06/01/2012 01:38 pm ET Updated Aug 01, 2012

5 Ridiculous Medical Myths You Probably Believe

When somebody wants to make you feel OK about your shitty life, they'll usually say, "At least you have your health." If you don't have that, they'll remind you of how easy modern medical advances have made your illness compared to the past. They're not wrong. Anyone who's ever had surgery should absolutely be grateful it wasn't done with a hot poker and a shot of whiskey, as it would have been years ago. But the truth is that most of us aren't exactly doctors when it comes to our knowledge of modern illness. A lot of what we know and believe about how to avoid being sick is based on old wives' tales and approximately as medically advanced as the idea that masturbation causes blindness.

For instance, you probably believe that ...