...cocktail parties, Part 2

John Taylor: December 27, 20070 Comments

In the spirit of mirth-making and "can you believe that," here are eight medical myths and how they've been debunked (and by whom, so don't blame me).

  1. MYTH: Women have a higher pain threshold than men. FACT: Apparently only during the third trimester of pregnancy. (Dr. Paul Trotman -- the "Dr. Know" of Discovery Health website.)
  2. MYTH: The bathroom is the most germ-ridden room in the house. FACT: It's the kitchen, especially cutting boards and the sink. (Dr. Trotman.)
  3. You should drink at least eight glasses of water daily. FACT: Fruits, vegetables, coffee and other "fluids" count. (British Medical Journal research, published this week.)
  4. The human body is 98% water. FACT: It's about 70%. (Dr. Trotman. No mention of the tally of other human "fluids.")
  5. Eating turkey makes you drowsy. FACT: It's got no more of the "drowsy chemical," tryptophan, than does chicken or beef. The accompanying overeating and boozing may account for mid-day couch snoring. (British Medical Journal)
  6. Reading in dim light ruins your eyesight. FACT: It may cause eye strain, which will go away when you rest (the Brits again). And a bonus myth, carrots will help you see in the dark. FACT: Nope. (Trotman -- will it help bats, doc?)
  7. Bed rest is a useful adjunctive therapy. FACT: An analysis of 39 studies on bed rest vs. moving around for prevention and treatment of various medical conditions found that bed rest was at best not beneficial and at worst harmful. (Montana State University department of student health services)
  8. THE LAST MYTH: Medical research is generally dull, dry and often without relevance. FACT: James Bond's profound state of good health may be due, at least in part, to compliant bartenders. (Montana State -- something about antioxidants in martinis)

Thanks to all who've offered feedback to my nearly 90 blogs this year. Keep 'em coming.