Mercola Community - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Please browse through the list of frequently asked questions below before contacting us. For FAQs relating to specific products, please refer to our Other FAQs links below.

  • Registration and Login
  • User Profile and Settings
  • Privacy and Security
  • Navigation
  • Posting
  • User Groups and Permissions
  • Issues Receiving Newsletters
  • General

Registration and Login

How do I Register?

To create an account, you will need to visit the Registration page and complete the form for creating a new account. Here you will specify details such as your login name and email address. If you are not asked to specify a password, one will be emailed to you after successfully registering.

I have a Username and Password, how do I Login?

After successfully registering, you should have a username and password. You can then visit the login page and enter your username and password to login.

What happens if my password doesn't work?

If you have a problem with your password, e-mail us, and we'll be glad to help you get a new one.

I forgot my username and/or password.

If you forgot your username and/or password, you can visit the Forget Your Password page and have both your username and a new password emailed to you by entering the email account you're registered with. You will be sent a new password since we store your password encrypted and have no way of retrieving the original value. Once you receive your username and new password, you can login and change your password.

If you have forgotten your password, please follow this link:

What if I've registered but still cannot login?

If you've registered and can't login, check to ensure you have a valid username and password. If you are sure the username and password are valid but still can't login, you may either require account activation or your account may be on hold. In this case please contact our customer service at or call us at 239-599-9500.

I've logged in before, but now can't login.

First, check to ensure your username and password are correct. If you still can't login, your account has either been put on hold or deleted due to inactivity. Please contact our customer service at or call us at 877-985-2695.

User Profile and Settings

What is a Profile?

A profile is information about your account that controls how you view information within This includes details about posts you've contributed to, personal information you wish to share such as your web address or weblog address, as well as setting that control how you interact with this site, such as: themes, time zone, and other settings.

Why do I want to set my time zone?

Setting your timezone will enable this site to display all dates and time relative to your time zone.

What is an avatar?

An avatar is a feature of the articles which allows for an image to be displayed along with your posts. Avatars may be enabled or disabled by your administrator.

How do I set my avatar?

If avatars are enabled by the administrator, you will see an avatar section when viewing your profile. From here you can complete the article to name the avatar you wish to use, either uploading an avatar or specifying a URL to your avatar. You will also need to enable your avatar for it to be displayed with your posts.

How do I set the date format?

The date format used to display any date information can be configured from your profile.

How do I turn off email tracking?

Email tracking is a feature that will send emails to you when messages that you are subscribed to change. You can turn off all email tracking globally from your profile.

What are the other icons/avatars that show up next to users?

There are many different icons that can show up next to usernames in the articles. Common examples are administrators, moderators, or top posters. Other images may be displayed based on groups the user belongs to.

Privacy and Security

How do I change my Password?

Once logged in, you can change your password from your Profile page.

How do I change my Username?

Unless the administrator has configured the site to allow username changes, you cannot change your username. Otherwise you can change your username from the Profile page.

How do I change my email address?

You can update your Email address by clicking on Edit Profile after you've logged into your account. Then select "Change Email Address" under the Personal Information header.

You can also contact our Customer Service Department at or call toll-free at 877-985-2695 (US) or 239-599-9500 (International) to update your email address.

What Profile settings are required?

The only profile setting that is required is your private email address. This is the email address that is used when you subscribe to this site, when a forgotten username/password is emailed. The private email address is never shared or displayed publicly. If you wish to share an email address publicly, use the public email address field. The remainder of the profile settings is optional.

What if I don't want my name displayed in the member lists?

You can set the option in your profile and your name will not appear in any member listings, including the listing of who is online.


I just posted a message, how come I don't see it?

An article may or may not be moderated depending upon how the article has been configured. After posting a message in a moderated article you may receive a message stating that the post is awaiting moderation. Once the moderator(s) approve your post, your post will become visible. The moderators may choose to move, edit, or delete your post to ensure that the post is topical to the current article.

What is the 'XML' icon at the bottom of an article?

The XML icon is linked to the RSS feed for the article. RSS is used to allow other applications to subscribe to an article's posts.

What is the red/green icon next to a user's name when viewing a Post?

You can update your Email address by clicking on Edit Profile after you've logged into your account. Then select "Change Email Address" under the Personal Information header.

This icon indicates the user's online status. A green icon means the user has been active recently (usually within the last 15 minutes). A red icon means the user has not recently been active. You can hover your mouse over this icon to see details about the user's past activity.

I can't access an article I know exists.

If you are attempting to access an article that you have visited before, but now receive an 'unknown article' error there are two likely causes. The first cause is that the article you are attempting to access is private and you are not signed in. The second cause is that the article has been removed.


Can I use HTML?

Yes and no. You cannot type HTML directly into the editor. If you are using Internet Explorer the default editor for creating new posts will be a Rich Text Editor that will automatically format posts using HTML. If you post with a browser other than Internet Explorer a standard HTML textbox is used and BBCode can be used to mark-up posts.

What is BBCode?

BBCode is a special syntax for formatting plaintext posts.

Can I add attachments to my posts?

Yes, however, this requires the moderator(s) or administrator(s) to enable this permission for user's on an article-by-article basis.

What are Emoticons?

Emoticons are graphical elements that can be added within the body of a post to add emotions to the post. Common examples are the use of smilies within the contents of a post. This site comes with a pre-defined set of emoticons, however the administrator can add additional ones.

How do I post a new message to an article?

You can post a new message to an article in several ways depending upon how the administrator has configured the site. When viewing an article you should see an image button reading New Topic. Clicking on this image button will take you to a form for posting a message or ask you to login first. Depending upon how the administrator has configured the site you may be able to post anonymously, i.e. no login required. If you do not see the New Topic image button, you may not have enough permission – even after logging in – to post a message to the article, even though you are allowed to view the article.

How do I edit my posts?

If the administrator or moderator has configured the article or your role to allow editing of posts, you will see an Edit image button next to posts you have made. Clicking on this image button will allow you to edit your post.

How do I delete my posts?

If the administrator or moderator has configured the article or your role to allow deleting posts, you will see a Delete image button next to new posts you have made. If a post you have made has one or more replies, you will no longer be able to delete the post.

My Post has words replaced with ***?

The administrator may have specified a word filter for posts. When word filters are enabled, certain words that are deemed to be offensive are filtered and replaced with the '*' character.

How do I add an avatar to my posts?

See "What is an avatar?" and "How do I Set my Avatar?" in the User Profile and Settings section.

User Groups and Permissions

How am I ranked?

You are given points based on the content of your comments by your fellow readers. These points contribute to your overall status on this site as indicated below.


Badge Name Points Definition
Getting Started Getting Started 15 points & below Users with a Getting Started badge have reached Level 0. This user is either new to the site or new to participation in Vital Votes but have started the process of contributing to the community!
Novice User Novice User 16 to 50 points Users with a Novice badge have reached Level 1. These users are quickly getting the hang of things and have been recognized for making valuable contributions to help others in the area of health.
Apprentice User Apprentice User 51 to 350 points Users with an Apprentice badge have reached Level 2. These users have consistent forum participation and are providing useful comments that are getting recognized by the community.
SuperUser SuperUser 351 to 1000 points Users with a SuperUser badge have reached Level 3. These users are in the top thousand posters on the site and are constantly expanding and improving the knowledge of the community in a positive direction.
Savvy User Savvy User 1001 to 899,999 points Users with a Savvy badge have reached Level 4. They're lean idea machines! Their extraordinary nose for news leads them to discover, discuss, and share hot-off-the-press Mercola reports. These users are in the top few hundred posters on the site and are valuable and well respected members of the community.
Super Savvy User Super Savvy User 900,000 & Higher points Users with a Super Savvy badge have reached Level 5. They are the cream of the crop! Their top notch expertise has enabled them to be both a leader and influencing figure to the community on a consistent basis. Only a select few have risen to the rank of Super Savvy.
Moderator Moderator   Users with a moderator badge are members of the Mercola team, and are not attainable by points. It is their job to assist in answering questions from the community and to ensure the flow of conversation on the board remains on topic.
Expert Expert   Users with an Expert badge are world class experts in their field. Expert badges are not attainable by points, rather they are awarded to the most knowledgeable and highly respected experts in the industry.


What are Permissions?

Permissions control what you are or are not allowed to do while browsing the site. The permissions you are granted control all aspects of your view within this site.

What is an Administrator?

An administrator is the highest permission level within this site. By default, an administrator has full permissions to perform any action, e.g. moderating posts, approving users, and so on.

What is a Moderator?

A moderator is the second highest permission level within this site. By default a moderator can perform any number of tasks within a particular article or set of articles. This includes approving posts, moving posts, deleting posts, editing posts, or banning users. If you have a problem with a particular article, the best place to start is with a moderator. Moderators belong to varying groups configured by the Administrator.

What is a Role or User Group?

A user group, also known as a role, is a grouping of common users for the purpose of assigning permissions. In addition to common permission assignment, a role can also be used to display an image for a user in that role. Roles make the job of administering and moderating the site easier since users can be assigned to roles and then permission applied based on those roles.

How do I join a Role or User Group?

Users are assigned to user groups by the administrator. If there is a particular group you wish to join, please send an email to one of its members for more information.

Issues Receiving Newsletters

Why am I not seeing Mercola newsletters in my Inbox even though I signed up for them?

First, check your Junk email folder to see if the newsletter is there. If so, then move the newsletter into your Inbox. If prompted, select the option to always trust mail from the sender, so the newsletter will appear in your Inbox moving forward.

If the newsletter isn't in your Junk email folder, add [email protected] (for Dr. Mercola's newsletters) and [email protected] (for Dr. Becker's pet newsletters) to your safe sender list. This will ensure the newsletters will reach your Inbox.

Why am I not receiving my newsletter in my Gmail account?

Newer versions of Gmail have three separate tabs where emails go: Inbox, Social, and Promotions. Gmail puts newsletters in the "Promotions" tab by default. To move it from the Promotions tab to your Inbox, you have two options:

  1. Go to the Promotions tab and search for [email protected] to view our Mercola Health Newsletter and/or [email protected] for Mercola Healthy Pets Newsletters. Click on one of the newsletters and use your mouse to drag that email from the Promotions tab and drop it on the Inbox tab.
  2. Right click on the newsletter, select "Move to Tab", and put it in the Inbox.

*Note that for both of these options, after you move the email, a small box will pop up at the top of the page asking if you want future emails from this sender to automatically go into the new tab. Click "Yes".

Why am I not receiving my newsletter in my account?

AOL may have placed our email newsletters into a Spam folder, or even have blocked them entirely. Please follow the steps below to check the spam folder and block lists.

  • Checking Spam
    • From the inbox, please check the spam folder. The folder can be found on the left hand side of the page.
    • Once in the spam folder, and if any of our emails are located here, they can be removed and unmarked as spam. Click on the check box on the left of the listing, and then click on the "Not Spam" button located above the message list. This will move the message and allow any further messages from that email address to arrive in the inbox like normal
  • Checking Block List
    • Whether or not our email newsletters are found in the spam list, it is wise to also double check and make sure our email addresses are not being blocked. This can be done by clicking on the Options menu in the upper right corner of the account, and clicking on "Mail Settings". 
    • Once in this menu, click on the "Spam Settings" option and check to see if our email addresses are found in the Sender Filter section. If they are, select the address you wish to remove and click on the "X" button at the right of the highlighted email. Once complete, click the "Save Settings" button at the bottom.

Why am I not receiving my newsletter in my Yahoo! account?

Due to a number of security updates with Yahoo!'s email service, there are times where our email newsletters will be marked as Spam, and will need to be un-flagged as spam. Please follow the steps below to ensure that the emails arrive.

  • Checking Spam
    • From the inbox, please check the spam folder. The folder can be found on the left hand side of the page.
    • Once in the spam folder, and if one of our email newsletters are there, it can be unmarked as spam by clicking the check box on the left of the listing, and then clicking on the "Not Spam" button above the folder listings. This will unmark all emails from that particular email address as Spam, and allow them to appear in the normal inbox again.
  • Checking Block List
    • After checking the Spam folder, or if our emails are not there, our email address may be blocked by Yahoo! We can check to see if our email addresses are on the block list by navigating to their Settings menu looking through to their "Blocked Addresses". Ensure that each of our email addresses are not in this menu (remove if necessary). The Settings menu is located at the upper left corner of the email inbox… 

How do I change my preferences for what Mercola newsletters I want to receive?

At the bottom of each newsletter, there is a link to manage all of your email preferences. Click on the link to choose which newsletters you wish to receive each week. You can also specify if you'd prefer to receive your emails in English or Spanish.

How do I unsubscribe?

An unsubscribe link is available at the bottom of each newsletter. Please note there are two different unsubscribe links – one for the individual newsletter and one for unsubscribing to all of the newsletters.

How do I re-subscribe for Mercola newsletters?

To re-subscribe, simply visit and reenter your email address in the box at the top of the page to start getting our newsletters again. If your email address was subscribed previously, follow the link to the preference center where you can change your preferences and start getting our newsletters again.

Why was my newsletter subscription deactivated?

If you have not opened the newsletter for 90 consecutive days, you will get an email with a link to reactivate your subscription.

*Note that in order to "open" our newsletter, you must click on one of the links inside of it. If you open it and do not click on a link for 90 consecutive days, you may get an email saying your subscription has been deactivated.

In order to re-activate yourself, please open the email and click on the "Re-activation" link in there.

How do I change my email address?

To change your email address, go to "My Account" in the top right corner. Then click on "My Profile" on the right side of the page and select "View Profile". From there, select "Change Email Address" and fill out the form using your new email address.


How do I speak to an actual person?

If you would like support by phone, note the available hours and numbers below:

Mon-Fri: 8AM to 9PM EST
Sat & Sun: 9AM to 6PM EST

Inside the United States: 1 (877) 985-2695 (Toll-Free)
Outside the United States: 1 (239) 599-9500