OLD WIVES’ TALES…

o A dog’s mouth is cleaner than a human’s — False. A canine mouth contains 53 types of bacteria while a human mouth breeds only 37. So think twice before giving Spot a kiss on the mouth.

o Reading in dim light will ruin your eyes — False. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, you can’t wear out your eyes by using them in poor light.

o Toads give you warts — False. The skin glands of a toad secrete a substance that can give you hallucinations, but neither the slimy toxic gunk nor the toads cause warts.

o Crack your knuckles and you’ll get arthritis — False. While certain repetitive actions can lead to arthritis, knuckle cracking isn’t one of them.

o If you cross your eyes, they’ll stay that way — False. Stabismus, the disorder that causes misaligned eyes, only affects 4 percent of American children. Crossing the eyes does not cause the disease.

o Arthritis flares up in wet weather — False. People swim and shower without flare-ups and most people stay inside when it rains.

o Spicy foods create stomach ulcers — False. A bacterial infection or overuse of pain medications are the culprits.

o Walking under a ladder is bad luck — True. While a stroll under a ladder won’t endanger your soul, it poses potential dangers from falling buckets and tools.

o An apple a day keeps the doctor away — True. Apples are packed with antioxidants that fight the free radicals that cause cancer and other diseases.

o Chocolate causes acne — False. You can eat as much chocolate as you want and not worry about breakouts, which flare up when the pores of the skin become blocked with oil.

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