Most helpful positive review
73 of 75 people found the following review helpful
This is a great book
on June 19, 2006
If you've heard of alpha-lipoic acid and its being extremely helpful in treating diabetes, liver illnesses, mercury intoxications, or as an anti-oxidant, you may want to know more about it before taking it. This book, by Burt Berkson (MD, PhD) is an excellent answer to your worries. Berkson describes how he got to be interested by alpha-lipoic acid, it's safety record ("FDA"-approved in Germany for 50 years), it's uses, and, perhaps most interesting, his views on medicine.
Not only does Dr. Berkson come across as a very competent and compassionate physician, especially in regards to lipoic acid, on which he is America's leading expert, he is also an outspoken critic of what he correctly sees as problems in modern American medicine. In the first chapter, he describes how he almost ended his career when he saved the life of a dying patient against the wishes of his boss, and how he would do it again. No insurance policy and few doctor's visits can provide the benefits of his invaluable candor, which serves to immunize his readers with a large and healthy level of cynicism about medicine as it is practiced in the United States today.
One thing that this book does not contain is advice on what dosage of lipoic acid to ingest. This may be a sign of great wisdom; in Germany, where Dr. Berkson worked at the Max Planck Institute, and where lipoic acid has been on the market for decades, neurologists who look into whether their patients suffer from a heavy metal poisoning are not regarded with the sort of wonderment and bafflement that mermaids and unicorns otherwise garner. Those with such a heavy metal problem can suffer some extremely unwelcome and perhaps permanent side-effects if they take the sort of dosages that others easily tolerate. By not giving any advice on this subject, Dr. Berkson certainly isn't giving any bad advice on this subject.
I heartily recommend this book.