10 myths about your health busted – including cracking your knuckles will give you arthritis and eating late at night makes you fat

Everywhere you look, old wives' health tales are everywhere – and loads of us just blindly believe them.

But is there any truth behind them or are they all just totally false?

Babylon Health has got a British GP to go through some of the most common health myths and rated their scientific accuracy on a scale of 1-5.

And here are ten health beliefs that are very definitely false:

1. If you go outside with wet hair you can catch a cold

If you ever washed your hair before school and didn't have time to dry it, your mum used to yell that you'd soon be sniffling.

Is that actually true? No, apparently not.

"Colds are viruses and can be contracted at any time, including in the summer. The reason we associate them with cold weather is because people tend to congregate in small spaces for warmth and cold viruses are then more likely to be passed around."

2. Muscle turns to fat when you don't exercise

Getting fit and changing your body composition is all about changing the ratio of fat to muscle in the body.

Stop working out and the ratio will change…but muscle can't suddenly morph into fat.

"Muscle cells hypertrophy (grow large and multiply) when you exercise. If you stop exercising, the muscles will atrophy (get smaller) but they won't convert to a different cell type and turn into fat."

3. A glass of red wine a day is good for you

Devastatingly, this doc won't stay away if you have a glass a day.

"This myth was based on observational studies of those who had a glass of red wine a day but did not take into account their other habits. Recent changed in 'recommended' weekly units of alcohol are in keeping with the evidence that alcohol is associated with an increased risk in cancer."

4. Getting a base tan can prevent sunburns

"There has never been any evidence to suggest that a base tan protects against a sunburn. It is not a substitute for good SPF protection."

And you know what we do have concrete evidence for? The fact that sunbeds and unprotected sunbathing can give you skin cancer/

5. Sleeping with a bra on can give you breast cancer

"This has been debunked. The myth originated from an American study that proposed that wearing a bra cut off lymph drainage from the breasts. However, the studies comparatively showed no significant differences between the two test groups."

6. Eating late at night makes you gain weight

Over the years, how many times have you heard a celeb say that they stop eating at 7pm – latest?

Lots of people do swear by eating earlier in the evening but that's probably down to following a kind of intermittent fast and nothing to do with actually storing fat by eating late. If that was true, the whole of Spain would be morbidly obese.

"There is no evidence to support this myth. Calories are calories regardless of when eaten, however eating late at night can cause problems such as ingestion/heartburn."

7. If you crack your knuckles you'll get arthritis

"The cracking is due to a release of gas (oxygen, nitrogen and carbon dioxide) that builds up in the joint; it does not increase the risk of arthritis.

"This is why after you've cracked them once or twice you can't immediately crack them again because the gases need time to build up."

What a relief.

8. Vitamin C prevents colds

There's no doubt that vitamin C has a tonne of health benefits.

It's been shown to help reduce the appearance of wrinkles, bring down high blood pressure and potentially help manage cancer.

But it can't stop you from picking up a virus.

"There's no evidence to support this. Vitamin C can help the immune system function better in general but not fight a virus."

9. WIFI causes cancer

Remember when everyone started freaking out that WIFI emissions were going to suddenly start making cells multiply? Yeah, that's not a thing.

"There is no good evidence. A few studies have suggested an association with an increased risk, however, the radiation emitted by WIFI is not the type that can cause direct damage to human tissues and no accredited study has proven that WIFI causes cell change or cancer."

10. Juice cleanses rid your body of toxins

The classic detox debate: companies and reality TV stars try to convince us that we need help getting toxins out of our bodies when we actually have organs to do that already.

"Our body detoxifies itself through the digestive tract, liver, lungs and kidneys.

"Juice cleanses may contain less calories and fat than normal meals and make us lose weight, but they don't 'detoxify' anything."

To see what other common health beliefs are totally false, click here.

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