Decoding Health Trends: Separating Fact from Fad with Eziah Syed


Decoding Health Trends: Separating Fact from Fad with Eziah Syed

In our pursuit of wellness, we often find ourselves caught in the ebb and flow of health trends. From the unconventional to the time-honored, these trends often claim to hold the key to a healthier life. 

Eziah Syed

In our pursuit of wellness, we often find ourselves caught in the ebb and flow of health trends. From the unconventional to the time-honored, these trends often claim to hold the key to a healthier life. In this blog series, we embark on a journey to dissect and analyze some of the most intriguing health trends circulating on social media.

Join us as we navigate through anecdotal evidence, scientific insights, and common sense to uncover the truth behind these trends. Will sleeping with lettuce truly be the remedy for a restful night, or is it merely another leafy notion? Let's dive in and decipher the science behind these wellness phenomena.

Falling Asleep with Lettuce

Far too many of us are sleep deprived and desperately searching for answers. In our quest for a good night zzz’s, we often turn to various remedies, from herbal teas to melatonin supplements. One unconventional yet increasingly popular thing we’re seeing in social media is lettuce water. In this article, we explore the potential benefits of lettuce water as a natural sleep aid.

The humble leafy green lettuce contains lactucarium, a milky substance with mild sedative properties. This compound is known to have a calming effect on the nervous system, making it a potential ally in promoting relaxation and sleep. While the sedative properties of lactucarium are not as potent as those of prescription medications, many people report that incorporating lettuce water into their bedtime routine can have a positive impact on their sleep quality.

Is it supported by science?

While there isn’t a lot in the way of published studies, we did come across this animal model, which suggests that extracts from green romaine lettuce did have a positive effect on promoting sleep. Mouse models don’t always translate to humans so we add that with an additional caution that this was only one study. 

However, given the growing body of anecdotal evidence, the known mechanisms of lactucarium, and the high safety profile, we don’t think there’s any harm in drinking up your warm lettuce water before bed. At worst it will be a soothing bedtime ritual and at best, it may actually promote quality zzz’s.

Ginger Shot a Day, Will Shed the Pounds Away

Ginger, a spice known for its unique flavor and medicinal properties, has been used for centuries in traditional medicine. Another trend that we are recently observing more and more of is the idea of taking a ginger shot daily to promote weight loss. Is this quackery or is there something to it?  In this article, we'll delve into the potential benefits of incorporating ginger shots into your routine as a tool for weight loss.

Ginger, derived from the root of the Zingiber Officinale plant, is renowned for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Additionally, ginger has been linked to various health benefits, including improved digestion, reduced muscle soreness, and enhanced metabolism. The role in digestion and enhanced metabolism, in particular, make it a promising candidate for those seeking natural ways to support their weight loss journey.

Here are some potential ways in which ginger shots could help with weight loss:

Boosted Metabolism: Ginger has thermogenic properties, meaning it can increase the body's temperature and, in turn, boost metabolism. A higher metabolic rate can contribute to burning more calories throughout the day, even at rest.

Appetite Suppression: Some studies suggest that ginger may help reduce feelings of hunger, which can be beneficial for those looking to control their calorie intake and make healthier food choices.

Improved Digestion: A healthy digestive system is crucial for effective weight management. Ginger has been known to aid digestion by promoting the smooth movement of food through the digestive tract and preventing bloating and indigestion.

Blood Sugar Regulation: Maintaining stable blood sugar levels is essential for weight management. Ginger has been shown to help regulate blood sugar levels, potentially reducing cravings for sugary and high-calorie foods.

Is it supported by science? We’re not aware of any specific studies on the ginger shot per day trend, however, given the abundance of data supporting the healthy aspects of consuming ginger, we don’t see any downside to taking a ginger shot per day. Of course, if you have any health concerns, it’s always important to check with your doctor first.

Not the Time for Tape

I’ve seen it on social media and admittedly it caught my attention, however, I was enticed whether it had any anti-snoring benefits. Not that I need an anti-snoring solution. 

An unconventional yet increasingly popular trend gaining attention is mouth taping while sleeping. This practice involves applying a small piece of tape over the lips before bedtime to encourage breathing through the nose. While it might sound unusual at first, proponents of mouth taping claim a range of benefits, from improved sleep patterns to enhanced overall health. In this article, we will delve into the science behind mouth taping and explore its potential advantages.
Mouth taping is a straightforward practice that involves using gentle, breathable tape to seal the lips during sleep. The idea is to promote nasal breathing and discourage mouth breathing, which can allegedly have a range of positive effects on health.

The benefits of intentional nasal breathing are as follows:

Improved Oxygenation: Nasal breathing is the body's natural way of taking in air. The nasal passages are designed to filter, humidify, and warm the air before it reaches the lungs. This process ensures that the body receives high-quality oxygen, leading to improved overall oxygenation.

Enhanced Sleep Quality: Breathing through the nose has been linked to better sleep quality. Nasal breathing helps regulate airflow, reducing the likelihood of snoring and promoting a more restful night's sleep. Adequate oxygen intake is crucial for various bodily functions, including cellular repair and regeneration that occur during sleep.

Optimal Carbon Dioxide Levels: Nasal breathing helps maintain a balance between oxygen and carbon dioxide in the body. Breathing through the nose allows for better control of carbon dioxide levels, preventing over-breathing, which can be common during mouth breathing.

Support for Respiratory Health: Nasal breathing can contribute to better respiratory health by promoting optimal function of the nasal passages and sinuses. It may help reduce the risk of respiratory infections and conditions such as asthma.

So what does science say? According to Harvard Medical School: “While intentional nose breathing during waking hours can offer many benefits — including slowing breathing, filtering allergens, and easing anxiety — taping your mouth while sleeping to achieve this can prove risky, leading to hampered breathing, disrupted sleep, or skin irritation. There's no research to support the measure, which, in certain cases, could significantly reduce a person's oxygen levels while sleeping.”

Given the potential risks and lack of supporting clinical evidence, we would recommend steering clear of this particular trend. We’ll be happy to revisit it if more science comes out supporting it. Until such time, we will label this as social media medical quackery.