Supplementing For Your Mind?

supplemfymYou don’t need a doctor’s prescription for SAMe, St. John’s wort, and kava, top-selling natural products for emotional distress. But if you’re thinking of trying them, read this first.

The numbers don’t lie: More people are turning to natural products to case their emotional aches and pains. But buyers beware. The products don’t always deliver what they say they do, as GH discovered when it tested eight brands of SAMe, a high-profile natural antidepressant.

Simply put, what’s promised on the bottle isn’t always what’s inside. In our tests, the amounts of actual SAMe–the active ingredient–varied wildly from brand to brand. In one brand, no SAMe was detected. Because these products are legally classified as “dietary supplements” and not drugs, they are essentially unregulated. David Kessler, Ph.D., M.D., dean of the Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, CT, railed against this lack of oversight during his tenure as Food and Drug Administration (FDA) commissioner, lie and others have called for supervision and regulation of these potent–and, at times, dangerous–products. “We all take for granted that because a product says that something’s in it in the label, it’s actually in it in the bottle,” Dr. Kessler said. “That’s not the case with dietary Read More »

Is Anything Really “Free”?

iarefreeSo what if you have to spend money to get a giveaway? If l bought $25 worth of cosmetics, I figured, I would actually be saving $18!

I have to confess something: I love a free gift promotion. You know, at the department store cosmetics counter, there’s a sign that says, “Free gift with any purchase of $XX.” You buy something you need; you get something free. I love it.

I wasn’t always this way. I used to look at those signs and scoff. I used to think, Some free gift–you have to spend money to get something free. And in the most practical of ways, I wasn’t wrong. But I wasn’t really paying attention.

Then one day a girlfriend started raving to me about these promotions. She’s an expert: She told me she scans the newspaper for announcements. “I’ll travel across Read More »

Dads Help Each Other!

dadsheoDesiree, almost 2, turns her liquid brown eyes to her father. “Cookie?” she implores.

“Do you deserve a cookie?” her father, Eugene Anderson, responds with mock sternness. Then he smiles. “Give me a hug first.”

Desiree wraps her arms around Anderson’s neck, and he plants a fat kiss on her cheek. “Okay,” he relents. “Just one.”

Father and daughter are on an outing to The National Zoo in Washington, DC, accompanied by Donald H. Christian–the man instrumental in bringing them together. Christian, 56, is codirector of Dads Advising Dads (DADS), a government-funded program based in Rockville, MD, that helps fathers like Anderson–young, unmarried, and with a history of run-ins with the law–play a positive role in their children’s upbringing.

Since launching the program in 1995, Christian has assisted about 50 young fathers between the ages of 14 and 28, most referred by county social workers and high school nurses. He turns to church groups and business associations to find mentors, all of whom spend a minimum of two hours a week with their charges–whether on the phone, at a ball game, or over a cup of coffee. “In this society there’s a lot of focus on helping young, unwed mothers,” notes mentor Ray Torres, a 38-year-old computer analyst. “The fathers get left out.”

Anderson, one of Christian’s first “clients,” had been through a tough adolescence: He ran with a bad crowd, was charged with drug possession, and lost half of his stomach Read More »

Souvenirs Can Be Amazing!

scbamazingFrom teacups to puppets, authentic treasures can be found wherever you travel ever since Marco Polo returned from China with silks and spices, travelers have carried home keepsakes to remind them of where they’ve been.

The perfect memento is unique to the place it comes from–although nowadays “you can buy almost everything anywhere,” says Durant Imboden, who runs the Europe for Visitors Web site at about.com. “Years ago, you could get a little Italian espresso pot only in Europe, or possibly New York City. Today you can find one in …

The Crusade Against Toughman

Eric Crow couldn’t move. He couldn’t speak and couldn’t rise up from his bed. His wife, Paula, had never seen him like this. A former high school wrestling champion, Crow lifted weights and kept himself in excellent shape. But now, hours after being beaten in a Toughman Contest in Kansas City, KS, the 23-year-old pipe fitter was helpless, incoherent.

When the fight ended, he’d seemed okay. But then Crow went to the men’s room and didn’t come back. His father found him standing in the hall, looking dazed. Thinking all his son needed was rest, the elder Crow sent his son home.

“Eric!” Paula screamed. He just moaned. On the way to Bethany Medical Center, Crow slipped into a coma that surgeons later said was caused by repeated blows to the head. His condition never improved, and four days later, on December 13, 1995, he died.

Friends and family remember Crow as a warm, funny, hardworking young man devoted to Paula, his high school sweetheart, and their 17-month-old daughter, Jordan. At the time of his death, he was going Read More »

Good Sleep Can Save Your Life!

gschylSkimping on slumber means more than dark circles. How sleep affects mood, memory, and stress … plus ways to get the shut-eye you need.

Okay, I admit it: I’m a sleep slacker. Ever since I became a mother, I’ve worn my fatigue like a badge of honor. Why waste time on a full night’s sleep when I can go to the supermarket at 3:00 A.M., or work into the wee hours, surfing the Net on a laptop from my sofa?

And I’ve got plenty of bleary-eyed company: About 65 percent of American adults don’t catch enough zzz’s most nights, according to National Sleep Foundation statistics.

That’s a big mistake. Eye-opening research shows that skimping on slumber doesn’t just give us black circles under our eyes. It dampens our mood, memory, and ability to concentrate and make decisions, and it sends our stress levels skyrocketing.

“As a society, we’re chronically sleep-deprived,” says Sonia Ancoli-Israel, Ph.D., a sleep researcher at the University of California at San Diego and author of All I Want Is a Good Night’s Sleep. It gets worse when you look at the fact that many of us snore or have obstructive sleep apnea. Snoring issues, of course, can be cured by stop snoring mouthpieces.

Here, the nitty-gritty on what lack of sleep really does to you:

1. Even one night of inadequate Read More »

Hard Drive Recovery After Fire Damage

hdrafdSometimes it is hard to avoid disasters but that does not mean we can never recover our data. If a company can recover its data after a major fire, at least it will be possible for it to start from somewhere. This might sound crazy, but make sure that no one operates the drive after an event of fire. Ignoring this advice will make the process of hard drive data recovery impossible. Operating the disks will likely drive the smoke particles onto the platters to cause irreparable damage to the drives. Call your favorite hard drive repair company to come and assess the situation first. This will also be the perfect time to know how much it will cost to repair the drives and the time frame.

There are certainly some guidelines of what to do in an emergency data recovery situation, and learning these is key, especially in the case of hard drive failure. High end servers should always be repaired by only the most qualified shops. They should also have good data recovery prices.

There are those people who might try to clean the drives themselves. Unfortunately, this is likely to make the process of hard drive recovery very difficult. By using the wrong tools, it is possible that you will damage the drive even more. Always wait for the professionals to arrive and rectify Read More »

Dealing With Siblings: Tips You Can Use

nowinsiMost of us go to heroic lengths to head off tensions between kids: We divvy up bags of M&M’s into precise portions, give artwork equal representation on the fridge, buy each child new sneakers when only one really needs them. Unfortunately, as we know all too well, none of these tactics guarantee harmony.

“Sibling rivalry is a redundant phrase — if you have siblings, you have rivalry,” says Susan Witt, Ph.d., professor of family and child development at the University of Akron. “My kids have actually fought over who gets to throw away the dryer lint!” Yet it’s not just children’s inherent sense of competition — or even jelousy or anger — that spurs confrontations. Sometimes, parents themselves unwittingly fan the flames of rivalry.

Here, common mistakes well-intentioned parents make-plus the right ways to handle sparring kids:

* Comparing. Most parents know to avoid unfavorable comparisons (“You’re such a slob! Why can’t you be neat like your brother?”). What we may not realize, however, is that even Read More »