Most popular medical myths and misconceptions

(ORDO NEWS) — It’s one thing when grandmothers on the bench recommend breathing over boiled potatoes with a runny nose or sore throat, it’s quite another for a doctor who prescribes mustard plasters for colds or advises you to urinate on a burn for quick healing.

Despite the fact that we 200% trust people in white coats, doctors often demonstrate ignorance. We’ve rounded up the most popular medical misconceptions that some doctors still believe, and we hope there are very few of them left.

Myth: You can’t wet the Mantoux test

Until the 1970s, there was no Mantoux test, but there was a Pirquet test. The doctor made small scratches on his arm, on which tuberculin was applied.

Any water procedures could wash off the special substance and distort the results of the Pirquet test, so it really was impossible to wet it. Today, the Pirquet test was replaced by the Mantoux test, now tuberculin is injected into the middle part of the forearm from the inside intradermally, that is, any contact with water is excluded.

Despite the fact that the Mantoux test has been taken for more than a decade, it was only in 2018 that the country’s chief phthisiatrician, Irina Vasilyeva, officially allowed her to wet it.

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Myth: There are hypoallergenic cat and dog breeds

A scientifically proven fact – allergies to cats are twice as common as to dogs, and are observed in two out of a hundred people. But this does not mean at all that dogs are safer in terms of allergies.

The main allergen in both caudates is a specific Can F1 protein, which is produced by the skin glands of the animal. Moreover, this irritant can be found on the fur, urine, feces and saliva of a cat or dog. So the hypoallergenicity of hairless cats is a marketing ploy of breeders.

In 2011, scientists from Stanford conducted a study that analyzed air samples from 78 homes with supposedly hypoallergenic dog breeds and from 65 homes with other dogs.

Of course, no difference in allergen levels was found. Moreover, an interesting pattern was revealed: Can F1 protein is produced more actively in long-haired animals than in short-haired ones.

Myth: Shaved hair grows back faster, coarser and darker

In a clinical study dating as far back as 1928, hair growth on shaved areas of the human body was compared with growth on unshaven areas.

The newly grown hair was not darker or thicker and did not grow faster. More recent studies have confirmed this. Here’s the thing: when hair first appears after shaving, it grows with a blunt edge on top. Over time, the blunt edge wears down, so it may appear to be thicker than it actually is.

Hair that is just emerging may also be darker because it has not had time to fade in the sun. And another interesting fact: the beard and other hairline in blondes grows much faster than in dark-haired ones.

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Myth: Reading in dim light damages your eyesight

Researchers still haven’t found any evidence that reading in low light causes permanent eye damage. Reduce visual acuity, cause eye fatigue – yes. But all these symptoms disappear after rest.

This should also include another popular myth that some ophthalmologists are still operating – the displays of computers, phones and tablets do not have any effect on visual acuity.

Moreover, no direct connection has been found between working at a computer and progressive myopia. An important clarification: for the eyes, the same brightness of the image source and the environment is important, and what is the source – a display or a book – does not matter much.

By the way, carrots and blueberries will not give you eagle visual acuity. In blueberries, in fact, there are many vitamins of groups B, PP and C, carotene and other trace elements that our retina needs.

But to help your eyes, you need to consume at least two kilograms of this berry per day. The same applies to carrots. We don’t know how effective it will be for your vision, but you will definitely clean your intestines.

Myth: You need to drink two liters of water a day

Drinking water is useful and necessary, but it must be done wisely. If you drink a lot of water on an empty stomach, then it is not absorbed and passes through the sewer. In 2015, scientists from Oxford conducted a study that compared the effect on the body’s water balance of various drinks: from cola to special solutions.

The worst means of maintaining water balance turned out to be … water! The best were tea, full-fat milk and fruit juices. By the way, cola also quenches thirst more effectively than water. It’s very simple: these drinks contain special compounds that contribute to the absorption of liquid, and in water there is nothing but water.

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If you are a fan of a healthy lifestyle and constantly drink ordinary water between meals, then from the point of view of the body, this is absolutely the same as pouring the contents of the bottle straight into the toilet. For everyone else, it is recommended to listen to your own body. Feeling thirsty is the best signal to replenish water supplies.

Myth: Late dinner makes you fat

Remember once and for all – for weight loss, it is important to adjust not the time of eating, but its quantity, that is, the daily calorie content is important. For your body, it does not matter that you ate fried chicken and potatoes at night: all this will be absorbed in the same way as in the morning or at lunchtime.

To date, there is a whole bunch of scientific papers on this topic, but researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of the USA decided to approach the stereotype of night eating from the other side. They examined the relationship between mealtime and total calorie intake in 59 people.

It is noteworthy that people who ate closer to the night consumed more calories per day than those who did not eat after six in the evening. That is, night eaters are prone to overeating.

Another study confirmed this fact. People who ate late at night consumed about 500 more calories per day than those who limited their intake to daytime hours.

Over time, the average night eater added another 4.5 kilograms. In other words, to repeat for the hundredth time, you won’t gain weight if you just eat late, but according to your daily calorie needs.

And more about food abstinence for the sake of a slender figure. In a state of hunger, the level of cortisol rises, which literally eats muscle and does not touch fat.

What is the purpose of this weight loss? Wouldn’t it be easier to let the digestive system work and saturate the blood with the amino acids necessary to nourish the skeletal and smooth muscles, while preserving precious muscles?


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