15 Health Myths That Make Doctors Cringe

Getting a base tan can prevent sunburns

Tanning can increase your risk of cancer. Sun damage is the primary cause of wrinkles. 


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15 Health Myths That Make Doctors Cringe

15 Health Myths That Make Doctors Cringe


Key Ideas

The more water you drink, the better

Water is necessary to life and a healthy beverage, but not in excessive quantities.

Your body can give you an indication of how much water it needs. It is better to drink to your thirst.

Getting a base tan can prevent sunburns

Tanning can increase your risk of cancer. Sun damage is the primary cause of wrinkles. 

“Detoxes” work

Your body can detoxify itself, provided you have a healthy liver and kidneys.

Detox diets may even harm you. Juices high in sugar can increase your blood sugar level. A juice fast may also lead to malnourishment.

STD through sex

You can get STDs through any type of sexual contact, even just skin-to-skin contact if one partner has open sores.

Gluten is bad for you

Eliminating gluten from your diet does not offer health benefits. Whole grains are a great source of fiber and vitamins. 

Only a handful of people should consider avoiding gluten. These are people with Celiac disease and the small number of people who have gluten intolerance.

You can exercise your way to a six-pack

Everyone has abs, they're just hiding under layers of fat.

Great abs are the result of diet and exercise. 

You can eat whatever you want

We should think of food in terms of quality, not just quantity. 

Food high in sugar is associated with cancer and should be eaten in limited amounts.

Breast cancer is the #1 killer

Breast cancer is not the leading cause of death in women.

Heart disease is still the primary cause of death. Lung cancer is killing nearly twice as many women as breast cancer.

A hypoallergenic dog

A hypoallergenic dog is a myth. Dog allergies are caused by microscopic proteins derived from the pet's skin dander and saliva.

Taboo topics with your doctor

Failing to bring up gross symptoms with your doctor can make it harder to get the right diagnosis and treatment.

Doctors have to continually remind their patients to talk about these icky topics.

Medical X-rays and cancer

You have a greater risk that a doctor might miss something important because you declined an X-ray than the small risk posed by the machines.

An hour in the sun exposes you to more radiation than a full set of dental X-rays.

Sunscreen interferes with vitamin D

Your body makes vitamin D when exposed to the sun. While sunscreen blocks the sun's rays, new studies revealed wearing sunscreen does not cause vitamin D deficiency.

Vitamin D is gained through food, supplements and small doses of sunshine.

You can diagnose yourself

In spite of the validity of reputable sites, Dr. Google is not the best doctor. A lot of information is irrelevant, incomplete of plain false.

The best time to make a baby

Many people believe a woman has the best chance of conceiving the day of ovulating or shortly thereafter.

The best time to conceive is just before ovulation.

Cardio to lose weight

Sixty to ninety minutes of daily cardiovascular exercise is not an effective method to lose weight.

To lose weight, you need to build more muscle, because the more muscle you have, the higher your basal metabolic rate.

Strength training is an essential part of your exercise routine.



Vitamin D and sunshine

Vitamin D is essential for calcium absorption and many other biological processes. Lower levels of Vitamin D increase the rates of almost every disease like cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis, cognitiv...

Vitamin D supplementation

Getting vitamin D through supplementation shows zero benefits. A study over a period of 5 years found supplementing with Vitamin D had no impact on cancer, heart disease, or stroke.

A number of researchers now argue that people with high vitamin D levels are healthy not because of the vitamin, but because they get plenty of exposure to the sun. Vitamin D is just a marker of that fact.

Sunlight is good for you

A dermatologist discovered our skin uses sunlight to make nitric oxide, a molecule in the body that dilates blood vessels and lowers blood pressure.

He exposed volunteers to the equivalent of 30 minutes of summer sunlight without sunscreen. The result? The nitric oxide levels in the volunteers went up, and their blood pressure lowered. Because of the connection of high blood pressure to heart disease and strokes, this discovery can prevent millions of deaths globally.

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Drink 8 Glasses of Water a Day

Everyone has a different requirement for water. Temperature, humidity, size, age, gender and activity have an influence on your fluid needs.

Instead, drink when you are thirsty.

Eggs Harm Your Heart

Eggs have a lot of cholesterol compared to other foods. Although cholesterol in the blood is strongly related to heart disease, eating cholesterol is weakly associated with raising the cholesterol levels in your blood.

Eggs have other heart-protecting properties and eating it probably won't harm your heart.

Cancer or Alzheimer’s From Antiperspirant
  • A chain email in the 1990s was responsible for the false belief that antiperspirant was raising the risk of breast cancer. 
  • When researchers found higher ratios of aluminum in the brains of Alzheimer's patients, aluminum in antiperspirant was suspect. But it seems aluminum in antiperspirant is hardly absorbed by your skin.

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Best foods don’t have labels
Best foods don’t have labels
Because they are just one ingredient: avocado, lentils, blueberries, broccoli, almonds, etc.
There is no "best diet"

The “best” diet is a theme: an emphasis on vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, and plain water for thirst. 

That can be with or without seafood; with or without dairy; with or without eggs; with or without some meat; high or low in total fat.

The "Age" of vegetables
The best vegetables are likely to be fresh and locally sourced, but flash frozen is nearly as good (as freezing delays aging). Those “fresh” vegetables that spend a long time in storage or transit are probably the least nutritious.

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