Stump the Doctor
This is a great post from The New York Times Well blog, Medical Myths Even Doctors Believe. I was shocked by a couple of them myself. Here they are:
3. Hair and fingernails continue to grow after death.Number 6 gives you plenty of reason to kick your lazy uncle off the couch on Thanksgiving!
The claim has been repeated in movies and talk-show monologues, but it’s not true. The growth of hair and nails requires “a complex hormonal regulation” that stops after the body dies. The reason for the long-held belief may be that dehydration of the body after death, and subsequent shrinking of soft tissue, can create the illusion of growth of hair and nails.6. Eating turkey makes people especially drowsy.
This myth stems from the fact that turkey contains tryptophan, a chemical also made by the human body. Scientific studies show that sleep and mood are affected by tryptophan.
However, turkey does not contain an exceptional amount of tryptophan. Chicken and beef contain about the same amount, and pork and cheese contain more tryptophan per gram than turkey. Because turkey is consumed with other foods, absorption of tryptophan from turkey is minimal, noted the authors. The myth likely stems from the fact that everyone feels drowsy after eating a large meal because the body is using energy to digest food and blood flow and oxygenation to the brain decreases. Large meals in the United States usually occur around Thanksgiving and Christmas, holidays during which turkey is often served.
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