What is in this article?:
A new book from Dr. Paul Offit charges alternative medicines and dietary supplements with not only a lack of efficacy, but the potential for real harm in certain populations. Early press surrounding the book's release points fingers squarely at supplements, in particular common antioxidants like beta carotene, selenium, and vitamins A, C and E.
Dr. Paul Offit is chief of the infectious diseases division at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Offit is also the co-inventor of RotaTeq, a vaccine prescribed universally in infants for the prevention of rotavirus.
In advance of Offit's latest book, Do You Believe in Magic?, op-eds and excerpts have recently appeared in The Guardian and the New York Times, raising arched eyebrows from within the supplement industry. Offit questions the value of traditional supplementation and our blanket fear of free radicals (an instigating factor in market growth for antioxidants), but then goes on to posit increased morbidity risks from over-supplementation, citing many of the studies the supplement industry already knows and loves to hate.
NBJ asked for comment from several thought leaders in and around the supplement industry. Their responses appear after the jump.