Just one sip

Is alcohol good for you? 7 health myths debunked

Health misconceptions are all too common.

Originally Published: 


When it comes to health, it’s easy to fall back on advice and myths that rely on incomplete or outdated science.

Jose A. Bernat Bacete/Moment/Getty Images

Take the case of alcohol.

You’ve probably heard that, in some instances, drinking wine or beer moderately can be good for your health and longevity.

But a new study casts further doubt on that idea.

Writing November 2 in the journal PLOS Medicine, researchers in Germany found that there was no evidence of longer life expectancy in people who drank in moderation.


It’s one of many recent studies suggesting that, even in moderation, alcohol does more harm than good — and this harm outweighs any observed benefits.

Ion-Bogdan Dumitrescu/Moment/Getty Images

But that’s just how the scientific process works — new evidence can arise and change our view on how to approach health.

ilbusca/DigitalVision Vectors/Getty Images

Other myths and old wives' tales, some dating back centuries, are phasing out thanks to recent research as well.


Here are 6 other prevalent health myths, debunked:

6. Myth: Antiperspirants cause breast cancer

Fact: While some brands use compounds that may influence hormones, no substantial research has uncovered a link between deodorants and cancer.



Aluminum-based compounds and parabens in deodorant may have weak, estrogen-like effects on the body.

But more evidence would be needed to establish a connection — if any — between these compounds and breast cancer.

5. Myth: Soy makes men grow boobs

Fact: There’s no consistent scientific evidence to prove that men who consume soy products grow extra breast tissue.

Kröger/Gross/Foodcollection/Getty Images


That myth can be traced back to an extreme case of soy milk consumption where a man was drinking a daily 3 quarts of the stuff and started to see his breasts become swollen and painful.

Jennifer A Smith/Moment/Getty Images

Soy also contains phytoestrogens or plant estrogens.

Exactly what phytoestrogens do to the human body is debated — but what’s known is that it doesn’t cause breasts to grow.

4. Myth: Eggs yolks are unhealthy

Fact: They have higher cholesterol than some foods, but eating eggs doesn’t contribute to higher rates of heart disease or mortality.


The more detrimental foods for cholesterol levels are ones high in saturated fatty acids — often found in animal products like meat, cheese, and butter.



Those types of foods can contribute to a higher risk of heart disease over time.

3. Myth: Cracking knuckles causes arthritis

Fact: Several studies on frequent finger poppers found that it did not raise their likelihood of developing arthritis.


Arthritis is a condition where your joints become inflamed.

Cracking your knuckles simply releases air bubbles in the lubricating fluid between your joints.

Getty Images

jpa1999/DigitalVision Vectors/Getty Images

While cracking your fingers may not put you at increased risk for developing the chronic condition, it can lead to decreased grip strength or even accidental injury.

2. Myth: Starve a cold, feed a fever

Fact: This phrase, sometimes rearranged as “feed a cold, starve a fever,” doesn’t have much truth to it today.


Heritage Images/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

The idea likely dates back to the Middle Ages, but science does not support the notion that fasting can fix either illness.


You can usually kick a cold or fever with the help of two things in abundance: fluids and rest.

1. Myth: Going out with wet hair makes you sick

Fact: It might feel unpleasant on a cold day, but leaving your house freshly showered doesn’t make you more susceptible to illness.

JasonDoiy/E+/Getty Images

Peter Cade/Stone/Getty Images

Exposure to germs is what makes you sick, not temperature.

But some viruses do survive better in dry, cold, conditions, such as Influenza A.

sukanya sitthikongsak/Moment/Getty Images

So while you’re not going to catch a cold or the flu from shivering alone, the season you’re in might make a difference — as well as your hygiene habits.

Thanks for reading,
head home for more!