Health Myths – True or False?

Those little sayings that your mother or grandmother often come up with when giving health advice are snappy and easy to remember – but are they true?

Some – yes. Some – not so much.

Does an apple a day keep the doctor away?

Sorry, apple lovers. Apples are healthy, tasty, and can fill you up without a lot of calories. However, they do not keep the doctor away.  A 2015 study of nearly 8,400 men and women – 753 of whom ate an apple a day – showed disappointing results.

The study concluded:  “Evidence does not support that an apple a day keeps the doctor away; however, the small fraction of U.S. adults who eat an apple a day do appear to use fewer prescription medications.”

A glass of warm milk at bedtime will help you sleep.

Maybe, maybe not. Drinking warm milk can help you relax, but there’s no evidence that it actually makes you sleepy.  However, some that say it’s the psychological effects of drinking warm milk – literally believing that it will help you go to sleep – that makes it work for some.

Drinking hot, black coffee can help you sober up.

There’s some truth to this. Coffee can’t reverse your blood alcohol level, but it does partially reverse alcohol’s tendency to make you feel drowsy. A study of people who drank alcohol – but who’s blood alcohol was below the legal limit – showed they performed better on tests of concentration after coffee than before.

Plucking a gray hair causes 10 more to grow in its place.

Nope. Just one will grow in that spot. And yes, it will be gray. Only one hair grows per follicle.

Plucking is a no-no, and could actually lead to bald patches. Plucking can also cause infection. If you must get rid of a gray hair, cut if off instead.

Got more myths you’d like explored? Email

Learn more about medical myths – and get some valuable wellness info – from Flourish, Baptist Health’s magazine to help you be a healthier you. Don’t get Flourish? Shoot us an email at and let us know your name and address.

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