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Mind Over Matter: Debunking Alternative Medicines
The New York Times ^ | July 1, 2013 | Abigail Zuger

Posted on 07/03/2013 12:49:19 PM PDT by EveningStar

When Dr. Paul A. Offit published “Autism’s False Prophets” in 2008, he elected to skip the usual round of book signings. His defense of childhood vaccinations so enraged some people who consider them a cause of autism that he was getting credible death threats.

Others might have chosen to flee the public arena after that, but not Dr. Offit, the chief of infectious diseases at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, whose appetite for the good fight seems only to have grown. Over the last decade he has become a leading debunker of mass misconceptions surrounding infections and vaccines, and now he is taking on the entire field of alternative medicine, from acupuncture to vitamins.

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: alternativemedicine; health; medicine; paulaoffit; pauloffit; scientificmedicine
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Paul A. Offit

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

1 posted on 07/03/2013 12:49:19 PM PDT by EveningStar
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To: EveningStar

So we’ve learned more in the last 200 years than was learned in the previous 5000?


2 posted on 07/03/2013 12:51:06 PM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: driftdiver

Well, yeah.


3 posted on 07/03/2013 12:52:05 PM PDT by Sherman Logan
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To: EveningStar

I have tried many supplements that did not work. I have tried a few that do work. I take those daily.


4 posted on 07/03/2013 12:53:56 PM PDT by csmusaret (Will remove Obama-Biden bumperstickers for $10)
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To: EveningStar

I have seen some of these remedies work in infants, animals, and yougsters who did not know they were receiving them. It is not all self-suggestion.


5 posted on 07/03/2013 12:54:23 PM PDT by Dr. Sivana (There's no salvation in politics.)
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To: Sherman Logan

Nice.


6 posted on 07/03/2013 12:56:39 PM PDT by altsehastiin
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To: driftdiver
So we’ve learned more in the last 200 years than was learned in the previous 5000?

In many disciplines that is true. In fact, in many disciplines, we have learned more in the last 100 years than the previous 5000.

7 posted on 07/03/2013 12:57:18 PM PDT by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilization is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: ArrogantBustard; altsehastiin; Sherman Logan

In most cases they’ve learned how to mask symptoms but cure few diseases. They also prevent very few and do nothing to prevent disease.

Is all alternative medicine valid? no
Is all of it useless? No

I’ve met many a western medical doctor who could do nothing but prescribe pills.


8 posted on 07/03/2013 1:01:19 PM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: EveningStar

We’ve relied on Hyland’s teething tabs for years. Most of the time, as infants, my kids never even knew when they were getting them. They always calmed down within five minutes and rested so well. The bonus was they were a fraction of the price of even generic acetaminophen and ibuprofen. I type “were” because the FDA made Hyland’s start labeling them after 50 years of being on the market. Of course the company had no choice but to pass the price increase on to the customer.


9 posted on 07/03/2013 1:04:39 PM PDT by goodwithagun (My gun has killed fewer people than Ted Kennedy's car.)
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To: driftdiver
So we’ve learned more in the last 200 years than was learned in the previous 5000?

Absolutely! Just a few hundred years ago, the majority of doctors thought that the idea that infections are caused by germs was ludicrous.

10 posted on 07/03/2013 1:05:02 PM PDT by Sparticus (Tar and feathers for the next dumb@ss Republican that uses the word bipartisanship.)
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To: csmusaret
"I have tried many supplements that did not work. I have tried a few that do work. I take those daily."

Agree and the short list changes from person to person so its validity is always is question.

11 posted on 07/03/2013 1:05:03 PM PDT by Truth29
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To: EveningStar

The best alternative medicine is a healthy diet of fresh foods, regular vigorous exercise, no smoking and limited alcohol. Eat right, move, and don’t work at killing yourself.


12 posted on 07/03/2013 1:05:38 PM PDT by Jack of all Trades (Hold your face to the light, even though for the moment you do not see.)
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To: goodwithagun

My wife bought those Hyland’s teething tabs for our first son. In our experience, they made no difference at all.


13 posted on 07/03/2013 1:07:21 PM PDT by Sparticus (Tar and feathers for the next dumb@ss Republican that uses the word bipartisanship.)
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To: Sparticus

And in the last ten years caffeine has been bad for you then no problem, and now it has health benefits. Cholesterol was thought to be the cause of blocked arteries, but now inflammation is the culprit.


14 posted on 07/03/2013 1:08:59 PM PDT by csmusaret (Will remove Obama-Biden bumperstickers for $10)
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To: Sparticus

You are the first person ever to tell me that. Usually when I say “teething tabs” near parents they comment about what a God send they are. I recommend them to everybody, and I’ve always received back a positive reaction.


15 posted on 07/03/2013 1:09:40 PM PDT by goodwithagun (My gun has killed fewer people than Ted Kennedy's car.)
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To: driftdiver
Is all alternative medicine valid? no Is all of it useless? No

I would agree with that statement. Keep a skeptical eye towards both. Really driven home to me when it came to light during Rick Perry's Gardisil affair that many of these vaccines are on the required list not for scientific reasons, but because a pharma company knew which palms to grease to ensure their ROI.


16 posted on 07/03/2013 1:10:33 PM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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To: EveningStar

While I agree that there is insufficient research to support vaccines as the cause of autism, throwing the baby out with the bathwater on all alternative medicine is not the solution.

I’ve been asked to publish a book on my research relating to psychological defense mechanisms and the resulting medical symptoms. It’s finally time. It’s not that hard to understand mysticism and how Jesus did his healings. While I would never compare myself or others to the “Greatest Teacher “ ever, He was a teacher and came to teach us “How to do the things that He did and more in His name.”

Too many Christians say Jesus is their savior and treat Him like a lifeguard who can pluck them from drowning. In the interim they fear water (death) and never learn to swim.

While Jesus can pluck us out after death, He would much sooner that we learn from His teachings and grow to heal ourselves.

The greatest healing of the body results from healing the soul.


17 posted on 07/03/2013 1:11:17 PM PDT by tired&retired
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To: Sparticus

Doctors bury their mistakes, both now and 200 years ago.


18 posted on 07/03/2013 1:15:43 PM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: EveningStar

He considers vitamins to be a hoax too? Basically that is saying that nutrition is a hoax. Will his next project be to prove that fats, proteins, carbohydrates and water are a hoax?


19 posted on 07/03/2013 1:17:53 PM PDT by TigersEye ("No man left behind" is more than an Army Ranger credo it's the character of America.)
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To: csmusaret

Remember when eggs would kill you? The war on saturated fat is still ongoing, yet coconut oil is one of the healthiest for us.


20 posted on 07/03/2013 1:17:56 PM PDT by goodwithagun (My gun has killed fewer people than Ted Kennedy's car.)
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To: Buckeye McFrog

Thank you! Let’s not forget to question all information put forth by those with agendas, and I mean agendas on both sides if the aisle! Remember that scientists, doctors and experts have tried to hammer into us global warming and a fetus isn’t a baby.


21 posted on 07/03/2013 1:22:16 PM PDT by goodwithagun (My gun has killed fewer people than Ted Kennedy's car.)
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To: TigersEye

This is a concerted media prelude to reintroducing Codex Alimentarius.

Again.

It’s been defeated many times in the past but maybe this time they’ve got enough dirt on enough congresscritters they’re certain it will pass. Or maybe they’ve met the price of the rest of them.

They’re just laying the preliminary ground work to get the LIV’s to accept it as in their best interests.

In most of Europe multivitamins only contain 150% of the RDA and come in expensive bottles of 30 only. So if you’ve got a documented SNP involving methyl donor metabolism you’re screwed.

At least sunshine is still free. For now.


22 posted on 07/03/2013 1:22:28 PM PDT by Black Agnes
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To: Sparticus

***the majority of doctors thought that the idea that infections are caused by germs was ludicrous. ****

You mean it is not caused by bad air (Miasma)?


23 posted on 07/03/2013 1:23:28 PM PDT by Ruy Dias de Bivar (Sometimes you need 7+ more ammo. LOTS MORE.)
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To: driftdiver

“I’ve met many a western medical doctor who could do nothing but prescribe pills.”

Western doctors do all sorts of things besides prescribing pills. They can tell you to get at least 30 minutes of vigorous excercise every day. They can tell you to eat less fat, red meat, and sugar and more green vegetables. They can tell you to reduce emotional stress. No one listens. That’s not the fault of western medicine.


24 posted on 07/03/2013 1:24:14 PM PDT by altsehastiin
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To: Black Agnes

I expect that you are right. Follow the money. This goes hand in hand with 0bamaCare. Total control of people’s lives.


25 posted on 07/03/2013 1:26:16 PM PDT by TigersEye ("No man left behind" is more than an Army Ranger credo it's the character of America.)
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To: goodwithagun

We have alternative medicine guy who is all over the radio locally. I think I agree with him about 60% of the time. I’m all for trying diet and nutrition over prescription drugs and surgery whenever possible.

On the other hand he rails against fluoride. I think it’s contribution to improving dental health is pretty well established at this point.


26 posted on 07/03/2013 1:26:56 PM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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To: altsehastiin

“No one listens. That’s not the fault of western medicine.”

bah! way to give a simplistic answer to a complex question.

MDs are very good at Symptomatic treatment.


27 posted on 07/03/2013 1:26:59 PM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: altsehastiin

Poor patient compliance is just as much of a problem for an herbalist as well. They don’t work if you don’t take them and take them properly.


28 posted on 07/03/2013 1:27:39 PM PDT by TigersEye ("No man left behind" is more than an Army Ranger credo it's the character of America.)
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To: altsehastiin

People with a lot of money and a self-serving agenda are capable of hijacking just about anything. Politics, government, medicine, education, etc.


29 posted on 07/03/2013 1:28:02 PM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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To: Buckeye McFrog

” I think it’s contribution to improving dental health is pretty well established at this point.”

Its also pretty well unnecessary because of changes in the diets, culture, and hygiene practices of Americans.


30 posted on 07/03/2013 1:29:05 PM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: driftdiver
Doctors bury their mistakes, both now and 200 years ago.

Likewise witch-doctors, wise-women, medicine-men and faith-healers.

They also all bury their successes.

31 posted on 07/03/2013 1:31:40 PM PDT by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilization is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: Jack of all Trades
eat right, and don't work at killing yourself

I switched over about four years ago to what some now call a pure foods diet. It's very sensible foods....some processed foods are okay, manufactured ones are not.

It's getting easier to choose decent foods, as more people become aware. The unintended consequence is that it's very easy to avoid over-eating. Pure foods get into your system very quickly so you're not hungry. The trick is to NEVER eat stuff your body shouldn't ingest.

That includes avoiding pharmaceuticals.

32 posted on 07/03/2013 1:31:49 PM PDT by grania
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To: driftdiver
cure few diseases

Smallpox. Diptheria. Cholera. Plague. Dysentery. Typhus. Typhoid. Scarlet fever. Tetanus. Pertussis. Syphilis.

33 posted on 07/03/2013 1:32:02 PM PDT by Sherman Logan
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To: Sherman Logan

I think plumbers and engineers had as much to do with wiping out a few of those diseases as doctors did.


34 posted on 07/03/2013 1:33:09 PM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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To: driftdiver

Here half a century and still no cavities.


35 posted on 07/03/2013 1:34:09 PM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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To: Buckeye McFrog

Water seal flush toilets with post flushing sanitary isolation from water supplies and food has done a lot to prevent the spread of disease.


36 posted on 07/03/2013 1:34:58 PM PDT by Black Agnes
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To: driftdiver

Not to mention that people used to routinely die from what we now consider minor infections.

Maternal mortality rates used to range from 10% to up to 50%, though admittedly the high end was due to late pre-modern hospital procedures.


37 posted on 07/03/2013 1:37:35 PM PDT by Sherman Logan
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To: Buckeye McFrog

Absolutely. But we can cure most of them if somebody comes down with it anyway.


38 posted on 07/03/2013 1:38:25 PM PDT by Sherman Logan
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To: driftdiver; EveningStar

I will only see a D.O. or MD who uses natural remedies and practices the eastern variety of medicine-and then only if I’m badly injured or dying-and I know a very good Chinese acupuncturist. I take vitamins and supplements, don’t eat processed food, don’t weigh much for my height, and both my work (construction) and my lifestyle-living alone in the country-require physical labor. I do like wine or beer and a cigarette two or three times a month or so. And I do believe totally in the power of prayer.

We should make our own choices-not have them made by a nanny government-and be responsible for those choices-if you consent/buy into taking the drug, then the consequences are yours to accept-not anyone else. It would cut down on the prescription drug abuse problem, the lawsuits, and everyone might just live a healthier, happier life-but that is just my opinion...


39 posted on 07/03/2013 1:38:42 PM PDT by Texan5 ("You've got to saddle up your boys, you've got to draw a hard line"...)
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To: EveningStar

Sounds like Dr. Offit is one of the good ones.


40 posted on 07/03/2013 1:39:34 PM PDT by Kip Russell
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To: driftdiver
So we’ve learned more in the last 200 years than was learned in the previous 5000?

Absolutely. Just to pick one subject out of many, try comparing any pre-1814 book on astronomy to a modern one.

41 posted on 07/03/2013 1:39:34 PM PDT by Kip Russell
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To: Buckeye McFrog

Has more to do with hygiene and diet then fluoride in the water.


42 posted on 07/03/2013 1:45:47 PM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: Sherman Logan

few does not equal none.


43 posted on 07/03/2013 1:46:23 PM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: Sherman Logan

Yeah. I would add that my maternal ancestors who had their babies at home with midwives had much much lower mortality than those who had their babies in hospitals prior to the advent of antibiotics. I only counted one ‘country mom’ who lost her life in childbearing in the 150 years prior to 2000. And that was her first. The first baby was the litmus test apparently.

Both my parents were born at home. I asked my grandmother once why she had my mom at home, in 1941, when there was a hospital literally 2 blocks away. She got a horrified look on her face and said hospitals were death traps prior to antibiotics and nobody went there unless they were near to dying. My great aunt was a RN and was the assist at my grandmothers births prior to the doc getting there.

Antibiotics are great things. Proper sanitation ensures they’re not unnecessarily overused and invalidated via resistance mechanisms.


44 posted on 07/03/2013 1:46:34 PM PDT by Black Agnes
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To: Texan5

Absolutely. Soon alternative medicine may be the only option if the govt decides you arent worth spending money on.


45 posted on 07/03/2013 1:48:37 PM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: Kip Russell

Egyptians were doing brain surgery.

Western medicine is better at some things. They are much worse at others.


46 posted on 07/03/2013 1:49:30 PM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: Black Agnes

Actually, it was prior to the advent of handwashing.

Puerperal fever, the great maternal killer, was almost always a result of poor attendant sanitation.


47 posted on 07/03/2013 1:53:06 PM PDT by Sherman Logan
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To: Sherman Logan

Hospital mortalities declined significantly post introduction of sulfa drugs and even more significantly post antibiotics.

My mom was one of the first kids in this state to receive antibiotics after surgery for appendicitis.

But yeah, Semmelweis was a genius. Too bad the ‘establishment’ shunned his ideas and killed women for decades afterwards.

So much for established medical ‘consensus’ being the best guide for effectiveness.

That worked out great for the H. Pylori guys too. They nearly lost their licenses to practice with that idea. Who ever knew most ulcers might have a bacterial cause.

Good thing consensus was wrong then too. My hubby was treated for that.


48 posted on 07/03/2013 1:58:42 PM PDT by Black Agnes
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To: Buckeye McFrog

I will not drink water with flouride-I drank bottled water in the city because of it. I’ve heard that some cities are discontinuing the fluoride in their water-must be a reason. Why not stay away from the sugary stuff, brush and floss, and teach the kids to do the same? People’s teeth aren’t the government’s business, any more than what we eat or drink is...


49 posted on 07/03/2013 2:00:19 PM PDT by Texan5 ("You've got to saddle up your boys, you've got to draw a hard line"...)
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To: Black Agnes

Unfortunately, Semmelweis was also a world-class jerk.

If you’re far ahead of your time, it’s a good idea to not be so confrontational about it that people reject your ideas because they can’t stand you.

Or at least that’s my explanation for why my ideas aren’t more widely accepted.


50 posted on 07/03/2013 2:00:58 PM PDT by Sherman Logan
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