Questions tagged [medical-science]

Use this tag for questions about the science of medicine and its practices. Use [medications] for questions about the actual cures that people take, and use [alternative-medicine] for claims about cures and practices which are claimed to be alternative to official medical science

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88 votes
6 answers
9k views

Do mobile phones have anything to do with brain cancer?

Is there evidence for a correlation between the use of mobile phones and the occurence of brain cancer? If yes, is there also evidence for causality?
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165 votes
4 answers
25k views

Does being cold increase your chances of catching the common cold?

"Everyone knows" - a scary statement - that you get "a cold" from being cold. Now it seems to be a fact that you don't, because you get a cold from a (rhino)virus, not from the temperature. But is ...
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111 votes
6 answers
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Is alcohol beneficial in small amounts?

It's widely believed that consuming small amounts of alcohol has many health benefits. As a matter of fact, a lot of alcohol might be good for you, as Wired Magazine reports: It’s one of those ...
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65 votes
3 answers
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Is acupuncture an effective treatment?

What evidence is there for or against acupuncture being an effective treatment?
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16 votes
3 answers
2k views

Is routine screening for breast cancer for asymptomatic women worthwhile?

Relatively recently, the United States Preventive Services Task Force made a small change in what its recommendations for routine mammograms, suggesting that they should not be performed on asymptotic ...
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19 votes
1 answer
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Does the presence of a cellphone affect sperm count or heart rate?

A doctor from my girlfriend's family was talking to her over the weekend. She explained to me that he was talking about how there is proof that cellphones decrease sperm count when being stored in a ...
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15 votes
2 answers
6k views

Does earthing reduce oxidative stress and inflammation?

The other day my friend asked what I think about "earthing" claiming that their products provide electrons we used to get from walking barefoot on the earth surface and that they have positive (...
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59 votes
3 answers
8k views

Does burning your food increase your risk of getting cancer?

About a year ago I heard that burning your food can lead to an increased risk of getting cancer. The explanation was that the burned portion of the food was carcinogenic. The Carbon that would be ...
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69 votes
1 answer
20k views

Is food cooked in a microwave oven harmful for the health?

A colleague of mine just made a comment about cooking food in a microwave oven. According to him it is considered to be harmful to one's health. Is it true?
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31 votes
2 answers
6k views

Does drinking milk lead to osteoporosis?

The China Study authors state that: osteoporosis is linked to the consumption of animal protein because animal protein, unlike plant protein, increases the acidity of blood and tissues. They add ...
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21 votes
1 answer
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Does screening for prostate cancer save lives?

The Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) Test is used by doctors in many regions of the world to test for prostate cancer and other prostate disorders. Some people recommend its use for screening - i.e. ...
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69 votes
5 answers
6k views

Is the placebo effect a purely psychological effect?

The placebo effect plays a crucial role in clinical trials and in our understanding of medicine, but I have always had some difficulty in understanding how exactly it works. Is it a purely ...
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49 votes
3 answers
40k views

Does regularly drinking from a plastic container cause cancer?

I drink water from my plastic cup regularly and a friend commented that it could cause cancer. He also added that I should not heat food in plastic containers or wrappings in the microwave as that ...
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52 votes
2 answers
3k views

Is it harmful to your eyes to read in dim light?

Is there any scientific backing to the claim that reading in dim light damages your eyes? Related to: Does watching television damage the eyes?
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45 votes
2 answers
5k views

Has most peer-reviewed research on homeopathy given positive results?

I was surprised by the following claim from NaturalNews: Most clinical research conducted on homeopathic medicines that has been published in peer-review journals have shown positive clinical ...
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41 votes
1 answer
4k views

Is refilling water bottles bad for you?

On a lot of bottles of so called mineral water, it is advised not to refill the bottle (with ordinary tap water, or any other drink e.g. cola) as doing so may present a health hazard. Is there any ...
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40 votes
4 answers
5k views

Is it possible to "boost your immune system"?

I often hear claims that some activities, nutrients, ... "boost" your immune system. My understanding of the immune system is that it is a finely tuned machine with enormous destructive power. If ...
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18 votes
3 answers
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Is sleep training a form of neglect or harmful?

Some people claim that "crying it out" is harmful. For example, the article on PhD Parenting states that crying it out is harmful to a child. I've heard others suggest that it's neglectful. I expect ...
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24 votes
1 answer
4k views

Do those hologram bracelets do anything at all?

Bracelets such as Energy Force and Power Balance bracelets claim to improve balance, agility, strength, etc. The demo at the health expo seemed pretty convincing but how can it possibly work?
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35 votes
3 answers
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Is secondhand smoke dangerous?

There seems to be little doubt in public opinion that second hand smoke is dangerous, and I can see why. But many smokers have claimed to me that it is not dangerous at all and it is all media hype. ...
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6 votes
3 answers
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Has SARS-CoV-2 been purified in a lab? If not, does this imply that the PCR test for it is not specific?

Dr. Sam Bailey gives a number of references in her YouTube video on PCR tests stating the virus has never been purified as in actually separated from the infected cells. I'm curious if this is ...
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107 votes
6 answers
15k views

Is smoking weed bad for your health?

Some people believe that smoking marijuana (without any tobacco) is harmful to your health and may cause problems. Examples of things I've heard weed supposedly causes: All the health problems of ...
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54 votes
1 answer
21k views

Can standing in front of a microwave oven give you cancer?

I was heating up some lunch in the microwave oven at work a few weeks ago, and peered into the window to see if my soup was bubbling yet. At that point a coworker walked into the lunch room and ...
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39 votes
1 answer
3k views

Does eating carrots improve your eyesight?

A common belief in Sweden is that carrot improve your eyesight and I was told many times when I was little to eat carrots. Although anecdotaly I have perfect vision without carrot-gluttony. Is there ...
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27 votes
5 answers
7k views

Is salt "white death"?

Salt is sometimes known as "white death" due to the belief that an excess intake of salt can cause substantial damage to health. What evidence exists to support or contradict the idea that excess ...
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23 votes
1 answer
3k views

Does using a laptop on your lap lower your sperm count?

It is sometimes claimed that using a laptop on or in proximity of testicles can result in a lower sperm count. This Health.com article claims: Can a laptop computer really affect a man’s ability to ...
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18 votes
1 answer
6k views

Does changing your pH balance change your mood?

I have read that eating more alkaline foods and changing your pH balance reduces stress and anxiety. For example, see Eat a Lemon, Feel Less Stressed: Stephanie McClellan, MD, and Beth Hamilton, ...
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20 votes
2 answers
7k views

Does smoking cigarettes cause lung cancer?

My friend is a smoker. His dad is a doctor. Both claim there is no firm proof that cigarettes cause lung cancer. This article makes a similar claim -- in particular that smoking cigarettes is not ...
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34 votes
1 answer
4k views

Can swimming after having eaten make you drown?

Some people, including my mom, believe that it's very dangerous to bathe after having eaten without waiting approximately 1 hour (the amount of time depends on what you have eaten). I have two ...
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21 votes
3 answers
3k views

Recommended alcohol drinking quantity: are they just making it up?

From an NHS website: To lower your risk of health problems, the NHS recommends that: men should not regularly drink more than 3-4 units of alcohol a day women should not regularly drink more than 2-3 ...
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29 votes
5 answers
3k views

Is some level of radiation "good for you"?

"With the terrible earthquake and resulting tsunami that have devastated Japan, the only good news is that anyone exposed to excess radiation from the nuclear power plants is now probably ...
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31 votes
4 answers
22k views

Was the virus which causes COVID-19 made in a Chinese lab?

This idea was discussed in the Washington Times (no longer available at the original site: on archive.org. The article discusses whether SARS-CoV-2 (the virus which causes COVID-19) could have been ...
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27 votes
3 answers
12k views

Can blue light from LCD panels cause damage to the eyes?

In Japan there is quite a fad about LCD blue light filtering and how they might help reduce eyestrain, etc. The web site of a major computer accessory manufacturer has an English-language press ...
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24 votes
3 answers
2k views

Do weather changes affect arthritis?

My father always claims he knows when a storm is coming by the pain in his knee. It turns out he might not be as crazy as I thought. Many people with arthritis report varying pain levels as a result ...
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38 votes
3 answers
4k views

Is water fluoridation harmful?

There’s a controversy going around whether the benefits of water fluoridation outweigh the potential harms. What is the evidence for the harm this may cause and what evidence supports the health ...
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  • 907
31 votes
2 answers
3k views

Is the use of parachutes supported by peer-reviewed papers?

While googling about Ben Goldacre, I came across the following reductio ad absurdum argument: Nerd, can you point me to the data that shows that wearing a parachute increases your life expectancy ...
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17 votes
2 answers
2k views

Are sperm counts in men decreasing significantly?

It is widely believed that sperm counts in men are suffering a significant decline over the last century (e.g. see this article in the Independent which assumes the decline is happening and the only ...
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42 votes
2 answers
5k views

Is it dangerous to have several vaccines at the same time?

As a parent, I often hear people say that they think it's bad for their children to have several vaccines in one go. Some parents pay for some vaccines to be given separately, and I wondered if there ...
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41 votes
3 answers
3k views

Is monosodium glutamate (MSG) bad for you?

Anecdotal evidence blames the consumption of MSG for several symptoms such as headache, nausea, weakness, heart palpitations etc. Most migraine literature cites MSG as a potential trigger (example) ...
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32 votes
2 answers
25k views

Pirates with a prosthetic hook: Lore or Truth?

Was it common practice for pirates to replace a lost hand with a prosthetic hook? Or was this lore perpetrated by fiction and Hollywood? It does seem like a reasonable choice, since a hook is a ...
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30 votes
1 answer
14k views

Do dairy products cause phlegm to build or thicken?

It is a common advice, perpetuated by many parents, and even some doctors, that if you have a cold, you should avoid dairy products, because they cause phlegm to build up or thicken. See e.g. Foods ...
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  • 6,061
26 votes
1 answer
4k views

Is HIV the cause of AIDS?

"If there is evidence that HIV causes AIDS, there should be scientific documents which either singly or collectively demonstrate that fact, at least with a high probability. There is no such ...
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16 votes
2 answers
2k views

Are anti-smoking advertisements in actuality promoting smoking through use of reverse psychology?

Years ago, I had a friend who was both a heavy smoker and a noted contrarian. One day as we were driving past a large anti-tobacco billboard he told me he thought that telling smokers not smoke was ...
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8 votes
1 answer
1k views

Do aluminum-based antiperspirants cause cancer?

Some people claim that the aluminium in antiperspirants can cause cancer. For example, Mercola.com: Putting on antiperspirant is a routine part of most people's day, and you may not think much ...
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25 votes
2 answers
4k views

Is the human menstrual cycle related to the lunar cycle?

I've heard that the female menstrual cycle follows a pattern of the lunar cycle, mostly as an evolutionary adaptation so that menstruation (and hence detectability by predators because of the smell of ...
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18 votes
1 answer
8k views

Does sleeping with our heads pointing towards north pose any health risks?

Does sleeping orientation (pointing one's head in a specific direction) has anything to do with any health problems(even minor ones)? If Earth's magnetic field has any detrimental effects on our ...
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18 votes
3 answers
2k views

Is the "Electromagnetic Field Sensitivity" study reliable?

Until recently, I have only heard about studies proving electrosensitivity being entirely a nocebo effect. Now I just found out about a study: Electromagnetic Field Sensitivity, William J. Real et ...
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15 votes
2 answers
968 views

Does regular handwashing with antibacterial soap prevent disease?

I recently heard from a preschool teacher that they now have kids wash their hands many times throughout the day. When they enter the classroom, before they eat, after they eat, after playing on the ...
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10 votes
3 answers
3k views

Is there no risk-free level of second hand smoke?

The Surgeon General released a report in 2006 regarding the dangers of secondhand smoke (SHS). One of the claims in the report is: There is NO risk-free level of secondhand smoke exposure, with even ...
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  • 8,925
25 votes
4 answers
53k views

Does homeopathic zinc (Zicam) help with the common cold?

I'm sick, and my friend had me buy store brand Zicam to help with it. Looking at the bottle after taking it, I thought the ingredients were written strangely. "Zincum Aceticum 2x", it says, when I ...
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