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Selling the Fountain of Youth: How the Anti-Aging Industry Made a Disease Out of Getting Old—And Made Billions Hardcover – August 24, 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Basic Books (August 24, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0465017215
  • ISBN-13: 978-0465017218
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #493,128 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This hard-boiled exposé probes not serious antiaging research but the hucksterism in one seamy corner of the longevity industry: the booming field of hormone replacement therapy, whose physician-entrepreneurs prescribe human growth hormone, testosterone, and a medley of female reproductive hormones to help oldsters build muscle mass, restore libido, and go surfing. Weintraub, a former senior writer for Business Week, portrays the hormone replacement sector as a cesspool of unproven claims, unacknowledged side-effects, and marketing scams. ItÖs also a zoo of colorful quacks, presided over by actress Suzanne Somers, author of best-selling alternative medicine treatises. Weintraub mixes acute reportage with a censorious tone; she deplores the notion that old age is a disease. Weintraub makes a good case that hormone therapies are useless, but she will likely not quell the hopes of enthusiasts.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

Wrinkles, fat, and low libido start to sound pretty good after reading this unnerving exposé by journalist Arlene Weintraub. Her elixir of deep research and smooth storytelling delivers a sometimes-gag-inducing dose of reality... --Fast Company<p>

Some of the stories are shocking....[Weintraub's] scepticism [sic] will be food for thought for anyone tempted by promises to turn back the clock. --New Scientist <p>

Business Book of the Week: ...as Arlene Weintraub reveals in her meticulously reported book, over the past decade the revenue of the "anti-aging industry" has ballooned to an estimated $88 billion worldwide. --The Week


Weintraub generates plenty of feverish prose and cautionary tales to highlight this powerfully seductive syllogism of the "anti-aging industry..." --AARP Magazine

Weintraub offers a soup-to-nuts accounting of how an $88 billion industry grew out of baby boomers' vanity. --Bloomberg BusinessWeek

More About the Author

Arlene Weintraub has over fifteen years of experience writing about health care, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology. Her freelance pieces have been published in USA Today, US News & World Report, Technology Review, and other media outlets. Her book about the anti-aging industry, Selling the Fountain of Youth, was published by Basic Books in September 2010. She was previously a senior health writer based out of the New York City headquarters of BusinessWeek, where she wrote hundreds of articles that explored both the science and business of health. She also worked as an editor for Xconomy.com, covering the biotech industry on the East Coast, as well as technology, life sciences and clean technology companies in the greater New York City area. She has won awards from the New York Press Club, the Association of Health Care Journalists, the Foundation for Biomedical Research, and the American Society of Business Publication Editors.

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By ABurke on October 21, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
So you mean my "all natural organic" potato chips may not be good for me? I found this book to be a great reminder to us all - Buyer Beware! Just because something is labeled "natural" and might be endorsed by celebrities doesn't mean its "good" to put in my body.

It is astounding to me how this industry has been able to flourish despite a lack of scientific studies to back up the claims. And I'm equally astounded at the lack of regulation. Ms. Weintraub's book shows how susceptible we continue to be to good marketing campaigns and how trusting we can be when we are promised a quick fix to what ails us. While there may be some valid uses for some of the drugs & products detailed in the book, users need to have the full facts; facts they are not getting from those handing them out. As an over-40 woman, I will recommend this book to all my friends as they start considering these "remedies" to aging.
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16 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Linda Mchale on September 21, 2010
Format: Hardcover
The "Anti-Aging Industry" uses bio-identical hormones as one of its corner stones. It is distressing that Ms. Weintraub wants to throw this life saving therapy in with hucksters selling snake oil. For me, this therapy was absolutely revolutionary. I suffered for 15+ years with chronic daily migraine headaches. Nothing offered by traditional American medicine and Big Pharma helped correct the root cause of my problem, which was a hormonal deficiency. Within days of beginning my bio-identiccal hormone treatment, prescribed by an M.D. who has dedicated his life to this type of treatment, I began to improve. Now, thanks to my doctors, and bio-identical hormone therapy, I am able to live a normal life. The fact that I sleep better, have more energy, and still look at least 5 years younger than my biological age is just a bonus.

Should consumers beware? Of course. But if you find a doctor you trust, with impeccable qualifications in the field of Anti-Aging Medicine, give it a try. You just may find that you no longer need drugs, and that you will look and feel better than you have in years.

I question whether Ms. Weintraub's years as a reporter for Business Week has tainted her objectivity towards emerging therapies which do not benefit her cronies in Big Pharma?
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Reader86 on January 5, 2011
Format: Hardcover
You needn't waste your time or money. The book is short on facts and long on incompetence. She spends a great deal of time interviewing con artists who are pushing their treatments for profits. But she gives scant mention or time to recognized experts who can explain the falsehoods presented by the con artists. The book is poorly written. I wonder if the publisher was paid to print it.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Anh Tran on April 13, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book was extremely informative. It shows a great history of the industry. I think Arlene does an extremely fair job of showing both sides of the debate. She shows the facts and shows the successes and losses of the industry. I bought this book for background research as I am interested in investing in this multi-billion dollar industry. I have a much clearer picture of the industry and understand the pros and cons. I have a better understanding of who the snake oil salesmen are and who the serious players are both online and offline.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on November 18, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Selling the Fountain of Youth: How the Anti-Aging Industry Made a Disease Out of Getting Old - And Made Billions comes from an author who spent more than ten years as a science reporter at BusinessWeek, and who examines the entire nature of anti-aging health care, from internet marketers behind the rise of acai berries to non-regulated compounds produced in pharmacies. Fads, trends, international marketing, and legitimate players as well are considered in a thorough investigation of the economic and cultural impact of anti-aging medicine which is key to health and social issues collections alike, as well as to many a general lending library.
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