From the time we are young, we are taught about our bodies. What they do, how they work and what they need to be healthy. However, as with any scientific theory, there is the opportunity for it to be proven wrong. New discoveries will nullify old ones and change our way of thinking about the human body. These are 26 examples of advice about our bodies that we are given throughout our life that have been proven wrong over time by science. You’ve probably believed most of these “facts” all your life without hesitation. These are things you will definitely want to know. Science is pretty freaking amazing.
1. Reading In The Dark Or Dim Light Can Permanently Damage Your Eyes: You probably heard it when you were little. “Turn a light on while you’re reading, you’ll hurt your eyes.” While reading in dim light can cause slight eye strain, it will not severely damage your eyes according to a children’s health researcher Rachel C. Vreeman and assistant professor of pediatrics Aaron E. Carrol. “The majority consensus in ophthalmology, as outlined in a collection of educational material for patients, is that reading in dim light does not damage your eyes. Although it can cause eye strain with multiple temporary negative effects, it is unlikely to cause a permanent change on the function or structure of the eyes.”
2. You Require 8 Hours Of Sleep A Night: It’s a common thing that we are told when we are young. “Get your 8 hours of sleep every night.” While some people may need 8 hours of sleep a night, it is not for everyone. A European study showed that humans who possess a gene called ABCC 9 require less sleep than people who don’t have the gene. Fruit Flies have this gene as well. Scientists were able to manipulate the gene and change how long the flies stayed in a restful state.
3. Your Metabolism Slows Down As You Age: Yes, your metabolism does slow down as you age. This decrease is very small however, and is due to older people carrying less muscle mass than their younger counterparts. A 60-year-old is never going to have the same muscle mass as a 25-year-old, plain and simple. However if you train and eat right when you are younger, you can maintain your lean muscle into a much higher age.
4. More Heat Escapes From Your Head: Wearing a hat in the winter will definitely keep your warmer. Your head however, does not release more heat than any other part of your body. A study by Children’s health researcher Rachel C. Vreeman and assistant professor of pediatrics Aaron E. Carrol states that, “This myth probably originated with an old military study in which scientists put subjects in arctic survival suits (but no hats) and measured their heat loss in extremely cold temperatures. Because it was the only part of the subjects’ bodies that was exposed to the cold, they lost the most heat through their heads. Experts say, however, that had this experiment been performed with subjects wearing only swimsuits, they would not have lost more than 10% of their body heat through their heads.”
5. You Can’t Gain Weight Because You Have A Fast Metabolism: While it is true that skinnier people have faster metabolisms, that isn’t the reason they can’t gain weight. It is usually a matter of just not eating enough because they don’t know how to eat. Many skinny people will eat right up until they feel full and stop. In order to gain weight you have to extra calories to your diet. Skinny people a lot of times will also eat a lot of food two or three times a week and wonder why they aren’t seeing any gains. Your diet has to be something you stick to ritually. Eating mass amounts a couple of times a week does nothing for you.
6. Fasting Will Slow Your Metabolism Down Significantly: Let me preface this one with this: yes, fasting can slow down your metabolism. However, just because you wake up and don’t eat until 2 in the afternoon, that doesn’t mean your metabolism has slowed down significantly. In fact according to this study, you can go around 72 hours without eating before your metabolism is majorly affected. If you decide to take things to the extreme and say fast for a week or so, you may be starting to slow down your metabolism significantly.
7. It Is Dangerous To Wake A Sleep Walker: In fact, it is actually more dangerous to NOT wake a sleep-walker than it is to wake them. They may be startled, frightened and not recognize you when they wake up. That is better than the alternative of letting them walk around unabated however. Who knows where they would end up!
8. Eating 6 Meals A Day Will Burn Fat By Constantly Fueling Your “Metabolic Fire”: While this whole concept sounds nice and seems to be logical, there really is no science to back up this claim. It definitely helps food companies sell more product though. When you look at body composition however, there really is no difference between eating 6 smaller meals and 1-3 bigger meals.
9. Eating (Insert Magical Food) Will Boost Your Metabolism And Burn Your Fat: While there are certain foods that will increase your metabolism such as chili peppers, cinnamon and green tea. There is no magic food that is going to increase it enough to burn excess fat that it will be noticeable. The amount that these foods increase your metabolism is miniscule.
10. Body Hair Grows Back Thicker When You Shave It: As early as 1928, research has shown that shaving does nothing to promote more hair growth. If that were the case, thousands up thousands of balding men would be shaving their head to gain new hair growth. When you shave, you are only cutting the dead ends of your hair off, so it would not affect how the living portion of your hair grows. Your shaved hair always feels coarser, and therefore thicker to the touch.
11. Gaining Muscle Will Cause Your Metabolism To Sky Rocket: While it is true that muscle is more metabolically active than fat, the number are definitely exaggerated in the media. Many media outlets will report that for every 1 pound of muscle gained, it will boost your metabolism by 10-20 calories. You can then use those extra calories to eat more throughout the day. Well this simply isn’t true. On average, 1 pound of muscle will increase your metabolism by 5 calories.
12. You Can Cure A Snake Bite By Sucking Out The Poison: Trying to suck out the poison not only doesn’t work, it’s actually a really bad idea. This can lead to infection at the bite site, which is very bad. The steps the American Red Cross suggest are as follows: 1. Wash the bite area with soap and water 2. Immobilize the bite area and keep it lower than the heart 3. Seek medical attention. Pretty simple.
13. Counting Calories Is All It Takes To Lose Weight: Lowering your caloric intake is a commonly used way to lose weight. It seems like a logical idea, the less calories you take in, the less that gets turned into fat. While this is true to an extent, not all calories are equal. What you body takes from a Snickers bar is not going to be the same nutritional value as broccoli with the same amount of calories. So simply cutting back on calories is not the answer.
14. You Can’t Lose Weight Because You Have A Slow Metabolism: I’m going to be blunt here, if you are blaming your non-weight loss on your lack of metabolism you are lying to yourself. People who blame a lack of metabolism usually are not tracking the food they are putting into their body. Portion intake and nutritional value of the food you are eating are two of the most important things you need to keep track of if you are trying to lose weight. Get into the weight room, train with intensity and stop eating like crap and your metabolism will almost certainly “fix” itself.
15. Most of us were told from the time we were little that we needed to put a jacket on when it’s cold outside or we will catch a cold. Well this is simply nonsense. The cold is a virus (rhinovirus), and actually needs to be transferred to you. Otherwise you won’t ever get it.
16. A lot of people these days are doing high intensity workouts like interval training that are focused around Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption or EPOC. These are the calories that are burned AFTER you are done working out. These workouts claim to be able to significantly boost the calories you are burning after your workout, however the increase is minimal. A 2006 study that was done on EPOC workouts showed that the majority of the calories burned were during the actual workout. The amount burned afterward increased minimally with interval training.
17. Peeing on a Jellyfish sting to soothe the pain has become common knowledge among people. It is very widely accepted fact that peeing on a Jellyfish sting reduces the burning. This is completely false however. Peeing on a Jellyfish sting can actually cause active stinging cells to fire, which only means more pain. Household Vinegar or salt water is recommended as the acetic acid can block remaining stinging cells from firing.
We’ve been lied to our entire lives! These are all pretty commonly held beliefs. I know my mother always told me to wear a jacket in case it got cold so I wouldn’t get a cold. It makes you wonder about a lot of other stuff that we just accept as pure truth in our lives. There are so many things that we don’t question because that’s the way it has always been.