12 Health Lies the Internet Tells

By on August 11, 2014

Natural Remedies that Don't Work


I read an article on Refinery29 about health lies on the internet and felt inspired to make my own list. We know there are lies on the internet but even the savviest can get sucked in. We’ve compiled a list of 12 natural cures you might see on the internet that really don’t work.

Lie One: Garlic Can Lower Cholesterol

Some studies say that garlic may lower cholesterol by a few points but other studies say that garlic supplements are ineffective against bad cholesterol. A high-quality 2007 study in the Archives of Internal Medicine compared the impact of raw garlic and commercial garlic supplements taken over a 6 month time frame. They found that the garlic supplements had no impact on cholesterol versus the placebo. Another study showed garlic may lower LDL temporarily but not in the long run.

Lie Two: Vaginal Odor Equals BI or Yeast

Okay ladies. We sweat … down there. We wear skinny jeans, sit at desks, and cross our legs and honest to goodness this can make you smell in a totally normal way! So the idea that healthy vaginas should smell like pineapple or else is not only a lie but a blow to self-esteem. If you are concerned about odor use baby wipes or even sink water to give yourself a quick cleanse. If the smell is unusually strong compared to your normal or just off check with your doctor.

Lie Three: You Can Target Weight Loss in Your Bum and Tum

Unfortunately strength training your abs or your gluts does not guarantee your results will be seen. While you may be able to define your abs it won’t matter if you still have lots of body fat. You have to decrease fat first through diet and exercise. At the same time, we are all shaped different. If your body tends to spread weight evenly, the chances that you will have a Kim Khardashian butt without matching arms, stomach, and face are pretty slim. If you have a boyish figure the chances that you will have an hourglass waist are rather slim. We can all work to define and move a little but you can only be the best version of you.

Lie Four: You Must Juice Detox, Colon Detox, DETOX DETOX DETOX

Your body is naturally equipped to detox itself. “The notion that you can and should flush out your arteries or your intestines may seem plausible. but it’s not,” says Edzard Ernst, M.D., Ph.D., professor of complementary medicine at Peninsula Medical School in Exeter, England. In fact, some detoxes may do more harm than good. Any diet that robs your body of specific good groups or whole foods is not doing the body any favors. Save yourself the money and just take care of your liver. If you take care of your liver. Your liver will do all the detoxifying you need. If you just need added energy try sleeping, adding in more veggies, and hydrating.

Lie Five: Ear-Candling Improves Lymphatic Fluid Flow

Ear-candling is a bottle of wax. Several experiments have been performed to test the validity of ear-candling. Though there is wax visible after waxing, studies show that the wax is actually from the candle and not the ear.

For most people, your ear is perfectly capable of getting rid of wax without help or ask your doc for help.

Lie Six: E-cigs are a Natural Alternative to Smoking

The FDA found that e-cigs contain varied amounts of nicotine and traces of toxic chemicals including diethylene glycol, which is found in antifreeze. I’m not say they are or are not healthier than cigarettes. I think they are too new for us to know but I am saying that they are NOT a natural alternative to smoking.

Lie Seven: This Food is All Natural

All natural can mean someone naturally took some chips, processed them, and put them in a plastic bag. The term all natural as it applies to food labels means absolutely nothing. Seriously. A company can call something all natural even if it has preservatives or genetically modified ingredients. If you see a label that says all natural, check out the ingredients before believing the claim.

Lie Eight: Gluten Free is Healthier

Yes Gluten Free is a wonderful solution for people with severe allergies or Celiac Disease but Gluten Free does not make something a healthier choice for most people. What would be more important for most people is to eat whole ingredients, nutrients, and the correct portion size for your body.

Lie Nine: Five Finger Running Shoes Reduce Risk of Injury

Vibram, a maker of five finger shoes, is currently facing a multi-million dollar law suit. According to USA Today, “The company came under fire for marketing claims that its shoes could strengthen feet and prevent running-related injuries better than traditional running shoes.”

In 2013, a study of barefoot running shoes found that those runners given Vibram’s shoes were at greater risk of injury. Vibram isn’t the first shoe company to be under the gun for health related claims. Sketchers settled a $40,000,000 lawsuit on their shape-up fitness shoes. Reebok was ordered to payout over $25,000,000 in claims related to their own EasyTone fitness shoes.

According to the FTC complaint, Reebok made unsupported claims in advertisements that walking in its EasyTone shoes and running in its RunTone running shoes strengthen and tone key leg and buttock (gluteus maximus) muscles more than regular shoes. The FTC’s complaint also alleges that Reebok falsely claimed that walking in EasyTone footwear had been proven to lead to 28 percent more strength and tone in the buttock muscles, 11 percent more strength and tone in the hamstring muscles, and 11 percent more strength and tone in the calf muscles than regular walking shoes.

Lie Ten: Nutella is a Healthy Hazlenut Spread

Nutella has caught on like wildfire. Pinterest has gone crazy with Nutella recipes BUT Nutella is more like candy than a healthy spread. The #1 ingredient in Nutella is sugar with over 50 grams of sugar per serving. A Zero Bar has only 31 grams of sugar and Snickers has 27 grams of sugar. Nutella is not a health food or a natural spread. It is a spreadable dessert.

Lie Eleven: Echinacea Can Help Kids Fight Off Colds

In 2003, researchers at the University of Washington in Seattle studied more than 400 children with colds who had received either echinacea or a placebo for 10 days. They found no difference between the kids who took echinacea and those who took the placebo.

Another study published in 2005 in the New England Journal of Medicine found that echinacea was no more effective than a placebo in preventing colds. It also did not reduce the severity of cold symptoms.

I read about two other studies on WebMD that were funded by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Neither study found any benefit from echinacea for the common cold in either children or adults.

Lie Twelve: If it Worked For Her, It Will Work For Me

We are all beautifully different. We are just as different on the inside as we are on the out and what worked for your friend might not work for you. You have to build your own path for health using the foundations that we know work: sleep, hydration, nutrition, and exercise.

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