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Common Medical Beliefs Proved Wrong

Common Medical Beliefs Proved Wrong

The British Medical Journal published a study in Dec 2007 which proved many common medical beliefs wrong.

A recent study has shunned physicians for their acceptance of some widespread medical beliefs that are nothing but ‘old wives tales’. The study published in the Dec 2007 British Medical Journal noted that many of these common beliefs have never been proven and that there is no evidence to support them.

The seven medical myths mentioned below were picked out by researchers because even they thought them to be true. Through their research they learnt that people can be wrong sometimes and “need to question what other falsehoods we unwittingly propagate” in the practice of medicine.

7 medical Myths Proved Wrong

  1. Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day

    7 Medical Myths Proved WrongThe researchers who conducted the study found no evidence to support this. An article from the November 2002 American Journal of Physiology also supported the fact that was very little evidence documented. We do need to be well hydrated, our best bets are purified water, diluted fruit juice, tea, and sparkling water flavored with fruit juice but research suggest that most liquids such as milk, juice and decaffeinated beverages will do just fine.

  2. We use only 10 percent of our brains

    7 Medical Myths Proved WrongThis popular myth dates back to 1907 but didn’t originate, as once believed, with Albert Einstein. Now that we know much more about neuroscience than we did 100 years ago it is safe to say that we use much more than 10 percent of our brains. BMJ researchers said that high-tech methods of studying the brain have not identified any inactive areas.

  3. Hair and fingernails continue to grow after death

    7 Medical Myths Proved WrongAccording to forensic anthropologist William Maples who was quoted in the BMJ study this idea is pure “moonshine”. He explained that dehydration of the body after death can cause the skin to shrink around hair and nails, giving the illusion that they have grown. But as all tissue requires energy to sustain their functions, growth is not possible once our body has shut down.

  4. Reading in dim light ruins your eyesight

    7 Medical Myths Proved WrongIt is possible to strain your eyes reading in dim light but symptoms are not permanent. One current theory suggests that nearsightedness (myopia) might be caused by reading in dim light or holding books too close to the face however the BMJ researchers found hundreds of expert opinions that conclude that reading in dim light doesn’t permanently hurt your eyes.

  5. Shaving causes hair to grow back faster or coarser

    7 Medical Myths Proved WrongThis popular notion was disproved as early as 1928 and more recent studies have confirmed that shaving has no effect on hair growth (or regrowth). BMJ researchers speculate that when shaved hair regrows, it lacks the fine taper seen at the end of unshaven hair, making it appear coarser. And the fact that it hasn’t been exposed to light may make it seem darker than other hair.

  6. Mobile phones are dangerous in hospitals

    7 Medical Myths Proved WrongThe BMJ credits this widespread belief to a Wall Street Journal article listing 100 incidents of suspected electromagnetic interference with medical devices before 1993.
    But studies in England and the U.S. have found little in the way of interference and few serious effects. The BMJ cited a 2007 study that showed no interference at all in 300 tests in 75 treatment rooms.

  7. Eating turkey makes people especially drowsy

    7 Medical Myths Proved WrongThis myth suggests that the tryptophan in turkey makes us drowsy. This amino acid is known to cause drowsiness, but there is just as much tryptophan in pork and cheese as there is in turkey. What’s more, as the BMJ researchers noted that for tryptophan to promote sleep, you need to ingest it on an empty stomach (with no protein present) – something that’s unlikely at Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. Researchers accredited post meal drowsiness to a decrease in blood flow and oxygenation to the brain.

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