Fact or Fiction: Medical Old Wives' Tales
In spite of highly developed medical technology and scientific research, old wives' tales continue to live on. We hear everything from the plausible "an apple a day keeps the doctor away" to the ridiculous "a cat can steal the breath from a baby's mouth." Think you can distinguish between the facts and the folklore?
Question 1 of 10
One of the most well-known myths: Feed a cold, starve a fever.
... Load up on nutrient-rich foods, like chicken soup, and liquids while fighting both colds and fevers. Your immune system needs the energy to battle infections.
Question 2 of 10
Carrots help you see in the dark.
... Carrots contain vitamin A, which is important for eyesight. Like other vitamins, going overboard on vitamin A intake isn't beneficial.
Question 3 of 10
You can only get tetanus if something rusty punctures your skin.
... The basic idea is that rusty metals have had more exposure to the bacteria that causes tetanus. But tetanus can live on clean surfaces, in animals' mouths and even in dust on a city street.
Question 4 of 10
Fish is good for the brain.
... Everything from lobster to canned tuna contains omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to improve cognitive ability.
Question 5 of 10
Eating bread crusts will make your hair curly.
... The crust on bread will not make your hair curly, but it does have other beneficial properties. The crusts contain pronyl-lysine, an antioxidant created during the baking process. Pronyl-lysine creates enzymes that help prevent cancer.
Question 6 of 10
Coffee stunts your growth.
... There is no connection between coffee consumption and height. But too much added sugar in a cup of joe can make anyone gain weight.
Question 7 of 10
Thumb sucking ruins teeth.
... Thumb sucking can help babies and young children relax. However, as children get older and permanent teeth come in, thumb sucking can cause dental problems.
Question 8 of 10
Cracking your knuckles will give you arthritis.
... Cracking your knuckles won't cause arthritis. Cracking may weaken the ligaments in your fingers, though, which can lead to potential injuries.
Question 9 of 10
Carrying high during pregnancy means a girl is on the way.
... Absolute fiction. Women are more likely to carry high if it's their first child or if they are physically fit. After the first child, stomach muscles loosen, causing them to carry lower.
Question 10 of 10
Reading in the dark will permanently damage your eyes.
... Nothing awful will happen if you read in the dark, but lighting makes reading easier on the eyes.
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