Health facts and fiction

Think a detox is a quick antidote for a month of excess? We debunk this and a couple of other popular health myths.
 
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01 .Body parts

iStock_myths_lead

Myth: Regular exercise lets you have your cake and eat it

Exercise contributes a lot to good health, benefiting muscular strength, cardiovascular fitness, blood pressure, cholesterol levels and bone strength. It’s particularly important for maintaining muscle mass if you’re dieting. However, many people overestimate the kilojoule-burning benefits of exercise.
When you consider it takes the average person half an hour of brisk walking just to exercise off a chocolate biscuit, or a one-hour jog for a slice of cake and an iced chocolate, it’s easy to see that the energy intake from more than one or two small treats a day is going to exceed the energy burnt in an average exercise regime. In addition to over-rewarding exercise with treats, studies have found that when people have exercised a lot they tend to compensate by moving less throughout the rest of the day.

Verdict You can’t outrun a bad diet.


Myth: You should brush your teeth straight after drinking fizzy drinks to prevent tooth damage

Acidic drinks such as juice, sports drinks, wine and carbonated soft drinks (including “diet” soft drink) temporarily soften the tooth’s enamel, as do acidic foods such as vinegar, pickles and many fruits. This is known as dental erosion, and is a different issue from decay or cavities, which are caused by bacteria feeding off sugars in your mouth. The enamel’s hardness is gradually restored with the help of saliva. However, softened enamel may be abraded if you brush your teeth too soon after consuming acidic food and drink, and experts recommend you wait at least an hour before brushing your teeth. Snacking and grazing also makes it difficult for the enamel to recover. Reducing your consumption of acidic foods and drinks to meal times can help, as can swishing water around your mouth, eating a piece of cheese or chewing sugar-free gum.

Verdict: Wait before you brush.


Myth: The appendix is a redundant organ

Commonly thought to be a vestige of our bark-eating days, the appendix is largely regarded as redundant and therefore unnecessary. This, combined with the potential high costs of evacuation and threat to life if people overwintering in Antarctica (and similar long-term circumstances of isolation) were to contract appendicitis, has led to routine prophylactic appendectomies being carried out – after all, if you don’t need your appendix, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

However, scientists have recently come up with an explanation of its function, which is a storehouse for beneficial gut bacteria. It’s thought these bacteria replenish stocks usually present in the gut if they’re wiped out by gastrointestinal diseases such as cholera and dysentery. While it’s possible for these bacteria to be replenished by contact with other people, in sparsely populated areas – or eras – the appendix is or was more important. Even today, in societies where gastrointestinal disease is common, including some developing countries today, the appendix may still have a valid and important function.

Verdict: While it’s not strictly redundant, in modern Australian society your appendix is probably not necessary.

 
 

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Paul's opinion:

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1 MONTH AGO | Hi there, my partner bought a Homemaker steamer from Kmart a few months ago. It was kept in our guest bedroom. Turns out it had some kind of slow leak through the bottom of the unit and the resultant dampness in the carpet beneath created an awful mould stain over time. Are these units not water-tight? Surely an appliance that is designed to hold water in a reservoir must be 100% water-tight, no?

 
 
 
 
 

 
 

MC's opinion:

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3 MONTHS AGO | I've been using steamers for years and can't do without one. However, I've found that they typically don't last more than a year or so. Do you have any information on the longevity of different brands?

 
 
 
 
 

 
 

jaclom's opinion:

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5 MONTHS AGO | I've just bought the Tefal minute steamer- Myer special $119.00. I bought it mainly for school shirts. I can steam iron a shirt in a few minutes easily with good results. I've now gone on to my trousers, t-shirts etc. I have a front loader and items are more creased than a top loader, but the Tefal seems a winner. Thanks for the recent update.

 
 
 
 
 

 
 

LBDuck's opinion:

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8 MONTHS AGO | It has been 18 months since this test. Given that garment steamers are gaining popularity, are you thinking of repeating the test with newer models? It would be great to see the high end models (Sauber, Wertheim...) included too.

 
 
 
 
 

 
 

Heather's opinion:

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10 MONTHS AGO | Hi can anyone tell me where to purchase the excelsior professional clothes steamer in Vic or online? Thanks

 
 
 
 
 

 

Paul's opinion:

  • Member since: 17 Jan 13
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1 MONTH AGO | Hi there, my partner bought a Homemaker steamer from Kmart a few months ago. It was kept in our guest bedroom. Turns out it had some kind of slow leak through the bottom of the unit and the resultant dampness in the carpet beneath created an awful mould stain over time. Are these units not water-tight? Surely an appliance that is designed to hold water in a reservoir must be 100% water-tight, no?

 
 
 
 
 

 
 

MC's opinion:

  • Member since: 19 Apr 13
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0
 
User Profile

3 MONTHS AGO | I've been using steamers for years and can't do without one. However, I've found that they typically don't last more than a year or so. Do you have any information on the longevity of different brands?

 
 
 
 
 

 
 

jaclom's opinion:

  • Member since: 04 Oct 12
  • 3 Comments
  • 2 Replies
0
 
User Profile

5 MONTHS AGO | I've just bought the Tefal minute steamer- Myer special $119.00. I bought it mainly for school shirts. I can steam iron a shirt in a few minutes easily with good results. I've now gone on to my trousers, t-shirts etc. I have a front loader and items are more creased than a top loader, but the Tefal seems a winner. Thanks for the recent update.

 
 
 
 
 

 
 

LBDuck's opinion:

  • Member since: 14 Sep 14
  • 1 Comments
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0
 
User Profile

8 MONTHS AGO | It has been 18 months since this test. Given that garment steamers are gaining popularity, are you thinking of repeating the test with newer models? It would be great to see the high end models (Sauber, Wertheim...) included too.

 
 
 
 
 

 
 

Heather's opinion:

  • Member since: 17 Nov 06
  • 1 Comments
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0
 
User Profile

10 MONTHS AGO | Hi can anyone tell me where to purchase the excelsior professional clothes steamer in Vic or online? Thanks

 
 
 
 
 

 

Paul's opinion:

  • Member since: 17 Jan 13
  • 1 Comments
  • 0 Replies
0
 
User Profile

1 MONTH AGO | Hi there, my partner bought a Homemaker steamer from Kmart a few months ago. It was kept in our guest bedroom. Turns out it had some kind of slow leak through the bottom of the unit and the resultant dampness in the carpet beneath created an awful mould stain over time. Are these units not water-tight? Surely an appliance that is designed to hold water in a reservoir must be 100% water-tight, no?

 
 
 
 
 

 
 

MC's opinion:

  • Member since: 19 Apr 13
  • 1 Comments
  • 0 Replies
0
 
User Profile

3 MONTHS AGO | I've been using steamers for years and can't do without one. However, I've found that they typically don't last more than a year or so. Do you have any information on the longevity of different brands?

 
 
 
 
 

 
 

jaclom's opinion:

  • Member since: 04 Oct 12
  • 3 Comments
  • 2 Replies
0
 
User Profile

5 MONTHS AGO | I've just bought the Tefal minute steamer- Myer special $119.00. I bought it mainly for school shirts. I can steam iron a shirt in a few minutes easily with good results. I've now gone on to my trousers, t-shirts etc. I have a front loader and items are more creased than a top loader, but the Tefal seems a winner. Thanks for the recent update.

 
 
 
 
 

 
 

LBDuck's opinion:

  • Member since: 14 Sep 14
  • 1 Comments
  • 0 Replies
0
 
User Profile

8 MONTHS AGO | It has been 18 months since this test. Given that garment steamers are gaining popularity, are you thinking of repeating the test with newer models? It would be great to see the high end models (Sauber, Wertheim...) included too.

 
 
 
 
 

 
 

Heather's opinion:

  • Member since: 17 Nov 06
  • 1 Comments
  • 0 Replies
0
 
User Profile

10 MONTHS AGO | Hi can anyone tell me where to purchase the excelsior professional clothes steamer in Vic or online? Thanks

 
 
 
 
 

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