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 "Lotsaluck"

It's a book to expose lies using selective data.

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

It's a book on half truths that uses selective data to prove his hypothesis. It's very disappointing.


What did you like best about this story?

Some of it is presented with good humor.


What about Professor Steven Novella’s performance did you like?

It's fine.


You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

No.


Any additional comments?

Reader beware. Steven Novella is basically an advocate for the Pharmaceutical industry. He promotes everything that is promoted by mainstream health practitioners and uses half truths to prove his half truths. He doesn't take a truly open approach. He dismisses the majority of naturopathic medicine and basically promotes the use of most vaccines and drugs despite the obvious and well known side effects.

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- HawaiianStyle

Book Details

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