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|Book Review: The Gold Coast Cure|
The Gold Coast Cure
Andrew Larson, MD, and Ivy Ingram Larson
Publisher: Health Communications, Inc
Regular Price: $21.95
Online Discounted Price: $17.55
Editorial Review by Allen C. Bowling, MD PhD:
The couple developed the diet after Ivy Larson was diagnosed with MS. Instead of using disease-modifying medication, she and her husband chose to develop and use a diet and exercise approach. She states,
The diet, one component of which includes decreased saturated fat and increased polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) intake, is designed to be
The serious concern about this book is that the specific claims about MS are overstated. As indicated by the title of the book, this approach is described as a
This book is potentially dangerous. After reading this book, some people with MS may conclude that it is reasonable to use a dietary approach instead of disease-modifying medications. This approach could cause disease activity and disability progression that might otherwise be avoided with medication use.
The Larsons emphasize that their approach may provide hope. Indeed, for some people with MS, the use of a diet may be an important source of hope as well as empowerment. However, the information about the potential benefits of a dietary approach must be presented honestly. For people with MS who want to use a PUFA-enriched dietary approach, one should discuss the results of clinical trials, provide realistic expectations, and encourage the use of disease-modifying medications in combination with the diet. Doing this, it is possible to be simultaneously honest, hopeful, and empowering.
About the Authors:
Kenneth Andrew Larson, MD, is a general surgeon with special interests in surgical nutrition, advanced laparoscopic surgery and bariatric (obesity) surgery. He trained at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Newark Beth Israel Medical Center and New Jersey's Monmouth Medical Center. In 2004, he joined a private surgical practice affiliated with the JFK Medical Center Staff in Atlantis, Florida.
Ivy Larson holds professional certifications as a fitness instructor and fitness-testing specialist through the Fitness Institute International. In addition to teaching Gold Coast Cure classes and seminars, she operates a private nutrition consultation practice.
About the Reviewer:
To facilitate an increased understanding of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in the unique context of MS, Dr. Bowling has reviewed the large body of relevant scientific and clinical research. He has presented information and original research on CAM and MS at national and international medical conferences. He has also presented information on CAM and MS to lay audiences. His work on herb and vitamin use in MS was awarded the Labe Scheinberg award at the annual meeting of the Consortium of MS Centers in May 1999. For his presentation on the development of a website focused on CAM and MS, he received the Berlex Award for Best Presentation in Patient Education at the annual meeting of the Consortium of MS Centers in June 2000. He has written professional and patient education material on CAM for the National MS Society. The information that he has developed on CAM and MS is available on a website (www.ms-cam.org) and in three books, Alternative Medicine and Multiple Sclerosis (Demos Medical Publishers, 2001) Dietary Supplements and Multiple Sclerosis: A Health Professional’s Guide (Demos Medical Publishers, 2004), and Multiple Sclerosis: The Guide to Treatment and Management (Demos Medical Publishers, in press).