Some notions about health and science have been doing the rounds for a long time now. We tend to fall prey to these either because they have been here so long or we trust the source it came from.
However, science and technology has progressed and various unexplainable things have found meaning. Thus it's about time we moved away from these long standing myths.
1. Supplements always make you healthier.
Taking high doses of vitamin supplements may be linked with an increased risk of cancer. Supplements are generally not regulated in the same way as medicinal drugs and thus their safety is not rigorously studied.
2. Cold weather makes you sick.
The temperature doesn’t have any effect on the possibility of catching a cold. People in surroundings with higher temperature are just as likely to catch a cold.
The only plausible cause is the germs spread faster in cold,dry conditions.
3. We only use 10% of our brains.
The brain doesn't have any dormant areas. The myth exists because people want to believe they haven’t tapped into their full potential.
4. Chewing gum stays in stomach for 7 years.
Fibres are just as indigestible as gum. Despite the stickiness and strange consistency of gum, the body excretes it out just fine.
5. Reading in the dark or sitting too close to the TV ruins your eyesight.
This may make you aware of your nearsightedness, making it necessary to consult a doctor, but it most definitely doesn't cause it.
6. You should drink at least 8 glasses of water a day.
You have to consume 2.5 litres of water in a day, including water through food. Thus, you can consume 8 glasses of water in a day through food or fluids.
7. You should wait an hour after eating before you go swimming.
Rigorous exercises such as swimming are difficult after eating. However, light snacks hardly make a difference. Getting cramps has no connection to being on an empty or full stomach.
8. Shaved hair grows back faster, coarser and darker.
The thicker part of the hair gets exposed on shaving, making it seem each individual shaft is taking up more space. The hair feels stiff as it short and cut straight across, it feels softer as it grows.
The hair appears darker as the hair dots are now seen directly against the normal skin colour.
9. Ulcers are only caused by spicy food and stress.
Most of the ulcers are caused by the bacteria Heliobacter pylori and not by the burning of the stomach lining by spicy food.
Chronic use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can damage tissues and cause an ulcer.
10. It's impossible to get pregnant while on periods.
There is a possibility of sperm living inside a woman's body for up to a week. Thus, pregnancy can occur shortly after your period ends or sometimes even during it.
11. Taking probiotics helps prevent colds.
Taking probiotics regularly just helps reduce the severity of the symptoms of a cold and shorten their duration, but they do not prevent them.
However, if they are consistently taken for a long period of time, they build immunity, lowering the chances of catching a cold.
12. Pregnancy lasts exactly 9 months.
Pregnancy is calculated from the date of the last menstrual period and thus lasts for 40 weeks! The conception and the delivery have an estimated difference of 38 weeks.
13. Our tongues have different taste zones.
We have approximately 8,000 taste buds and each contains a mixture of receptor cells, allowing them to taste any of our five tastes.
14. Chocolate & fried foods give you acne.
Hormones are regarded as the prime reasons behind sebaceous glands producing excess sebum. Stress and heredity may also be factors, but chocolate bars and fried foods aren't one.
15. Cracking your knuckles will cause arthritis in later life.
Arthritis occurs due to a variety of reasons, one of which is crystal formations in the case of gout, however, knuckle cracking doesn't qualify for it. The worst a compulsive-cracker will face over time is weakened joints.
16. Back pain should be treated with bed rest.
Bed rest, in fact, prevents the lower back from recovering fully, delaying the process. You should engage in ordinary activities intermittently, to help recovery, and not go for complete bed rest. Being active also reduces the chances of recurring back troubles.
17. Eating at night makes you fat.
It doesn’t matter what time of day you eat, as long as you eat only the total calories that you burn each day, you will not gain weight.
18. Vaccines can cause the flu and/or autism.
The flu shot has dead viruses that cannot resurrect to cause the flu. Also, the autism study that started this myth is flawed.
19. Fingernails and hair continue to grow after death.
After dying, the skin starts drying out and shrinks in the process. This makes nails and hair appear more prominent.
Don't believe everything you hear.