'20/20' Busts 10 Body Myths


"It's true not just because they're bigger but because they have an extra enzyme in the lining of their stomach and that enzyme, when it sees alcohol, begins to metabolize it immediately," said Oz. "So only about half the alcohol that they actually drink gets into the bloodstream."

Women, on the other hand, don't have as much of that enzyme in their stomachs. So more of the alcohol gets into the bloodstream and they get drunk quicker.

That gender difference is even more problematic, because while overall drinking trends are down over the past 20 years, many young women are drinking more than ever.

But the more a person drinks, the more their body builds up a tolerance for alcohol, according to Oz. So they actually begin to metabolize it faster.

"So women who are exposed to a lot of alcohol, do begin to catch up to men in their ability to cope with the drinks that they have," Oz said.

But before women get their hopes up that excessive drinking will level the playing field, remember that men still have the biological advantage.

Marijuana Gives You the Munchies

In movie after movie, smoking pot soon leads to binge eating.

"Without any question, marijuana gives you the munchies," Oz said. "And, specifically, you start to crave sweet foods, comfort foods."

The drug affects people's brains in a way that actually makes food more appealing.

"It's not just a mindset," Oz said. "It actually chemically alters the way you perceive food."

Ironically, this drug that gives people the munchies may actually hold the key to controlling people's hunger.

"If we know what drug causes you to get hungry and we can understand its mechanism, maybe we can block that mechanism so you'll never get hungry," Oz said.

At 100 hospitals across the United States, researchers have been studying a drug called rimonabant that blocks the same hunger receptors that chemicals like marijuana stimulate.

"By blocking that chemical we may be able to block your ability to crave foods," Oz said.

Results from seven years of testing the drug are promising.

Pat Robison, who took rimonabant for a year, said it reduced her appetite, and she lost 15 pounds. On average, people lost 20 to 25 pounds and took two to three inches off their waists.

Research on the drug is continuing.

A High SPF Will Fully Protect You from Skin Cancer

You know the drill -- summertime means sun and sun means sunscreen. We're a changed nation these days, fully aware that those warm, enveloping rays can not only crease the skin and age us, they can potentially kill.

But a sunscreen with a high SPF will protect us, right?

Not necessarily. Doctors say the idea that a high SPF is all you need for full sun protection -- is a myth.

But Oz notes that a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 will give you a lot of protection, but it's protection against only one type of sun ray -- UVB rays.

UVB rays are the short ultraviolet rays that cause most sunburns. A sunscreen with an SPF of 30 will do a fine job against them.

But there's another villain that you rarely hear about -- the longer UVA rays that penetrate more deeply beneath the skin.

They're responsible for a lot of your wrinkles, and both can cause cancer. Much of what you buy today claims to offer protection against both UVB and UVA. But it can be difficult to be certain.

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