Most of us have a vague idea of how digestion works: we eat food, break it down (that’s the scientific term, right?) and, somehow, profit. But without a better understanding of what goes on in there, we’re liable to believe a few bizarre myths that have become commonplace.
In reality, our digestive tract is a complex system with many parts that communicate with each other and the rest of our body. It’s also very adaptable to what we put in it, and doesn’t need specific food combinations or “cleanses” to keep working at its best. Here are some of the top myths about digestion, and the truths behind them.
We all love seafood — but the ocean can be a terrifying place. The ocean depths are home to some deadly and poisonous creatures… so of course, people always try to eat them. Here are the scariest fish dishes you could possibly eat.
The article is incorrect – they’re not beheading the squid. They’re cutting its abdomen off. The brain of a squid is wrapped around its esophagus (between its eyes) – it’s very much is alive and very much with brain when they start to pour soy sauce on it.
The fact that a cephalopod brain is wrapped around its esophagus is what renders those fantasies of future cephalopod overlords so silly, because a bigger brain would mean they’d starve to death.
Researchers at the University of California — San Francisco found study participants who drank pop daily had shorter telomeres — the protective units of DNA that cap the ends of chromosomes in cells — in white blood cells. Short telomeres have been associated with chronic aging diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and some forms of cancer
The article is quite brief – here’s a link to the study. They performed a cross-sectional study across ~5,000 adults, looking at the effect of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB), non-carbonated SSBs, diet soda, and fruit juices. They adjusted for socio-demographic and health-related characteristics, and found that SSBs are correlated with shorter telomeres; fruit juice with longer telomeres, and no difference for diet sodas and non-carbonated SSBs. They might have been looking at a lot of different nutrition factors and only reported those which appeared significant after the experiment (obligatory XKCD)
TLDR: Soda Pop Damages Your Cells’ Telomeres
Something else to keep in mind is that consuming crbon dioxide (CO2) rapidly, as happens when drinking carbonated beverages, leads to stomach expansion. The stomach is capable of increasing in size to accommodate a large meal but if the practice is habitual the stomach will actually grow in size permanently. There is a nerve where the esophagus meets the stomach that triggers when the stomach is full. When triggered it tells the brain to stop eating (you are no longer hungry). Studies have linked an enlarged stomach to overeating/obesity because of not feeling sated. While it may not have a direct link to obesity, there is evidence it may be indirectly linked.