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Health half-truths of medicine

Medical Myths, Lies, and Half-Truths I The Great Courses (April 2019).


Just sit, do not read in the dark, brush your teeth after eating: Everyone knows medical principles and rules that are drummed into us as early as childhood. With us you will learn which fairy tales we get drummed in from an early age - and what is really true of it.

After the meal: brushing your teeth

We are already at the first myth: After each meal you should brush your teeth. Of course, brushing is of course not wrong, but the timing plays a crucial role in the health effect. If you take acid with your food, and you do so with virtually any food, soften your enamel for a short time. If you brush your teeth immediately afterwards, the enamel may be damaged. Wait at least an hour. By the way: Due to the pH-neutral effect of the saliva, your teeth are already cleaned a bit after eating. (Tips for beautiful teeth are here by the way.)

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Coffee dries up the body

Too much coffee harms the body, this wisdom has probably ever come across. That coffee in large quantities is not healthy is no secret. In addition, the Italian applies: For every espresso there is a glass of water. Anyway, according to the general belief, you should drink extra water for coffee because coffee dries up your body. But is that true? In fact "coffee" is driving, so urges urination. The active ingredient caffeine provides for it. In the long term, however, coffee does not cause fluid loss in the body. So this medical wisdom is a fairytale.

Man (n) can drink women nicely

"The later the evening, the nicer the guests, " is an illustrious saying that is often made public at parties. Certainly, this saying is also based on the assumption that the alcohol consumed distorts the perception. Suddenly, others look more beautiful on us. Is it really like that? And if so, how can it be explained? Quite simply: Starting at 0.3 per thousand, the visual performance of each person is reduced. Indeed, scientific studies have actually shown that evaluating the attractiveness of other people under the influence of alcohol is somewhat … more generous.

Never read in the dark

Who did not secretly read under the covers as a child? With the light of the flashlight? Reading in low light damages the eyes, our parents said then. Everyone knows that. But is that true? It is true that in the dark the eyes have to make more effort to read. In fact, this strain can reduce your sight in the short term. In the long term, however, nothing changes in the eye performance. So this medical wisdom is also a fairy tale and should probably only scare us as children so we will not be up too long.

Always sit straight

Grandma always said: Sit down, otherwise you'll break your back. Some people, whether at the dining table or on the office chair, have a rather slack stance, some sitting very accurately and straight. What is better now? In fact, it is not the straight-backed sitting posture that is ideal, but rather a sitting position with a backrest tilted 135 degrees backwards. The best thing is not to sit rigid and stiff, but to stay mobile and change the sitting position every now and then.

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