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7 Health Myths

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Whilst writing this article, I couldn’t stop laughing to myself. I have heard most, if not all of these myths, so many times it makes me cringe to know the power of hearsay and the unquestioning nature of the majority. Come on people, lets start questioning, even if someone close to you tells you something ridiculous!

Here we go:

MYTH No.1 : Reading in dim light ruins ones eyesight

Errrm…..NO! The amount of times I have been told this one! There is no evidence to show such a thing, though focusing in such a condition has been found to be more difficult, not damaging.

MYTH No.2 : Drink at least eight glasses of water a day

There is no evidence for such a claim. If anything, we should talk about how one can utilise adequately the water they do consume and the role of fatty acids in contribution to this process. Also, too much water can actually be harmful and detrimental to ones health , possibly causing water intoxication, hyponatraemia (sodium deficiency) and even death. Listen to your body, it is the best indicator (usually), if you feel thirsty have some water, if not, then don’t…simple! Myth 3 should be: if you’re thirsty then you’re already dehydrated!

MYTH No.3 : We only use 10% of our brains

Well you might, but I don’t think I do. No such evidence has ever been produced, even as a result of the continuing advancements in neuroscience.

MYTH No.4 : Shaving hair causes it to grow back faster, darker and coarser

These claims are disproven by strong scientific claims. The hair is darker because it has not been exposed to the sun and other chemicals which lighten the hair. As for it being coarser, shaving or even cutting hair would result in the hair not having the finer taper as seen in unshaved/uncut hair.

MYTH No.5 : Hair and fingernails continue to grow after death

The only possible explanation for why people may have thought to have seen this is due to dehydration of the body after death, thereby resulting in retraction of the skin around the hair and nails. The actual growth of hair and nails requires complex hormonal regulation which is not sustained after death.

MYTH No.6 : Mobile phones are dangerous in hospitals

No causes of death have ever occured due to the use of mobile phones in a hospital. No references, dates or any such evidence is given, though the claims are substantial. In the United Kingdom, early studies showed that mobiles phones interfered with less than 4% of devices and that was at a distance less than one metre.

MYTH No.7 : Feeding children a lot of sugary foods will result in hyperactivity

No such evidence exists, though some doctors do like this old wive’s tale because a high-sugar diet itself has many negative health implications.

Take home notes:

Don’t believe everything you hear. It’s not that difficult to question something which sounds absurd, it just takes a little effort – which requires one to fight off laziness! Imagine, even doctors and health professinals sometimes believe these myths and many more, just shows you the brain washing power of the media!

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4 Responses to 7 Health Myths
  1. Mahmud
    January 5, 2008 | 10:07 am

    Feeling thirsty:

    Well, I have read and listened to a number of documentaries generally in the field of survival training which all indicate that thirst is a bad indicator of a bodies water hydration. In general, when one begins to feel thirsty while walking through dry desert conditions or infact stuck on a lifeboat in the middle of an ocean the general rule of thumb is to keep as hydrated as possible so that your faculties involved in decision making are not impaired. They say when you begin to feel thirsty you are generally 10-15% dehydrated.

    In fact there is research on how ageing reduces our “sensation” of thirst, the older you get the less thirsty you feel in a fixed time and environment. So, I am not sure if that Myth of thirst being a bad indicator of dehydration really is a myth. True, too much water can be dangerous but I think it is more of a norm for the average person to generally drink less water than they should be. I doubt I would be wrong in saying that many many more people die each year from dehydration as opposed to water poisoning (excessive water consumption in a short period of time).

    Just my two pence worth….

  2. admin
    January 6, 2008 | 3:02 am

    Mahmud,

    Thank you for your beneficial comments. I totally agree with you. When I said dehydrated, I meant in the full sense of the word, not 10% or 15% or 30%. Hence many have the misconception that one is dehydrated (extremely) when they are thirsty, which is not the case (clearly denoted in your comment that it is a sign of 10-15% dehydration).

    Thanks again for your comments.

  3. Marwa
    January 8, 2008 | 1:06 am

    Great website..beneficial comments…
    keep it up :)

  4. Nett
    June 24, 2010 | 2:25 pm

    Disagree with water myth. I feel much better since I drink enough water. The US Daily Reference Intake Values of water for people older than 18 years are 3.7 liters for man and 2.7 liters for women. Some of it you intake with food. You can’t drink too much water, it’s released after you drink it.

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