"This book is incredibly complete and easy-to-understand for anybody. I certainly recommend it for patients who want to know more about atrial fibrillation than what they will learn from doctors...."

Pierre Jaïs, M.D. Professor of Cardiology, Haut-Lévêque Hospital, Bordeaux, France

"Dear Steve, I saw a patient this morning with your book [in hand] and highlights throughout. She loves it and finds it very useful to help her in dealing with atrial fibrillation."

Dr. Wilber Su Cavanaugh Heart Center, Phoenix, AZ

"Your book [Beat Your A-Fib] is the quintessential most important guide not only for the individual experiencing atrial fibrillation and his family, but also for primary physicians, and cardiologists."

Jane-Alexandra Krehbiel, nurse, blogger and author "Rational Preparedness: A Primer to Preparedness"


"Steve Ryan's summaries of the Boston A-Fib Symposium are terrific. Steve has the ability to synthesize and communicate accurately in clear and simple terms the essence of complex subjects. This is an exceptional skill and a great service to patients with atrial fibrillation."

Dr. Jeremy Ruskin of Mass. General Hospital and Harvard Medical School

"I love your [A-fib.com] website, Patti and Steve! An excellent resource for anybody seeking credible science on atrial fibrillation plus compelling real-life stories from others living with A-Fib. Congratulations…"

Carolyn Thomas, blogger and heart attack survivor; MyHeartSisters.org

"Steve, your website was so helpful. Thank you! After two ablations I am now A-fib free. You are a great help to a lot of people, keep up the good work."

Terry Traver, former A-Fib patient

"If you want to do some research on AF go to A-Fib.com by Steve Ryan, this site was a big help to me, and helped me be free of AF."

Roy Salmon Patient, A-Fib Free; pacemakerclub.com, Sept. 2013

FAQ Minerals Deficiencies: Reliable Research

 9. “Where can I find reliable, unbiased research and information on specific vitamins and supplements? (I want an independent resource, not some site trying to sell me their products.)”

We agree that the most reliable information is from unbiased sites—often the best are non-commercial sites.

We’ve looked at many, many informational directories. In order to sort out the lightweights, we searched each for information on the same supplement, ‘Nattokinase’ (an enzyme produced from Japanese soybeans with properties to break down fibrin which is what forms blood clots).

As we suspected, many directories had no entry for Nattokinase at all, so they were easy to eliminate.

Our Favorite Independent Resources on Vitamins and Supplements

Three searchable databases rose to the top of the list. In order of preference, here are our favorites:

1. Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Institute/Integrative Medicine: “About Herbs, Botanicals & Other Products”
2. Drugs.com: ‘MedFacts Natural Products Professional database’
3. The ‘Dietary Supplement Label Database’ at the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

No Sales Pitch Just Information

None of the three sell supplements (or anything else). They just offer information on vitamins, herbs, natural products and supplements. In our review of each database, we’ve included a screen shot and a link to our ‘Nattokinase’ test search result.

1. Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center/Integrative Medicine

Memorial Sloan Kettering/Integrative Medicine

Memorial Sloan Kettering: ‘Search for Herbs’

The extensive database covering vitamins and supplements is listed under “About Herbs, Botanicals & Other Products“.

Note: Memorial Sloan Kettering is the world’s oldest and largest private cancer center, and integrates effective non-pharmacologic therapies into mainstream patient care.

Example: click to see listing for ‘Nattokinase

How to Search: Go to ‘Search About Herbs‘ (we found vitamins and minerals, too.) After first agreeing to the disclaimer, the gatekeeper opens to the top level of the directory organized by letters of the alphabet. Click on the initial letter of your search word, then select from the listed terms.

Each entry has two tabs: information targeted for consumers or for healthcare professionals; Included is a clinical summary, food sources, purported uses, mechanism of action, warnings, contraindications, adverse reactions, herb-drug interactions, literature summary and references.

2. Drugs.com. The ‘MedFacts Natural Products Professional Database

Drugs.com 'MedFacts Natural Products'

Drugs.com ‘MedFacts Natural Products’

The ‘MedFacts Natural Products Professional database‘ is located at Drugs.com, a comprehensive website with information on traditional and/or conventional uses of natural products.

Note: Drugs.com is NOT an online pharmacy. It’s aim is to be the Internet’s most trusted resource for drug and related health information.

Example: click to see Drugs.com listing for ‘Nattokinase‘.

How to Search:  Go to Drugs.com/MedFacts Natural Products; from the horizontal menu, click on the ‘Health Professionals tab, then select ‘Natural Products Database’ and enter your search word. (Skip over the ‘Drugs A-Z’ tab; it lists only prescription meds). A few of the items include a clinical summary, food sources, uses, warnings, adverse reactions, literature review and references.

You can also use the Search box in the page header to bring up articles and discussions containing your search word.

3. Dietary Supplement Label Database (DSLD), US National Institutes of Health

Dietary Supplement Label Database - Doctor's Best Nattokinase

Dietary Supplement Label Database – NIH

To find all the label info, dietary facts, and dosage for a specific brand and product, we like the ‘Dietary Supplement Label Database. The DSLD includes the full label information from all of the dietary supplement products marketed in the U.S. Here you can look up a product by Brand Name and read the dosage information.

Note: the DSLD is a joint project of the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS) and the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM).

Example: click to see the ‘Dietary Ingredient Listing’ for “Doctors Best Nattokinase’

How to Search:  Start on the DSLF Index home page; to find information on a specific brand and product, click on ‘Browse Products‘. Enter the Brand name in the search field, then scroll through the results to find the product your want.

There are several other types of searches listed on the Index home page, so explore.

Keep in Mind: The Supplements Industry is Not Regulated

In the US, supplements are not regulated by the FDA (or any other government agency). Quality and potency will vary. So, it’s up to you to find reliable, unbiased information to evaluate the vitamins, minerals, herbs or supplements and to select reliable brands and products.

You may also be interested in Steve’s article, Natural’ Supplements for a Healthy Heart.

Remember: Talk to your doctor or pharmacist before you add any of these dietary supplements to your heart health plan.

If you find other useful resources, send us an email and we’ll share them with our readers.

Last updated: Monday, February 1, 2016

Return to: FAQ Minerals & Supplements


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