5 Common Health Myths, Debunked

Quite a few myths are surrounding personal health that everyone has heard of at least once. While some of these do hold a small amount of truth, many are not. Some health myths and fads created around them can have dangerous consequences, like crash diets or juice cleanses. To stay healthy without falling for these common myths, read on:

1.   Antiperspirants and Deodorants Cause Cancer

This first myth that underarm antiperspirants cause breast cancer is a valid concern many people may experience. Antiperspirants are made with aluminum-based compounds, which prevent sweat glands from producing sweat. These compounds may also mimic the effects of estrogen, which in high levels, may cause breast cancer.

 

This information, however, has been found inconclusive, as several studies within the past 20 years have shown there is no correlation between breast cancer risk and daily antiperspirant use.

2.   Flu Shots Can Give You the Flu

This myth is partly true. Most vaccines work by giving the body weakened versions of a virus, or parts of it for the immune system to familiarize with. So, your flu shot may indeed have some part of the flu virus in it, but this portion is much easier for the body to fight off. After getting a flu shot, you may experience flu-like symptoms as well, because your immune system is responding to weakened virus. These symptoms should only last for a few days, and they are not nearly as severe as actual flu symptoms.

3.   Cracking Knuckles Causes Arthritis

Cracking knuckles does not cause arthritis, which is great news for people who do so often. The “pop” sound that comes from cracking knuckles isn’t damaged cartilage either-- it’s bubbles popping. Synovial fluid lubricates the joints, and the process of cracking knuckles creates negative force that pops any bubbles within it. Although this process may not give you arthritis, it can reduce grip strength, however.

4.   All Fat is Bad Fat

The idea that all fat is bad fat is one that stems from our weight-obsessive culture. In all reality, every human has some amount of fat on their body. Not only does it act as the body’s energy reserve, but fat cells absorb excess calories soon after meals to distribute throughout the day as needed. Fat cells also play a major role in refining the body’s metabolism (how fast we consume calories) and immune system.

5.   All Cholesterol is Bad Cholesterol

Similar to myths about body fat, cholesterol tends to get a bad rap among many people. However, cholesterol is essential for the body to produce hormones and cells. The myth that cholesterol is bad only comes from one kind of cholesterol. Low-density lipoprotein is considered “bad”, because in high levels it can increase risk of heart attack or stroke. This kind of cholesterol is the one that builds in the veins over time. High-density lipoproteins, however, carries cholesterol through the liver, where it can be refined and flushed through the body without difficulty.

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