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Year-End Clearance: All Medical Myths Must Go!


Sorry, moms: it turns out that reading in low light won’t make you go blind; going hatless in the winter won’t make you freeze to death; and you could eat poinsettias all day and not be poisoned.

All this holiday medical myth-busting and more is courtesy of our somber friends at the British Medical Journal (part one and part two).

Of course, you probably didn’t need the British Medical Journal to tell you that — a quick Google search would have popped the bubble on each of the three myths we mentioned.

The internet may be good at slaying old myths. But if myths can spread like viruses, do they also respond under the pressures of natural selection by evolving?

Google might cure you of the myth that turkey-borne tryptophan is what makes you sleepy at Thanksgiving. But WebMD might give you imaginary Restless Leg Syndrome.

Happy New Year to all and feel free to share your favorite medical myths in the comment section below.

(Hat tip: Chris Blattman)