Internet myths

This is probably the biggest problem. How to distinguish truth from falsehood? True, in the age of information sharing, we have access to almost all the knowledge in the world, but on the other hand, anyone can share their wisdom. Of course, the question will immediately arise, how can you be sure that what is posted on this site is true? I’ve tried to back up everything I write with links to relevant research, but for a layman, distinguishing whether a link provided actually proves a thesis can sometimes be difficult.

Below I will present some of the most popular myths. Such false information is quite dangerous, because on the one hand it convinces people to do things that are not necessarily healthy, while on the other hand it takes away time, energy and sometimes money that can be spent on something really valuable.

The first thing, “paleo” type diets and other high-protein inventions. I don’t know how you can advertise the diet of people who lived to the age of 25 as something that is supposed to guarantee long health. People of the Paleolithic era were healthy, yes, but because they had constant exercise, no pollution, very strong natural selection, and a very large amount of raw plants. In one study of Paleolithic bones, it turned out that they had an almost vegetarian diet, with meat appearing on great occasions.

Basically, all communities on the planet that eat the diet recommended by paleo “experts” have extremely low life expectancy and are plagued by disease. On the other hand, those that eat exactly the opposite – high carbs, low protein and fat – are enclaves of longevity, with the lowest risk of diseases of civilization. There is one condition, carbohydrates must not be simple sugar.

These types of diets would be healthy if they actually mimicked the diet of our ancestors, the apes. Even when we became nomadic tribes, very often our main source of food for most of the year was found plants, and we ate zoonotic foods only occasionally, with mostly worms of all kinds.

Of course, I will not present a study proving the harmfulness of some diet. Science doesn’t work that way, it’s up to the person postulating something to prove it, otherwise I could write that jumping on one leg extends life by 30 years and now find me a study that proves it doesn’t. Proof beyond direct evidence is the research proving the benefits of high-carbohydrate diets, which I posted in the “diet” section.

The second myth, vitamin C. There used to be some studies published that showed that people with the highest concentration of this substance in their blood, lived the longest. And this is actually true. But, as is usually the case, not all of it. They were not healthy because of vitamin C, it works the other way. Their very healthy diet caused them to have elevated blood levels, as a side effect. There were double-trial studies where people supplemented with the vitamin, and without any doubt we can say today that it doesn’t work. To make matters worse, a study has been published showing that supplements double the risk of kidney stones in men. In previous clinical trials, such a correlation has not been shown, so apparently this only applies to certain groups of people (e.g., with a specific diet), but here too there is no doubt, vitamin C is associated with kidney stones. This myth is often reproduced and the above-mentioned studies are cited as “proof” of its effect, only that they simply show something completely different.

In other words, this “therapy” simply does not work. It is gaining a lot of popularity because it is simple, people like simple and easy things. They are more willing to listen to someone who says “eat one vitamin C tablet, that’s all you need to do to prolong your life, only those damn conspirators from the pharmaceutical companies are hiding it,” rather than telling the truth that only following a healthy diet will guarantee health and life. It’s easier to believe in the nonexistent power of vitamin C than to give up unhealthy but tasty food. Anyway, the same goes for all other “trendy” theories, for example, it is known without a shred of doubt that a proper maternal diet reduces a child’s risk of autism, maybe even by more than ten times. Do you hear anywhere exhortations from mothers of autistic children to promote a healthy diet? Have any organizations been formed? Are they spamming your Facebook wall with it? Not a single post was made. Yet there are millions of people recognizing the completely false theory about the link between vaccines and autism. It’s easier to put the responsibility on others than to look at yourself.

The same goes for vitamin E. Not only have rigorously conducted clinical trials failed to show the benefits of supplementation, but it has been shown to increase the risk of heart disease and cancer. In one clinical trial, vitamin E supplementation nearly DOUBLED the risk of death from prostate cancer. It’s possible that if the right form – a mix of tocopherols, or tocotrienols – had been used, the effects would have been different, but this basic vitamin E available in pharmacies is simply harmful. If someone tells you otherwise, that vitamin E cures heart disease – ask them for a double-blind study that confirmed their words. Such studies have been done, only that they showed the opposite. The “evidence” shown by vitamin E fanatics is usually links to opinions or to studies on completely different uses.

Research on vitamins E and C:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2586922/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4666862/

The raw food vegan diet is gaining quite a bit of popularity. It can be arranged to be healthy, after all, vegetarians and vegans live longer. Nevertheless, statistical studies are also absolute in this case. People who eat this way have worse dentition, bones, and their children are literally retarded in physical development. Getting the ingredients right on “pure” veganism is very difficult.

https://archinte.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=486478

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8005079

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9831783

By the way, I wanted to warn against all kinds of Facebook groups. For example, on the raw food group in my country, the above links are deleted very quickly and the people posting them are banned. If science shows something that does not agree with the ideology, so much the worse for science.

The information about deadly amalgam fillings is a myth. Yes, such fillings are unhealthy, but the impact is almost imperceptible. In a study when the risk of dozens of diseases of those with more than 10 such fillings each was compared with those who had not a single one, the results were essentially identical. They can and should be removed, if only for aesthetic reasons, but it is neither a priority nor the answer to the question “why do I feel bad”.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15155698?dopt=Abstract