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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

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4.4 (628 )
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Performance
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  •  
    James Polk TN USA 12-28-14
    James Polk TN USA 12-28-14 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "No evidence that alternatives work, the end."

    Basically this book just repeatedly tells you that none of the alternative medicines are proven to work, so don't waste your time.

    4 of 7 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 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    07-12-17
    07-12-17 Member Since 2016
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    "great eye opening well presented material"

    I enjoyed well presented lectures on many things I thought to be true but are not.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michele Topor 06-24-17

    Love a good zombie or end-of-the-world book. LOVE Ray Porter as a narrator.

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    "Great for those of us with really short attention span's"

    Very interesting! I drive two hours a day in the car and this took up that time and made it flyby! Really interesting and well performed. He is an excellent lecture rest and explained words that those of us in the medical field did not know and will never know. I highly recommend this for everyone, no matter what your type of fiction preference is.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Abhijit Chanda New Delhi, India 04-15-17
    Abhijit Chanda New Delhi, India 04-15-17 Member Since 2015
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    "Exceptional! "

    This is an essential guide to understanding science, the nature of medicine, the dangers of pseudoscience and all the questions you may have regarding any of these. This will help you make better decisions for your health and well being while avoiding those who seek to con you out of your money.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    dadeli 02-21-17
    dadeli 02-21-17 Member Since 2009
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    "Great lecture."

    Great course. Everyone should read this and educate themselves. Debunks many common myths in medicine.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Peter 01-25-17
    Peter 01-25-17 Member Since 2017
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    "Very insightful"


    Very insightful about some of my own misconceptions and beliefs. I'm still not convinced about the vitamin c although.
    and please keep in mind the course was published in 2010.



    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Duane V. Rigge 01-23-17
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    "Comprehensive Debunking of Medical Myths"

    I had no idea of how myths and folklore concerning medicine and cures could lumped the category of snake oil hype

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jenn 09-02-16
    Jenn 09-02-16 Member Since 2017
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    "Extremely eye opening"

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

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matthew Brown 08-29-16 Member Since 2017
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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.

    5 of 10 people found this review helpful

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