The best thing about this book is that its contents and conclusions are basically in the table of contents. This makes it easy for me to summarize. Harriet Hall (Skeptic, and MD) wrote a short positive piece in the Skeptical Inquirer about the book which prompted me to buy it.
NB: Listen to your doctor. Do not take medical advice from me. Do your research.
Chapter 1: Don't take fever reducing meds during a cold. No ASA, no Tylenol, and no Advil. These drugs reduce fever, hobble your immune system (the immune system likes it hot), and lengthen your illness.
Chapter 2: Antibiotics are over prescribed and finishing your course of treatment is not always a good idea.
Chapter 4: Vitamin D is over-hyped. I stopped taking it when I read it was associated with kidney stones.
In general, stick to the FDA recommended amounts. Huge doses of vitamins can create poor outcomes.
Chapter 5: Antioxidants are a waste of money.
Chapter 6: Testosterone treatments are bad for you.
Chapter 7: Aspirin doesn't prevent heat attack or stroke.
Chapter 8: Expose your kids to peanuts and other allergens early.
Chapter 9: Sun block doesn't really work. Stay out of the sun.
Chapter 11: Prostrate cancer screening is not good for you.
Chapter 12: Ditto Thyroid screening.
Chapter 13: Ditto breast cancer screening.
Chapter 14: Heart stents do not work.
Chapter 15: Knee arthritis surgery is unnecessary.
Chapter 16: Mercury fillings are safe and effective.
Chapter 17: Vitamin C doesn't help colds.
How do you treat colds? It turns out that the old method of breathing steam works, because the virus does not reproduce well in warmer environments. Otherwise, treat your colds with contempt.
Chapter 18: Do NOT ice a sprained joint. Rather, do the opposite and apply heat.
For decades, the usual treatment for sprains was RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) and it was pretty much exactly the opposite of what should be done.
Some of these are surprising results. Most I had heard of before.
The book is not as dry as one might imagine. It is fast read and backed by copious notes. It keeps the jargon to a minimum and the logic is easy to follow.
For example, your immune system is designed to work best at higher temperatures. Ergo, you get a fever when you get sick. It makes no sense to reduce your temperature, as doing so will impede your recovery.
One broad issue the book does discuss is malpractice law suits. These suits distort the system. The author recommends getting rid of jury trials and replacing the jury with a panel of experts.
This example amused the skeptic in me:
In 1986, "psychic" Judith Haimes had a CT scan of her head due to headaches. As a result, she claimed, she lost her power to talk to the dead. She sued and won $986,000!!... which was later overturned as excessive.
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Lee Moller is a life-long skeptic and atheist and the author of The God Con.