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Women's Health

Mother Knows Best

Mom deserves a lot more credit than we give her. Here are 10 things that she got right.
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Husbands

"So when are you going to settle down and get married?" some moms ask their daughters whenever an eligible male walks by -- that is, one with a strong pulse and no wedding band. Besides pleasing Mom, marriage may actually be good for your physical and mental health and even add a few years to your life.

"Healthier people marry sooner and married people live longer," John E. Murray, PhD, a professor of economics at the University of Toledo in Ohio, tells WebMD. After studying life span in a large group of male college graduates, Murray concluded that married men did live longer than bachelors, even when their health in early adulthood was taken into account.

"A spouse tends to tone down the other spouse's self-destructive behavior, like drinking, smoking, and carousing at night," Murray says, "as well as caring for one another when sick and the knowledge of security that brings."

Eyes and Ears

Yes, carrots are good for your eyes -- and so are spinach and collard greens. A 2000 review in the International Ophthalmology Clinics reports that these vegetables, high in beta-carotene, vitamin A, and other helpful vitamins and minerals, may help prevent or even slow down night blindness, the genetic eye disease retinitis pigmentosa -- which gradually leads to blindness -- and other progressive eye diseases.

"Was Mom right when she said not to strain your eyes? Maybe a little," Karla Zadnick, OD, PhD, an associate professor of optometry at Ohio State University in Columbus, tells WebMD. Her research shows a modest link between close work and nearsightedness, "but certainly not enough to suggest that we should stop kids from reading," she says.

Inherited causes of nearsightedness are far more important, Zadnick says. Having one nearsighted parent increases the risk of this vision problem threefold, while children of two nearsighted parents have seven times the risk.

As of this writing, WebMD was unable to confirm Mom's warning that masturbation causes blindness. Sorry, Mom.

"Turn down that loud music!" Sound familiar? A recent study showed that young disco patrons in Singapore suffered measurable hearing loss, and the researchers recommended avoiding loud discos or at least visiting them less often.

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