Social Media Health Trends Debunked – Indianapolis Monthly

Social Media Trend: Adding Raw Garlic in the nostrils

As a decongestant?

Dr David Patterson, immunologist, ascension health

“Eating garlic in pasta or any other dish is good for your body. When it is taken orally it has a lot of excellent properties. But when you stick it on your nose, it can irritate the skin of the nose. is a very potent topical irritant to the nose. It produces a tremendous irritant reaction to the lining – what we call the mucosa. You have mucous glands in your nose, so it’s going to get all the mucus out. It’s just irritating It’s a reaction, not a medicinal thing. In fact, when you put garlic cloves in your nose, they can get stuck. You can irritate your nose and actually get dermatitis, which is an inflammation of the skin inside your nose. There is swelling that will be very uncomfortable. Sticking a foreign object up can cause you trauma. There are simply better ways to open your nasal passages, such as using Vicks VapoRub, which contains menthol. Or some saline nasal Use a spray, a sinus rinse like NilMed, a neti pot, or even Sudafed. These are all great ways to open up your nose. There are vaccines that are safer than putting garlic in it.”


Dr. Kingsley emphasized on the health trend of drinking aloe vera juice to clear acne on social media.  He is in front of Skincare in his white coat.

Social Media Trend: Drinking Aloe Vera Juice

To clear up acne?

Dr Melanie Kingsley, dermatologist, IU Health

Aloe stalks contain juice that may be perceived by some as a social media health trend.

“Be careful. The people who recommend these things on social media usually aren’t doctors. They’re influencers, and they’re looking for ideas. We’ve been using aloe vera on the skin for centuries for wound healing. It has some anti-inflammatory effects. When drinking it, people claiming benefits are probably getting an anti-inflammatory effect, which is calming acne. Aloe also contains antioxidants, which help to clear and brighten the skin. may play a role in. But I would never say, ‘Hey, this is a big fad. Aloe is completely natural, go ahead and drink it,’ because we still don’t know. More to verify Studies need to be done to see if patients are actually getting the results that some are claiming. I would probably say just keep your body hydrated. The central component of aloe, that gel, is 99 percent water. The middle layer latex If you are consuming aloe latex, you are at risk of kidney failure. There is no one way to treat acne. Some people Will answer to wash his face. Some people require oral antibiotics and Accutane. Some people need salicylic acid. There are a lot of different components, and we have to tailor everyone’s regime to what works best for everyone. Sometimes, with over-the-counter medications—things like benzoyl peroxide—we can get a really good response.


Dr. Shea in a blue suit in front of a treadmill.  He's discussing the social media health trend of a keen run.

12-3-30 workout

Running on a treadmill at a 12 percent incline and 3 mph for 30 minutes to burn 30 pounds?

Dr. Richard Shea, cardiologist, Franciscan Health

“This workout actually has some benefits to it. It’s short. It’s easy. And it’s easy to remember: You walk into the gym, dial up the treadmill, complete your 30 minutes, and you’re done. Because you’re on an incline, it’s very efficient. Flat walking burns more calories than walking. You’re not running, so your joints won’t be pounding, and it’s great for building strength and endurance. 3 mph is usually what most of us do just for walking, but that’s a killer of 12 percent. I don’t think most of us can do that going to the gym today. Minutes and then dip back somewhat before taking it to 12 percent. Like most trends, though, the value could be overstated.Lauren Giraldo [the influencer who created this workout] She said she did this five days a week and was able to lose 30 pounds. I think that’s pretty optimistic. As a steady-state cardio workout, I think it’s a great idea. But remember, an element of cardio and an element of strength training — and probably a large element of diet — is what will get you going for both fitness and weight loss. Exercising is helpful, but it’s not magic. It does burn calories, though, so if it keeps you busy, give it a try.


Dr. Fitzsimmons is wearing a stethoscope around his neck.  She has been discussing the social media health trend of drinking lettuce water for better sleep.

Social media trend: drinking lettuce water

As a sleep aid?

Dr. Margaret Fitzsimmons, family Medicine, Hancock Regional Health

A Head of Iceberg Lettuce Is a Social Media Health Trend

“Lettuce is like 96 percent water, so there’s not much else in it. You’ve got a little bit of vitamins A, C, and K, some calcium. Iceberg lettuce doesn’t really contain much of anything. Some of the other dark, green, Leafy lettuces will have more vitamins and antioxidants, like selenium and beta-carotene. While those things are good for your body for keeping inflammation at bay and keeping your immune system strong, I can’t imagine it will make you sleepy. And honestly, there isn’t enough of those vitamins in lettuce to be really helpful, especially once you steep them in water. Now, the warmth of the water before you go to bed can help cool and warm you from the inside out. feel sleepy, and make you feel sleepy. But you can just boil hot water. If you really want to solve this problem, there’s something we call sleep hygiene, and it has caffeine Try to avoid stress, turn off all the lights before going to bed, and turn off all your electronics 30 to 60 minutes before falling asleep. Measures such as Sleep to rest your mind. Maybe take a hot bath to relax your muscles and mind. If those measures don’t help, people can try Benadryl at night. Melatonin is a natural hormone in our brain that is secreted in the evening to make us tired, and over-the-counter melatonin can be used. But whenever you think sleep is a problem, have a talk with your doctor, who will ask specific questions to try to learn about the cause of the problem.


Dr. Arno in his white coat standing in front of the windows with a stethoscope around his neck.  She is discussing eating papaya seeds as anti-parasitic.

Social Media Trend: Consuming Papaya Seeds

as an anti-parasite?

Dr. Janet Arno, infectious disease, IU Health

Papaya is going viral as a social media health trend.

“Parasitic infections are an uncommon problem in the United States. Most parasitic diseases are found in travelers traveling outside the US or to other places. People will bring a stool sample where they see a thread or a small egg-like entity and think think it’s a parasite. Almost always, when we get them into the lab, they’re not. They’re food particles or things like that. For people who actually have a parasite, there’s a study from Nigeria that Eating papaya seeds has shown some small antiparasitic benefits. But this needs to be proven. It wasn’t in adults. It wasn’t in this country. If it was so useful, you’d think a pharmaceutical company would pick it up and isolate a compound and sell it for a lot of money. They didn’t. Papaya seeds have a bad taste and can give you an upset stomach. This particular trend isn’t as dangerous as some, and people can think, If it’s not going to hurt me, why not try it? Because you only delay finding out what you really have, and if it’s something important, you want to know about it as soon as possible. If someone is taking something just for the sake of it, it is only going to lead to problems later on.


Doctor Hodges is wearing a stethoscope in a mint green polo.  He talked about taking zinc to reduce covid infection.

Social Media Trend: Taking Zinc

to cut down A COVID infection?

Dr. Timothy Hodges, internal Medicine, community Health

Zinc tablets are a social media health trend

“Zinc is useful for over 100 enzymatic processes in our bodies. It binds to the protein structure of an enzyme and helps it function. Some of those enzymes aid in immune system function. I don’t think We don’t have any hard and fast studies that say zinc supplements shorten the duration of a COVID infection. But studies have shown that if you use the right kind of zinc, you can shorten the duration of the common cold. can reduce over time. There are different zinc versions out there. Zinc gluconate is the one that seems best to help your body fight off viral infections. People need to be cautious about taking a variety of zinc , however: Intranasal, which has been linked to permanent loss of smell. The safest way to use zinc to strengthen your immune system is orally, either with tablets or lozenges. Zinc as a protease inhibitor acts that inhibit the replication of viral RNA or DNA. When we use drugs like Paxlovid for COVID genes, that drug is actually a protease inhibitor as well. So zinc may both inhibit viral replication and may also help your body’s immune system work more efficiently. However, zinc should never represent a substitute for standard therapy. If you have COVID or any serious viral infection, you should always contact your doctor to get a recommendation for a first aid treatment like Paxlovid. So maybe consider taking an adjunct like zinc to help with your symptoms.

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