Selling the Fountain of Youth: How the Anti-Aging Industry Made a Disease Out of Getting Old—and Made Billions

Arlene Weintraub, Basic Books, $24.95 (256p) ISBN 978-0-465-01721-8
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. It’s 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. (Sept. 1)
Reviewed on: 05/17/2010
Release date: 08/01/2010
Genre: Nonfiction
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