But do they really know what they're talking about? Here are some answers to a few random health questions, courtesy of Rodale Publishing.
- Is scratching mosquito bites really all that bad? The answer: YES! According to Dr. John Meine, a dermatologist at the Cleveland Clinic, scratching releases histamine from a bite, which causes it to itch even more because your body thinks it's having an allergic reaction. A topical antihistamine like Benadryl can calm the itch. So can ice. But remember, heat also releases histamine. It might feel good at first putting a hot towel on your bite, but it can kick-off a scratch fest that'll leave you raw.
- Should you feed a cold? According to the epidemiology and virology department at the University of Virginia, forget about it! There's NO science behind this old adage. As long as you drink plenty of liquids, it doesn't matter what you eat - or how much. However, the cysteine in chicken soup HAS been proven to relieve mucus buildup and sore throat.
- Should you starve a fever? Again, the answer is no. A high temperature boosts your metabolism, causing you to BURN calories. And if your body doesn't get enough nutrients, it'll weaken and cause the illness to hang on longer. So, try to replace any calories you burn, and make sure you get your recommended daily intake - which the FDA says is about 2,000 calories for women and 2,500 for men. But a word to the wise: if your fever gets to 105 degrees or lasts for several days forget the diet and get to a doctor.