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.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Well presented set of lectures

Dr Novella attempts to present a neutral factual set of lectures.
He does not always succeed in hiding his irritation with nonsense. If you listen to the SGU then you will have heard the bare bones of most of this but this is his pithy comments with backup details.
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- Damage Magnet

Depends on what you already know

This book is good if you are a total novice in the areas of evidence based medicine. But if you already use PubMed, read Science, know what is NCBI, what importance have double blind placebo controlled trials over simpler studies and what a Nobel Prize-winning economist Ronald Coase meant by: "If you torture data long enough, it will confess.", then this one won't contain anything new for you.

I expected much more depth and something more exciting (information wise). It somehow appeared more profound than it is. It basically contains common sense information. It's not the author's fault - the books is probably great for the ones it is dedicated to. I just didn't do my homework properly before purchasing this book. The presenter is good and information valid for certain audiences, just not me. Therefore I'm confused how to rate it, because the book isn't bad for sure, but no good for me either and I really hope I can change it for something better (purchased quite a time ago and only recently started to listen to it and within a minute of listening and thereafter skimming it through it dawned on me - what a mistake from my side to buy this). Save your credits if you can relate with me. And go for it if you prefer simple&basic myth busting. :)

So, the given rating stars reflect my confusion: I'd give one star for the story and overall because no use for me, but I threw in some extra because of other people to whom the book might be a must read.
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- Mariann V.

Book Details

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