Celebrity-based medicine

Edzard Ernst and Max H Pittler
Med J Aust 2006; 185 (11): 680-681.


Objective: To collect contemporary accounts of celebrity use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), to aid clinicians in determining which CAM treatments patients are likely to use.

Design: Articles published during 2005 and 2006 reporting celebrity use of CAM.

Results: 38 celebrities were found to use a wide range of CAM interventions. Homeopathy, acupuncture and Ayurveda were the most popular modalities.

Conclusions: There may be many reasons why consumers use CAM, and wanting to imitate their idols is one of them.

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  • Edzard Ernst1
  • Max H Pittler2

  • Complementary Medicine, Peninsula Medical School, Universities of Exeter and Plymouth, Exeter, UK.


Competing interests:

None identified.

  • 1. Ernst E, Pittler MH, Wider B, editors. The desktop guide to complementary and alternative medicine. An evidence-based approach. 2nd edition. Edinburgh: Elsevier Mosby, 2006.
  • 2. Pinder M, Pedro L, Theodorou G, et al. Complementary healthcare: a guide for patients. London: The Prince of Wales’s Foundation for Integrated Health, 2005. (accessed Nov 2006).
  • 3. Ernst E, Weihmayr T. UK and German media differ over complementary medicine. BMJ 2000; 321: 707.
  • 4. Kylie denies holistic claim. The Age (Melbourne) 2005; 23 Oct. (accessed Nov 2006).


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