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Do you believe in magic? Check out this 1-minute book review on the enchanting world of magic.

Do You Believe In Magic? Vitamins, Supplements, and All Things Natural: A Look Behind the Curtain – by Dr. Paul Offit

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Here at 10almonds, we like to examine and present the science wherever it leads, so this book was an interesting read.

Dr. Offit, himself a much-decorated vaccine research scientist, and longtime enemy of the anti-vax crowd, takes aim at alternative therapies in general, looking at what does work (and how), and what doesn’t (and what harm it can cause).

The style of the book is largely polemic in tone, but there’s lots of well-qualified information and stats in here too. And certainly, if there are alternative therapies you’ve left unquestioned, this book will probably prompt questions, at the very least.

And science, of course, is about asking questions, and shouldn’t be afraid of such! Open-minded skepticism is a key starting point, while being unafraid to actually reach a conclusion of “this is probably [not] so”, when and if that’s where the evidence brings us. Then, question again when and if new evidence comes along.

To that end, Dr. Offit does an enthusiastic job of looking for answers, and presenting what he finds.

If the book has downsides, they are primarily twofold:

  • He is a little quick to dismiss the benefits of a good healthy diet, supplemented or otherwise.
    • His keenness here seems to step from a desire to ensure people don’t skip life-saving medical treatments in the hope that their diet will cure their cancer (or liver disease, or be it what it may), but in doing so, he throws out a lot of actually good science.
  • He—strangely—lumps menopausal HRT in with alternative therapies, and does the exact same kind of anti-science scaremongering that he rails against in the rest of the book.
    • In his defence, this book was published ten years ago, and he may have been influenced by a stack of headlines at the time, and a popular celebrity endorsement of HRT, which likely put him off it.

Bottom line: there’s something here to annoy everyone—which makes for stimulating reading.

Click here to check out Do You Believe In Magic, and expand your knowledge!

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