Do You Believe in Magic?: Vitamins, Supplements, and All Things Natural: A Look Behind the Curtain

  • ISBN 9780062222985

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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 to treat a variety of conditions, from excess weight to cancer.But alternative medicine is an unregulated industry under no legal obligation to prove its claims or admit its risks, and many popular alternative therapies are ineffective, expensive, or even deadly. In Do You Believe in Magic? Dr. Offit debunks the treatments that don't work and tells us why, and takes on the media celebrities who promote alternative medicine. Using dramatic real-life stories, he separates the sense from the nonsense, explaining why any therapy--alternative or traditional--should be scrutinized. As Dr. Offit explains, some popular therapies are remarkably helpful due to the placebo response, but "there's no such thing as alternative medicine. There's only medicine that works and medicine that doesn't."
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