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Do You Believe in Magic?

Vitamins, Supplements, and All Things Natural: A Look Behind the Curtain

By Paul A. Offit, MD
9-minute read
Audio available
Do You Believe in Magic?: Vitamins, Supplements, and All Things Natural: A Look Behind the Curtain  by Paul A. Offit, MD

Do You Believe in Magic? (2013) uncovers the hidden truth behind the alternative medicine. With insightful research findings and revealing case studies, these blinks will make us rethink our beliefs about supposedly all-natural treatments, and their less than healing side effects.

  • People who take vitamins and supplements daily
  • Patients who are discontented with conventional medicine and are considering alternatives
  • Fans wondering about the latest miraculous remedy recommended by their favorite movie star

Paul A. Offit, MD, is chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases and director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. He’s the author of Autism’s False Prophets, Vaccinated and Deadly Choices.

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Do You Believe in Magic?

Vitamins, Supplements, and All Things Natural: A Look Behind the Curtain

By Paul A. Offit, MD
  • Read in 9 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 5 key ideas
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Do You Believe in Magic?: Vitamins, Supplements, and All Things Natural: A Look Behind the Curtain  by Paul A. Offit, MD
Synopsis

Do You Believe in Magic? (2013) uncovers the hidden truth behind the alternative medicine. With insightful research findings and revealing case studies, these blinks will make us rethink our beliefs about supposedly all-natural treatments, and their less than healing side effects.

Key idea 1 of 5

Dietary supplements and natural remedies are not as healthy as you think.

Do you feel extremely tired sometimes? Don’t look as youthful as you did ten years ago? Then you’re definitely lacking vitamins! But here’s the good news: You just need to pop some pills and everything will be OK. Right?

If only it were that simple. The reality is that vitamin supplements and their alleged health benefits are vastly overrated. If we listen to the claims of supplement providers and get sucked in by those promising words in their campaigns – natural, bio, organic – then we’re easily convinced that vitamins are a modern miracle.

Even exceptional chemist and two-time Nobel laureate Linus Pauling claimed that a daily dosage of 3,000 milligrams of vitamin C could cure not only a common cold, but also cancer. Unfortunately, this just isn’t the case. Studies have shown that vitamin pills don’t improve our health. In fact, they can do just the opposite.

In 2004, researchers from the University of Copenhagen reviewed several studies of a total of 170,000 people to determine whether taking vitamins A, C, E and beta-carotene prevented intestinal cancer. The results were surprising, and disturbing: death rates are six percent higher in people taking vitamins.

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