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As you are having a nice dinner with your old friend, reminiscing about the glory days, something tickles the back of your throat. After noticing your discomfort, your friend excuses himself to get some water for you, and you hope that he brings back bottled water rather than a glass of water from the tap. But is one healthier than the other?
Bottled water comes with its own “glass” and is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. Also, there is no concern about old pipes (think Flint, Michigan), sewage leaks, pesticide runoff, and other factors. Tap water is regulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act, avoids adding plastic to the environment, and is less costly.
The benefits of cautiously and thoughtfully defaulting to tap water are worthy of consideration. Bottled or tap can be useful depending on the context, but it’s difficult to argue that the decision can affect your health.
As kids, it was commonplace for adults to preach about the importance of vegetables and how carrots could help you see better at night. But does eating carrots really improve your night vision?
The idea first originated in the early 20th century during World War II, at a time when the British were subjected to nightly German bombings. Eventually, the British devised radar stations that were used to detect these German aircrafts passing overhead. However, in order to ensure that German intelligence would not catch on, the British spread propaganda that improved night vision from eating carrots was how they detected German bombers at night.
And there is a grain of truth in the matter. Carrots contain vitamin A, which is a key building block of molecules responsible for both low-light and color vision. It is the light-sensitive part of rhodopsin, a protein in rod cells in the retina of the eye that is particularly sensitive to light. People who are deficient in Vitamin A may not see as well at night. But Vitamin A and carrots do not improve sight in individuals that have sufficient vitamin A. The fact that health advice can be based on old war propaganda is one of the reasons we encourage you to always “Think Twice.”
If you’re looking in the mirror and see a lone gray hair, it might be tempting to pull it out. However, there have been warnings that plucking out strands of gray hair can result in multiple more appearing. Is that true? Should we avoid pulling out the gray strands?
Hair gets its color from melanin, a pigment in our hair, eyes, and skin. The amount of this pigment decreases as we age, and less melanin is produced. Once these pigment-producing cells in the hair follicle die, our hair displays no color, which we interpret as gray. Plucking one gray hair does not impact the hair follicles around it since the surrounding cells are still alive and will maintain our natural hair color.
There may be another reason not to pluck gray hairs. Each time you pluck a hair, it grows out thinner or may not grow back at all.
It may seem like plucking on gray hair leads to others, but that’s probably just your head aging. Plucking a gray hair does not affect the other hair follicles, but it does damage that one follicle you pluck. Embrace the gray or choose to dye your hair, but don’t fret about plucking.