Health Advice



Dog Days of the Pandemic

Scott LaFee on

Before we chow down on this story, let's note that the study was funded by Nestle Purina, the dog food maker. Company scientists looked at how dogs and their humans interacted during the pandemic, citing previous research that suggested canines can influence their owners' well-being.

In an online survey of 1,500 people, they found that those with dogs reported less depression and stronger social support compared with folks who didn't have a dog ... yet. Anxiety and happiness scores were the same for both groups.

No one, apparently, asked the dogs what they thought, presuming they must be OK-nine.

Glorious Morning

Morning glories are species of a tropical vine whose blooms open only in the morning. Researchers have discovered that the seeds of many morning glory species contain high concentrations of ergot alkaloids that may be useful in treating mental and physical diseases, plus promoting general well-being.

Much research remains to be done, but their influential potential seems huge (i.e., LSD is an ergot alkaloid).


Body of Knowledge

Who knows whether blonds have more fun? They do have more hair. Hair color determines hair density. The average human head has 100,000 hair follicles, each of which is capable of producing 20 individual hairs during a person's lifetime. Blonds average 146,000 follicles, while people with black hair tend to have about 110,000 follicles. Those with brown hair fit the average with 100,000 follicles, and redheads have the least dense hair, with about 86,000 follicles.

Get Me That, Stat!

COVID-19 vaccines debuted a little over a year ago. The total U.S. death toll due to COVID-19 is approaching 900,000, but it could have been much worse. A new Commonwealth Fund study estimates that vaccination prevented 1.1 million additional deaths and 10.3 million more hospitalizations from the coronavirus.


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