We love listening to Professor Luke O Neill on the ‘Pat Kenny Show’ talking all things science every week, but he gave a particularly enjoyable interview recently on ‘Science Myths’ ..Here are some of the fascinating things that Luke had to say…..
Does the cold weather or being in wet clothes cause colds and flus?
No, common colds and flus are caused by viruses and not by the chill of winter time. We tend to get more colds in the winter because we are inside more so we are more likely to pick up infection from other people. So if you are sitting around in wet clothing, you are not necessarily going to catch a cold, unless of course you happen to be sitting beside someone else who has one ….and then there is a chance you will!
Should we feed a cold and starve a fever as the old saying tells us?
No, there is no evidence to support this. How it came about was due to the belief that if we take more fuel on board when we have a cold it will benefit us and give us heat and that if we have a fever we should lower that fuel. But no, there is no truth in this.
Does too much sugar make children hyperactive?
No, this isn’t the case at all! Of course sugar is believed to give you energy but it’s not the sugar boost that causes children to be hyper.. it is the running around and mixing with other children at a party of whatever other exciting place they happen to be that causes it.
Should I avoid food before I swim?
There is no reason to do this. Dive in! It is true that you get some blood flow away from the stomach to digest food after you eat and some people have a theory that this would take blood flow from muscle therefore causing cramp, but there is no evidence to support this, so swim away!
Is it true that we only use 10% of our brain?
No, that’s not true at all! We have an enormous brain capacity and every piece of it gets used in any given day.
There is so much in the media about what foods we should be eating and spinach seems to be one of the best things we can eat in order to increase our iron intake, is this true?
No, unfortunately not. A scientist made a mistake on this one back in the 1920’s and placed a decimal point in the wrong place so spinach actually has way less iron than we have been led to believe. In fact, did you know that raw spinach actually contains oxalic acid, an organic substance that can interfere with the absorption of essential nutrients like calcium and iron? So the idea that Popeye would become stronger if he eats it is most definitely a myth!
So, there you have it ..some of the top science myths floating around out there that simply aren’t true!