ASK MEN’S HEALTH
I bet on almost every
football game I watch.
Do I have a gambling
problem? JAMES, CLEVELAND, OH
Probably, if you bet on the browns. (Joking, James!)
clinically speaking, it depends on how you answer
two questions: First, do you ever lie about how often
you bet? Second, do you have to increase your bets
to get the same thrill? “If your answer to either
question is yes, then you may have a problem,” says
timothy Fong, M. D., a psychiatrist and the director of
UcLA’s gambling studies program. Here’s a bonus
question: Do you spend more than 2 percent of your
income on wagers? While not as diagnostically
definitive as a yes to either of the first two ques
tions, an affirmative here is a bad sign, Dr. Fong’s
research finds. If you’re still not sure, try this test.
Write down the amount of time and money you’re
willing to spend each week on gambling. or take out
your total budget for the season in cash, stuff it into
an envelope, and once it’s gone, stop betting. If you
can stick to either strategy, you probably have con
trol over your gambling, says Dr. Fong. other wise,
seek help from a specialist who’s certified by the
American Society of Addiction Medicine ( asam.org).
Are there any real differences in shampoos?
DONOVAN, CHARLESTON, SC
every potion for your pate is designed to remove oil, dead skin cells, and grime from your scalp,
says Paradi Mirmirani, M.D., a dermatologist with Kaiser Permanente. “the biggest difference is the
strength of the cleanser.” If you have an oily scalp (and greasy hair), you need a strong shampoo;
a dry scalp (and wispy hair) requires gentler stuff. but don’t confuse dryness with dandruff, which
is caused by a fungus. Now, if you’re running out of hair to shampoo, you need a formulation that
creates the illusion of thicker hair. We’ve identified four categories and tested a slew of shampoos
in each to find the best. top off with conditioner for a covetable coif.
Should I pay attention to
systems? CHRIS, SAN TA BARBARA, CA
the theory behind these scorecards is that people
are more likely to buy healthy foods if they can
identify them at a glance rather than, say, freezing
their fingers comparing the Nutrition Facts on
three different brands of frozen pizza. About 1,600
supermarkets feature NuVal, a system that ranks
a food’s nutritional value from 1 (poor) to 100 (excel
lent), while about the same number of stores use
Guiding Stars to rank foods from zero stars (poor)
to three stars (excellent). both use algorithms to
crunch nutrition data down to a simple score. the
two systems haven’t been compared headto
head, but research suggests that each has its ben
efits. A 2011 Harvard study linked the consumption
of foods with higher NuVal ratings to a 9 to 12 per
cent lower risk of developing a chronic disease.
As for Guiding Stars, a 2010 study published in the
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that
people using these rankings purchased a signifi
cantly higher percentage of healthy food. “Sum
mary ratings can help you quickly figure out what’s
in packaged foods, which are often covered in
Look for mild cleansers
called betaines high up
on the ingredient list, says
Zoe Draelos, M.D., a consulting professor of dermatology at Duke University
school of medicine. These
don’t bind to oil as well as
harsher cleansers do, so
they leave some of your
Minoxidil is the only proven
OTC way to stimulate hair
growth. But the shampoo
you use can make each
strand appear thicker. Look
for volumizing formulas
with plumping polymers
(like quaternium) that
bind to each strand, says
Jim Hammer, M.Ed., a cosmetic chemist.
Control greasiness with
a shampoo that contains
anionic surfactants, such
as sulfates, sulfoacetates
or sulfosuccinates. An
Italian study review found
that these detergents,
which contain negatively
charged particles that
bind to oil, are the strongest cleansers.
Eliminate the itch by
using a product containing
either zinc pyrithione or
selenium sulfide, which
fight the flake-causing
fungus and soothe inflammation, says Dr. Draelos.
Alternate that with a salicylic acid shampoo, which
exfoliates to remove dead
skin cells and flakes.
MH pick American
Crew Daily Moisturizing
MH pick Progaine
Volumizing Shampoo, $7
MH pick Aveda Scalp
MH picks Head &
Shoulders Active Sport
2-1, $6; Selsun Blue
Naturals Island Breeze, $9
marketing phrases like ‘low in fat’ or ‘all natural,’”
says James c. Hersey, Ph.D., a nutrition researcher
at rtI International, a nonprofit institute.
I’m healthy, but I’ve been
having trouble getting it
up. What’s going on?
A.J., SEATTLE, WA
Stress is probably going on. between the economy
and the job market, it’s a wonder there’s wood any
where. See, normally when you’re aroused, the cor
poral tissue in your penis relaxes and your blood
vessels dilate, allowing blood to flow in, says Larry
Lipshultz, M. D., a Men’s Health urology advisor and
professor of urology at baylor college of Medicine.
“I’m bored with planks. What’s a more exciting way to strengthen my core?”
Illustrations by MIcHAeL Hoe WeLer
Swap horizontal for vertical. Indoor climbing twice a week can improve your core and hand grip strength, according to new German research. No rock wall at your gym?
Do 2 sets of 5 to 10 hanging leg raises twice a week, suggests David Pearson, Ph. D., C.S. C.S.*D, a professor of exercise physiology at Ball State University. Hang from a chinup
bar using an overhand grip, and then simultaneously bend your knees and scoop your thighs up to your chest. You can also do these on a dip station, resting on your elbo ws.