10 Health Myths and Facts

No doubt that a large part of population lives and believes in myths. It is not limited to any country and nation but it`s prevalent all over the world. Some of these myths do hold some facts, but the way they are perceived and sent, mostly change the meaning altogether. It`s possible that many things that were taught to us are actually myths. Not backed by any scientific proof and logical reason, these myths have caused irreparable damages. Let us understand the health myths and facts revolving around them.

Seriously; there is a massive medical misinformation in circulation these days. This in a sense has spread like a chronic disease which if not broken can become a big concern.

Know 10 Health Myths and Facts

Here are 10 common health myths and facts, you need to be aware of.

Myth 1 - Vaccines are always safe and only they prevent diseases

Myth 1 – Vaccines are always safe and only they prevent diseases

Fact – It`s true that vaccines are the biggest gifts to the human civilization from medical science and it will always be cherished. But sometimes, the question of their utility or effects arises. This is one of the common health myth that vaccines are the only solution to health problems and can be taken in any way. Whereas the fact is that, vaccines, if overused or used without proper medical advice, may sometimes cause more harm than good.

One should always consider these 3 questions:

  • Is the given vaccine safe?
  • Does it effectively prevent diseases?
  • Which of the vaccines can be administered to patients in close successions?
  • When, where and how the vaccine is being taken?

Hence, seeking appropriate medical advice, taking the vaccines as recommended and from an authentic health center is important. Also, it is necessary to know the possible changes in health following vaccination, so that immediate medical help, if required, can be sought.

Myth 2 - Fluoride in water lowers cavity risks

Myth 2 – Fluoride in water lowers cavity risks

Fact – There is a general perception in the minds of people that having fluoride in drinking water reduces the chances of dental caries in children. Though this is true to only some extent but the fact that fluoride in water can also cause various health and dental problems also cannot be neglected. In fact, even people who promote fluoride in water also concede that the benefits are only there for the tropical applications and that fluoride only works from outside tooth. So why do the people have to swallow it in drinking water still remains a question. Statistics also reveal that water fluoridation is ineffective in preventing caries. Moreover, it can cause considerable disease in humans ranging from dental fluorosis, reduced IQ and thyroidal damage.

Hence, this belief can be considered as a myth, as only solutions applied externally need to contain fluoride, that too in regulated amounts.

Myth 3 - Sun causes skin cancer

Myth 3 – Sun causes skin cancer

Fact: This is one of the commonest health myth, related to melanoma, which is the most dangerous type of skin cancer causing deaths in many skin cancer patients. But despite all this, there hasn’t been any concrete scientific evidence which proves that direct exposure to sunlight causes skin cancer.

In fact, researches done over the years have only proven that sunlight helps in building protection to skin by giving vitamin D to it which acts as an antigen and protects the skin from skin cancer

Myth 4 – Saturated Fats causes heart diseases

Facts: In the year 2002, the director of Food and Nutrition Board issued a statement related to saturated fats and dietary cholesterol having no requirements in regular diet. It also stated that saturated fats cause various heart diseases. Now this unproved statement has become a very common health myth amidst the people.

However, the truth is that the saturated fats which come from animals and vegetables are very nutritious for the body and they render building blocks for all the cell membranes and hormones without which the body just cannot work properly. In fact, saturated fats are fuel for hearts and they lead to conversion of carotene to Vitamin A.

Myth 5 – Soy is a healthy food

Facts: This is one of the 10 health myths that soy food is a very healthy food. This is not backed by any scientific proof or research and unfermented soy products are harmful for the diets. Although it is a rich source of protein, when it is packed and processed to make it more appealing, the health qualities in it are doubtful.

On contrary, many studies have linked consumption of unfermented soy foods to various diseases like digestive distress, breakdown of immune system, cognitive decline, infertility and even cancer and other heart diseases. Also, it may cause allergy in some people, while some may not be able to tolerate it well. The fact is that it is only an organic and properly fermented soy which has health benefits and that too only when consumed in limited quantities.

Myth 6 – Drink water 8 times a day

Facts: Another common health myth is that we must drink at least 8 glasses of water every day. However, it is true that we must always keep the body dehydrated but studies have also shown that drinking too much of water too can harm the body.

Furthermore, a required quantity of water comes from the food and drinks we consume. Also, the need for water in every person’s case is different and it is necessary to meet individual needs.

Myth 7 – Vitamin C prevents cold

Facts: A common health myth, it`s a known fact that a daily supplement of vitamin C keeps the cold away. But the fact is that catching of cold and supplementation of vitamin C as protection may not be connected. Accordingly as per the review of study published in the Cochrane Library suggests that doses of Vitamin C do a very little to reduce the strength or recursion of cold.

Although vitamin C is related to boosting immunity and natural foods rich in vitamin C are healthy, supplements are best taken only with medical advice and as recommended.

Myth 8 – Artificial Sweeteners are harmless and effective for weight loss

Facts: This is a common health myth that artificial sweeteners are safe for use. These are promoted for use for diabetics and people who are trying to lose weight. They are used just for the sweet taste and thought that they do not contain any calories. However, the fact is that most of them contain empty calories, which can in fact cause more weight gain in some people. Apart from the taste, they do not do any good for diabetics either. In fact, there are many studies, which suggest that artificial sweeteners may contain harmful substances, which can damage health in the long run and increase the risk of serious illnesses.

Myth 9 – Eating late night makes you fat

Facts: It is a common myth that eating late at night causes a person to become fat. However, this logic is far from any truth and Dunn Nutrition Centre has termed it more than just a myth.

The fact is that it doesn’t matter which time you eat but only the quantity and the quality you take matters. So far, you are burning away the calories you are consuming every day, it doesn’t matter at what time you eat. However, having meals on time is a healthy practice as it supports regular, many people prefer to have dinner on time. People who have gastric problems may benefit from having dinner little early, so as to give proper time for digestion. But in any case, to avoid becoming fat, the best way to consume only the needed calories and burn the excess calories every day.

Myth 10 – All bacteria are harmful

Facts: This is an important health myth that all bacteria are harmful and needs to be busted. It is true that bacteria cause diseases but there are almost 1000 species of different bacteria that help in preventing various diseases. Likewise, the human gut has in store lot of good bacteria that prevents many harmful diseases. Good bacteria are present in our body and perform various functions, thus boosting our immunity and maintaining health.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:January 7, 2019

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