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Dr. Isadore Rosenfeld's Breakthrough Health    by Isadore Rosenfeld order for
Dr. Isadore Rosenfeld's Breakthrough Health
by Isadore Rosenfeld
Order:  USA  Can
Rodale, 2004 (2004)

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* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Dr. Isadore Rosenfeld's Power to the Patient not only described ailments, symptoms and treatment, but also empowered patients by detailing what they should expect from their doctors and what to do if they don't get it. Now Dr. Rosenfeld has launched a series of books that further empower us, with his take on the latest breakthroughs in medical research.

In his introduction the good doctor speaks of an explosion of medical knowledge, which makes it difficult for even the most dedicated physician to keep up to date. The author assures us that he has 'interpreted and evaluated' the myriad of reports available, as if readers were his own patients. Anyone who has searched the Internet and tried to make sense of the overwhelming amount of medical information available for any condition, will welcome the expert filter provided in Breakthrough Health. In addition to covering diseases acquired naturally, there is also a discussion of the pros and cons of smallpox vaccination, and of the use of potassium iodide for radiation exposure, in case of terrorist attacks.

Ailments are listed alphabetically from Alcoholism and Alzheimer's to Rickets and Wrinkles ('A New Wrinkle with Botox'). I was interested to learn that anti-cholesterol drugs like Lipitor 'also appear to have an anti-inflammatory effect' against Alzheimer's. The author quotes an Ohio State University study showing a breast cancer risk reduction in postmenopausal women taking ibuprofen twice weekly. It seems that Norwegian researchers have found that black elderberry 'really does work against the flu', and researchers in India have shown that sesame oil reduces blood pressure. There's a new (and better) predictor of vulnerability to arteriosclerosis, exciting clinical trials on a lupus treatment, and much, much more.

I enjoyed the author's humor, as when he informs us that if Viagra doesn't work for you, it can be used 'to keep your flowers from wilting!' A 'Hold the Presses!' section at the back of the book introduces recent results, such as on fish mercury levels, which will be reported in-depth in Breakthrough Health 2005. Given the contradictory nature of much recent research, I also wonder how much of that volume will change the recommendations in this one, and personally prefer to avoid medication whenever possible. However, I welcome Dr. Rosenfeld's commonsense approach, and appreciate the empowerment that his knowledge sharing gives to me and my family.

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