Posted by: Kelley Dees | December 16, 2011

Health Myths & Facts

Today, we’re looking at health myths and facts. Fresh studies of scientific research are busting all those health myths that we grew up with!

Myth: Most of your body heat is lost through your head.

Fact: Untrue. This myth probably originated from a 50-year-old military study; subjects enduring extreme cold lost the most heat from their heads. The problem with the study? The only exposed body part was the head! The truth: You lose heat from whatever is uncovered, there is nothing special about the head.

Myth: Taking vitamin C and zinc will help prevent or shorten a cold.

Fact: Taking vitamin C daily won’t prevent illness, and if you consume it after feeling sick, it won’t ease symptoms. As for zinc, three of four well-designed studies found it ineffective, while a fourth found that zinc nasal gel helped relieve symptoms. However, in June of 2009, the FDA recalled several zinc nasal products since they’re linked to a loss of sense of smell. The bottom line: There’s no need for extra C, and zinc may actually harm you.

Myth: You should drink at least eight cups of water per day.

Fact: As we age, we’re more at risk for dehydration, partially because we experience less thirst with age. But you can consume a variety of fluids to stay hydrated–and you don’t have to stick to water. Liquids such as fruit juices, soup, and milk can effectively replace lost fluids, but beverages with alcohol can increase your fluid output can increase your fluid output and make it harder to stay hydrated. The verdict: You probably consume enough fluids from food and beverages, but limit alcohol intake for best results.

Myth: You’re really using only 10% of your brain.

Fact: Numerous studies show that no area of the brain is completely shut down, and each region has a function. The experts say: You’re using most of your brain, most of the time.

Myth: Illnesses come from cold or wet weather.

Fact: Colds and flus come from viruses, not the climate. But because some viruses are more common in winter, more people may get sick then. Plus, chilly or rainy weather often results in more people staying inside, thus sharing their icky infections. The chilly truth: Take extra precautions during the winter to prevent the spread of germs that are more common in colder months.

This information is provided courtesy of the Wyoming AgrAbility Project. For more information, visit our website or call toll-free at 866-395-4986.

This information is adapted from AARP Magazine, November & December 2009: Cold Weather Won’t Make You Sick.

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