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Vaccine Advocate Takes On The Alternative Medicine Industry


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Vaccine advocate takes on the alternative medicine industry

 

Dr. Paul Offit doesn’t like getting threats. But the 62-year-old pediatrician at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia says it goes with the territory when taking on powerful industries and interest groups whose beliefs are deeply rooted in emotion.

 

He’s ready for a tsunami of criticism with his latest foray into debunking popular wisdom – “Do You Believe in Magic?: The Sense and Nonsense of Alternative Medicine” in which he takes on the vitamin and herbal supplements industry, alternative medicine of all kinds, Congress and celebrity doctors who peddle their own products. It hits the shelves on Tuesday.

 

“Yes, I do get hate mail,” Offit admits. He makes the case that the vitamin industry in particular has successfully lobbied to keep itself unregulated while selling billions of pills to an eager and gullible public. “People think of dietary supplements as natural, benign and helpful,” Offit told NBC News. “People don’t think of them as drugs.”

 

Yet studies have shown that not only do vitamin supplements fail to lower cancer risk, but they can actually cause cancer – most notably the 1994 Finnish study that found smokers who took beta carotene – which the body converts to vitamin A – actually had a higher risk of lung cancer than men who didn’t take the supplements. Alternative therapies of all kinds are often not only of no benefit whatsoever -- they can be harmful, he notes.

 

http://www.nbcnews.com/health/vaccine-advocate-takes-alternative-medicine-industry-6C10331958

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Yeah, I don't think most people realize that their bodies can absorb only so much of the vitamins and minerals that they need at one sitting. They don't usually need all that stuff, they just need to freaking eat right.

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With the pure crap I see coming from popular media outlets like Oprah, Dr. Oz, Deepak, Weil, almost any daytime TV talk venue, I'm convinced that "alternative" health and nutrition is the new religion. As we know, it's rather difficult to successfully fight an unfounded religious belief no matter how many facts you may have at your disposal.

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Ya'll wouldn't believe some of the 'alternative health' bullshit I've seen.  I shit you not, I know people who deliberately expose them to radiation- because it's supposed to be a fucking cure-all.  Not to mention colloidal silver and piles of vitamins.  It looks to me like the dynamic is pretty similar to religion in that it gives them the illusion of the control they seek.  

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If it weren't for colloidal silver we wouldn't have The Blue Man Group.  They're freaking awesome!

 

What is it with colloidal silver and gold-bugs (you know- old white conservative apocalyptic cranks hoarding gold)?  Do they just like precious metals so much that they also want to use it as a health product?  You wouldn't THINK these types would be into 'alternative health'... but a certain subset of them are.

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If it weren't for colloidal silver we wouldn't have The Blue Man Group.  They're freaking awesome!

 

What is it with colloidal silver and gold-bugs (you know- old white conservative apocalyptic cranks hoarding gold)?  Do they just like precious metals so much that they also want to use it as a health product?  You wouldn't THINK these types would be into 'alternative health'... but a certain subset of them are.

 

Not sure.  It does seem like a character contradiction doesn't it.  They're just against anything "establishment" I guess. 

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If it weren't for colloidal silver we wouldn't have The Blue Man Group.  They're freaking awesome!

 

What is it with colloidal silver and gold-bugs (you know- old white conservative apocalyptic cranks hoarding gold)?  Do they just like precious metals so much that they also want to use it as a health product?  You wouldn't THINK these types would be into 'alternative health'... but a certain subset of them are.

 

Not sure.  It does seem like a character contradiction doesn't it.  They're just against anything "establishment" I guess. 

 

 

As staunchly 'conservative' as these guys are (and I know several)- they're really a different crowd from Moral Majority 'conservatives'.  It makes me wonder if they would've been a hippy or something if they'd grown up in a different time and place.

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With the pure crap I see coming from popular media outlets like Oprah, Dr. Oz, Deepak, Weil, almost any daytime TV talk venue, I'm convinced that "alternative" health and nutrition is the new religion. As we know, it's rather difficult to successfully fight an unfounded religious belief no matter how many facts you may have at your disposal.

 

Or the new MLM scheme.

 

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I agree with eating right being critical to good health, and what I'll call "nutrition based medicine" can be very useful, depending on the condition.  Once upon a time all "medicine" was herbal or plant based.  We've lost a lot of that knowledge, for better or worse.

 

On the flip side, many drugs are based on the active ingredients in plants, but instead of eating 80 pounds of whatever, I can get a concentrated dose in a pill.

 

It's unfortunate that as a society we've come to rely on someone giving us a quick fix for a problem we created, and then we refuse to change our behavior.

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I agree with eating right being critical to good health, and what I'll call "nutrition based medicine" can be very useful, depending on the condition.  Once upon a time all "medicine" was herbal or plant based.  We've lost a lot of that knowledge, for better or worse.

 

On the flip side, many drugs are based on the active ingredients in plants, but instead of eating 80 pounds of whatever, I can get a concentrated dose in a pill.

 

It's unfortunate that as a society we've come to rely on someone giving us a quick fix for a problem we created, and then we refuse to change our behavior.

 I agree 100%.  I also would like to add that I find it odd that natural remedies and holistic treatments are the ones that are "alternative medicine."  But that's just a little gripe of mine.

 

 My current stance on health is that a lot these problems stem from poor nutrition.

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I agree with eating right being critical to good health, and what I'll call "nutrition based medicine" can be very useful, depending on the condition.  Once upon a time all "medicine" was herbal or plant based.  We've lost a lot of that knowledge, for better or worse.

 

On the flip side, many drugs are based on the active ingredients in plants, but instead of eating 80 pounds of whatever, I can get a concentrated dose in a pill.

 

It's unfortunate that as a society we've come to rely on someone giving us a quick fix for a problem we created, and then we refuse to change our behavior.

 I agree 100%.  I also would like to add that I find it odd that natural remedies and holistic treatments are the ones that are "alternative medicine."  But that's just a little gripe of mine.

 

 My current stance on health is that a lot these problems stem from poor nutrition.

 

 

'Natural' is a funny word in this context.  It's really more of a regulatory category... doesn't necessarily mean a whole lot else.  

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