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Saturday, December 22, 2007

Seven Medical Myths

The British Medical Journal just published a list of seven medical myths, common medical beliefs that turn out to be wrong.

Here they are:

1. People should drink at least eight glasses of water a day

I always knew there something wrong with this one. Even during my military training days I had difficulty drinking 8 glasses of water a day.

2. We use only 10% of our brains

Actually, I didn't know this one. However, had I heard about it I would have taken it to be true, simply based on watching most people around me. So I believe further research is warranted before dismissing this. I'll grant them 20%, but no more.

3. Hair and fingernails continue to grow after death

I have nothing to say about this one. I'm surprised it's a myth.

4. Shaving hair causes it to grow back faster, darker, or coarser

I used to believe this one, until I starting losing my hair.

5. Reading in dim light ruins your eyesight

Yes, I believed this one. I actually berate my children for reading after lights out. Although, come to think of it, I should have known better. I behaved exactly like them when I was a child, and my eyesight is still perfect.

6. Eating turkey makes people especially drowsy

I don't eat much turkey, so I wouldn't know. Didn't know this one.

7. Mobile phones create considerable electromagnetic interference in hospitals

This I knew not to be true, as mobile phones operate on different frequencies. Another myth (not medical) is that mobile phones interfere with the aircraft navigation systems. Yeah, right.

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