Five Health Myths Debunked

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1.       Will cracking your fingers cause arthritis?
Have you heard this statement before? Cracking your fingers is damaging and causes arthritis! Quite the statement yet recent studies have found this statement to be false.
Arthritis develops when the cartilage within the joint breaks down and allows the bones to rub together. When you crack your knuckles, you’re pulling your joints apart. This stretch causes an air bubble to form in the fluid, which eventually pops, creating that familiar sound. Cracking your fingers simply releases the excess air in your joints and does not cause arthritis. In fact, medical doctor Donald Unger cracked the knuckles of his left hand every day – at least 36,500 times for over 60 years, but not his right hand. No arthritis or other ailments formed in either hand, earning him the Nobel prize in medicine and proving this myth false.
2.       Does going out in the cold make you sick?

Research from the U.K.’s Common Cold Centre has tested the hypothesis that going out in the cold increases your chances of being infected with the common cold virus. Their results found that there was no correlation between temperature and viral infection rate. Going out into the cold will not make you sick but it can cause the onset of symptoms if the virus is already in your body. So if you’re afraid of getting sick because you have an important meeting tomorrow, don’t be, go out and enjoy your day.
3.       Will eight glasses of water per day keep you hydrated.

Most will have heard that eight glasses per day is the ideal amount of water to intake to stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of water helps your body regulate body temperature, prevent constipation, flush waste products out of the body, and perform many other important functions. Many of the foods we eat on a regular basis also contain water and our bodies are remarkably efficient machines when it comes to letting us know when we need water. However, overhydrating, or drinking too much water, is also a potentially deadly condition. It can throw off the balance between water and sodium in your blood. According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, a healthy adult can meet their daily water needs by simply drinking when they’re thirsty and drinking with every meal, there is no magic number to stay hydrated.
4.       Do we need fat in our diet?

It seems like every food product is labelled “low fat” or “non-fat.” nowadays. But while we live in a world that looks down on any food items that contain even a trace of fat, the truth is: Your body needs fat. Fat stores in the body are used for energy, cushioning, warmth and various other things, some dietary fat is even necessary for your body to absorb certain fat soluble vitamins. Monounsaturated fats, which you can find in nuts and vegetable oils, can help improve your blood cholesterol and cut your risk of heart disease. Polyunsaturated fats, like omega-3 fatty acids, also support heart health, and can be found in fish like salmon and trout.

A study by the Harvard School of Public Health found that women who ate low-fat diets were more likely to suffer from infertility issues and women who ate more high-fat dairy products were less likely to suffer from infertility. The key behind health is not how much fat you eat, but the type of fat. Choose foods with good unsaturated fats, limit foods high in saturated fat, and avoid bad trans-fat. Good unsaturated fats — Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats — lower disease risk. Foods high in good fats include vegetable oils such as olive, canola, sunflower, soy, and corn, also nuts, seeds, and fish.
5.       Do antiperspirants and deodorants cause cancer?

It has long been claimed that antiperspirants and deodorants contain harmful, cancer-causing substances, like parabens and aluminium, which can be absorbed by your skin when you use them. But recent research disagrees. The National Cancer Institute says that there is no known evidence that these chemicals can cause cancer, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has similarly dispelled the notion that parabens can affect estrogen levels, and cause cancer development, although both parabens and aluminium compounds have both been linked to breast cancer.


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A version of this article appeared on with the headline ‘10 Health Myths Debunked’.


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