes reach out to the ovaries, and the uterus—"a small and elegant structure," says Dr. Oz—stretches to hold a fetus.

Humans are the only mammals without a bone in their penises (right). This is because when men are sexually aroused, blood flows into the penis to make it stiff. That's another reason that men should exercise and eat well; doing so will keep the blood flowing throughout the entire body.
Uterine fibroid

Uterine fibroid
Uterine fibroids are common, non-cancerous tumors of the uterus. Although they are benign, they can be painful. The fibroid shown here is almost the size of a grapefruit!

There is no known cause for uterine fibroids, and treatments may range from hormonal therapy to hysterectomy.
Dr. Dean Ornish

Dr. Dean Ornish is the first doctor to prove that heart disease can be reversed through diet and exercise. His low-fat, high-fiber eating plan has helped millions of people, but he says another key to good health is avoiding stress.

"When you manage stress better, when you exercise, when you eat better, your quality of life improves," he says. He suggests meditation as a way to reduce stress, adding that patients who meditate show improved medical tests.