Some Health Myths to Debunk

September 13, 2019

A women is eating healthy salad and smiling
Brandi Marcene

You might have heard a lot of health myths like Carrots are excellent to improve eyesight or using deodorant for a long time may cause breast cancer.  And maybe you just didn’t believe them but you implement the health rumors in life.

People report a number of things that are not true.  For instance, when you ask an alcohol study participant, “does drinking alcohol make you feel warm”,  the answer will surely be Yes. But in reality, alcohol makes your blood vessels dilated and that causes warm blood closer to your skin.  That is what makes you feel a sudden hot flash when you are high.  Precisely, alcoholic person loses body heat much faster than a sober person does.

That is to say; health myths are no different than “old wives tale” and are there for centuries. However, the long-lasting ones, no matter how plausible they seem on the surface, are complete bunkum when you dig down deeper. That doesn’t end here. Some of them are not just unhealthy but downright dangerous.

Here we break down some of the common health rumors to help you see the science behind them and separate the facts from the myths.

Getting out in cold weather can make you sick (if you have wet hair)

Despite what mothers and grandmothers have been telling you about catching a cold, the only way to catch it is to get infected. That means just by being out in the freezing season you will not get sick. The reason why people associate sickness with cold weather is that many viruses primarily spread in the winters.  

So, what makes you vulnerable to the viruses?  This might sound surprising to you that many studies have demonstrated no impact. The possible reason for catching a cold in the winter months is people spending more time indoors. The central heating is on, causing the surroundings to be overly dry. The low humidity in the environment improves the transmission of influenza particles and flu.

Carrots Improve Your Night Vision

Like many other myths, it is another kernel of the health rumor. The rumor is commonly believed because carrots contain an adequate amount of beta-carotene. Your body needs this nutrient to make vitamin A - a potent component to help you see. A deficiency of vitamin A can cause blindness.

However, if your food intake is normal, and you follow a healthy diet regimen, eating carrots to improve eyesight does not make any difference. Keep in mind that your body doesn’t convert excess amount of beta- carotene into vitamin A to prevent accumulation of toxic levels.  

That means, once your body receives a sufficient amount of beta- carotene, eating extra carrots does not benefit you.

You shouldn’t eat fish if you’re Pregnant

Expecting and craving fish?

While people stop you from eating certain foods, especially fish during pregnancy, studies say something different. A recent study published in the Journal of Epidemiology has shown that fish is actually healthy for both the expecting mom and fetus. Eating tuna every week in pregnancy helps increase baby’s IQ.  

However, fish that are high in mercury should be avoided that may include shark, swordfish, tilefish, and king mackerel.  

Cracking fingers may Cause Arthritis

 You might have heard people saying that knuckle cracking is not only a bad habit but leads you to developing symptoms of arthritis. But doctors and researchers don’t believe that. As long as cracking knuckle is not painful, it does not cause arthritis. The cracking sound is caused due to fluctuation in synovial fluid present around the joints. And when you pull the joints slightly, they release built-up pressure and excite bubble that generates a satisfying sound.

Eating Eggs is not Healthy for Heart Patients

Eggs are high in cholesterol, and eating them regularly might be bad for your heart health.

The health myth is not very uncommon, and you get to hear it from here and there; especially if you are a heart patient. The recent studies have debunked the false fact. Although eggs contain high cholesterol level, the amount they have is extremely low as compared to other foods. Plus, eggs are full of some essential nutrients such as omega- 3 that reduces the diet-related heart disease risk.

Being on Low fat, and high carbs diet can stave off Cancer

This health myth has been around for several decades and still persists in some cultures.  Despite being circulated for years, not even a single study has shown that it is true.

Many studies, on the other hand, have shown that this diet can be effective for losing weight, but it doesn’t prevent cancer or any other life-threatening disease.

Eating Soy Affects Fertility

This health rumor might be true for the animals, as many studies conducted on animals consuming more quantity of soy have shown the signs of infertility.  The unfermented legume has dietary estrogens that might affect fertility in the animals but not in humans.

Studies show that women who consume soy are likely to have fewer ovulation issues.

Antiperspirant Deodorants may lead to Breast Cancer

Going without antiperspirant will not protect you from breast cancer if you are not taking other preventive measures.  The health myth is common because many antiperspirants have aluminum as a main ingredient that shows false-positive findings on the mammogram.

What this means is that it’s better to skip all the white stuff when going for breast cancer screening. Although there have been many concerns about parabens present in deodorants increasing estrogen levels and causing cancers, there is no conclusive evidence that proves the link.

Final Thoughts

Overall, your health must be your foremost concern and believing anything that doesn’t have sufficient back-up evidence may have consequences.  Thus, the given health myths have been debunked, and now you can enjoy many things you might have been ignoring for a long time. 

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