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Friday, December 28, 2007

Researchers challenge medical myths

Tue, 25 Dec 2007 14:04:34

Reading in dim light won't damage your eyes and you don't need eight glasses of water a day to stay healthy, a US study suggests.

A research was conducted by two American researchers Aaron Carroll and Rachel Vreeman on some common beliefs. They searched the archive for evidence to support the well-worn medical myths.

Despite frequent mentions of the need to drink eight glasses of water, they found no scientific basis for the claim, adding that a study published in the American Journal of Psychology has recorded the complete lack of evidence on the issue.

Reading in dim light ruins your eyesight

The majority of eye experts believe it is unlikely to do any permanent damage, but it may make you squint, blink more and have trouble focusing, the researchers said.

Shaving makes hair grow back faster or coarser

It has no effect on the thickness or rate of hair regrowth, studies say. But stubble lacks the finer taper of unshaven hair, giving the impression of coarseness.

Eating turkey makes you drowsy

It does contain an amino acid called tryptophan that is involved in sleep and mood control. But turkey has no more of the acid than chicken or beef. Eating lots of food and drink at Christmas are probably the real cause of sleepiness.

We use only 10 percent of our brains

This myth arose as early as 1907 but imaging shows no area of the brain is silent or completely inactive.

Hair and fingernails continue to grow after death

This idea may stem from ghoulish novels. The researchers said the skin dries out and retracts after death, giving the appearance of longer hair or nails.


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