25 Health Myths That Need To Be Debunked Once And For All
Tanning Beds are safe.
Many people believe that tanning beds are safe as long as they don’t have UVB Rays. Businesses that state otherwise perpetuate this myth to keep the business thriving. Although UVB rays are identified with burns and skin cancer, UVA rays are just as harmful as UVB. The World Health Organization has listed tanning beds as one of the leading items that cause cancer.
Alcohol kills brain cells.
Although it may be splitting hairs, alcohol doesn’t actually kill any brain cells (as much as it may seem to). In reality it only damages the ends of neurons when used in large quantities.
Carrots improve your vision.
Carrots really don’t improve how well we see. Our photoreceptors (cells in the retina) do not work well simply because we eat carrots or any vegetable containing Vitamin A. Carrots, however, are helpful in preventing macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness in people aged 60 and above.
Crossing your eyes will make them stay that way.
W. Walker Motley, Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, says there is no harm in voluntarily crossing our eyes.
Fasting rids the body of toxins
The body employs the liver, kidneys and spleen to remove toxins. Keith-Thomas Ayoob, Ed.D., R.D., of Albert Einstein College of Medicine explains that there is no scientific basis in people’s claims that fasting removes toxins from the body.
Gum stays in your stomach for 7 years.
Contrary to popular belief, gum doesn’t stay in your stomach until you’re in college. A senior physician in the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Care Network, David Pollack, explains that like most consumed items, chewing gum is carried into the intestinal track by fluids and passed within a few days.
Have someone startle you to get rid of hiccups.
Because hiccups are simply spasms of the diaphragm (your breathing muscle), startling someone or prompting them to yell is believed to cause the diaphragm to stretch and relieve the hiccup. Studies show that this is not the case.
Knuckle-craking Causes Arthritis
Studies show that people who crack their knuckles are no more likely to get arthritis than those who don’t.
Microwaving creates dangerous chemicals in food.
Microwaves, energy waves we see as visual light, and radio waves are all forms of radiation. So are X-rays and gamma rays which pose health concerns. But microwaves are far weaker X-rays and gamma rays. Robert Brackett, Ph.D., director of the National Center for Food Safety and Technology at the Illinois Institute of Technology, explains that when microwaves are absorbed by the water, fats, and sugars in our food they are converted directly into atomic motion, or heat. There is no residual or side effect.
Most heat is lost through the head.
This myth came about when the US Army Field Manual stated that 40-45% of body heat is lost through the head. This is simply not true. Heat loss occurs in any part of the body that is uncovered.
Plaque removal loosens your teeth.
On the contrary, leaving the plaque on your teeth causes it to turn into tartar which, in turn, loosens the teeth.
Snacking is unhealthy.
Dr. Tim Harlan, author of Just Tell Me What to Eat! confirmed that “snacking is essential”. When we’re hungry, we need to eat something as long as we’re eating the right snacks. Dried fruits and nuts are recommended.
Sugar causes hyperactivity in children.
Scientific studies have failed to establish the effect of sugar on chidren’s behavior. Sugar is not linked with hyperactivity in children. In one study, parents were told that their children were given drinks with sugar. The parents reported that their kids became hyper. In reality, the drinks given were sugar-free.
Warm milk induces sleep.
According to Michael Breus, a clinical psychologist in Scottsdale, Arizona, who specializes in sleep disorders, milk does contain tryptophan, which is believed to be an effective sleeping aid, but only in very small amounts. That means, you’d have to drink gallons of milk before you get any soporific effect.
The 5-second rule
Scientists conducted a study where a parcel of food was dropped on the floor. Citing the five-second rule, they picked up the food within seconds from the time it was dropped. A significant amount of bacteria was found on the food.