Medical Myths – Top 10 List

Over 400 common medical practices were contradicted by rigorous research. For this blog, I highlight six widely held theories that are refuted by thousands of studies.

For all 10 myths below and more, we invite you to check out this scientific review led by Dr. Vinjay Prasad of Oregon Health and Science University who said, “Very smart and well-intentioned people came to practice these things for many, many years. But they were wrong.”

Myth – Fish oil reduces risk of heart disease

Truth – In a trial involving 12,500 people at risk for heart trouble, daily omega-3 supplements did not protect against heart disease.

Myth – Step counters and calorie trackers help people lose weight.

Truth – Based on a study of 470 “dieters” who were using digital assistance and tracked for two years, those who wore tracking devices actually lost less weight than those who followed standard advice.

Myth – A single dose of oral opioids to treat emergency room patients works better than medications like aspirin and ibuprofen.

Truth – Clinical trial showed that medications like aspirin and ibuprofen are much safer alternatives which relieve pain just as well among emergency room patients.

Myth – Ginkgo biloba protects against memory loss and dementia

Truth – Made from the leaves of ginkgo trees, this supplement was widely used is promoted as a way to preserve memory. A large federal study, published in 2008, definitively showed the supplement is useless for this purpose.

Myth- Peanut allergy risk is higher if a child is exposed to peanuts before age three.

Truth – Children exposed to peanuts before age 1 have no greater risk of peanut allergies.

Myth – Lifelike doll carried around by teenager will prevent unplanned pregnancy

Truth – It turns out that these “infant simulators” were actually associated with a slightly increased risk of pregnancy.

For a complete list as published in the New York Times article, 10 Medical Myths We Should Stop Believing. Doctors, Too.

Sign up for Diabetes Blog Bytes – we post one daily Blog Byte from Monday to Friday. And of course, Tuesday is our Question of the Week. It’s Informative and FREE!  Sign up below!