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Medical Myths, Lies, and Half-Truths: What We Think We Know May Be Hurting Us Lecture

Medical Myths, Lies, and Half-Truths: What We Think We Know May Be Hurting Us

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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.

©2010 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2010 The Great Courses

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (485 )
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Performance
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  •  
    GDM Colorado USA 10-13-15
    GDM Colorado USA 10-13-15 Member Since 2016

    Curious George

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Standard Story"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    People who are so ill that anything will help them


    What could The Great Courses have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Delve into things outside of the standard thinking of US doctors, which is driven by drug companies.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment. Over simplification of things and ignorance of many aspect of health and physiology.


    Any additional comments?

    Have a foreign physician cover this topic

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laurie 10-20-13
    Laurie 10-20-13 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Debunk Everything"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    The course was interesting. Novella is an engaging speaker and easy to listen to. He goes through almost every form of alternative medicine you can think of and punches holes in them. Some of what he says I already knew, some of it was completely new to me. For example, I didn't know the origin of acupuncture and this story is fascinating. Now that I do know I don't have any curiosity about whether or not it will work and I have to laugh when I see people going for it. There were one or two places where I didn't completely agree with what he said and felt that he was promoting the POV of established medicine without questioning the resources too closely. You need to listen with a critical mind and use your logic. It was reassuring that his ideas about vitamins and certain herbs matched my own decisions about them, long established. I have to admit that it was disappointing that there are no unexplored medical miracles available through alternative medicine, but deep in our hearts we already knew that, didn't we?


    Would you be willing to try another book from The Great Courses? Why or why not?

    Yes, The Great Courses are almost always worth the time and effort. Many members of my family invest in the Great Courses regularly.


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

    No, this was the first one.


    Did Medical Myths, Lies, and Half-Truths: What We Think We Know May Be Hurting Us inspire you to do anything?

    No. I was already doing everything right, but it was good to have the reassurance.


    9 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Deepak Oprah 09-11-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Cuts through the BS"

    Dr. Novella debunks all sorts of nonsense such as mega doses of vitamins being healthy, that watching a TV up close will ruin your eyes, or that homeopathy is valid. The lectures were clear and effective, and it promotes empiricism and critical thinking.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jenn 09-02-16
    Jenn 09-02-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Extremely eye opening"

    Amazing information! I can't wait to share this information with others. Definitely worth the listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brown 08-29-16
    Brown 08-29-16 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Very Disappointed"
    What disappointed you about Medical Myths, Lies, and Half-Truths: What We Think We Know May Be Hurting Us?

    Quite a lot. For one thing, the lecturer did not back up his statements with evidence that could be easily checked for validity. I checked the PDF that can be downloaded for this course, and it did not actually reference any of the studies that he supposedly has read to support his claims. I could find no citations for any of his's sources and he only verbally referenced a very few studies. Unfortunately, the ones that he did reference were not the ones I was particularly interested in.


    What was most disappointing about The Great Courses’s story?

    I was very interested in getting some hard evidence about some of these myths, however, since the lecturer made so many vague and unsubstantiated claims about other things, I was unable to rest easy in his conclusions. I remain as in the dark as ever as to the truth or myths behind such things as vaccination safety. I hope to check out some of the books in the bibliography on that subject in hopes that the authors have done a better job of citing their sources.


    What didn’t you like about Professor Steven Novella’s performance?

    I think he was so eager to cover as many myths as possible that he rushed too much, skipping vital information, making leaps of logic, and being vague on things that really should have been made more clear.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment. Frustration. I was very much looking forward to having some of my concerns laid to rest, but now I have more than ever.


    Any additional comments?

    I would not recommend this book to anyone who is truly looking to establish the truth of medical myths in their minds. There are too many gaps of logic and research. I am concerned that the author is trying to come off as more well-researched than he actually is and possibly may have a hidden agenda of his own. I wish you well in your search for the truth, however I recommend that you look elsewhere for it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer CENTURION, GAUTENG, ZA 08-23-16
    Amazon Customer CENTURION, GAUTENG, ZA 08-23-16 Member Since 2015
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    "one of the worst"
    What disappointed you about Medical Myths, Lies, and Half-Truths: What We Think We Know May Be Hurting Us?

    The author tried to debunk myths but expected the listener to take it on faith that he knows better. If i wanted to do a course on the opinions of the author this would be acceptable. However he clearly has done only superficial research and expects the listener to take it on faith that he knows what he's is talking about. Rubbish


    Would you ever listen to anything by The Great Courses again?

    Yes but not from this author/lecturer.


    What character would you cut from Medical Myths, Lies, and Half-Truths: What We Think We Know May Be Hurting Us?

    The author did not research his comments and does not substantiate his opinions. You do not debunk a myth by offering an opposing opinion and expect us to take it as gospel.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ingmar Lindström Estonia 07-07-16
    Ingmar Lindström Estonia 07-07-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Great overview!"

    Thank You for an interesting overview of the basic myths surrounding us. Has changed some of my beliefs.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Coral Mississauga, ON, Canada 06-26-16
    Coral Mississauga, ON, Canada 06-26-16 Member Since 2008

    I hold a BA in History from York University of Toronto; a 3yr Diploma in Computer Networking from Sheridan College in Oakville Ontario. I have been "reading" audio books sinces the late 80s and a member of Audible back to 2004. What a really like is a good long story preferable over 30 hours. :)

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    "Augment from Authority he claims the hate then use"

    Prof. Novella - is a good speaker and I believed that by the course he really want to clear our a number of myths and lies that cause people to spend money without getting anything of value for treating their medical needs. The problem with the whole thing is that while he make it clear in the introduction that any authority can get it wrong and there for you should look many sources and go with the majority view of experts - the course it self is a little thin on actually citing where he is getting his views. Thus in effect he has argued not to do what he then asks you to believe - him- which is a bit of logical problem.

    I can not speak for the validity of the information in the course. I have no medical training. I enjoyed a few of the lectures where he actually taken about the why and methods of the treatments and disease.

    In short: go to a train medical doctor - if what you want is complex or you don't feel comfortable talk to two medical doctors. Guidelines are "guides" - you may need more or less - let your body be somewhat of a guide. And skip on fads or alternate medic - unless you need stress relief in which case it might help a bit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Allan 06-25-16
    Allan 06-25-16
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    "Ryes Syndrome "

    Debunking all these myths and the myth of Ryes Syndrome gets a pass.
    It takes years to label a rare syndrome. Years more to come to a plan of action. More years to get compliance. Ryes Syndrome? One month never heard of. Next month panicking. Switch to Tylenol. Then it's gone forever. 50 years later and the hoax still buffaloes the entire medical community.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    charlanda wise 06-10-16 Member Since 2015
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    "excellent "

    loved it the professor was so knowledgeable and had a awesome voice. I enjoyed it and have found it my favorite of all courses.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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