Oh, those experts – always falling for one thing after another! We’re partly kidding, of course, but there are a variety of myths that even health pros still believe. Have you been fooled? The British Medical Journal pares the meat from the mealy:
1. We only use 10% of our brains.Wrong!
This “fact” is often cited as one of Einstein’s pearls, but that’s a common misconception. There are no dormant parts of our gray matter – it all gets used.
2. You need 8 glasses of water a day.Wrong!
This is absolutely false and unscientific. The Nutrition Council determined in 1945 that people need 8 ounces of fluid daily, but this can come from coffee, tea, juices, fruits, vegetables and greens. Somehow the word “water” replaced all sources of fluid in recent years, but experts say there is no proof. Just drink water when you are thirsty – that’s what the thirst mechanism is for. Salt, chemicals, and sugar can interfere with your natural sense of thirst, so if you feel hungry, drink a glass of water first to make sure your body isn’t misreading signals.
3. Fingernails and hair grow after death.Wrong!
Soft tissue – like fingertips and the scalp – retracts. But the nails and hair follicles do not continue growing.
4. Shaved hair grows back darker and thicker.Wrong!
It only looks dark because the sun hasn’t bleached it. It looks thicker because it’s the blunt edge of the shaft that was shaved. But in study after study, research shows that once the hair grows out to the standard length, it’s the same as if it had been unshaven.
5. Reading in low light damages your eyes.Wrong!
There is no evidence to support this. Reading for a lengthy period of time, no matter what the light, will strain your eyes, but it won’t permanently damage them. You need to give them a break regardless of whether you’re reading in full light or muted light.
6. Turkey makes you tired.Wrong!
Turkey contains tryptophan, a compound your brain loves. Though it can make you a bit drowsy, chicken and beef contain identical levels of tryptophan. It’s more likely the massive onslaught of holiday calories that makes you tired.
7. Cell phone use in the hospital is dangerous.Wrong!