A conversation about alternative medicine
July 24, 2013
Guests: Daniel Monti and Paul Offit
From herbs to vitamins to acupuncture, Americans are increasingly looking outside of traditional medicine to make them live longer, feel better, and cure their ailments. With thousands of supplements and holistic therapies available, we spend roughly $34 billion dollars a year on alternative medicine treatments. Yet, according to one of our guests, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia physician PAUL OFFIT, many of these natural products and approaches to health care don't work, can even be dangerous to our health, and are not subject to the same strict standards as drugs you get with a prescription. At the same time, many major medical institutions have implemented programs that offer a combination of traditional medicine with the best complimentary therapies. Our other guest, DANIEL MONTI, directs such a program – the Myrna Brind Center of Integrative Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. Offit is the author of the new book, Do You Believe in Magic: The Sense and Nonsense of Alternative Medicine. Monti's most recent book is The Great Life Makeover: Weight, Mood, and Sex.