3 of the Most Widely-Believed Health Conspiracy Theories

dentalIn the world of health and science, there are always a select few who get it into their head that the big, scary doctors and scientists are out to get them. It can start with the most ridiculous of theories that no one believes (doctors are making you eat an apple a day because they are filled with mind controlling serum!) and can go all the way up to the top, where things start to seem just a bit more plausible for certain non-educated people (vaccines are bad and we should stop taking them right now!)

Now, normally this fear arises from a complete misunderstanding of the concepts being presented to them or a lack of knowledge and fear, and we usually can expect people to dismiss them for what they are. However, a few of these conspiracy theories latch on in the public consciousness, causing widespread distrust and, in many cases, actual harm to the people who believe in them. Why does this happen? Well, the internet is a crazy, crazy place, and many have yet to grasp the fact that people on the internet aren’t always the experts you might believe them to be.

3. Dental Amalgams

Though perhaps not the most well-known conspiracy, the idea that dental amalgams can cause cancer—a common theme on this list—has been around for quite some time. The idea is that, because amalgams (or fillings) contain trace amounts of mercury, our bodies are being subjected to multiple sclerosis, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease. At first gasp, this may seem plausible—after all, mercury poisoning is a real thing, so putting mercury in your mouth can’t be safe, right?

While that is true, the problem in this case is how small the dosage actually is, as well as the type of mercury that is involved. Amalgams are actually a blend of copper, silver, and very trace amounts of inorganic mercury. Not only are these small amounts not generally harmful to the human body, inorganic mercury is especially hard for our bodies to absorb. This renders the mercury that is present within dental amalgams basically harmless, while also proving those conspiracy theorists out there—like many times before—absolutely wrong.

2. The Fluoride Conspiracy

1307288_water_drops_1This is one that you’ve probably heard over and over again; the government is poisoning the water supply with fluoride and we have to get them to stop! Millions of people across the world hold relentlessly onto the theory that this “mass medication” is actually truly harmful to your body. Some have even gone so far to say that you can overdose on water—if you drink too much—and that fluoride treated water—which, spoiler alert, is basically all potable water in developed countries—can actually lower your IQ, poison you, and have all other sorts of horrible consequences.

And yet, all of these claims have been systematically debunked by scientists all over the world. You see, what people don’t understand is that fluoride already exists naturally in most water supplies, and the fluoridation of water is only slightly increasing the concentration (to one part fluoride per million parts water). It’s been proven time and time again to be safe and effective in preventing tooth decay, and yet still people bitch and moan about all the supposed side effects. The truth of the matter is this is a conspiracy that has been beaten into the ground for years, studied and re-studied until scientists probably started getting bored with the whole thing. All of this points to one result; fluoride is safe, and is there to heal your teeth—not give you cancer.

doct51. Vaccines are actually Harmful

The anti-vaccine drum beaters have been around long before Jenny McCarthy did her whole talk show run in the early 2000’s, decrying vaccines as the ultimate evil, but never has it been more popular than now. It seems like everywhere you look, you see people discussing the adverse effects of vaccines, claiming they cause autism, and the result has been a mass of uninformed citizens denying their children to medicine that could and would save their lives. The problem? It’s all complete bullshit. The connection between vaccines and autism, time and time again, has been disproved by scientists the world over, and has only been exacerbated by the slew of high profile actors and actresses calling out scientists on their supposed conspiracy. Take it from us, and from this source and this source and this source (and this source); get your children vaccinated if you want them to be healthy and happy. You’re only stacking the cards against them if you don’t.

 

Tyler Fleck is a conspiracy debunker extraordinaire in his free time and a multi-faceted blogger during his day job. For more information concerning those juicy, juicy conspiracy theories that are out there, contact him at thflec@gmail.com; or, if you are a dentist looking for more dental information (or dental billing software), check out Curve Dental. They are conspiracy free and should be able to help you out.