Rob Sealey, MD and Dave Hepburn MD hosts of cross country radio program WISE QUACKS

HITS & MYTHS of Public Medical Information from  " W i s e  Q u a c k s "  Medical Doctors

Dr. Dave Hepburn MD & Dr. Rob Sealey M.D.

Samples of HITS & MYTHS from Radio Program Doctors

This section reveals some of the common and intriguing myths in the world of medicine and discusses some of the exciting recent medical discoveries and how they affect your world. 


This is not true...if anything,it might actually speed up the digestive process since most gum contains an artificial sweetener called Sorbitol that acts as a laxative. Thus, eventhough the gum may not be broken down by the enzymes in the stomach and intestines, it passes right on through the gastrointestinal tract quite quickly and is still relatively intact...meaning that the gum that goes in your mouth actually comes out the other end looking much like it did in the package (minus the flavor). Chewing gum researchers (dubblebubbleologists) have discovered that the use of gum after abdominal surgery helps to prevent prolonged paralysis of the peristalsis within the peritoneum (wrap your tongue around that one ten times)...thus, a stick of gum after an operation may be better than a stick of dynamite to get them bowels moving again...
   above from Dr. Rob Sealey, 2008


Another classic myth...many ladies are hesitant to shave their 5 o'clock shadow because they believe that more hair will grow back in it's place. However, shaving just cuts the hair at the skin surface and has no effect on the part of the hair shaft below the surface which is where hair growth and pigmentation occur.

Although the hair may seem to grow faster after shaving, it's just an illusion...a small amount of new growth on a clean-shaven face is much more noticeable than on a bearded lady. Also, the blunt stubbly ends of recent growth can appear as darker, coarser hair...thus, unless you plan on joining the circus, it's OK to clear-cut the forest.
   above from Dr. Rob Sealey, 2008


False...this is a morbid myth. The reality is that hair and fingernails appear longer after death not because they have kept growing, but because the skin around them has retracted. After we die, dehydration causes the skin and other soft tissues to shrink (this happens to some people's brains when they are still alive) while the hair and nails remain the same length thus making you think that Uncle Frank got hair extensions and a manicure for his funeral.
   above from Dr. Rob Sealey, 2008

The following photo of is from our Humorous Articles Section
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Sturgeon Surgeion - or - fish tales from the one that didn't get away from Dr. DAve
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Credits & © Copyright Information

The stories and comments on this website are, unless otherwise noted, written by Dr. Dave Hepburn and/or Dr. Rob Sealey and owned by Web Quacks Ltd.

Photos and graphics on the site are either published or republished with permission of the owners.  Note also we try to put credit notes on the materials.

The inspiration for this site is ultimately from our radio show listeners, readers of our newspaper columns and of course our patients, friends and guests on our programs.  Thank you - all!

The last update on the site has been 2008.12.12-0528/1337 by nc.


Dr. Sealey checks out Dr. Hepburn's cognitive health just before going on air with the WISE QUACKS PROGRAM at the Radio station

MORE HITS & MYTHS in the Health & Medical World

Is Laughter the Best Medicine?  
( Hits & Myths )

Actually NO...medicine is really the best medicine for most things that ail matter how funny a heart attack may seem, it makes absolutely no sense to sit back and laugh your way through a myocardial infarction. However, the good news is that laughter can make a difference in the way our body deals with infection and other body stresses with little chance of treatment side effects (unless you strain a muscle from guffawing too hard).

According to a study published in the March, 2001 edition of Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, titled Modulation of Neuroimmune Parameters During the Eustress of Humour-Associated Mirthful Laughter (makes you chuckle just thinking of the pranks those scientists must have pulled), having a good chortle was beneficial in boosting the immune system.

In their research, the laughter specialists (actually called gelotologists for you trivial pursuit buffs), measured blood samples from 50 men before and after they watched a 1 hour comedy video. The results revealed an increase of plasma immunoglobulins, natural killer cell activity, total leukocytes and a whole bunch of other stuff that we need to fight off infection.

So, the next time somebody sneezes in your direction, try and laugh it off.

Hits & Myths: by Dave Hepburn M.D. & Rob Sealey M.D.

"Using a Tanning Booth Before You Go to Hawaii Prevents You From Getting a Sunburn"
( Hits & Myths )

Many individuals spend part of their holiday money on going to a tanning salon in an effort to prevent getting 'burned' when they arrive down south but this is mythful thinking...there is no safe way to tan-period. Tanning beds produce on average 5x the Ultraviolet A radiation that the sun emits at high noon in the summer. Extensive research has found that 59% of 'fake and bakers' develop some form of skin related injury and that 1st exposure to sunbeds before the age of 35 increases the risk of melanoma (the deadliest form of skin cancer) by 75%.

Eventhough the World Health Organization has recommended that individuals under the age of 18 be banned from tanning salons, it is estimated that in North America more than 25% of teenagers have used sunbeds at least 3 times. Besides the evidence of increased skin cancers with the use of artificial tanning, there is no protective benefit against getting a sunburn when you're boogie-boarding in Maui...bummer.

"You Have to Wait 30 Minutes After Eating Before Going Swimming"
( Hits & Myths )

This is a classic "myth" that likely originated in the minds of parents as a way to relax after a nice big meal and delay having to watch the kids in the lake. Most people believe this is a reasonable rule to follow because we've all heard that blood rushes from every crevice of the body to our stomach in order to absorb the cheesecake we just inhaled. However, the actual process of digestion in the stomach organ lasts about 4 hours and the entire waste management system can take up to 20 hours...depending on what we ate and how anal an individual is. So, if it was true that we had to wait for digestion to finish before splashing about, we would have to fast the day before...

The above 3 sample "Hits & Myths" have been a part of one of the favorite segments for listeners to the Wise Quacks weekly radio program.

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