Selling the Fountain of Youth Arlene Weintraub

Selling the Fountain of Youth Arlene Weintraub
This is the second part of the book review: Selling the Fountain of Youth by Arlene Weintraub

There may be little apparent harm in acquiring your knowledge from the latest television show or infomercial. Yet quick sound bites accompanied by savvy endorsement and lasting images of virtual eternal youth are usually more effective at getting attention than are doctors reciting their messages in medicinal-speak and medicinal tones.

Even more disturbing are patients who refuse to allow traditional medicine to experiment buy tinkering and adjusting with prescriptions and dosage amounts. Yet these same people are more that willing to subject themselves to the trial and error of unsubstantiated claims no matter what the costs in terms of either dollars or health outcomes.

Weintraub’s writing brings a reader’s attention to the unpopular fact that there are no quick fixes or magic pills, lotions or formulas to stave off the aging process and guarantee vim and vigor. It is too early to understand fully the consequences of taking concoctions based on hope and premise and while there may well be a legitimate future for off-labelling prescriptions that future is going to take some time to unfold.

The larger question remains what will happen when the enormous wave of Boomers has succumbed to the reality of mortality. If there is no longer a market to captivate, will the anti-aging resources be forced to look at the next current fad in terms of healthcare issues and patient desires? Will the quest for youthfulness still warrant enough interest and profit to make it worthwhile to continue to pursue the idea of adding both years to one’s life and life to one’s years?

Weintraub’s cautions are designed to inform readers and remind them that there are enormous risks involved in an industry based on imagery and hope. This book is all about buyer beware. As much as no one wants to age into a shell of their former self, there are still too many unanswered questions regarding the anti-aging industry promises.

Selling of the Fountain of Youth points out just how lucrative the pharmaceutical industry is and that a healthy dose of scepticism goes a long way when examining all treatment options both traditional and alternative. Patients will ultimately decide on their preferences but hopefully will avoid the costs of human lives that become little more than human collateral for anyone looking to make a quick sale.

This book should be a component for readers seeking a solid case for understanding the perils of experimental anti-aging promises, and should serve as part of a well-researched approach to medical treatment options. There are many who will insist this book provides little support for those willing to step outside of the traditional physician comfort zone. However, Weintraub’s point was never about winning fans. Readers must be aware of the bigger picture and consider this argument as part of their personal research.

This review copy was provided free of charge courtesy of Basic Books a Member of the Perseus Books Group
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