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제 2 호 Is it Really True?

  • 작성일 2019-06-12
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Is it Really True?

Pseudoscience Fact or Fiction

by Eun-ji Lee, Editor-in-Chief & Min-gyeong Lee, Editor

dmswl716@naver.com & lee.mkpeach@gmail.com

Younger generations commonly seem to be relatively safer to non-scientific superstition compared to older generations who receive less benefits of generalized public education. However, pseudo-science products are found here and there, and the products get much attention indeed. Therefore we would like to point out general pseudoscience and check the facts.

Can Air Purification Plants Remove the Micro Dust? Exaggerated fact

Tillandsia known as one of the air purification plants

  Particles of the micro dust usually include metal, nitrate, sulphate, tire rubber, exhaust gas and so on. The foreignsubstances cause the respiratoryillnesses after they stick to the lungs through the bronchialtubes. They also can generate a stroke which is a cardiact disorder by being absorbed into a blood vessel. Recently, it is revealed that they can damage the body organs which are not related torespiratoryorgans such as the brain, central nervous system, liver, and even the generative organs.

  In this situation, I am sure that you would be happy to find out the air purification plants that remove the micro dust. The plants showed their abilities to purify the air in some experiments. They reduced the level of micro dust almost 70% by adsorbing the dust on their leaves. However, the test was carried out in a box one meter in width, length, and height that is far away from our life environment.

The test carried out in a limited size box

  In the test, the plants occupy half of the space. It means that if you want to obtain the before-mentioned effects of the plants, you would have to fill half of your life environment with the plants like the Amazon. Therefore, using an air cleaner would be effective to improve the air quality.

Do Anti-Electromagnetic Wave Stickers work? Exaggerated fact

Various anti-electromagnetic wave stickers

  So far, the electromagnetic waves generated in daily life have been judged as harmless to humans because their intensity are not that strong. However, there is no clear evidence about if long exposure of the electromagnetic waves will have negative effects on the human body. Thus, it is necessary to prepare the proactive measures according to the precaution principle.

Modern people who always have smart phones are exposed to the electromagnetic waves. Some people put the anti-electromagnetic wave stickers on their phone to block them out.         Nevertheless, it is hard for communication devices to completely block the waves because they use radio waves. According to the National Radio Research Agency, the stickers on a smart phone showed the effect of blocking the electromagnetic waves but they lowered the antenna performance, call quality and even blocked the transmission and reception. In order to effectively block the electromagnetic waves, you should reduce the hours of your smart phone use or use earphones when you talk on the phone for a long time.

Does Detox Juice Release Toxins? Fiction

 Detox juice

  Body wastes are by-products that are thrown out of a human body such as nitrogen oxide, ammonia, dead cells and so on. Most of the materials absorbed into the human body pass through the liver and they are handled as suitable forms for the body. The liver also decomposes the body wastes and they are excreted from the urine after the kidneys filter them.

  A so-called “detox juice” is known for releasing the body wastes in the form of feces. However, all the metabolites are discharged through the urine or sweat. When the wastes cumulate in the body  because the functions of the liver and kidneys weaken, it is more suitable to artificially remove them by a hemodialysismachine* more than drinking the detox juice.

  The detox juice has lots of vitamins and fiber, so it is good for health. However, it can not detoxify the body. Some detox juices include the ingredients having the efficacy of medical herbs, roots, and tree sap. You should not drink them without proper consultation because these ingredients put a lot of strain on the liver and kidneys.

The electromagnetic waves from the microwave are dangerous? Exaggerated

  The so-called "Microwave Spooky Rumor" is typically as follows:

  “When food and water are heated in a microwave oven, vibration changes the molecular arrangement, which is harmful to health, and carcinogenic substances are produced.”

  “Useful nutrients are destroyed, bad cholesterol is increased, and human immunity is weakened.”

  The scary story takes the form of typical rumors that occur every time a new technology becomes universalized. Although the comments of foreign experts are often cited, there is no such paper, and there are hardly any real experts.

  Furthermore, more horrible and aggravated rumors spread:

  “The electromagnetic waves from the microwave can negatively affect the secretion of male and female hormones and cause emotional anxiety and reduce intellectual ability.”

  “If you give the plants microwaved water, they will die.”

  The fact that an ectromagnetic wave usually called a microwave used in a microwave oven vibrates 2 billion times a second, and it vibrates and heats food molecules in that way would be commonly mentioned, is interesting.

  What is important is, "Is heating through electromagnetic waves such as microwaves really a unique phenomenon and is it dangerous?" The scientific explanation of each superstition is as follows.

  First of all, we should know the concept of electromagnetic waves. As the word looks difficult, it stimulates people's endless imagination but the light that we can often recognize in the eye, visible light and far-infrared rays well-regarded as being good for health also exist in the spectrum of electromagnetic waves. However, far infrared rays have a frequency of about one thousand to ten thousand times that of microwaves, and visible light has a frequency of about 100,000 times. 

설명: electromagnetic spectrum.pngElectromagnetic spectrum

  The microwaves in the wavelength range used in microwave ovens are utilized because they resonate well with water molecules. Regardless of heating in a microwave oven or heating with fire, the molecules of heated food vibrate anyway. Rather, the method of heating with the use of fire changes foods more severely, raising the temperature to over 100 ° C. In the process of cooking with a fire or oven, it is said that it is far more dangerous in relation to carcinogens, due to smoke, etc. In addition, by using the microwave oven, the cooked food does not receive enough energy that is so powerful that it can emit dangerous energy such as radioactivity.

  Finally, when hot water is poured into the plant, regardless of whether it is heated using a microwave oven, or heated with fire, it should be the same that the plant would die because the roots must be cooked and become unable to function. It can be viewed as a level of false rumor similar to the play of words like "Chocolate is dangerous because people who ate chocolate at Valentine's Day must die (someday)."

Is the bread made with natural yeast healthier? False information

설명: advertising bread made with natural yeast.PNG△ Advertising bread made with natural yeast

  First of all, it is wrong from the premise. If there is “natural yeast”, does “artificial yeast” exist? Yeast is a kind of single-celled fungi or a commercial leavening agent containing yeast cells, which is used to raise the dough in making bread and for fermenting beer or whiskey.

  In other words, because it is a cell that is a kind of life, if artificial yeast exists, that means humans have already reached the level where they can put DNA and organelles together and make small living things completely. This would be by far a bigger issue than news that bread made with natural yeast is better. 

  If so, how do people who sell "Bread made with natural yeast" explain their products? They say, "Artificial yeast was made for factory-scale mass production. It is called artificial yeast because it is artificially cultured by selecting species among the large number of naturally occurring yeasts, which are suitable for the specific people’s interest. On the other hand, natural yeasts become beneficial and stronger in the process of countless fungi living competing and co-existing with one another in nature.”

  Also, in the process of making natural yeast, they use an early form of bread fermentation technology using fruits such as grapes as in ancient times. Bread made in this way is sour because lactic acid fermentation takes place at the same time. They insist that the sour taste is the original taste of nature but in fact, in the past history, bakeries and consumers have made several devises to neutralize their sour taste. In the 19th century, the development of microbiology revealed the presence of yeast, and people began to find and improve yeast suitable for making bread. 

  People selling bread made with “natural” yeast also argue the benefits of lactic acid bacteria, however, the lactic acid bacteria that were in lactic acid fermentation all die when bread is made at a temperature of 200 ° C. If those bakeries have not used wild wheat for bread, they have no choice but to use wheat that has been modified to produce more quantities in line with the trend of history. After all, the bread is an artificial one. To conclude, making a judgment based on the dichotomy of artificial and natural and ignoring the efforts of humanity in the past are not valid and right.

Are processed foods more harmful than natural foods? No

  Again, it is the confrontation; “New civilization VS Classical way”, “Artificial VS Natural.” Fearing and doubting new things can also be human instincts left to DNA. However, it can be a problem for the media to easily spread exaggerated information using the psychology of these people. When searching for “processed food”, which is one of the representative examples, there are overwhelmingly many statements that are concerned with its danger rather than defending statements. So are some letters uploaded to the elementary school bulletin boards on their websites. "Cancer onset risk" and "Risk of food additives" can be rediscovered, which often appears in rumors like this.

  In terms of each individual component, this is quite exaggerated. When comparing processed foods and natural foods, this can be false information. In fact, all food products have good and bad points at the same time and processed food is rather more strictly controlled, as it has a lot of public concern. Of course, many people are raising questions about the quality of government management and it is also true that these people’s doubts are not very irrational. However, the problems of food safety and risk are not limited to “natural and artificial” confrontation. 

  Therefore, it is necessary to have an attitude to comprehensively judge by checking the hygiene level and each component. There is no safe food if you focus only on certain ingredients. For example, a strong legal system for social fear of chemicals that are at risk of developing cancer in the United States was proposed in 1960, but was eventually discarded. This is because carcinogens and harmful substances were detected not only in processed foods but also in almost all natural foods. These arguments actually began with the problem that processed meat produced in the United States in the 30's and 40's had an excessively poor hygiene management. 

Yet, various kinds of news announce the problem of processed food only such as bad irritation, excessive sodium, etc. People are often not interested in the similar issues of natural food, but rather are promoting them as health food. For instance, Capsaicin in chili pepper, octagon and other spices and other irritating ingredients can adversely affect the stomach and esophagus.

  Foods, such as salted fish and pickles, can also contain excessive sodium and have an adverse affect on the liver and kidneys. However, people concentrate only on the good points in the case of Korean kimchi and have a vague sense of insecurity as to Western sausages. Having a moderate amount is more significant.

*Hemodialysis machine: A machine used in dialysis that filters a patient’s blood to remove excess water and waste products when the kidneys are damaged, dysfunctional, or missing.