The science behind these old wives' tales

Science over faulty notions right?

  1. 1

    Adding honey to your tea helps a sore throat

    Honey is a demulcent, meaning it soothes any irritated area, in this case your throat. Honey is also antibacterial, so it's especially good for you if you have a sore throat!

    - This one gets a PASS, but staying well hydrated by drinking loads of water when sick should be added. -

  2. 2

    Spicy food causes ulcers

    It has long been believed that spicy food will cause ulcers, but the truth is it might not cause it, but it can aggravate matters. What does cause ulcers is the bacterium Helicobacter pylori. When this bacteria enters your body, it goes straight to your stomach and burrows into your stomach's mucosal lining. As the bacteria colonises your stomach, ulcers are created.

    Most common treatment of this nasty little thing is a round of antibiotics.

    FAIL - though ok, if you have an ulcer you may want to properly treat it and not aggravate it during that treatment so lay off the spicy goodness until your stomach lining is no longer compromised. -

  3. 3

    Shaving will make your hair grow back thicker

    Luckily this famous tale is not true. What happens when you shave is you cut off the hair at its thickest part, making it seem like one single hair takes up more space. The stubble will also feel rougher and stiffer because it's cut straight across the body. Hair feels softer as it becomes longer.
    In summary - FAIL

  4. 4

    Chocolate is bad for your acne

    Another tale that is mostly told to teenagers. This one alas is not so clear cut. Several studies done in the sixties, seventies and later claimed to find no evidence that chocolate aggravates the amount of pimples you get. They said in fact that your diet doesn't have a big effect on your acne at all. Dermatologists as well don't recommend a dietary change when trying to combat acne. They say that several factors contribute to acne, including genetics, hormones and certain medications. Most often dermatologists alter your diet only after it turns out that you're allergic or intolerant to certain foods which may cause acne.

    More recent studies however, weren't so quick to draw their conclusions, stating that dark chocolate could cause pimples. According to the authors chocolate consumption could increase the inflammation that contributes to acne. Still, we don't know for sure. If acne is being a real pain in the ass, it might be good to be on the save side and stay away from chocolate.

    Conclusion: Undecided...

  5. 5

    Sitting too close to the tv will ruin your eyesight

    This one used to be true, so granny is sort of right. Televisions that were built and sold before the 1950s emitted levels of radiation that could put your eyesight at risk if you were exposed to it repeatedly and for long periods of time. Televisions nowadays don't have this problem, they are built with a proper shielding that will block any radiation coming off it. What could 'hurt' your eyes is the strain and fatigue from staring at the screen for too long. The cure is simply resting your eyes for a while, or better yet, go outside and enjoy the fresh air.

    True in the past, FAIL now.

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