Alternative medicine may sound alluring, but it can be deadly
These problems aren't rare. Between 1983 and 2004, poison control centers in the United States received 1.3 million reports of adverse reactions to vitamins, minerals and dietary supplements, of which 175,268 required treatment in hospitals and 139 resulted in death.
In the end, any therapy that has a positive effect can have a negative effect. Alternative remedies are no different, even though words such as comfrey, valerian and chaparral sound disarmingly like something to revive a sleeping princess.
Paul A. Offit, a physician, is chief of the division of infectious diseases at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, a professor of pediatrics at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and the author of "Do You Believe in Magic?: The Sense and Nonsense of Alternative Medicine." He wrote this for the Los Angeles Times.
- Why one Mormon man left Hollywood to be a...
- Dan Liljenquist: Detroit is sending a message...
- George F. Will: President Obama's epiphanies...
- Jay Evensen: Utah inversions — 100...
- In our opinion: Refinery should be allowed to...
- Letter: American billionaires
- Letter: Golden goose
- My view: Ask a veteran about their health care
- In our opinion: Don't raise the minimum... 65
- My view: Fix Obamacare, don't replace it 63
- Robert Bennett: Create wealth before... 44
- Letter: American billionaires 35
- In our opinion: No more 'Government... 33
- Can Mandela's legacy revive the GOP? 32
- My view: Non-discrimination laws have a... 29
- President should not act without... 28