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Read online or Download Do You Believe in Magic?: The Sense and Nonsense of Alternative Medicine (Full PDF ebook with essay, research paper)
by Paul A. , M.D. Offit M.D.


Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062222961
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
06/18/2013
Pages:
322
Sales rank:
199,771
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.30(d)

Overview

 

Medical expert and health advocate Dr. Paul A. Offit offers an impassioned and meticulously researched exposé of the alternative medicine industry.

A half century ago, acupuncture, homeopathy, naturopathy, Chinese herbs, Christian exorcisms, dietary supplements, chiropractic manipulations, and ayurvedic remedies were considered on the fringe of medicine. Now these practices—known variably as alternative, complementary, holistic, or integrative medicine—have become mainstream, used by half of all Americans today seeking to burn fat, detoxify livers, shrink prostates, alleviate colds, stimulate brains, boost energy, reduce stress, enhance immunity, eliminate pain, prevent cancer, and enliven sex.

But as Offit reveals, alternative medicine—an unregulated industry under no legal obligation to prove its claims or admit its risks—can actually be harmful to our health. Even though some popular therapies are remarkably helpful due to the placebo response, many of them are ineffective, expensive, and even deadly. In Do You Believe in Magic? he explains how

 

  • megavitamins increase the risk of cancer and heart disease—a fact well known to scientists but virtually unknown to the public;
  • dietary supplements have caused uncontrolled bleeding, heart failure, hallucinations, arrhythmias, seizures, coma, and death;
  • acupuncture needles have pierced hearts, lungs, and livers, and transmitted viruses, including hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV;
  • chiropractic manipulations have torn arteries.

Dr. Offit debunks the treatments that don't work and explains why. He also takes on the media celebrities who promote alternative medicine, including Mehmet Oz, Suzanne Somers, and Jenny McCarthy. Using dramatic real-life stories, he separates the sense from the nonsense, showing why any therapy—alternative or traditional—should be scrutinized. As he advises us, "There's no such thing as alternative medicine. There's only medicine that works and medicine that doesn't."

 

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
According to infectious disease specialist Offit (Autism’s False Prophets: Bad Science, Risky Medicine, and the Search for a Cure), half of Americans believe in the “magic” of alternative medicine, fueling a billion-a-year business that offers treatments that are at best placebos, and at worst deadly. He blasts untested, unregulated, overhyped remedies—like anti-autism creams and bogus cancer cures using “antineoplastons”—and dares to berate celebs like “America’s Doctor,” Mehmet Oz, who “believes that modern medicine isn’t to be trusted”; alternative treatment superstars Andrew Weil and Deepak Chopra, proponents of the natural world and wisdom of the ancients; and former Three’s Company star Suzanne Somers, who crusades for unproven menopause treatments, including her daunting regimen of “bioidentical hormone replacement therapy.” “There’s a name for alternative medicines that work,” one McGill professor notes: “It’s called medicine.” Offit insists that “making decisions about our health is an awesome responsibility. If we’re going to do it, we need to take it seriously.” With a fascinating history of hucksters, and a critical chronology of how supplements escaped regulation, Offit cautions consumers not to “give alternative medicine a free pass because we’re fed up with conventional medicine.” His is a bravely unsentimental and dutifully researched guide for consumers to distinguish between quacks and a cure. Agent: Gail Ross, the Ross Yoon Agency. (June)

Related Subjects

  • ">Alternative & Complementary Medicine
  • ">Alternative Medicine - General & Miscellaneous
  • ">Natural Healing & Medicine

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