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Testing The Miracle Pins

Pinterest has leapt on to the social networking scene, and exploded to unpredictable popularity. Along with intricate recipes and DIYs that the average person would struggle for days to complete, Pinterest also boasts a wealth of simple solutions and quick fixes. Often, these quick fixes pertain to health and beauty, or a recipe that involves sticking two premade things together and calling it baking.

The almighty Pinterest, which has become one of the top social media websites throughout the course of 2012.

I was not convinced about the effectiveness of some of these miracle answers. So, I asked a few friends about some things they would like to see done, and put one such solution to the test. The task seemed simple enough. All I needed was a lemon and some honey, and I could instantly have my blackheads erased. According to the description of the task, one simply had to put three to four drops of honey on a halved lemon, and exfoliate the face using the fruit. After letting the mixture sit on your face for five minutes, you rinse with cold water and voila- blackheads gone.

The idea was that the honey would moisturize your face while the citric acid killed the bacteria clogging your pores and bleached the blackheads that had already formed. Going into this activity with an open mind and entertained roommates, I sincerely expected to rinse off the very fragrant goo and see a noticeable difference with my skin. So after five minutes of smelling bitter and sweet, and being the joke of my roommates, I rinsed off the concoction.

The result? Nothing. My skin just burned because of the acid and felt gross because of the honey. My blackheads were no less visible, and if anything, the honey made my pores seemed more clogged in the following days. I repeated the same process a few days later and reached the same conclusion.

Boo. Hiss.

Usually, if something seems too good to be true, that’s probably because it is. After my bad experience with the lemon, I’m going to be testing these with a bit more skepticism. There are thousands of “solutions” circulating that, if proved to be true, could be beneficial, especially to students when they tend to be described as “powerful and cheap.” You can either take the risk of a little bit of embarrassment and test them for yourself, or use your friends as guinea pigs. Really, it’s a win-win situation. If it works, you’ve found an awesome means of self-improvement. If it doesn’t work, well, you’ve made a memory.

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Food Myths: DEBUNKED!

Food has innumerable benefits. Some contain vitamins, antioxidants. They keep your heart pumping, your eyes seeing. Some even turn you on. But not everything you hear about what groceries have to offer is true. Take these five common food myths for example:

Stop overthinking your shopping trips from here-on out! You’ve been LIED to!

1. Caffeine Cures Headaches: FALSE. Caffeine is not necessar­ily a headache cure, although it may be known to help certain people. It is a hit and miss type of drug, and because its affects cannot be pre­dicted and lack consistency, it is not a cure. Caffeine can be found in cer­tain types of relief medications, but that is to spread the medicine more quickly throughout the bloodstream. In many instances, caffeine actually makes headaches worse because it increases the speed at which blood pumps in the brain.

2. Cranberry Juice and UTIs: OVERHYPED. Cranberries contain natural preventatives to help protect against, and treat bladder infections. This enzyme called flavanol is sup­posed to work by clinging to cells in the urinary tract. Comprehensive reviews, however, indicate that cran­berry companies are overhyping the effects. In a few studies, flavanol was shown to work in only certain women. Regular women would need to drink at least two glasses of cran­berry juice a day over a long period of time to receive the same effects. Do not bother popping a cranberry pill to cut out the effort; they were found to be significantly less effec­tive than regular juice.

3. Warm Milk Treats Insomnia: SKEWED. The fact that it is milk is less important than the fact that it’s warm and filling. Many attributed milk’s drowsy effects to its con­taining tryptophan, an amino acid that makes the hormone serotonin. In milk, though, one digests many amino acids that compete, and often counteract, tryptophan. Unlike most warm products, like tea, it contains no caffeine, which helps sedate its drinker. Other than that, a warm glass of orange juice (as disgusting as that is) would have the same effect.

4. Echinacea Wards Off Colds: FALSE. To date, there is nothing known to prevent colds. Echina­cea, when taken properly over an extended period of time, has been shown to reduce the length of a cold and its severity. However, these ef­fects are similar to those of taking vitamin C at the onset of a cold, and this last one requires less effort.

5. Dark Chocolate is Good for the Heart: FALSE. Cocoa contains antioxidants that can help reduce blood pressure, and in certain tests, chocolate has been found to im­prove blood flow without raising cholesterol. But this is chocolate is different than the dark bars found on the grocery shelves. Those bars do not have high enough cocoa content to provide adequate protection from heart related problems. The type of dark chocolate recommended is not typically considered tasty; it contains 70 percent cocoa or higher.