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Ten Health Myths Busted

By CPOG Team on October 10, 2016 in Health

One of the great advantages of the internet is the abundance of health information at your fingertips. One of the great disadvantages of the internet is the abundance of health information at your fingertips.  Health myths are widespread even among people in health professions. Here are some popular myths and the real deal.

1. You should not eat fish when you are pregnant.

  • According to the FDA women should eat 8 to 12 ounces of a variety of fish each week from choices that are lower in mercury.
  • The nutritional value of fish is important during growth and development before birth, in early infancy for breastfed infants, and in childhood.
  • Avoid the fish that are highest in mercury: tilefish from the Gulf of Mexico, shark, swordfish, and king mackerel.
  • Limit white (albacore) tuna to 6 ounces a week.


2. Green mucous means a bacterial infection and yellow mucous a viral one.

  • Most illnesses that cause mucous are caused by viruses.
  • Both bacterial and viral illnesses can cause clear, yellow or green mucous.
  • Antibiotics do not help with viral illnesses.
  • Call your doctor if your illness lasts over 10 days or if you have a fever for more than three days.

3. You need to drink at least 8 or more glasses of water a day

  • We need about 40 oz of water daily (if you not pregnant and are doing usual activities) and it can come from food and drink (all drinks except alcohol count)
  • The human body is tuned to signal you to drink long before you are actually dehydrated
  • There’s no real scientific proof that, for otherwise healthy, people who are not pregnant, drinking extra water has any health benefits
  • No data to show that drinking more water keeps skin hydrated and makes it look healthier or wrinkle free
  • Drink when you’re thirsty

4. Underwire Bras Cause Cancer

  • There are no scientifically valid studies that show wearing bras of any type causes breast cancer
  • Obesity is linked to breast cancer and obese women may be less likely to go braless
  • Regardless of the size of a woman’s breast and whether she is slim or heavy, there’s no convincing evidence that bra use will influence the breast cancer risk

5. You don’t need sunscreen in the winter

  • Don’t let cool temperatures fool you, the sun’s rays are just as strong and can damage your skin in Winter a well as in summer
  • If you’re traveling to places with snow be even more aggressive: snow and ice reflect up to 80% of harmful UV rays
  • If your skin sweats you need to reapply your sunscreen throughout the day
  • Don’t forget your lips

6. Eating turkey makes people especially drowsy

  • Scientific evidence shows that tryptophan, one of the building blocks in proteins, is involved in sleep and mood control and can cause drowsiness
  • The myth is the idea that consuming turkey (and the tryptophan it contains) might particularly predispose someone to sleepiness
  • Actually, turkey does not contain an exceptional amount of tryptophan. Turkey, chicken, and minced beef contain nearly equivalent amounts of tryptophan (about 350 mg per 115 g), while other common sources of protein, such as pork or cheese, contain more tryptophan per gram than turkey
  • Things that may explain drowsiness after eating turkey is all the other food eaten with the turkey (the size of the meal)
  • Accompanying alcohol may also play a role

7. Drinking alcohol warms you up

  • Remember the image of the St Bernard with the barrel of alcohol around it’s neck
  • (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/SaintBernardRescue )
  • Drinking alcohol will make you feel warmer
  • That toasty feeling is because alcohol makes the vessels in your skin open wide and the warm blood rushing to your skin makes you feel warm
  • However, that warm blood is moving away from your internal organs lowering your body temperature
  • In a situation of severe cold, drinking alcohol is the exact opposite of what you should do

8. Birth control pills need to clear your system before you can get pregnant

  • There is a reason you have to take the pill every day.  The medicine in the pill works in your body for about 24 hours
  • Missing a day can result in pregnancy
  • Stop your pill the month you want to become pregnant, not before
  • (Start taking at least 400mg of folic acid when you decide to try for a baby)

9.  “Natural” sugar like honey is better for you than processed sugar

  • Remember sugar cane (the source of table sugar) is a plant and as ‘natural’ as sugar made by bees.
  • Two main types of sugar in foods glucose and fructose
  • The body processes these the same regardless of source or amount of processing before consumption
  • Candy bars and processed snacks typically contain more sugar per serving, which means more calories—this is the difference you should actually be watching out for

10.  Sugar causes diabetes.

  • Diabetes is a complex disease, and there’s not enough evidence to say that eating sugar is the direct cause
  • However, consuming sugary drinks and foods are associated with an increased risk of overweight and obesity which are risk factors for developing diabetes
  • Family history is also a big indicator of your risk of diabetes
  • There is no evidence that eating sweets and sugar in small amounts causes diabetes



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