How little we know

As noted in previous posts (see Wrong Again, Hydrox is back, and Evolutionary Food Chain), our heads are stuffed full of false knowledge.  Jane Brody writing in the International Herald Tribune debunks even more commonly held, but erroneous bits of lore.  Here are two that I hear constantly:

DRINK EIGHT GLASSES OF WATER A DAY I had long believed that eight glasses of plain water or caffeine-free beverages a day were important to keep the body hydrated and to prevent constipation. Perhaps the toilet paper manufacturers were behind this notion. Researchers have been unable to find scientific support for it.  The Institute of Medicine recently noted that you can meet your body’s need for liquids in many ways, including drinking coffee and tea (with or without caffeine) and eating fruits and vegetables with a high water content. Two clues that you may need to drink more are thirst and the color of your urine, which should be clear like, well, water.

SHAVING MAKES HAIR GROW BACK FASTER AND COARSER This myth persists even though a study conducted 80 years ago disproved it. Hair that is shaved is dead, and shaving has no effect on the speed of regrowth, which comes from the living hair follicles below the skin’s surface. The new growth may appear darker since it hasn’t been exposed to the sun or chemicals for very long. Also, it may seem coarser since the ends have not been tapered by wear and tear.

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