3 out of 4 stars
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In Health Tips, Myths, and tricks--A Physician’s Advice, author Morton E. Tavel, MD debunks or confirms common health myths. Based on his many years as a practicing physician and medical researcher, Dr. Tavel gives advice on the following topics: What’s the best way to lose weight? Is breakfast important? What are the real health benefits of coffee, green tea, and chocolate? How safe is seafood? Should you consume more or less salt, potassium, and red meat? What is the best treatment for the common cold? Which artificial sweeteners should you use? Are there any health benefits in using electronic cigarettes? What pain-killers are appropriate for you? How much sleep should you get? What about gluten and bottled water? Should you consume energy drinks? How about probiotics and raw milk? Which medical tests are unnecessary? How can you spot a snake oil salesman? What other health scams should you avoid?
Dr. Tavel addresses each of these topics and more in a knowledgeable but fatherly manner with a clear synopsis of the topic, scientific citations proving or disproving the health practice or myth, followed by his own learned advice on the matter. I felt as if I had received a thorough medical consultation and came away with ideas how I could better improve my own health.
There was one topic that I felt should be further examined by Dr.Tavel, perhaps in a future book. The segment on genetically modified foods did not list a single citation to support Dr. Tavel’s opinion, although countless studies have been done on the safety and health effects of ingesting this type of product. Furthermore, although Dr. Tavel talked about the controversial Golden rice project, he again failed to include scientific study citations of its health benefits. This section was not up to the quality of research contained in the rest of the book.
Another topic that seemed out of place in this health book was the chapter on the polygraph. While it could be loosely categorized as another myth Dr. Morton was addressing, its relationship to health issues is tenuous at best.
Based on the overall quality of the information contained in this book, I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. If you are looking to improve your health, put to rest any doubts about your current health practices or examine the validity of a number of claims touted by popular health products, this is the guidebook for you. As a retired physician specialist in internal medicine and cardiovascular disease, Dr. Tavel’s professional recommendations have a sound basis in scientific fact.
Health Tips, Myths, and Tricks
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