The Atlantic has this week published an excerpt from Dr. Paul Offit's Do You Believe in Magic?: The Sense and Nonsense of Alternative Medicine, which takes a closer look at the conventional wisdom underpinning the multibillion-dollar vitamin supplement industry. Offit, who is credited with co-inventing a rotavirus vaccine, sets out the history of our modern fascination with heal-all pills before debunking "the vitamin myth" with a series of scientific studies. The majority of the research, he explains, turns up the surprising conclusion that taking supplements may be more deleterious than helpful to human health, particularly when it comes to the risk of developing cancer or heart disease.