Ask The Pharmacist: Health myths versus facts

Suzy Cohen

About eyes

Contrary to popular belief, some people can keep their eyes open when they sneeze! Also, green is the rarest eye color to have.

A scan of a human eye.

About that trick knee

Some of you have a trick knee (or shoulder) that can predict weather. Basically, you can tell when bad weather or a storm is coming with one off our bum joints. As the barometric or atmospheric pressure drops (before a storm), tissues in joints expand a little bit, and your knee or shoulder may feel it and alert you by experiencing pain.

Some of you have a trick knee (or shoulder) that can predict weather.

About spinach

Some nutritionists still recommend spinach for people who have iron-deficiency anemia due to the iron content. Even Popeye made it famous for building up muscles. But the fact is that the iron content isn’t as high as you were told.

Spinach is a rich source of nutrients, such as vitamin A, specifically beta-carotene; vitamin K, which helps with blood clotting and bone health; and folate, which reduces the risk of certain birth defects.

It was mistakenly reported as 35 grams instead of 3.5 grams per serving, due to a printing error where the decimal point got moved. The chemist made a mistake in 1870 and it’s still being perpetuated. 

About #2

Pushing out waste in the wee hours of the morning doesn’t happen because we have sophisticated neurons in our gut that follow our 24 hour circadian rhythm.

The bladder however, is only so big, and you might not be able to hold urine for 6 hours while you’re sleeping.

About burping

Also termed eructation, this is just your body expelling gas through your mouth. Most people burp between eight and 20 times a day.

It’s not objectionable to burp out loud after eating a meal in certain parts of China, India and a small island in the Middle East.

About amnesia

This occasionally happens after mind-blowing sex, and luckily it’s temporary. People can lose their immediate memories. It’s clinically termed “Transient Global Amnesia” and it can also occur after strenuous activity like vigorously exercising, jumping into hot water or a brain injury.

About hair

The color grey is a neutral tone between black and white and it really just appears due to the absence of color in the hair shaft. While it’s not a hard-fast rule, blondes have more hair on their heads than redheads, however each hair shaft is thinner in diameter.

stock image

Redheads on the other hand, tend to have thicker hair shafts and less hair. Hair grows faster when you sleep. 

About your tongue

Like that unique fingerprint, you also have your own tongue print. The average tongue has thousands of taste buds.

About your ticker

A human heart will beat about 2.5 billion times in an average lifetime. By the way a football weighs just slightly more than your heart.

About kissing

It lowers cortisol which is a stress hormone known to inflame the body. So kissing is a natural anti-inflammatory. And get this, while I wouldn’t call it romantic, it’s still interesting … the longest kiss on record goes to a Thai couple who locked lips for a 58 hours and 35 minutes! Eeew. 

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Suzy Cohen is a registered pharmacist. The information presented here is not intended to treat, cure or diagnose any condition. Visit