7 Current Popular Pseudoscience Trends Worth Exploring and Questioning ...

Jessica

There are many popular pseudoscience trends that continuously circulate culture, particularly trends and fads related to health and wellness. Pseudoscience may appear to be valid, but these trends generally lack scientific evidence and support, can't be tested, or only contain partial truths. While most of these trends are not harmless, it's best to be aware of where we place our interests and our pocketbooks! Here are a few pseudoscience trends that are definitely worth exploring further.

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1

Fad Diets

Fad diets are nothing new, yet they keep popping up as if they're going to be life-changing. While most diets show quick results, they are not lasting in most cases and you end up gaining the weight back (yo-yo dieting). You can probably think of numerous diet trends that have been proven ineffective at best, which is why this is one of the top pseudoscience trends worth evaluating! It's always best to be skeptical with restrictive diets that cut out major food groups. Stick to a healthy lifestyle instead of dieting by eating clean and exercising!

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Often, these diets tout miraculous benefits but lack sufficient scientific backing. They may even pose health risks, particularly when eliminating essential nutrients. Celebrities and influencers often endorse these trends, adding to their allure, yet without proper understanding of nutritional science. It's crucial to approach such regimes with a healthy dose of skepticism and prioritize balanced eating habits that support your body's needs. Consistency and moderation are key to maintaining a healthy weight and overall wellness, much rather than succumbing to the quick fixes that fad diets falsely promise.

2

Amber Teething Beads

You may have seen these beads around the necks or ankles of your friends' babies, or perhaps even your own baby is sporting one of them! The belief with these amber beads is that they supposedly release a chemical in reaction to the warmth of baby's skin that helps in soothing teething gums. There is also the belief that amber is charged with Reiki energy that's somehow released. Both of these claims are not proven in any way and in fact, amber must be heated to hundreds of degrees to even release its chemical properties. This pseudoscience belief is verified only by the placebo effect and it's good to take note that placing a necklace around a baby's neck poses a serious choking hazard.

3

Detox Cleanses

Another common pseudoscience belief is that you can detox your body through various dietary cleanses and natural, homeopathic remedies like salt baths, acupuncture, mediation, and religious practices. Unless you have been poisoned and are in need of medical attention, your body detoxes all on its own. We're designed to process and eliminate general toxins that we encounter on a daily basis through our liver, kidneys, and intestines. Other remedies may sound convincing and amazing, but they aren't founded on any scientific basis. Supporting healthy body function through clean eating and exercise will be your best option for optimal health!

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Detox cleanses have become increasingly popular in recent years, especially among women. They often promise to rid the body of toxins, but it's important to understand that the body already naturally detoxifies itself through the liver, kidneys, and intestines. Unless a person has been poisoned and needs medical attention, detox cleanses are not necessary or beneficial. Furthermore, many of the methods used in detox cleanses, such as salt baths, acupuncture, meditation, and religious practices, are not based in scientific evidence. The best way to support healthy body function is to eat a balanced diet and exercise regularly.

4

Oil Pulling

Oil pulling is a traditional Ayurvedic remedy that has recently gained a lot of popularity. It basically consists of swishing oils, like coconut or olive oil, in your mouth for 20 minutes as it "pulls" bacteria and other toxins out of your mouth and throat. Oil pulling supposedly acts as a body detoxifier, drawing up toxins from your body and trapping them in the oil, creating a cloudy appearance once you spit it out. This is unfortunately not possible, as amazing as it sounds! The cloudy appearance is due to the reaction of saliva and movement of swooshing, and will contain some bacteria that's been in your mouth. At best, you will have better oral health from swooshing a liquid around and through your teeth but it won't do much more.

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Many enthusiasts claim that oil pulling strengthens gums, whitens teeth, and even improves skin clarity. However, it is important to approach such claims with a healthy dose of skepticism. While there are studies suggesting oil pulling can reduce plaque and bacteria linked to bad breath, these benefits are often overstated. Moreover, oil pulling should never replace traditional dental hygiene practices like brushing and flossing. Relying solely on oil pulling could lead to dental issues down the line. As with any trend, look for objective research and consult healthcare professionals before making it part of your routine.

5

Anti-Aging Cosmetics

Many cosmetics that are currently on the market have outlandish claims that they can prevent or reverse the aging process of our skin. This is not true in any way- it's not possible to reverse signs of aging or prevent them from occurring. Some products help in reducing the appearance of aging signs, like retinol, Vitamin A, and collagen, but they won't reverse any sun damage or other signs of aging. It's best to age with grace, take steps in keeping you skin healthy and hydrated, and remember to wear sunscreen at all times!

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The beauty industry often capitalizes on our desire for eternally youthful skin by advertising products with exaggerated benefits. While ingredients such as hyaluronic acid and peptides may improve skin hydration and texture, they are not the fountain of youth. The best approach is a holistic skin-care routine that includes a balanced diet, sufficient sleep, and stress management. These elements, combined with clinically-proven skincare ingredients, can contribute to a healthier complexion. Remember, while creams and serums can support skin health, no cosmetic product can halt the relentless march of time.

6

Sticking to Traditional Medicine Only

This isn't a remark on anyone's beliefs regarding natural medicine- I adhere to some natural medicine practices and believe they have a lot of merit! However, some disregard western medicine altogether, claiming it's not necessary. As we've advanced in life, so has our ability to prevent and treat disease. Modern medicine is rigorously tested by science and proven to be effective in treatment and prevention. The same cannot be said for most traditional remedies, unfortunately. I do believe we are an over-medicated society and that there is overuse of modern drugs and treatments that can be replaced with lifestyle changes and natural remedies- however, it's important not to neglect regular exams, doctor visits, and medical interventions when necessary to preserve health and wellness!

7

Gluten & Grains Are Inherently Bad

Another pseudoscience belief is that gluten is bad for everyone and that grains, even whole grains, are inherently unhealthy. Gluten is simply a protein found in grains such as wheat, rye, and barley that initiates a reaction in people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. Currently, the craze against grains has exploded and people without any negative reactions to gluten are going gluten-free just because it's popular. The truth is that wheat products and whole grains contain important vitamins, minerals, and fiber essential for digestion and nutrient absorption. On top of that, going gluten-free is tough! Unless you are intolerant of gluten, there's really no reason to cut it out.

While most pseudoscience trends sound valid and generally amazing, most of the time they just aren't and simply play on our wishful thinking and beliefs that they are effective. It's always best to be aware and know the facts- if it's safe, however, and you personally believe a remedy to be effective, then go for it! What are some other pseudoscience trends that you've heard of?

Sources: sciencebasedmedicine.org, m.webmd.com, nyscc.org

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Right on! Keep it real!

Exactly!!!! I especially age with your thoughts on gluten intolerances and the disregard of modern medicine. Everything in moderation :)

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