Whether supplements marketed as memory aids actually work is a matter of debate (and minimal scientific scrutiny), but what seems indisputable is that supplements ought to contain what they say they contain.
Federal investigators tested three popular (but unidentified) supplements. One product branded as Ginkgo biloba didn’t actually contain any leaves of the Ginkgo biloba tree, long touted as a remedy for memory problems, cardiovascular issues and mood disorders. Another listed Ginkgo biloba as one of its ingredients, but again didn’t contain any. Both supplements, however, contained substitute ingredients that investigators could not identify. The third supplement, marketed as fish oil, actually contained fish oil. Investigators’ results were sent to the FDA for review.
Body of Knowledge
The average human head has roughly 100,000 hair follicles, each capable of producing 20 individual hairs over a lifetime (though some, alas, quit early). Blondes typically have more follicles, about 146,000, while people with black hair have about 110,000, those with brown hair about 100,000. Redheads have the least-dense hair, at 86,000 follicles on average.
Get Me That, Stat!
According to the American Hair Loss Association, two-thirds of men have begun to experience some balding by the age of 35. By the age of 50, 85 percent of men have significant thinning, primarily due to male-pattern baldness.
Mania of the Week Oligomania: Obsession with a few thoughts or ideas.
Life in Big Macs
One hour of carrying small children burns 204 calories (based on a 150-pound person), or the equivalent of 0.3 Big Macs. The total is greater, of course, if you carry children who routinely eat 704-calorie Big Macs, assuming you can lift them at all.
Never Say “Diet”
The Major League Eating record for Hostess Donettes is 257 in 6 minutes, held by Joey Chestnut. (This would be more impressive if we were talking about actual doughnuts.)
The patient sat in the exam room, waiting and miserable.
A doctor walked into the room and looked intently at the patient.
“Flu?” asked the patient.
“No, drove to work today,” replied the doctor.
“You’re thinking I’m one of those wise-ass California vegetarians who is going to tell you that eating a few strips of bacon is bad for your health. I’m not. I say it’s a free country and you should be able to kill yourself at any rate you choose, as long as your cold dead body is not blocking my driveway.” — Humorist Scott Adams
This week in 1966, all U.S. cigarette packages began carrying the warning: “Caution: Cigarette smoking may be hazardous to your health.”
Nothing you can ask a doctor about your body will shock them, but there are some embarrassing questions (for the patient, at least) that are surprisingly common.
Here are six:
1. Why do I sweat so much?
2. Why are my feet stinky?
3. Why are my breasts different sizes?
4. Why am I constipated?
5. Why am I wetting the bed?
6. How often should couples have sex?
Imbibing alcohol on a cold day does not actually warm the body. Alcohol causes blood vessels to dilate or open, moving warm blood closer to the skin and making one “feel” warm. In fact, the result is that the imbiber is likely losing body heat faster.
Q: Can you identify these body parts: hallux, purlicue, canthus, gnathion and glabella?
A: The hallux is your big toe. The purlicue is the space between the forefinger and thumb. The canthus refers to the point in the (inner or outer) corner of the eye, where the upper and lower eyelids meet. The gnathion is the lowest point of the jawbone, i.e., the outward point of the chin. The glabella is the smooth part of the forehead, between and above the eyebrows.
“I’ve never felt better.” — American actor Douglas Fairbanks Sr. (1883-1939)