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Review: 'Don't Swallow Your Gum!' by Drs. Aaron E. Carroll and Rachel C. Vreeman

What's it about? Thirst is not a signal that you're dehydrated. Dog mouths are not cleaner than human mouths. And spinach doesn't get extra credit as a strength-enhancer. So say these Indiana University School of Medicine physicians in Don't Swallow Your Gum! Myths, Half-Truths, and Outright Lies About Your Body and Health.They combed through medical research to assess the evidence, not the anecdotes, behind various notions and misconceptions.

Who knew?

• Yes, your eyeballs will pop out if the eyes aren't closed during a sneeze.

• Double-dipping with chips really can transfer bacteria into the dip, especially if the dip is runny (as with salsa — and no, the acid level won't save you).

• Mayonnaise-containing food such as potato salad is far less likely than unwashed fruits and vegetables — or undercooked meat — to make you sick at a picnic.

• The five-second rule won't protect dropped food from germs, but then germs aren't the only issue.

Worth the read? Yes, especially if you appreciate people who admit when they just don't know the answer. For example, letting someone urinate on a jellyfish sting. They conclude: "Our motto in this situation would be: 'When in doubt, don't let someone pee on you.' "

Tami Dennis, Los Angeles Times

Don't Swallow

Your Gum!

Drs. Aaron

E. Carroll

and Rachel

C. Vreeman

St. Martin's Griffin

$13.95

Review: 'Don't Swallow Your Gum!' by Drs. Aaron E. Carroll and Rachel C. Vreeman 07/31/09 [Last modified: Friday, July 31, 2009 5:30am]
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