Presentation on theme: "Medical Old Wives Tales Fact or fiction??. “Feed a cold, starve a fever” FACT! Research by a team at the Academic Medical Centre in Amsterdam has revealed."— Presentation transcript:
“Feed a cold, starve a fever” FACT! Research by a team at the Academic Medical Centre in Amsterdam has revealed that eating helps the body destroy the viruses that cause colds, while fasting helps tackle the bacterial infections responsible for most fevers. The scientists asked the people in their study to fast overnight and then gave them either a liquid meal or water. Within six hours the levels of gamma interferon, which tackles viral infections, had more than quadrupled in those who had eaten. Meanwhile when the volunteers drank only water, the levels of this chemical fell while another - called interleukin 4 - which tackles bacterial infections - increased.
Seizures are brought on by a full moon FACT! Researchers at the University of Patras Medical School in Greece reviewed all records of 859 patients admitted for seizure and found "significant clustering of seizures" around the full moon.
Pull a grey hair out and you get 2 in its place FICTION! You can expect to get one back but not two,’ says Marilyn Sherlock of the Institute of Tricologists. ‘It takes about three months for a new hair to grow and another three before you notice it, so if you are going grey, by the time the one you pulled out grows back a few more will have appeared nearby, making it look as if two have grown in its place.’
Carrots help you to see in the dark FICTION! But good for your eyes nonetheless! Researchers at the Erasmus Medical Centre in Rotterdam found that ingesting high levels of beta carotene - the compound that gives carrots their colouring - as well as vitamins C, E and zinc lowers the chance of age- related macular degeneration by up to 35 per cent.
Copper bracelets help soothe arthritis FICTION! Although many people with arthritis wear copper bracelets, there is no scientific evidence to support it. ‘Research shows people with arthritis do have enough copper in their bodies, so it is difficult to understand what effects these bangles can have,’ says Jane Tadman, spokesperson for the Arthritis Research Campaign. ‘It could be the placebo affect at work in people who report that their pain has lessened when wearing a copper bracelet,’ she adds.
Heartburn in pregnancy means a hairy baby FACT! Researchers at Johns Hopkins University examined 64 pregnant women, ranked the severity of any heartburn, and compared it with newborn hair coverage using photographs of the infant's head taken shortly after birth. Most (23 out of 28) women who reported moderate or severe heartburn gave birth to babies with average or above average amounts of hair, while most (10 out of 12) women reporting no heartburn had babies with less than average or no hair. Exactly how it works is not clear, but the theory is that one doesn't cause the other, rather that they share a common cause, which is probably hormonal.
Eat your crusts it will make your hair curl! FICTION! But good for your general health! A crumb of bread crust has eight times the amount of cancer-fighting antioxidants as a crumb from another part of the slice, according to a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
“Wrap up all your catch a cold” POSSIBLY FACT?? One of the most widespread old wives' tales is that if you get cold, you will catch a cold. Science was unable to demonstrate any effect of cold exposure on susceptibility to infection, until a study at Cardiff University showed that the chilling of the feet can lead to increased risk of a cold. In the study, 80 people had their feet chilled and a similar number did not. Results showed that 13 out of 80 who were chilled suffered from a cold the following week, compared to only five of the others.
Sitting too close to the TV will cause ‘square eyes’ FICTION! ‘Getting up close and personal with the TV screen may give you a headache or make your eyes tired, but it won't cause permanent damage to your sight,’ says Dr Susan Blakeney, optometric adviser to the College of Optometrists. She also recommends watching TV with the lights on, rather than off, as watching in the dark is more likely to cause headaches and tired eye symptoms.
Shaving causes hair to grow back thicker and darker FICTION! Mildred Trotter at Washington University School of Medicine studied this theory in 1928. Trotter asked three girls to shave their legs from knee to ankle twice a week for eight months and observed their hair growth under a microscope. She found there was no increase in the diameter or colour of the hair, proving that hair does not become coarser and darker as a result of shaving.
Cloves help relieve toothache FACT! Cloves and clove oil contain sedative properties that can help numb the tooth temporarily, says a spokesman for the British Dental Health Foundation. But, they warn, cloves should only be used in an emergency. ‘ If clove oil runs on to the gums it can burn them and can even lead to ulceration, which can turn out to be more painful than the toothache itself.
Sitting on a hot radiator or cold wall will give you piles FICTION! Neither will be very comfortable, but they won’t cause piles,’ says Dr Rob Hicks. Piles are normally triggered by pregnancy, or by straining as a result of constipation or childbirth and are never the consequence of temperature changes on the nether regions.
Swallowing chewing gum takes 7years to digest FICTION! ‘It is never a good idea to swallow gum but there is no truth in this saying or in another popular belief that it sticks to your ribs,’ says Dr Rob Hicks. ‘It may be indigestible but once in your stomach it loses its stickiness and is eliminated in the same way and at the same rate as other food.’
A high heart rate for a girl FICTION! In the 1980s a study analyzed thousands of births to determine whether fetal heart rate could predict a baby's sex. After measuring 10,000 fetal heart rates, and following up to find out the baby's gender at birth, it was clear that there was no correlation between the baby's heart rate at any point throughout pregnancy with the baby's sex.
Chicken soup can cure a cold FACT! Dr Stephen Rennard, of the University of Nebraska Medical Centre, carried out experiments with his grandmother's recipe for chicken soup and discovered that it could inhibit the migration of neutrophils, which may cause bronchial congestion. Meanwhile, the amino acid cysteine in chicken meat can thin mucus. Capsaicin, found in peppers, acts like expectorants in over-the- counter medicines to ease congestion. The combination of the heat of the soup, the fats, spices and water will loosen thick mucus. Adding garlic will also help as it has antiviral and antibacterial properties.
Carrying high is a girl, carrying low is a boy FICTION! Although my mum won’t believe that! Position is mostly to do with muscle tone and women are more likely to carry lower in subsequent pregnancies
A complicated delivery ‘must’ be a boy FACT! The latest study, conducted by researchers at Tel Aviv University examined 66,000 births and found that those involving boys were more often complicated, with a slightly greater chance of problems like premature birth and a need for Caesarean delivery.
Cracking your knuckles causes arthritis FICTION! "The 'cracking' is actually caused by the bursting of a bubble of nitrogen that forms inside the joint when the joint moves," says John Klippel, M.D., medical director of the Arthritis Foundation. "Popping your knuckles may be annoying to others, but it doesn't cause arthritis, enlarged joints or musculoskeletal problems."