12 Medical Myths Even Most Doctors Believe...

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CNN has published
a list of the truth about twelve “health myths.” Among
the myths this article busts? “If you cross your eyes, they’ll
stay that way.” “Eat the crust of your bread because it’s
full of antioxidants,” and, “to get rid of hiccups, have
someone startle you.”


There is massive
amount of medical misinformation circulating right now, which is
causing an epidemic of chronic disease, unprecedented in human history,
and their big concern is whether or not if you cross your eyes,
they’ll stay that way?

CNN is beyond

The primary
purpose of their article is entertainment, as it has absolutely
nothing to do with the top health myths. With articles such as this
one, CNN is part of the problem of perpetuating misinformation and
leading you astray with nonsense.

Below I will
review 12 REAL health myths that CNN didn’t bother to mention,
even though these are the cause of a lot of unnecessary suffering
and premature death.

Source: CNN
August 31, 2010

Dr. Mercola’s

With all the
medical misinformation we're currently exposed to on a daily basis,
it's disappointing to see CNN waste time and space on yet another
entertainment-style fluff piece, discussing u201Chealth mythsu201D that
have no real bearing on your health whatsoever.

Because, believe
me, there is no shortage of real health myths that can,
and do, have a massive impact on tens of thousands if not millions
of people.

Here is my
list of the top 12 health myths, none of which CNN bothered to mention:

1: Cardio
is One of the Best Types of Exercise

In recent years,
researchers have begun to realize that conventional cardio, such
as jogging, is not all it's been cracked up to be, and that you
can actually improve your health and increase fat burning by making
slight modifications to your cardio routine.

The problem
is that traditional cardio only works on the slow twitch muscle
fibers in your red muscle, completely ignoring your white muscle
super-fast twitch fibers.

u201D refers to peak exercises done once or twice a week, in which
you raise your heart rate up to your anaerobic threshold for 20
to 30 seconds, followed by a 90-second recovery period.

To perform
these properly you will want to get very close to, if not exceed,
your maximum heart rate by the last interval. Your maximum heart
rate is calculated as 220 minus your age. You will need a heart
rate monitor to measure this as it is nearly impossible to accurately
measure your heart rate manually when it is above 150.

have found that interval cardio produces a unique metabolic response
that is in large part responsible for its superior benefits. Intermittent
sprinting produces high levels of chemical compounds called catecholamines,
which allow more fat to be burned from under your skin and within
your muscles. The resulting increase in fat oxidation is thought
to drive the increased weight loss.

It is also
the only type of exercise that will increase growth hormone levels.
This becomes especially important after the age of 30, when growth
hormones steadily decline. It is much safer and far less expensive
to have your body make growth hormone naturally though Peak
8 type exercises
than inject it like many athletes do to the
tune of $1500 per month.

2: Vaccines
are Safe and Effective and Prevent Disease

I completely
understand that for many this issue is not debatable as they believe
that vaccines are one of the greatest gifts to public health in
the history of civilization.

If you believe
that, then let me encourage you to open your mind and explore other
views held by many well respected physicians, scientists, clinicians
and pro-vaccine safety educators.

You might want
to review the article Read
This Before Vaccinating for Anything
, to help you start your
exploration process.

When it comes
to vaccines, there are three primary questions that need to be considered.

  • First, is
    the vaccine in question safe?
  • Secondly,
    does it effectively prevent disease?
  • And third,
    which vaccines can safely and effectively be given together or
    in close succession?

these issues have not been sufficiently studied for most vaccines,
and those vaccines that have been studied frequently show that they
are either unsafe or ineffective, or both!

educators have long been saying that vaccines can over-stimulate
your child's immune system
, sometimes causing the very disease
it's designed to protect against, or worse. And, when several vaccines
are administered together, or in close succession, their interaction
may completely overwhelm
your child's developing immune system

This is one
of the primary problems with vaccines in general — their detrimental
impact on your body's primary, natural defense against ALL disease.

Now consider
that if your child is vaccinated according to the CDC’s recommended
schedule, by the time your child starts kindergarten he or she will
have received 48 doses of 14 vaccines. Of these, 36 doses will be
given during the first 18 months of life — a time when your child's
body and brain is undergoing massive development!

Public health
officials have NEVER proven that it is indeed safe to inject this
volume of vaccines into infants. What’s more, they cannot explain
why, concurrent with an increasing number of vaccinations, there
has been an explosion of neurological and immune system disorders
in American children.

This issue
covers so much ground, it's impossible to even try to summarize
the many hazards and the lack of efficiency data for all the vaccines
currently being given, in this article.

For more information
please visit our vaccine section at http://vaccines.mercola.com/

3: Fluoride
in Your Water Lowers Your Risk of Cavities

The theory
behind the introduction of fluoride in your water supply initially
seems beneficial — to reduce the incidence of dental caries in children.
However, the health dangers of fluoride are so numerous; they far
outweigh any benefit to your teeth, and that's IF water fluoridation
actually did what its claimed to do.

Today, even
promoters of fluoridation concede that the major benefits are only
from topical applications; fluoride works from the outside
of the tooth, not from inside of your body, so why swallow it?

tell us that water fluoridation is ineffective for preventing caries.
There is practically no difference in tooth decay between fluoridated
and non-fluoridated countries, and no difference between states
that have a high- or low percentage of their water fluoridated.

fluoride can cause significant harm, from dental fluorosis to thyroid
damage to reduced IQ… and much more.

I've joined
forces with the Fluoride
Action Network
(FAN) to help end water fluoridation poisoning
in Canada and the United States.

For more about
the dangers of fluoride, and information about how to get involved
in this campaign, please see this recent
, which also includes an excellent interview with Dr.
Paul Connett, who created FAN and is one of the foremost experts
on this topic.

4: GMOs Crops
are Safe, Well Tested and Economically Beneficial

GMOs may be
the greatest health disaster in the American diet. Within 9 years
of their introduction in 1996, multiple chronic illnesses jumped
from 7 percent to 13 percent of the population, food allergies doubled
in less time, and many other ailments have exponentially increased
with the introduction of GM foods.

Millions may
already be suffering health problems caused by genetically modified
organisms (GMOs) in their diet. The
American Academy of Environmental Medicine has already urged doctors
to prescribe non-GMO diets
for all patients, citing studies
that show how GMOs cause disorders such as vital organ damage, gastrointestinal
and immune system problems, accelerated aging, infertility, and
dysfunctional regulation of insulin and cholesterol.

But not only
are GM foods a health disaster, they also pose a significant environmental
threat, and industry promises of financial benefits have turned
out to be false as well.

For a quick
introduction, I recommend reading the article 10
Reasons to Avoid Genetically Modified Foods
, which delves into
everything from the health problems associated with eating GM foods
to the evidence against GM crops as a sustainable, economically
and environmentally viable alternative to traditional farming.

5: Sun Causes
Skin Cancer

There are many
misconceptions about melanoma — the most dangerous type of skin
cancer that accounts for more than 75 percent of skin cancer deaths.
But despite all the bad press linking sun exposure to skin cancer,
there's almost no evidence at all to support that stance.
There is, however, plenty of evidence to the contrary.

Over the years,
several studies have already confirmed that appropriate sun exposure
actually helps prevent skin cancer. In fact, melanoma occurrence
has been found to decrease with greater sun exposure, and can
be increased by sunscreens

In my interview
with vitamin D expert Dr. Robert Heaney
, he explains how the
conventional recommendations are in fact causing the very health
problem they claim to prevent.

How does sunlight
prevent, rather than cause, skin cancer?

In short, it's
the vitamin D formed in your skin from exposure to sunlight that
provides this built in cancer protection.

The vitamin
D goes directly to genes in your skin that help prevent the types
of abnormalities that ultraviolet light causes. Unfortunately, if
you follow the conventional recommendation to avoid sun exposure
or always use sunscreen, your skin will not make any vitamin D,
leaving you without this built-in cancer protection.

confirm the truth of these findings, as melanoma rates have increased
right along with sun avoidance and increased use of sunscreens.
If avoiding the sun actually was the answer, then melanoma
rates should have decreased exponentially over the past couple of

Instead, sun
avoidance and the excessive use of sunscreen are actually the two
primary reasons for the rise in melanoma.

6: Saturated
Fat Causes Heart Disease

As recently
as 2002, the “expert” Food & Nutrition Board issued the following
misguided statement, which epitomizes this myth:

fats and dietary cholesterol have no known beneficial role in preventing
chronic disease and are not required at any level in the diet.”

This dangerous
recommendation, which arose from an unproven hypothesis
from the mid-1950s, has been harming your health and that of your
loved ones for about 40 years now.

The truth is,
saturated fats from animal and vegetable sources provide the building
blocks for cell membranes and a variety of hormones and hormone-like
substances, without which your body cannot function optimally.

They also act
as carriers for important fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. Dietary
fats are also needed for the conversion of carotene to vitamin A,
for mineral absorption, and for a host of other biological processes.

In fact, saturated
fat is the preferred fuel for your heart!

For more information
about saturated fats and the essential role they play in maintaining
your health, please read my previous article The
Truth About Saturated Fat.

7: Artificial
Sweeteners are Safe, Well Tested and Help Promote Weight Loss

Most people
use artificial sweeteners to lose weight. The amazing irony is that
nearly all the studies that have carefully analyzed their effectiveness
show that those who use artificial sweeteners actually gain
more weight than those who consume caloric sweeteners.

In 2005, data
gathered from the 25-year-long San Antonio Heart Study showed that
drinking diet
soft drinks increased the likelihood of serious weight gain

— far more so than regular soda. On average, each diet soft drink
the participants consumed per day increased their risk of becoming
overweight by 65 percent within the next seven to eight years, and
made them 41 percent more likely to become obese.

The reasons
for this ironic reality are still being investigated, but there
are several potential causes, including:

  • Sweet
    taste alone appears to increase hunger
    , regardless of caloric
  • Artificial
    sweeteners appear to simply
    perpetuate a craving for sweets
    , and overall sugar consumption
    is therefore not reduced – leading to further problems controlling
    your weight.
  • Artificial
    sweeteners may disrupt your body's natural ability to u201Ccount calories,u201D
    as evidenced in studies such as this 2004 study
    at Purdue University
    , which found that rats fed artificially
    sweetened liquids ate more high-calorie food than rats
    fed high-caloric sweetened liquids.

In the end,
the research tells us that artificial sweeteners are NOT a dieter's
best friend, because contrary to what the marketing campaigns claim,
low- or no-calorie artificial sweeteners are more likely to help
you pack on the pounds than shed them.

There are also
a large number of health dangers associated with artificial sweeteners
and aspartame in particular. I've started compiling a growing list
of studies pertaining
to health problems associated with aspartame
, which you can
find here.
If you're still on the fence, I highly recommend reviewing these
studies for yourself so that you can make an educated decision.

For more information
on aspartame, the worst artificial sweetener, please see my aspartame

8: Soy is
a Health Food

The meteoric
rise of soy as a u201Chealth foodu201D is a perfect example of how a brilliant
marketing strategy can fool millions. But make no mistake about
it, unfermented soy products are NOT healthful additions to your

If you find
this recommendation startling then I would encourage you to review
my Why Soy
Can Damage Your Health
, which contains links to dozens of articles
on the topic, and a video I recently did.

On the contrary,
thousands of studies have linked unfermented soy to malnutrition,
digestive distress, immune-system breakdown, thyroid dysfunction,
cognitive decline, reproductive disorders and infertility –
even cancer and heart disease.

Not only that,
but more
than 90 percent of American soy crops are genetically modified
which carries its own set of health risks.

Here is a sampling
of the detrimental health effects that have been linked to soy consumption:

  • Breast cancer
  • Brain damage
  • Infant abnormalities
  • Thyroid
  • Kidney stones
  • Immune system
  • Severe,
    potentially fatal food allergies
  • Impaired
  • Danger during
    pregnancy and nursing

I am not opposed
to all soy, however. Organic and, most importantly,
properly fermented soy does have great health benefits.
Examples of such healthful fermented soy products include tempeh,
miso and natto.

9: Whole Grains
are Good for Everyone

The use of
whole-grains is an easy subject to get confused on especially for
those who have a passion for nutrition, as for the longest time
we were told the fiber in whole grains is highly beneficial.

ALL grains,
including whole-grain and organic varieties, can elevate your insulin
, which can increase your risk of disease.

It has been
my experience that more than 85 percent of Americans have trouble
controlling their insulin levels – especially those who have the
following conditions:

  • Overweight
  • Diabetes
  • High blood
  • High cholesterol
  • Protein
    metabolic types

In addition,
sub-clinical gluten intolerance is far more common than you might
think, which can also wreak havoc with your health.

As a general
rule, I strongly recommend eliminating
grains as well as sugars
from your diet, especially if you have
any of the above conditions that are related to insulin resistance.
The higher your insulin levels and the more prominent your signs
of insulin overload are, the more ambitious your grain elimination
needs to be.

If you are
one of the fortunate ones without insulin resistance and of normal
body weight, then grains are fine, especially whole grains. It is
wise to continue to monitor your grain consumption and your health
as life is dynamic and constantly changing. What might be fine when
you are 25 or 30 could become a major problem at 40 when your growth
hormone and level of exercise is different.

10: All Plant-Based
Supplements are as Good as Animal Supplements

The primary
example here is that of omega-3's. It's very important to realize
that not all omega-3 fats are the same, and that the type and source
of your omega-3 will make a big difference in the health benefits
it provides.

There are three
types of omega-3 fats:

  • DHA (Docosahexaenoic
  • EPA (Eicosapentaenoic
  • ALA (Alpha-Linolenic

Many people
do not realize that most of the well-known health benefits associated
with omega-3 fats — such as mental
, stronger
and heart
– are linked to the animal-based omega-3 fats
(EPA and DHA), not the plant-based omega-3 fat (ALA).

ALA, which
is the type of omega-3 found in flaxseed
and nuts, is converted into EPA and DHA in your body, but only at
a very low ratio.

So even if
you eat large amounts of ALA, your body can only convert a relatively
small amount into EPA and DHA, and only when sufficient enzymes
are present.

This does not
mean plant-based omega-3 fats are intrinsically harmful or that
they should be avoided, only that you ideally want to include an
animal-based form as well. Personally, I regularly include omega-3
(ALA) plant-based foods, like flax and hemp, in my diet, but these
are always combined with animal-based omega-3 fats.

But in order
to reap its most important health benefits, your omega-3 needs to
be from an animal source. For more information on this topic, please
read through my previous article, Are
You Getting the Right Type of Omega-3 Fats?

11: Milk Does
Your Body Good

milk do your body good?

Yes, if it's

this myth insists that conventional pasteurized milk has health
benefits, which is far from true. Conventional health agencies also
refuse to address the real dangers
of the growth hormones and antibiotics found in conventional milk

Please understand
that I do
not recommend drinking pasteurized milk
of any kind, including
organic, because once milk has been pasteurized its physical structure
is changed in a way that can actually cause allergies and immune

Important enzymes
like lactase are destroyed, which causes many people to not be able
to digest milk. Additionally, vitamins (such as A, C, B6 and B12)
are diminished and fragile milk proteins are radically transformed
from health nurturing to unnatural amino acid configurations that
can actually worsen your health.

The eradication
of beneficial bacteria through the pasteurization process also ends
up promoting pathogens rather than protecting you from them.

The healthy
alternative to pasteurized milk is raw
milk, which is an outstanding source of nutrients
beneficial bacteria such as lactobacillus acidophilus, vitamins
and enzymes, and it is, in my estimation, one of the finest sources
of calcium available.

For more details
please watch the interview
I did with Mark McAfee
, who is the owner of Organic Pastures,
the largest organic dairy in the US.

12: Low-Fat
Diets are Healthy

The low-fat
myth may have done more harm to the health of millions than any
other dietary recommendation. Again, just as the recommendations
to avoid sunshine has increased melanoma rates, the low-fat craze
led to increased consumption of trans-fats,
which we now know increases your risk of obesity, diabetes and heart

To end the
confusion, it's very important to realize that eating fat will
not make you fat!

The primary
cause of excess weight and all the chronic diseases associated with
it, is actually the
consumption of too much sugar – especially fructose
, but also
all sorts of grains, which rapidly convert to sugar in your body.

If only the
low-fat craze had been a low-sugar craze… then we wouldn't have
nearly as much chronic disease as we have today.

For an explanation
of why and how a low-fat diet can create the very health problems
it's claimed to prevent, please see this previous

Final Thoughts

As you can
see, there's no shortage of health myths out there, and it only
seems to be getting worse… The 12 myths reviewed above are but
a sampling, because there are still many more.

If you want
to review a number of additional health topics that are fraught
with misinformation, please see the three-part series listed below
in Related Articles.

As opposed
to the nonsense offered in the CNN article above, these health topics
are all essential to get u201Crightu201D if you want to protect your health,
and the health of your loved ones.

21, 2010

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