Although Americans spend enormous sums of money on health care, reliable health information is a scarce commodity. All too often the public, the media and even government agencies give unfounded beliefs of alternative therapies the same credence as scientific evidence. A Consumer's Guide to "Alternative Medicine" demonstrates the destructive effects of letting bogus doctors and nutritionists infringe on the domain of scientific medicine. By explaining the theories behind such treatments as acupuncture, chiropractic and homeopathy, Kurt Butler clearly spells out their absurdities. He also reveals the risks of fad diets, "health food" products and worthless supplements and exposes some of the most successful health frauds of our time. Aside from the tremendous amounts of money to be made through the sale of books, pills and other products people may be duped into believing will help them, alternative medicine's health gurus have been able to siphon off billions of tax-payer dollars through insurance companies, worker's compensation and even education funds. Butler provides the basic information to help us avoid being taken in by those who promise health miracles for money.
Kurt Butler, M.S., is a nutritionist and popular science and health writer. He founded and served two years as president of the Quackery Action Council, a consumer-protection group. Stephen Barrett, M.D., is a nationally renowned author, editor and consumer advocate. An expert in medical communications, he edits Nutrition Forum Newsletter and is medical editor of Prometheus Books.