25 Questions About Your Health Answered

Is my microwave emitting death rays ? Is bird influenza still a menace ? I do yoga, but should I besides be lifting weights ? You do n’t need to waste another irregular wonder and worry. We ‘ve got the definitive answers correct here.

1. Could my cell phone kill me?
It seems unlikely. But if you use your mobile phone a lot, consider getting an earpiece or putting your caller on speaker so you can hold the phone away from your head. The biggest study yet, in which Danish researchers tracked 420,000 cell phone users for up to 21 years, found no cancer risk, but much of the data was collected when cell phones were more of a novelty than a primary form of communication. In a smaller recent Israeli study of 1,726 people, heavy cell phone use raised the risk for salivary gland tumors 50 percent on the side on which the subjects usually held the phone (though the risk overall is still vanishingly small). The biggest threat, however, has nothing to do with cancer: Driving while talking on a cell phone puts you in the same league as a drunk driver. You’re four to five times more likely to have an accident.

2. Will vitamin D save my life? Should I really be taking four times the recommended daily dose?
A growing body of evidence strongly suggests that vitamin D in high doses not only helps keep bones strong but also reduces the risk of colon, ovarian, and breast cancers, and diseases such as diabetes and multiple sclerosis. And many of us don’t get enough because of a lack of exposure to sunlight (the sun triggers D’s production in the skin) or diets that omit good sources (fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, and tuna, and fortified milk and cereal). While the official daily dose for people age 51 to 70 is 400 IUs, most experts agree that they should aim for 800 to 1,000 IUs of supplemental D a day. But if you’re under 50 and you consume the recommended 200 IUs (the equivalent of two glasses of milk daily) and get 10 to 15 minutes of sun exposure—without sunscreen—a day, a 400 IU supplement should do you fine.

3. Is it okay to cleanse your body by fasting from time to time?
As long as you are in good health, a brief liquid fast or cleanse is fine. But don’t expect wonders—other than a sense of personal accomplishment, perhaps: Any physiologist will tell you that properly functioning lungs, liver, kidneys, and intestines do a fantastic job of keeping your body free of impurities without the help of fasting. If you do pursue a fast, always make sure to drink enough fluids to avoid dehydration.

4. Can I trust my tap water?
Sure. Unless you’re on a private well, tap water comes from municipal treatment plants that are carefully monitored and better regulated than bottled water. (Some popular brands like Aquafina and Dasani are just that: tap water.) Very strict federal rules now require extensive filtering of the water supply, but minuscule amounts of chemicals and pharmaceuticals may still turn up. If you want to ensure you’re drinking the purest water possible, consider adding a filter to your tap. For information on filters, go to NRDC.org/waterfilters.

5. Is my microwave giving me cancer?
No. Microwaving doesn’t alter food in any way that could make you sick. All a microwave does is spur the water molecules in your food to move, and the friction of those molecules heats up your meal. The ovens do generate a tiny magnetic field, but there’s very little evidence that such a field poses a problem for humans. What’s more, there’s an easy way to avoid any potential harm—step back when the oven is on.

6. How long am I contagious when I have the flu or a cold?
As long as you have symptoms. Your ability to spread these viruses remains until the last sniffle, says Bill Schaffner, MD, a physician and infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville. And you’re contagious 24 hours before you first show symptoms.

It seems improbable. But if you use your mobile telephone a fortune, consider getting an earphone or putting your caller on speaker so you can hold the phone away from your head. The biggest analyze yet, in which danish researchers tracked 420,000 cell call users for up to 21 years, found no cancer gamble, but a lot of the data was collected when cell phones were more of a novelty than a basal form of communication. In a smaller holocene Israeli report of 1,726 people, big cell earphone use raised the risk for salivary gland tumors 50 percentage on the slope on which the subjects normally held the telephone ( though the hazard overall is hush vanishingly small ). The biggest threat, however, has nothing to do with cancer : Driving while talking on a cell telephone puts you in the same league as a drink driver. You ‘re four to five times more probably to have an accident.A growing soundbox of evidence strongly suggests that vitamin D in high doses not lone helps keep bones hard but besides reduces the risk of colon, ovarian, and breast cancers, and diseases such as diabetes and multiple sclerosis. And many of us do n’t get enough because of a lack of exposure to sunlight ( the sun triggers D ‘s production in the bark ) or diets that neglect good sources ( fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, and tuna, and fortified milk and cereal ). While the official casual dose for people age 51 to 70 is 400 IUs, most experts agree that they should aim for 800 to 1,000 IUs of supplementary D a day. But if you ‘re under 50 and you consume the recommend 200 IUs ( the equivalent of two glasses of milk daily ) and get 10 to 15 minutes of sun exposure—without sunscreen—a day, a 400 IU supplement should do you fine.As hanker as you are in estimable health, a brief liquid fast or cleanse is fine. But do n’t expect wonders—other than a sense of personal skill, possibly : Any physiologist will tell you that by rights functioning lungs, liver, kidneys, and intestines do a antic occupation of keeping your body free of impurities without the help of fasting. If you do pursue a fast, always make certain to drink adequate fluids to avoid dehydration.Sure. Unless you ‘re on a private well, tap water comes from municipal discussion plants that are cautiously monitored and better regulated than bottle water. ( Some democratic brands like Aquafina and Dasani are good that : tap water system. ) very hard-and-fast federal rules now require across-the-board trickle of the water provision, but minuscule amounts of chemicals and pharmaceuticals may distillery turn up. If you want to ensure you ‘re drinking the purest water potential, consider adding a percolate to your tap. For information on filters, go to NRDC.org/waterfilters.No. Microwaving does n’t alter food in any way that could make you vomit. All a microwave does is spur the water molecules in your food to move, and the friction of those molecules heats up your meal. The ovens do generate a bantam charismatic field, but there ‘s very fiddling tell that such a discipline poses a trouble for humans. What ‘s more, there ‘s an easy way to avoid any likely harm—step back when the oven is on.As long as you have symptoms. Your ability to spread these viruses remains until the survive sniff, says Bill Schaffner, MD, a doctor and infectious disease adept at Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville. And you ‘re catching 24 hours before you first show symptoms.

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