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Dog's Mouth is Not Cleaner: Dr. Oz Debunks Health Myths

Tim Boyer's picture

On the Dr. Oz show, Dr. Oz debunks some of the most commonly held health myths that often leaves people divided over what is reality and what is not. To clarify what is true and what is not, Dr. Oz takes a look at a few myths and demonstrates what is actually happening with the human body using a variety of props and science demonstrations to illustrate his point.

Chicken soup can help cure a cold
“It’s the truth,” says Dr. Oz. “Chicken soup does work. It does help with the common cold.” Dr. Oz explains that chicken soup works by getting chemicals your body needs directly to where they need to be in order to combat fever; and, that it wakes up the immune system so that it can respond to your cold. “If you make your chicken soup thin,” advises Dr. Oz, “you can inhale those fumes, those vapors and they will help as well.”

You’re more susceptible to a cold if you go outside with wet hair
“It’s a myth,” says Dr. Oz. “You are not susceptible, at all, if you go outside with wet hair. It does not make a difference.” Dr. Oz explains that what is true is that it is easier to catch a cold during the cold weather season, but that having wet hair has nothing to do with it. Rather, that what is important are the air conditions and how germs can travel in the air.

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“In the winter months the air is cold, it has less humidity in it, and so guess what? Germs travel differently,” says Dr. Oz. He explains that in less humid air, germs are less able to travel and are more prone to settle on you and near your mouth and nasal passages where infection occurs. However, with warmer and more humid summer air, the germs are kept aloft by the humidity and are less likely to settle near your mouth and nasal passages.

Green mucous is a sign of an infection
“It’s the truth,” says Dr. Oz. “When an invader comes into your body, they [your nasal passages] have to respond. And they respond in a very specific way—they makes mucous.” Dr. Oz explains that during an infection the mucous will contain white blood cells and as the mucous clears out of your nasal passages, that the iron in the white blood cells begins to oxidize and turn green. Because you have a continuous, ongoing infection that stays in the body before leaking out, the mucous will accumulate with more white blood cells and take on a green color indicating that you are ill. “Being green is a sign of infection,” states Dr. Oz.

A dog’s mouth is cleaner than a human’s
“It’s a myth,” says Dr. Oz. In a laboratory test that cultured samples of swabs from a dog owner’s mouth and her dog, Dr. Oz tells his viewers that the results showed that a dog’s mouth has more bacteria than a human’s. “Here’s why we think that a dog’s mouth is cleaner than ours,” says Dr. Oz. “It turns out that although a dog has many more germs in its mouth than us, that those germs are not dangerous to us. So if a dog bites you, you are much less likely to get infected than if a human bites you.”

Cracking your knuckles is bad for you
“It’s a myth—cracking your knuckles is not bad for you,” says Dr. Oz. “When you crack your knuckles, you create air pockets in those joints. And when you do that, those air pockets begin to build up—like gas builds up.” Dr. Oz explains that the cracking noise is the release of the air pockets from around the joints and it does not damage your joints at all. He says that cracking your knuckles will not cause them to get bigger and it will not cause arthritis.