Busted myths: what spiders, chewing gum and haemorrhoids have in common

Busted myths: what spiders, chewing gum and haemorrhoids have in common

Maggie Hardy, The University of Queensland; Michael Tam, UNSW Australia, and Vincent Ho, Western Sydney University

As children, we believed our friends and parents when they told us disturbing tales of watermelon seeds growing in our stomachs and changes in the wind freezing our pulled funny faces permanently. But which of these childhood tales is true and what is a myth? We asked three experts whether there’s any truth (or lesson to be learned) to the tales that kept us up at night. Continue reading

Health Check: should we aim for daily bowel movements?

This article was original published in The Conversation.

Health Check: should we aim for daily bowel movements?

By Michael Tam

When I was in my teens, I watched the comedy Crazy People, starring Dudley Moore and Daryl Hannah. Moore plays a burnt-out advertising executive who creates (hilarious) “honest” ads. One of the ads is for the fibre supplement Metamucil which claims:

It helps you go to the toilet. If you don’t use it, you’ll get cancer and die.

Don’t worry, constipation doesn’t cause bowel cancer.

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