Medical Myths, Lies, and Half-Truths: What We Think We Know May Be Hurting Us : The Great Courses: Better Living

  • by The Great Courses
  • Narrated by Professor Steven Novella
  • Series: The Great Courses: Better Living
  • 12 hrs and 24 mins
  • Lecture

Publisher's Summary

True or false: Eight glasses of water a day are mandatory for staying hydrated. Vitamin C protects you from catching a cold. Natural foods are always better for you.
What do these nuggets of so-called medical wisdom have in common? They're not true. They're myths, half-truths, and misconceptions - pieces of information so familiar we take them for granted without truly considering the scientific truth behind them.
In today's information age, such medical myths are all around us. And using them to make decisions about your own health can be harmful. Even deadly. That's why it's critical to understand the accuracy of medical information and discover the truth about everyday health and well-being.
That's the core of this important series of 24 eye-opening lectures from an acclaimed neurologist, educator, and science broadcaster. Dr. Novella will give you evidence-based guidelines for good health, enhance your ability to be better informed about common medical myths, and strengthen your skills at assessing medical information and advice.
An essential aid for any home, the lecture series is divided into three sections that focus on specific aspects of health. "You Are What You Eat and Drink": Get pointed looks at proper hydration, the routine use of multivitamins, natural foods and probiotics, antioxidants, and more. "Fighting Diseases": Sort out truth from fiction regarding vaccines, the supposed link between vaccination and autism, chronic diseases, and other subjects. "Exploring the Alternatives": Investigate the claims behind herbal medicines, homeopathy, acupuncture, and other alternatives that aren't as worthwhile as they claim to be.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Beware the detractors

Would you listen to Medical Myths, Lies, and Half-Truths: What We Think We Know May Be Hurting Us again? Why?

There is a plethora of information here--much more than can be retained from one listening.


What other book might you compare Medical Myths, Lies, and Half-Truths: What We Think We Know May Be Hurting Us to and why?

These lectures remind me of the Freakanomics series of books. In fact, I started listening to Think Like a Freak right after I finished this one, and it has some medical stories in the first chapters that could have fit well in this series.


Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

At the end, he lists a number of myths that some doctors still believe. Something to think about when next you visit your doctor.


Any additional comments?

I find it amusing to read reviews that allege that this listen has "half-truths" or that it lacks evidence. This course is all about scientific studies and evidence. Where we don't know something, he tells us. He tells us what science and medicine have been able to prove and their degree of certainty. The only reason I can discern for the detractors comments is that a pet medical myth of the reviewer (homeopathy? supplements? acupuncture?) is attacked in the book and therefore there cannot be any proof. Just because the reviewer disagrees doesn't mean the lecturer is dealing in half truths. Thus the need to de-myth-ify medicine. True, there is no list of sources in the lectures from Audible, but that is because Audible, for some reason, does not supply us with the guides that accompany the course. They say it is not necessary for enjoying the course. While it may be true that it is not necessary, it is certainly useful--especially in this case. Listeners who really want this information may need to go to the Teaching Company and buy the lectures again to get the study guide. Very sad, especially since audible does provide study guides for the Modern Scholar series of courses and for many other Audible titles as PDF files that can be downloaded. Perhaps if we lobby Audible, we can get them to include the study guides for the Great Courses as well. How about it, people?And detractors: What particular myth did you hate hearing debunked? Enquiring minds what to know.

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- Lotsaluck

Great Listen for Anyone!

Would you listen to Medical Myths, Lies, and Half-Truths: What We Think We Know May Be Hurting Us again? Why?

Yes. Because I do not necessarily catch every detail in real time. Often I fall a bit behind because the preceding point still has my attention. Some points I wish to commit to memory. The lectures by Dr Steven Novella are AMAZING. Exciting, informative, fun.... He is a great teacher with a fluent vocabulary. I want to remember to again use some of those words. And I want to have my myths clear! Sure I will be arguing regarding some of them that are so entrenched.


Have you listened to any of Professor Steven Novella’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Yes and this one was very worthwhile yet lighter. No regrets!


Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes and repeated many "lectures/chapters".


Any additional comments?

Audible!! Obtain content rights for more books featuring lectures on any topic by this man!!! Amazing .... This one the lighter & easier to review of the two I have. NO ONE should be intimidated to go with this book of lectures. No dense scientific or biological knowledge is required to take away an excellent experience with information we all can use!

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- Debbie

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-08-2013
  • Publisher: The Great Courses