Truths to Four Health Myths

The world is full of superstitious beliefs and some of them are health related .   Somehow, various superstitions have circulated and made their way to several parts of the world; such that, some have become global.  However, if we are to ask those who  heed the warnings  or certain beliefs,  it is not uncommon to be given  doubtful replies.  They don’t know why they heed the beliefs; they only know it was a passed-on belief by their elders or people they met.  They can only guess from their assumptions; but not really justify their actions.

 

Well, here are a few health myths that have found their way to our part of the world, somehow; and you might be one of those who blindly believed in these myths! Wouldn’t it be amazing to finally know the truth?

Kissing is one  sure  way to transmit HIV infection

There are a lot of social stigmas that had been attached to HIV infection over the past few years, and one of them is the idea that kissing is one of the many ways to transmit the infection from one person to another. Yes, kissing is an intimate activity, but close physical contact doesn’t always mean an increased chance of disease transmission. As a matter of fact, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) considers open-mouth kissing low-risk for transmitting HIV, especially if both partners are without sores or cuts on the mouth or lips. However, kissing that is free from HIV risks just won’t work for everybody, especially if both of you have mouth sores or certain forms of abrasions that can lead to an unexpected exchange of blood during your kissing moments. Saliva contains proteins, making it a poor vehicle for HIV but when wounds and blood come to the picture, that’s the best time to take extra precaution.

 

You’ll be blind if you sleep with  wet hair

There is no real connection that exists between sleeping with a wet hair and blindness, but perhaps due to sheer coincidence, people in the past went overboard in suggesting this mind-boggling health myth. I’ve tried doing it for so many times already , but I always wake up with my sense of sight still intact so this idea is completely outrageous. In addition to that, a lot of health experts  have long considered this health myth as just a product of someone’s wild imagination.

John C Hagan III, MD, an Ophthalmologist affiliated with the American Academy of Ophthalmology, says that this belief is totally untrue while Milagros Barzaga MD, a specialist in Family Medicine-Geriatricine at the Manila Doctors’ Hospital and Medical Center in Manila, says “Maybe it happened in the past but due to a real cause, which coincided with sleeping with wet hair.”

People must not be wary about sleeping with wet hair, but instead be careful with their food intake and lifestyle to protect themselves from the leading causes of blindness today like glaucoma, diabetes mellitus, stroke and Vitamin A deficiency.

Brushing your hair for 100 times or more every night can produce softer and silkier hair

Anything in excess can be bad for one’s health and that can be applied to dismiss the spreading rumors about over brushing and its potential to make your hair silkier and shinier. Although it is true that most women ages ago practiced it to maintain the beauty of their crowning glory, it is not applicable in the modern world now especially that various hair products have sprouted in the market over the years. Even  plain shampoo can do the basic job of taking care of our hair without the need of over brushing it for up to 100 times a day. It only increases the sebum in your scalp and makes your hair strands weaker in the long run. On the other hand, if there’s something that you need to believe, that should be the fact that brushing your hair when it’s still wet can cause a lot of damage. This is because your hair is about 3 to 4 times weaker when it’s wet than when it’s dry.

 

You’ll give birth to  twins if you eat twin bananas

Several cultures have folkloric or mythic stories regarding how twins are conceived. In Greek mythology, it is written that some twins were conceived when a woman slept with both a mortal and a god on the same day. However, in other cultures like those of the Native American, women vehemently avoided eating twin fruits like bananas and double almonds which they believe increases the likelihood of twins.

While some cultures are not very keen on having twin births as they are seen as ominous, some cultures, on the other hand, see them as fortuitous.  Generally, the present outlook  towards twin birth now is more on whether it is double trouble or double fun, depending on the financial status of families.

The truth about twin birth is that it may occur in one of two ways:  when two eggs are released at the same time and fertilised by separate sperm which results in non-identical or fraternal twins; and another way is when one egg becomes fertilized and splits into two within the next 2 weeks, have same sex and be genetically identical. Siamese twins are identical, but the split occurs  between 13 and 17 days, more or less.  Family history is one of the strongest factors as per records.  Hence, it is very clear that eating bananas are in no way connected with twin births!

 

 Web Sources:

 

http://ezinearticles.com/?Sleeping-With-Wet-Hair-Can-Cause-Blindness-and-Other-Absurdities&id=4161885    

http://babyworld.co.uk/2011/10/20-questions-about-twins/

http://zuuzrap.wordpress.com/2011/06/21/popular-health-misconceptions/