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SHOCKING: Medical Myths Exposed

Myths are public dreams, dreams are private myths.”

–Joseph Campbell

I’m not a huge fan of T.V. but I have to admit just recently I’ve become hooked on a show called the Myth Busters.

And if you haven’t already caught an episode, I highly recommend checking it out.

The gist of the show is these 2 eccentric scientist/inventors types, and their team of Myth Busters go around trying to debunk popular myths by building all these crazy gadgets and gizmos from scratch in their Myth Buster’s workshop.

I’m hooked!!

On a recent episode they tackled the myth of can a penny falling from the Empire State Building really kill you if it hits you?

So in true Myth Buster fashion they built a machine that can fire pennies at the exact same speed they would reach falling from such a height and they shot it at their ballistics dummy affectionately known as Buster.

The result: that myth was busted. The penny didn’t have enough velocity or mass to penetrate the synthetic skin on the dummy.

It probably would have left a nice welt though.

And do you remember the last scene in Jaws when they get the shark to bite down on a scuba tank and then they shoot it and Jaws explodes?

Well what do you think; can you shoot a scuba tank and blow up a shark? Turns out you can’t – another myth busted!

So if you’re unfortunate enough to ever have your boat attacked by a giant shark you’d better come up with a better plan than that.

You never know – info like that might just come in handy one day.

Separating Healthy Facts from the Fiction:

Even doctors have been known to fall victim to some of the more common medical myths.


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And without a medical degree or a team of researches on staff how can you possibly be expected to know the difference between true medical facts and silly science fiction?

Well don’t worry – because I’ve done it for you. Today I’ve picked out 7 of what I feel are most common health myths floating around out there today.

Because I’m going to do a little “Myth Busting” of my own – unfortunately I won’t be building any of those fancy gadgets they always get to play with on the show.

But you should find this eye opening and hopefully entertaining none the less…

1. Cracking Your Knuckles Causes Arthritis: While it is true that cracking your knuckles drives your Mom crazy and grosses out your girlfriend there is no scientific evidence to suggest that it inflames the joints in your hands or leads to Arthritis.

However there is evidence to suggest that excessive cracking can lead to a weakening of the fingers and grip. So even though this myth has been debunked – it still might be a good idea to listen to Mom on this one.

2. If You Forget Your Jacket You’ll Catch a Cold: We’ve all heard this one at one time or another – it’s a favorite of Mom’s all over the world. But the truth is viruses’ cause colds – about 200 different varieties of the little buggers.

That’s why we get them over and over again. In my opinion the best way to avoid the cold isn’t to wear your jacket – it’s to wash your hands. Cold viruses are however more active in the winter time which might explain why this myth’s become so popular. Myth Busted!

3. Shaving Makes Hair Grow Back Thicker and Faster: This one always made me laugh – because think about it, if it were true there’d be no such thing as bald men.

Doesn’t matter if you wax, shave or pluck – no matter what you do there’s zero evidence to suggest that it’s going to change the texture, color or the speed at which your hair grows back.

When hair initially starts to grow back it does look and feel a little coarser. But once it gets a little longer and is exposed to the sun for a time – it tapers off and lightens back to its original color. So that’s another one down.

4. We Only use 10% of our Brain Power: I think every martial arts teacher I’ve ever worked with has thrown this myth around like a flying spin kick. But the truth is there’s absolutely no evidence to support such a claim.

Numerous clinical studies using brain imaging have probed the brain and we’ve yet to find an area of the brain that’s completely inactive. But whoever came up with this myth might only use 10% of his – another myth busted.


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5. All Fats are Bad: A long standing health myth – and it kinda’ makes sense when you think about it so it’s an easy one to believe. But the truth is our bodies need fat.

Fats aid our bodies in the absorption of critical nutrients, nerve transmission and fats also help maintain the integrity of healthy cell membranes.

It should be mentioned however that it is best to limit your consumption of saturated and trans fats as much as possible. And excess fat intake has been linked to heart disease and certain types of cancers. So try and maintain a healthy balance.

6. Reading in the Dark Can Ruin Your Eyesight: It is true that reading in the dark can cause a temporary strain on the eyes – but that goes away almost as soon as you return to well lit conditions.

So I’m going to give this myth a failing grade. I have read studies however that blames reading in the dark for excessive wrinkling caused by squinting – so it might still help to invest in a night-light.

7. Eating Turkey Makes You Tired: A Holiday myth that’s the favorite of family feast the world over. The substance believed to be responsible – Tryptophan.

But modern research has actually shown us that the Tryptophan content in turkey actually pales in comparison to that found in pork and Swiss cheese – and even they don’t contain enough of the sleep substance to have noticeable effect on your sleep schedule.

In reality it’s probably the size of the portions we pile on our plates around the holidays that’s responsible for that after dinner drowsiness. But it’s soooo worth it!

Now can you guys think of any others that I might have missed? I’m really starting to enjoy this whole myth busting thing!

Stay Healthy!


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