Despite the remarkable advancements in medical science, a large number of myths still plague the world of medical science. Here, we’ll have a look at some of the most common ones and see where the reality really stands

Supplements are always healthy

It is often assumed that if there is a deficit in the nutritive value of the food that is being consumed, then an artificial supplement can compensate and ensure normal functionality in the body. However, recent studies have shown that in most cases, the most popular medical supplements offer no benefits.

Furthermore, exaggerated reliance on these supplements can cause unpleasant long-term side effects. Other than being expensive, they make the body dependent and alter the normal functionalities of the body. Instead of consuming supplements, a person should aim at altering their diet and lifestyle to overcome the deficit of essential nutrients.

You need to drink 8 glasses of water a day

The human body is made up of 60% water and staying well hydrated is essential. However, the 8 glasses myth comes from a fundamental misunderstanding of some basic physiology. There is no real advantage to drinking more water than you need, and different bodies need different quantities of water (also depending on external factors such as temperature, sweating, etc). It also depends a lot on other liquids you might be consuming (such as soups or juices). So while 8 glasses might be a good ballpark figure, it’s by no means a strict limit.

Our body is good at signaling when it requires water. So essentially, you should “listen” to your body. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine determined that an adequate daily fluid intake is about 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids for men and about 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids a day for women.

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Cracking knuckles may lead to arthritis in old age

A liquid known as synovial fluid is present in the joints to lubricate them. When we crack our knuckles, the bubbles pop in the synovial fluid. This mechanism bears no relation or has no contribution to the inflammation in the joints due to arthritis.

Be advised, however, that while there’s no evidence that cracking your knuckles will cause arthritis, it can be quite annoying to the people around you.

Physical exercise is only good to build muscles

A rigorous exercise routine doesn’t only affect the muscles growth and strength but also helps the bones in becoming sturdier, improve your blood circulation, and has a myriad other beneficial effects on your body.

Strenuous exercises such as brisk walking, rock climbing, running, swimming, and trekking also work to build strength in the bones and exercising regularly also delays the onset of loss of bone density in old age.

All painkillers are not addictive

Chronic pain affects over one-third of all Americans and many manage that pain through prescription medication. In the US, the FDA mandated potentially addictive substances to be labeled, and many other countries have similar labeling systems — in India, for instance, all medicines that are addictive in nature are classified under the category of Schedule H.

This classification is mentioned on the medicine packaging. Almost all painkillers such as Ultracet have elements that have addictive aptitudes. It is quintessential to consult a doctor before taking any such medicine.

Eating a lot of sugar causes diabetes

Sugar doesn’t cause diabetes — though the two are correlated. Eating a lot of sugar is one of the main contributors to being overweight or obese. Diabetes is caused mainly by lifestyle disorders such as being overweight. So while there is no direct relation between consuming a lot of sugar and having diabetes, there could very well be an indirect one.

Managing weight and maintaining a good and healthy lifestyle ensures that a person does not have increased risks of acquiring diabetes.