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Don't Swallow It: Six Health Myths You Should Ignore

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Interesting article in New Scientist this week about health myths with no scientific backing:

HYDRATION

Drink eight glasses of water per day

Too much of a good thing?

This myth just won't go away, but the truth is no one even knows where it came from. And why pure water, not tea or juice?

SUGAR

Sugar makes children hyperactive

Rocket fuel?

Many parents are utterly convinced that eating sugary foods makes their kids bounce off the walls. They're wrong

DETOXIFICATION

Our bodies can and should be 'detoxed'

Cleaning fluid?

There are all kinds of programmes and products designed to help us "detox". Do we need them and do they work?

ANTIOXIDANTS

Antioxidant pills help you live longer

Radical therapy

The evidence is in: popping pills containing antioxidants such as vitamin A and E doesn't help you and may be harmful

FAT

Being a bit overweight shortens life

When should you start worrying?

Carrying just a few extra pounds, far from being a one-way ticket to an early grave, seems to deter the grim reaper

STONE AGE LIFESTYLE

We should live and eat like cavemen

The most searched-for diet earlier this year was "Paleo diet"

Our bodies evolved for eating the food our ancestors could catch or gather, not stuff grown on farms. So the "paleo diet" has got to better for us, hasn't it?

Basically, water drinking, sugar-fuelled kids, detox benefits, vitamin pills, skinniness, and paleo diet all seem to be non-scientific crap.

I'm guessing it probably works for you though. :lol:

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Interesting article in New Scientist this week about health myths with no scientific backing:

Basically, water drinking, sugar-fuelled kids, detox benefits, vitamin pills, skinniness, and paleo diet all seem to be non-scientific crap.

I'm guessing it probably works for you though. :lol:

I'll bite

The hydration thing - yup, crap. Brought to you by the bottled water companies afaic.

The sugar thing - it might not make the kids hyperactive but it might contribute to obesity and diabetes. And the additives often found in association with sugary crap certainly send kids loopy.

The detox/ antioxidant things - not looked into them, pass.

The few lbs overweight thing - yup, crap. Who gets to define what constitutes a few lbs overweight and on what basis anyway?

The paleo thing - Nothing intrinsically wrong with 'farmed' foods impo. They can be processed into crap though. If it's a choice between paleo and decent cultivated produce I'd be OK with either. If it's a choice between paleo and frozen mini pizzas and Doritos I'd go for the paleo tvm.

Much as I would be truly entertained to discover that getting seriously overweight guzzling vitamin-depleted, processed, sugary crap is scientifically proven not to be bad for you, the references cited by New Scientist would have to be real humdingers to get my toes tapping.

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Much as I would be truly entertained to discover that getting seriously overweight guzzling vitamin-depleted, processed, sugary crap is scientifically proven not to be bad for you, the references cited by New Scientist would have to be real humdingers to get my toes tapping.

:)

Are the various government and private pension schemes funding articles in the New Scientist now?

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Never eat whelks standing up! :blink:

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The New Scientist is thinly veiled advertising for big pharma and the food industry and has been for years.

If you read this crap, it says a lot about your understanding of 'science'.

If you follow the money and look at the adverts in the back, you can see who has real editorial control over the content.

Listing vitamin A as a dietary antioxidant shows the article is written by someone who has no clue what they are talking about. Carotenoids are antioxidants, vitamin A is not.

So antioxidants don't make you live longer hey? What about the inverse association between glutathione and mortality? Last time i checked, glutathione was the primary cellular antioxidant in humans. ****** you New Scientist and your propaganda.

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Drinking too much of anything removes vitamins and valuable nutrients from our bodies..8 glasses is way too much.

All depends on how big the glasses are

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VI scientists hey, who'd have em. Just keep taking your drugs for your drug's side effects, keep hammering those joints with inflammation on your fun runs for your pharma charities, keep on with the processed foods, not forgetting the gm crap and visit your doc every so often for arthritis/blood pressure/cholesterol pills. I once asked a fat health worker why she wasn't representing a healthy lifestyle, her response was it was not her job to.

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The New Scientist is thinly veiled advertising for big pharma and the food industry and has been for years.

If you read this crap, it says a lot about your understanding of 'science'.

If you follow the money and look at the adverts in the back, you can see who has real editorial control over the content.

Listing vitamin A as a dietary antioxidant shows the article is written by someone who has no clue what they are talking about. Carotenoids are antioxidants, vitamin A is not.

So antioxidants don't make you live longer hey? What about the inverse association between glutathione and mortality? Last time i checked, glutathione was the primary cellular antioxidant in humans. ****** you New Scientist and your propaganda.

Forsooth! Sir Snowy doesn't concern himself with such knavish conspiracy theories.

He rides at the head of his army of Naive Realists, vanquishing independent thought in the name of Common Sense and fealty to the Proper Authorities.

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I'll bite

The hydration thing - yup, crap. Brought to you by the bottled water companies afaic.

The sugar thing - it might not make the kids hyperactive but it might contribute to obesity and diabetes. And the additives often found in association with sugary crap certainly send kids loopy.

The detox/ antioxidant things - not looked into them, pass.

The few lbs overweight thing - yup, crap. Who gets to define what constitutes a few lbs overweight and on what basis anyway?

The paleo thing - Nothing intrinsically wrong with 'farmed' foods impo. They can be processed into crap though. If it's a choice between paleo and decent cultivated produce I'd be OK with either. If it's a choice between paleo and frozen mini pizzas and Doritos I'd go for the paleo tvm.

Much as I would be truly entertained to discover that getting seriously overweight guzzling vitamin-depleted, processed, sugary crap is scientifically proven not to be bad for you, the references cited by New Scientist would have to be real humdingers to get my toes tapping.

HYDRATION: i used to laugh off my mother-in-law's constant nagging that i was insufficiently watered but not so much since developing gout. my brother was also stricken last week with a kidney stone.

SUGAR: is poison pretty much. as to its stimulant properties i can't say much except that jelly babies invariably perk me up when i'm in danger of nodding off on the motorway, so there may be something in it.

DETOX: makes sense in many contexts, eg. anti-candida. a blanket denunciation is just silly.

ANTIOXIDANTS: definitely work to extend cell-life in the lab. i'd go to the imminist forums on this long before the NS for the same reason as i generally disregard anything a GP has to say about nutrition.

SLIGHTLY OVERWEIGHT: nothing wrong with this, as i argued in the fatty cameron thread.

PALEO: the reason i don't feed my guinea pig cornflakes. makes perfect sense except to sugar addicts and VIs.

I lost faith with the New Scientist years ago over the DCA affair when despite having initially broken the story, they editorialized against terminally-ill cancer patients self-medicating with the "untested" alternative.

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Interesting article in New Scientist this week about health myths with no scientific backing:

HYDRATION

SUGAR

DETOXIFICATION

ANTIOXIDANTS

FAT

STONE AGE

LIFESTYLE

Basically, water drinking, sugar-fuelled kids, detox benefits, vitamin pills, skinniness, and paleo diet all seem to be non-scientific crap.

I'm guessing it probably works for you though. :lol:

I was hoping alcohol would be on the list. Oh well B)

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SUGAR

Sugar makes children hyperactive

Rocket fuel?

Many parents are utterly convinced that eating sugary foods makes their kids bounce off the walls. They're wrong

Having a 4 year old I can say that sugary foods can certainly have a negative effect on his behaviour.

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Many herbal remedies that might or might not work, that have been sold for many many years in health food shops for very little now require a licence at great expense......couldn't believe it last week saw what was the old herbal remedy on sale for £33 for a few tablets that once cost a few pounds.....someone is making from this, someone is protecting their own interests......better now to go out and pick it for free......the best things in life are free. ;)

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Having a 4 year old I can say that sugary foods can certainly have a negative effect on his behaviour.

At the moment my 4yo can be bribed to do anything, eg eating all her vegetables, tidying her toys away in her room etc with icecream so I can't exactly say the same!

However the kind of brightly-coloured sweets and cakes that are eaten at birthday parties etc, well that's another story, tantrums and tears are almost inevitable, so she never gets them from us.

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The problem with many of these "myths" is that, in most cases, the claims are based on absence of evidence, rather than good evidence for.

The hydration case is based on absence of evidence. There's no good scientific research to suggest that a minimum volume of 2 litres of water consumption per day is good for health. The claim that you need to drink 8 glasses a day is therefore not based on evidence. However, there's no evidence that it's harmful; but there is evidence that "adequate" hydration based upon prevailing conditions is helpful. Certainly long-term dehydration is a known predisposing factor for kidney stones.

Sugar probably doesn't cause hyperactivity in itself. However, it has many other harmful health effects, so is best avoided.

Detoxification is an increasingly common fad. In general, there is no evidence that any detoxification program does anything. There are a broad range of claimed benefits and methods. Some like colonic irrigation are well known to be harmful and have never been shown to have any benefit nor is there any plausible theory to explain why there might be a benefit. There is also a fad for coming up with some new toxin, or condition leading to toxin buildup, and concocting a new diet or product to combat this. A common one I've seen these days is candida toxins; candida grows in the intestine at excessive levels and releases toxins. The vagueness of the symptoms, and the vagueness of the cure with no real way for the general public to test for it, but vaguely plausible scientific background make this a perfect fictional "disease". Many of the detox regimes for this are generally healthful diets and exercise (e.g. low sugar, low alcohol, etc.) and that in itself is likely to explain many of the health benefits, rather than some mysterious toxin.

Antioxidants. Long thought to be a miracle cure to aging, laboratory tests show that cells live longer and suffer less DNA damage. The research on people and animals, however, is much less clear. In fact, the largest and most rigorous studies on the use of antioxidants in humans seem to show that they shorten life. The reason for this is not clear; one theory is that as the immune system depends uses oxidation to destroy cancer cells, viruses and bacteria, and excessive load of anti-oxidants may make the immune system weaker.

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PALEO: the reason i don't feed my guinea pig cornflakes. makes perfect sense except to sugar addicts and VIs.

Feed your guinea pig only the best food. Fatten it up nice and plump.

Guinea pigs are edible, BTW ;)

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The problem with many of these "myths" is that, in most cases, the claims are based on absence of evidence, rather than good evidence for.

A theory I often espouse, after reading it on a humorous birthday card, stay away form organic and natural foods as much as possible, consume as much food with preservatives as you can. When you get to be over 55 you need all the preservatives you can get.

Alchohol could be regarded to be a good preservative!

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I don't see the lypid hypothe-myth in there. Is that because it's the foundation of low-fat-diet production by food corporations?

On hydration: drink fluids until your pee is straw-coloured throughout the day, ie, don't overload but spread it out according to your needs. Common sense.

Sugar is stupid. Any fool know that.

The rest is open to debate, and everyone has a unique metabolism. But failure to recognise the influence of business convenience in the food supply is childish.

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All most likely true.

The reason anti-oxidants work is from stimulating your own body's antioxidant response. Taking artificially high doses, higher than from fruit, down-regulates your body's own anti-oxidant ability and does you harm in the long run.

http://gettingstronger.org/2011/03/the-case-against-antioxidants/

http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/07/the-vitamin-myth-why-we-think-we-need-supplements/277947/

And how is sugar poison when your brain absolutely requires it to stay alive? You can't live without glucose, it's the body's preferred fuel. You are walking around with about a kilo of "poison" in your liver and muscles right now!

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The New Scientist is thinly veiled advertising for big pharma and the food industry and has been for years.

If you read this crap, it says a lot about your understanding of 'science'.

If you follow the money and look at the adverts in the back, you can see who has real editorial control over the content.

Listing vitamin A as a dietary antioxidant shows the article is written by someone who has no clue what they are talking about. Carotenoids are antioxidants, vitamin A is not.

So antioxidants don't make you live longer hey? What about the inverse association between glutathione and mortality? Last time i checked, glutathione was the primary cellular antioxidant in humans. ****** you New Scientist and your propaganda.

Actually uric acid is the main antioxidant in humans. Want to know how to boost your uric acid? Eat a bunch of sugary fruit.

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All most likely true.

The reason anti-oxidants work is from stimulating your own body's antioxidant response. Taking artificially high doses, higher than from fruit, down-regulates your body's own anti-oxidant ability and does you harm in the long run.

http://gettingstronger.org/2011/03/the-case-against-antioxidants/

http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/07/the-vitamin-myth-why-we-think-we-need-supplements/277947/

And how is sugar poison when your brain absolutely requires it to stay alive? You can't live without glucose, it's the body's preferred fuel. You are walking around with about a kilo of "poison" in your liver and muscles right now!

The brain can utilise ketone bodies as an alternative fuel in the absence of glucose.

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Actually uric acid is the main antioxidant in humans. Want to know how to boost your uric acid? Eat a bunch of sugary fruit.

The best way to raise uric acid levels is to eat purine rich foods - oily fish, organ meats particular liver, and legumes.

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