Customer Reviews for

Do You Believe in Magic?: The Sense and Nonsense of Alternative Medicine

Average Rating 3.5
( 14 )
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

Interesting book - I am sure the "alternative medicine &quo

Interesting book - I am sure the "alternative medicine " crowd will come out and vilify the author and his message - which is there are only two kinds of medicine: that which works, that which does not work, ( I would add: that for which the jury is still out...
Interesting book - I am sure the "alternative medicine " crowd will come out and vilify the author and his message - which is there are only two kinds of medicine: that which works, that which does not work, ( I would add: that for which the jury is still out. In any event - "alternative medicine is generally unregulated, non-proven, and not subject to the same scrutiny as the medical science we rely on to help us - - when it can. And often it can't. Of course, the alt med believers tend to think "big" Pharma and "big" Medicine have some sort of nefarious objective - which is to keep us kill us all. How sad for them to go through life with such an intellectually lazy viewpoint. I doubt the person below has actually read the book., but I would remind them that the plural of anecdote is NOT data. Enjoy the book! I did.

posted by 6295653 on July 3, 2013

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Most Helpful Critical Review

7 out of 34 people found this review helpful.

Dr. Offit is a shill for allopathic (mainstream) medicine and th

Dr. Offit is a shill for allopathic (mainstream) medicine and the pharmaceutical industry. Of course he is going to do his best to discredit any and all forms of alternative medicine. It is a well known fact, and if you do the research you will see, that mainstream medi...
Dr. Offit is a shill for allopathic (mainstream) medicine and the pharmaceutical industry. Of course he is going to do his best to discredit any and all forms of alternative medicine. It is a well known fact, and if you do the research you will see, that mainstream medicine and pharmaceuticals cause thousands upon thousands of more adverse effects and deaths than all the vitamins and supplements combined. They are much much more harmful than any vitamin or supplement. This book is nothing more than propaganda for the mainstream medical community who are trying to do damage control because so many people are sick and tired of being filled with poisonous drugs that do way more harm than good. Sorry Doc... ain't buying the bull. Dr. Offit (who has been nicknamed Dr. Vaccine by the media due to his statement that an INFANT could withstand 100,000 vaccines all at once) is trying to legally take away your right to access your vitamin supplements and wants them regulated like drugs. Wake up people... Big Pharma has a goal... to have every man, woman and child on prescription drugs. Oh.. and yes I DO believe in Magic... I am almost 60, have taken vitamins and supplements my entire life, stayed away from Drs. and hosptials, and never take prescription drugs.. and am in perfect health!

posted by 480034 on June 22, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2013

    This is the third book I have read by Dr. Offit. A few years ago

    This is the third book I have read by Dr. Offit. A few years ago I read "Autism's False Prophets," which I also highly recommend. I read that book because I have an autistic son and I am very skeptical of the "cures" for autism promoted by Jenny McCarthy and others. Dr. Offit writes in a matter that is quite easy to read but still manages to explain the value of science based medicine. "Autism's False Prophets" helped me confirm what I had already suspected. We have steered clear of the scientifically unproven treatments for our son and have relied on proven therapies (ABA, specifically) and our son is much better off. In "Do You Believe In Magic," Dr. Offit addresses the $32 Billion-dollar-per-year "supplemental" and "alternative" medicine industry. What is quite interesting is that Dr. Offit writes about some of his own frustrations with modern medicine and has empathy for those who seek better health through vitamins, supplements and so forth. But he also brings to light the how dangerously unregulated  this industry is. In fact, only .3%, or less than one out of every 300 supplements are tested for safety end effectiveness. I would also add that the comments made by the one who refers to Dr. Offit as a "shill for allopathic (mainstream) mediicine" were obviously written by someone who has not read this book. If you are a consumer and are concerned about the safety and quality of vitamins or supplements, it is worth your while to read this book. 

    8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2013

    Interesting book - I am sure the "alternative medicine &quo

    Interesting book - I am sure the "alternative medicine " crowd will come out and vilify the author and his message - which is there are only two kinds of medicine: that which works, that which does not work, ( I would add: that for which the jury is still out. In any event - "alternative medicine is generally unregulated, non-proven, and not subject to the same scrutiny as the medical science we rely on to help us - - when it can. And often it can't. Of course, the alt med believers tend to think "big" Pharma and "big" Medicine have some sort of nefarious objective - which is to keep us kill us all. How sad for them to go through life with such an intellectually lazy viewpoint. I doubt the person below has actually read the book., but I would remind them that the plural of anecdote is NOT data. Enjoy the book! I did.

    8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 2, 2013

    Informative, engaging, and entertaining.

    Dr. Offit does a spectacular job of making the case for evidence-based research and tight controls on acceptable medical and pharmaceutical practices. The thread that runs through the entire book is simple, but has profound implications: if a person or group makes a claim that a treatment alleviates or cures a symptom, a disease, or a disorder, that person or group should be required to subject that claim (or have neutral third parties subject that claim) to the maximum level of scrutiny and testing possible if it is to be used in practice, adopted as sound medical advice, or sold to the public.

    Without excusing the mistakes of the science-based medical research community, Offit provides dozens and dozens of examples of how taking advice or treatment from those who are unwilling to allow such scrutiny can be an unfortunate, even lethal, mistake. I was stunned to learn that even some of my own cherished "natural" remedies (I use quotes advisedly -- many remedies called "natural" are not to be found in nature any more readily than extracts used in prescription pharmaceuticals) are pure fancy. Large doses of Vitamin C are effective in staving off colds? Nope. More antioxidants are better than fewer? Not necessarily. By reducing free radical production, antioxidants can actually increase cancer rates -- while free radicals do cause damage to human cells, they also eliminate detrimental bacteria and new cancer cells.

    I haven't gobbled up a book this quickly in at least a few years. Offit doesn't waste a single page on unnecessary anecdotes, but he still manages to keep the writing style thoroughly enjoyable.

    This is a fantastic read packed with important data and sensible ideas.

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 22, 2013

    Dr. Offit is a shill for allopathic (mainstream) medicine and th

    Dr. Offit is a shill for allopathic (mainstream) medicine and the pharmaceutical industry. Of course he is going to do his best to discredit any and all forms of alternative medicine. It is a well known fact, and if you do the research you will see, that mainstream medicine and pharmaceuticals cause thousands upon thousands of more adverse effects and deaths than all the vitamins and supplements combined. They are much much more harmful than any vitamin or supplement. This book is nothing more than propaganda for the mainstream medical community who are trying to do damage control because so many people are sick and tired of being filled with poisonous drugs that do way more harm than good. Sorry Doc... ain't buying the bull. Dr. Offit (who has been nicknamed Dr. Vaccine by the media due to his statement that an INFANT could withstand 100,000 vaccines all at once) is trying to legally take away your right to access your vitamin supplements and wants them regulated like drugs. Wake up people... Big Pharma has a goal... to have every man, woman and child on prescription drugs. Oh.. and yes I DO believe in Magic... I am almost 60, have taken vitamins and supplements my entire life, stayed away from Drs. and hosptials, and never take prescription drugs.. and am in perfect health!

    7 out of 34 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2013

    The main problem with this book is that Offit paints a one-sided

    The main problem with this book is that Offit paints a one-sided, distorted picture of the situation. Many of his anti-vitamin claims are proven scientific falsehoods and have been refuted (google/bing "2 Big Lies: No Vitamin Benefits & Supplements Are Very Dangerous"). You are supposed to believe that he gives you the facts, due to his medical status, but -apart from very few exceptions- all you get is misinformation.

    5 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2013

    Well worth reading. I learned a lot about the vitamin/supplement

    Well worth reading. I learned a lot about the vitamin/supplement industry, and also some historical aspects of B17 were new to me. Definitely a book I want to read at least one more time.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2014

    This book is the worst kind of rubbish, lies and distortions by

    This book is the worst kind of rubbish, lies and distortions by Dr. Paul "For Profit" Offit who makes millions of dollors each year from Merck and his own vaccine patents. He is against natural medicine because it actually makes people well without side-effects. Big Pharma is really afraid that intelligent people will be able to heal themselves. Don't waste your time or money on this book.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2014

    Amazing and Informative

    Creatively written while throwing facts left and right. The author is a phenominal writer.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 2014

    Offit tells it like it is. He uses sound, evidence backed scien

    Offit tells it like it is. He uses sound, evidence backed science to show the POTENTIAL dangers of unregulated supplement industries and unfounded pseudo medical practices that pull billions of dollars from uninformed, misguided Americans (and other nationalities) every year.

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  • Posted September 3, 2014

    As other reviewers have stated, Offit does not accurately portra

    As other reviewers have stated, Offit does not accurately portray everything that he discusses.  When Offit
    says (on page 5) that multivitamins can be dangerous, he is simply trying to mislead people with such absurd 
    statements.  Considering all of the money that he has received from Merck, one would hope that he would 
    be grateful for that and not act deviantly.   Obviously that is not the case.  

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 24, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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