Aging boomers eager for answers to health-care questions couldn't ask for a better guide to the best treatments than Schneider, a practicing clinician and dean emeritus of USC's Andrus Gerontology Center. Evaluating the latest medical research on topics ranging from arthritis, depression, menopause and male libido to heart disease, brain function and cancer, Schneider (The Longevity Quotient) outlines his recommendations for a combination of conventional and alternative treatments. Though recent studies have shown that some of the supplements that he and others advocate (saw palmetto for prostate problems and glucosamine and chondroitin for joint pain) can be ineffective, the use of these are, in general, just a small part of Schneider's comprehensive wellness program. All chapters are easy to navigate and well organized, and feature not only useful "to dos" but a number of "how tos" (relaxation response for sleeplessness, for example). When dealing with insomnia, he suggests an exercise program and good "sleep hygiene" (firm mattress, no caffeine) and discusses various nonaddictive prescription drugs (including dosage and side effects). Overall, Schneider's balanced view of integrative therapies and his great fund of practical and medical advice are both reassuring and invigorating.(June)
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