Thursday, February 25, 2010

Book review: Bad Medicine

I finished reading Bad Medicine by Christopher Wanjek yesterday.
I've been reading it on and off, giving my brain some time to digest the information in between chapters.

This is a very interesting and educational book, which explains all the common (and uncommon) myths regarding health, diet, medicine and similar subjects.

In summary
The first part of the book takes us back to ancient history where both good and bad medicine were born. From here the entire history of medicine is summarized giving us information about how good medicine has come to be and why bad medicine is like its shadow, something which follows it around.

Hereafter the book is divided into seven chapters, such as The Return of the Witch Doctor (alternative medicine), Eating It Up (diet/food/water) and Growing Old (ageing).
Each chapter gives examples of general and specific elements of bad medicine and contrasts them to the relevant good medicine as well as explaining why the bad medicine is still present in our world.

Lots of example are given and every myths is mentioned. And in case you want to verify a specific claim, references are given and you can find the publication on Google scholar and read it yourself.

My opinion
This is one of the most inspirational books I have ever read.
Not only is it very well written but the amount of subjects it touches is amazing; memory loss, homeopathy, bacteria, magnets, brain size. It is all covered in this book.

It has also been extremely educational, I learned a lot about health, medicine and diet from reading this book. And it even debunked myths I believed, you'll be amazed at what you believe is true, but isn't.

More info
You can click the link to amazon at the top (or click here) to read the first couple of pages of the book.

Next book is Why People Believe Weird Things by Michael Shermer.