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Volume III
September 28, 2012

Weekly Home / Cook'n & Eat'n

3 Popular Medical Myths - BUSTED!

By Alice Osborne

The Trusted Health Products website had some interesting information regarding medical myths. By definition, a medical myth is something you may hear from a "reliable" source - even your family doctor - which just isn't true. While a lot of them can be silly, there are plenty of medical myths that can cause us to worry and stress out over situations where it's really not necessary at all. Here are three examples of prominent and popular medical fairy tales that should help you rest a little easier.

FIRST: Dairy products. They get a bad rap in a lot of cases, but there are two scenarios in particular that seem to crop up more frequently. There has been a connection between infants' dairy consumption and firmer stool, but that doesn't necessarily mean that cheese causes constipation. The National Center for Health Statistics studied over 15,000 people and only 13% of those reported any constipation. That same 13% actually consumed more cheese than the other participants, as well as having a lower intake of foods high in fiber.

Another area where dairy is the bad guy to most people is when you're sick. You've probably had at least one person tell you that it makes you more congested, or that it makes you produce more mucus. Those people are likely part of the group of people who are extra sensitive to how milk feels when they drink it. It can have a somewhat mucus- like sensation as it spreads out over saliva in the mouth and throat. There's not actually any more phlegm, it just feels that way to some people.

NEXT: High blood pressure. Millions of Americans suffer from hypertension, and we often attribute a lot of it to our stressful lives. While it is true that heightened blood pressure is an effect of our body's natural stress response, it might surprise you to know that there's not any actual, provable connection between high blood pressure and chronic stress. In fact, an 11 year study involving over 35,000 people found no connection between the development of hypertension and ongoing stress or anxiety.

What's stranger is that those who did exhibit higher levels of anxiousness actually had lower blood pressure. The research actually points to highly-stressed folks and their diet (NOT, and I repeat, NOT the chronic stress they experience). Common patterns of folks dealing with on-going stress reveal that they simply don't take proper care of themselves; because it's just easier after another longer and hard day, they tend to skip eating healthy meals for fast food and junk.

So if you're dealing with high blood pressure, the advice is to stop blaming your external conditions and take a hard look at your diet. And that's encouraging counsel, because too often external conditions can't be changed, but diet certainly can. By taking control and fixing what can be fixed your blood pressure might just drop!

LASTLY: Airplane air causing illness. The theory is that the air inside the cabin of an airplane makes you sick. It could be a combination of anxiety, claustrophobia, and other factors, but the myth of airplane air causing illness is just for the birds. In fact, the air in an airplane is probably much safer than that inside your home or office.

The air inside a plane cabin is exchanged more frequently than that of an office building, and the fact that it is a higher altitude means that there is a lesser chance of bacteria or viruses being present due to lack of humidity. The only real health risk that should be considered in regard to flying is that sitting for long periods can cause blood clots, so be sure to stretch or walk around a bit every hour or so if you are on a longer flight.


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