Medical Myths

I’m going to let Web MD take this one:
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7 Common Medical Myths Debunked
Researchers Say There’s No Evidence for Some Widely Held Beliefs
By Miranda Hitti
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Dec. 20, 2007 — Can you separate medical myth from fact? A new report may help you do just that.

Take a look at these seven medical myths, noted in BMJ (formerly called the British Medical Journal).

The debunkers include Rachel Vreeman, MD, a fellow in children’s health services research at Indiana University’s medical school in Indianapolis.

1. Medical Myth: Drink at least eight glasses of water per day.

Reality: There’s no evidence that you have to drink that much water to assure adequate fluid intake — and drinking too much water can be unhealthy.

2. Medical Myth: We use only 10% of our brains.

Reality: Most of the brain isn’t loafing. Detailed brain studies haven’t found the “non-functioning” 90% of the brain.

3. Medical Myth: Hair and fingernails continue to grow after death.

Reality: Hair and fingernails don’t keep growing after death. But it may seem that way because dehydration can make the skin shrink back from hair and nails, making them look longer.

4. Medical Myth: Reading in dim light ruins your eyesight.

Reality: Dim light isn’t great for focusing, but it’s “unlikely to cause a permanent change in the function or structure of the eyes,” Vreeman’s team writes.

5. Medical Myth: Shaving causes hair to grow back faster or coarser.

Reality: “Shaving does not affect the thickness or rate of hair regrowth,” write Vreeman and colleagues. But shaved hair doesn’t have the fine taper of unshaved hair, making it seem coarser.

6. Medical Myth: Mobile phones are dangerous in hospitals.

Reality: “Rigorous testing in Europe found minimal interference and only at distances of less than one meter [about 3.28 feet],” write the researchers. But that may be a point of controversy. In September, Dutch doctors reported that cell phones may interfere with critical care equipment and shouldn’t be used within a meter of medical equipment or hospital beds.

7. Medical Myth: Eating turkey makes people especially drowsy.

Reality: Turkey isn’t all that rich in tryptophan, the chemical linked to sleepiness after eating turkey. But eating a big, decadent meal can cause sleepiness, even if turkey isn’t on the menu.

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5 Responses to “Medical Myths”

  1. 1) lies.. water is much more important than food and is easily the most important thing to the human body besides oxygen.. research what happens to your cells when they don’t have water.. don’t listen to webmd those pplz are serious morons when it comes to health.

    4) yes it might be able to ruin your eyesight I wouldn’t say this is debunked yet.. your eyes will eventually adapt.. the only way I can explain is wearing dirty glasses for months at a time will actually degrade your vision. also looking at a computer or TV screen 8 hours a day, eventually your eyes change for the worse, so it maybe possible.

    5) I think this was usually compared to waxing in which case it was shown the hair would come back more fine compared to shaving.

  2. REgarding #1 the water myth, This is derived from a partial quote from a surgeon general something along the lines that ‘your body requires 8 glasses of water a day- most of which is received from the foods & beverages from a healthy diet’ So its not an additional 8 glasses of water, it is that the body requires the equivalent volume of 8 glasses of water a day for good health. Depending on how much you eat/drink, you may or may not need a few glasses of water for proper hydration.

  3. The 8 glasses a day is obvious rubbish. It’s an average at best. That could be much in wintertime and too little in summertime, especially if you’re working. Hence the real adivce is to drink water when you want to because it’s highly unlikely a healthy person can drink too much water. People who have consumed way too much water are either are on ecstasy or trying to win a Wii console.

  4. #6 is wrong. Cell phones EMPs can interfere with equipment. Have you ever put your phone next to your speaker and have it emit a strange sound? I have seen cell phones cause anomalies in medical equipment with my own eyes.

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