Falsehoods regarding the health and make up of our bodies have existed since the beginning of time. Some of these myths become so popular that we consider them facts despite science and technology informing us that they’re not true.
Biochemist and author Matt Brown has made it his mission to debunk these myths, writing a book on the matter called Everything You Know About Your Body Is Wrong. The Daily Mail compiled a brief list of some of the strangest things that most people consider to be truthful. Here are 10 of our favorites.
Alcohol does not destroy brain cells
While it does impair the communication between your brain cells, alcohol doesn’t actively destroy them. This stalled communication leads to your typical drunk behavior, such as slurred speech and dizziness.
Vitamin C doesn’t prevent colds
A study conducted in 2013 on 11,000 subjects found no link between Vitamin C and the common cold. The study did find that those who are undergoing some sort of stressful situation or pushing themselves physically might benefit from ingesting Vitamin C.
Your appendix exists for a reason
According to Brown, the appendix is a reservoir of healthy bacteria, helping us fight off diseases that target our gut area. When we’re babies and toddlers, the appendix also helped us form white blood cells and fight off infections.
Sugar doesn’t make kids hyper
Over a dozen trials have looked for a connection between sugar and kids’ level of excitement and none have found a strong link.
Swallowing gum isn’t dangerous
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This myth is so elaborate that it even goes so far as to say that gum can’t be digested and that it’ll stay inside your body for seven years. While it’s true that the body can’t digest most of it, the gum will probably leave your system the next time you use the bathroom.
You use most of your brain
Sadly, we’re all not secret geniuses who haven’t discovered their full potential. CAT scans prove that we use all areas of our brain at one point or another, and it’s impossible to monitor every cell in our brain since there are over a billion of them. There’s no way to prove that 10 percent of them are the only ones we use either.
Eating before a swim won’t give you cramps
While digestion does get your blood flowing towards your gut, it won’t lead to cramps that’ll leave you crippled with pain and about to drown in the water. You might feel a little sick if you start to swim vigorously, but it’ll be just like working out after a big meal.
Knuckle cracking won’t give you arthritis
While it does make sense that if you strain joints over time they’ll be more likely to develop problems, studies have found no link between knuckle cracking and arthritis.
Nails don’t grow after death
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Neither hair nor nails are capable of growing after death. For this to happen, the cells would need to divide, and that’s not possible when you’re body is dead and decomposing. The fact that, when dug out of the grave, bodies look like they have longer hair and nails is probably due to the skin contracting and breaking down.