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15 Health Myths That Make Doctors Cringe

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.

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15 Health Myths That Make Doctors Cringe

15 Health Myths That Make Doctors Cringe

https://www.thehealthy.com/healthcare/doctors/health-myths-that-make-doctors-cringe/

thehealthy.com

15

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.

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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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When to Wear Sunscreen

Sunburn happens when you're exposed to a lot of UVB rays from the sun. It only occurs in the middle part of the day in the summer.

When the sun's angle is below 35 degrees, you don't have to ...

Who Needs Sunscreen

The darker your skin the less likely you are to get sunburn or skin cancer. However, dermatologists recommend using sunscreen anyway.

Safety of sunscreen

Science has not found any serious threats to your health from using sunscreen.

The chemicals in sunscreen, oxybenzone and octinoxate, are dangerous to coral reefs, which is why Hawaii has banned them.

There aren't any effective alternatives to sunscreen besides avoiding the sun.

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Individual Supplement Studies

Looking at individual studies won't determine if vitamin supplementation is good for you. They're scientifically dense and the conflicts of interest can be very hard to spot.

"Systematic revi...

Research Reviews’ Results
  • If you are healthy, and have a modern balanced diet, taking multi-vitamins and high-dose antioxidants may shorten your life.
  • There’s no evidence to support antioxidant supplements for primary or secondary prevention of diseases.
  • Beta-carotene and vitamin E seem to increase mortality, and so may higher doses of vitamin A.
  • Antioxidant supplements need to be considered as medicinal products and should undergo sufficient evaluation before marketing.
  • The functions of minerals and vitamins are understood largely by their deficiency diseases so there’s no certainty what they all do or how they interact.
  • Antioxidants soak up toxic, chemically-reactive by-products of metabolism called free radicals. These free radicals, left unchecked, can cause damage to DNA and may be linked to cancer.
  • Your body's immune system fights infections by using free radicals to kill bugs. Several of the minerals and vitamins in excess can cause damage.
Supplement Usage Recommendations
  • Folic acid for the women thinking of having a baby and pregnant women up to week 12 of the pregnancy.
  • Vitamin D for all pregnant and breastfeeding women, those aged six months to five years or over 65 and for people who are not exposed to much sun.
  • Vitamins A, C and D supplementation are recommended for all children aged six months to four years, especially those not eating a varied diet.
  • If they are prescribed to you for a medical condition.

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The general Keto diet
The general Keto diet

The Keto diet is one of the biggest diet phenomenons today. It is the most Googled diet of 2018 and has surpassed Weight Watchers and other low-carb regimens, Atkins and Paleo.

The...

Keto is a cultural identity

Keto is more than just a diet. It is a cultural identity.

The Keto diet changes how adherents think about medicine and nutrition. With the fake news that dominates the news cycle, it's not surprising that keto went viral. It's anti-establishment.

Understanding ketosis

The body can only store glucose to last a few days. If we don't eat carbs, the body finds other ways to fuel the body, like ketogenesis. In ketogenesis:

  • The liver starts to break down fat from food and our body reserves. The useful energy source is called ketone bodies and can replace glucose as fuel when there's a glucose shortage.
  • Once ketogenesis starts, the ketone levels rise.
  • The body burns fat instead of the usual glucose.

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Biohacking

It can be described as citizen or do-it-yourself biology.  For many,  this consists of making small, incremental diet or lifestyle changes to make small improvements in your hea...

Popular types of biohacking
  1. Nutrigenomics focuses on how the food you eat interacts with your genes and how different nutrients affect how you feel, think, and behave.
  2. DIY biology: Biohackers with education and experience in scientific fields share tips and techniques to help non-experts conduct structured experiments on themselves.
  3. Grinder: Grinders seek to become “cyborgs” by optimizing their bodies with a combination of gadgets, chemical injections, implants etc.
Biohacking and safety
  • Some forms of biohacking may be safe. For example, taking certain supplements or making changes to your diet can be safe. Even some body mods, like RFID implants, may be safe when overseen by a medical professional.
  • Some biohacking methodologies border on the unsafe or even illegal. DIY bio and grinder sometimes center around experiments that aren’t considered safe or ethical in research facilities.

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Eight glasses of water

We should indeed be drinking enough water every day for good overall health. What this amount is, differ from person to person.

There is no scientific evidence that backs up drinking ...

Catch a cold by being cold

You can't catch a cold from being cold.  A virus is responsible for contracting a cold. We become infected with viruses when we are in close quarters with other people infected with a virus.

Cracking your joints can lead to arthritis

Cracking joints do not cause arthritis. Research done found people who crack their joints are at the same risk of getting arthritis than those who don't.

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False Remedies
False Remedies

Much like a hundred years ago when Spanish Flu killed millions, questionable medicinal concoctions and folk remedies have surfaced across the world, claiming to boost the immune system.

S...

Immunity-Boosting Is A Myth

Pills, superfoods, and other wellness habits do not boost our immunity as the 'symptoms' which we get when infected are in fact measures taken by our immune system to respond to the foreign pathogen.

Many allergies that people have are a misguided response from the immune system that treat harmless foreign bodies as harmful pathogens.

The Symptomatic Treatment

While over-the-counter medicines provide us with a so-called ‘relief’ by suppressing our fever, runny nose and other ‘symptoms’, these are in fact necessary for the body to get well. The symptoms we want to be stopped are not our enemy:

  • The mucus is helping flush out the pathogen.
  • The fever(heat) makes the body impalpable for it to survive and replicate.
  • The body pain is actually the inflammatory chemicals in your veins, guiding the immune cells like an air traffic controller.
  • The brain is provided with a signal to slow down and let the body recover.

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