Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Seven Great Medical Myths

Rachel Vreeman of the Indiana University School of Medicine and Aaron Carroll of the Regenstrief Institute, Indianapolis, wrote in the Christmas issue of the British Medical Journal, that the following medical myths have been heard in many generations but medical evidence didn't proof anything correct but neither has it been proven wrong:-

Drink at least eight glasses of water a day
This advice derives from a 1945 recommendation that adults should consume 2.5 litres of the stuff daily, or one millilitre for every calorie consumed. The crucial part of the recommendation – "most of this quantity is contained in prepared foods" – is often ignored. Drinking too much water can be dangerous.

My comments - That's what my mom has been telling since I was young.

Reading in dim light ruins your eyesight
It causes eye strain, difficulty in focusing and dries the eyes because of reduced blinking while squinting but there is no evidence it causes lasting damage.

My comments - Same thing I have hearing from my mom and many other concerned adults. Is this one of the main reasons that caused countless of people wearing glasses today?

We only use 10 per cent of our brains
Studies of patients with brain damage suggest damage to any area of the brain has lasting effects. Brain imaging studies have shown no area of the brain is completely inactive and despite "detailed probing" the non-functioning 90 per cent has not been located.

My comments - I agree on this for certain people that I meet in my path of life.

Hair and fingernails continue to grow after death
They don't. It is an illusion caused by the dehydration of the body which results in the skin retracting. This gives the appearance of increased length to the hair and nails – actual growth requires hormonal regulation which is not sustained after death.

My comments - That's what the Hong Kong movies potray especially on those ghost movies where the vampires (geong si) came to life with long fingernails jumping around the town looking for blood.

Shaving causes hair to grow back faster or coarser
Shaved hair lacks the finer taper seen at the end of unshaved hair. It has also not been lightened by the sun, so it appears darker.

My comments - Couldn't care, just shave only when I think it's required. I think the ladies will worry more on this.

Mobile phones are dangerous in hospitals
Many hospitals still ban them, despite the lack of evidence that they interfere with electronic equipment, except in rare instances and at close quarters. Technological improvements have reduced the risk further.

My comments - Hospitals in Malaysia do put up this sign where mobile phones are prohibited to be switched on especially at Intensive Care Units ("ICU") area. I do switch it off just in case it caused malfunction on equipments. Imagine you were the one lying inside the ICU. If this was a myth, on what medical basis did our hospital relied on?

Eating turkey makes people drowsy
This myth is based on the assertion that turkey contains high amounts of tryptophan, an amino acid involved in sleep. But turkey contains no more than chicken or beef. Its sleep-inducing effects are due to the quantities eaten.

My comments - Seldom eat turkey so unable to comment on this.
Tags: Health, Medical Myths, Medical Evidence

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3 Comments:

Blogger J said...

"Eating turkey makes people drowsy"

I'm inclined to believe this one. Seeing as I could barely move and just wanted to go to bed after eating a plate full of the stuff yesterday. *lol*

26 December, 2007 18:50  
Blogger Johnny Ong said...

let me define yours - that's over eating or feasting too much and doesn't qualify as drowsiness...lol

26 December, 2007 18:56  
Blogger 3POINT8 said...

I've heard of water poisoning be4. But for that happen, you really have to drink lots of water.. like 6~8litres in a day...

27 December, 2007 10:28  

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