Lately, I’ve taken to wearing a lanyard around my neck, which holds my keys and a series of store tags from the places where I usually shop. Since I began this practice I have not lost my keys once! Until today, it has been a lifesaver. However, while checking out of Ace hardware this morning, when the cashier asked for my tag, I held up the ACE one for him to scan. Without looking, he grabbed it—not realizing that it was attached to me—and almost pulled me across the counter. “Whoa there,” I said, “or you’ll have me in your lap.” Poor kid was horrified. The incident set me thinking about the ways we try to protect ourselves but don’t always do so. Some recent cases in the news come to mind:
- Should I still be taking Omega-3 supplements? New information says this is not always a good idea as it can cause blood thinning and excessive bleeding among other issues.
- Should I be eating gluten free? New studies show that unless you have certified celiac disease, you might be causing more harm than good. You may even be increasing your risk of heart disease. They’ve also discovered that gluten is a good prebiotic that actually feeds the ‘good’ bacteria in our gut.
- It’s on ads all over TV, but is Prevagen really a safe drug to take for a sharper mind? Um, nope. Not according to the science.
- Should I be slathering myself with conventional sunscreens? Um, not unless I want the chemicals in them going smack into my bloodstream and liver.
- Are routine dental x-rays really no big deal? They always tell you that the ‘radiation exposure is minimal,’ but do you realize that if you don’t insist on a lead, shield collar for your neck, you can actually fry your thyroid and end up with hypothyroidism or cancer?
So what’s the takeaway? I guess that it’s, still, after more than 2,000 years, just what the Greek poet, Hesiod advised us in 700 BC: “all things in moderation.” Otherwise, the apparently helpful things we think we are doing might ultimately cause more harm than good. Or, like me, you could end up in a strangers’ lap simply because you didn’t want to lose your keys.