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Doctors & patients are saying about 'Beat Your A-Fib'...

"If I had [your book] 10 years ago, it would have saved me 8 years of hell.”

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"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...."

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"Within the pages of Beat Your A-Fib, Dr. Steve Ryan, PhD, provides a comprehensive guide for persons seeking to find a cure for their Atrial Fibrillation."

Walter Kerwin, MD, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA


2015 AF Symposium by Steve S. Ryan,

Steve Ryan at the 2015 AF Symposium

Steve Ryan 2015 AF Symposium

20th Annual AF Symposium

Mechanisms and New Directions in Therapy, January 8-10, 2015, Orlando, FL

My AF Symposium reports are in three parts (click title to go to that page):

Part 1: News & Views from the 2015 AF Symposium (below)
Part 2:  My Brief Reports
Part 3:  My In-depth Reports Written for Patients

Looking for other AF Symposium reports? see Steve’s AF Symposiums Summaries By Year

The annual AF Symposium (formerly called the Boston AF Symposium) is an intensive and highly focused three-day scientific forum that brings together the world’s leading medical scientists, researchers and cardiologists to share the most recent advances in the treatment of atrial fibrillation.

I attend in order to offer readers the most up-to-date A-Fib research findings and developments that may impact the treatment choices of patients who are seeking their A-Fib cure (or best outcome).

News & Views From the 2015 AF Symposium

Orlando Mariott slide

One of four water slides at the Orlando World Center Marriott.

by Steve S. Ryan, PhD

The Symposium was held at the Orlando World Center Marriott, the largest Marriott hotel in the world which is a tourist attraction in itself. With 2,009 rooms, all 1,000+ Symposium attendees could stay at the same hotel (unlike when the Symposium was held in Boston when going outside was a necessity rather than an option.)

The grounds were relaxing as well as beautiful and a fun walk after spending 10-11-hour days concentrating on heavy-duty, content-rich talks.

I was surprised at how crazy the air conditioning was at the Marriott. In the morning in the large meeting room you’d be freezing and need a heavy jacket. Then in the afternoon sometimes they’d shut off the AC and you’d be sweltering and stinky and need a shower before the next meeting.

As a journalist, my registration fee was waived, but all my other costs were out-of-pocket. So, I stayed at the Motel 6 down the road for $30+ a night (with AARP discount) and drove a Payless rental car from the Orlando airport for $13.00/day plus taxes (I brought my own GPS for the car). But the Marriott did get me for $18.00/day to park in their garage.

About the 2016 AF Symposium

Dr. Jeremy Ruskin, Director of the Symposium, announced that next year the AF Symposium hotel location will move to the Orlando Hyatt Regency and will be scheduled a week later in the month, January 14-16, 2016. The later date will help avoid the mad dash right after the New Year holiday to get organized, make travel plans, etc.

Celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the AF Symposium: A Nostalgic Look Back

David Keane MD Ireland

David Keane

Dr. David Keane of St. Vincent’s University Hospital in Dublin, Ireland, gave a heart-warming, nostalgic presentation about how the Boston/Orlando AF Symposium has developed and evolved over 20 years.

He found a wealth of old photos starting when the Symposium was only a one-day meeting for local doctors. He showed an ‘excited’ Dr. Jeremy Ruskin back in 1995 initiating the first AF Symposium in Boston.

Jeremy Ruskin, MD

J N Ruskin

Dr. Keane related how Dr. Jeremy Ruskin would spend his summers inviting speakers, developing topics, constantly planning and improving the content of the AF Symposium. “You have no idea just how much effort Jeremy Ruskin puts into these meetings.”

One of the most surprising slides was of a draft of a proposed schedule by Symposium Director, Jeremy N. Ruskin. It read “JNR Draft 58”!

[The next day I happened to be walking down the hallway with Dr. Ruskin. He mentioned that this year’s Symposium only took 70 drafts! His own talk was the first to go on the chopping block to make room for another speaker.]

Dr. Ruskin said he has probably put in about 10,000 hours over 20 years planning the Symposiums! Many speakers offered their heartfelt thanks to Dr. Ruskin for his incredible efforts.Steve Ryan

Steve S. Ryan photo: another surprising slide was one of me! I was so shocked I can’t tell you what was said. I think it was something about patients who attend the AF Symposium. (I’ve been writing reports on the AF Symposiums since 2003―twelve years!)

Return to home

Return to: AF Symposiums Summaries By Year

FAQ Minerals & Supplements: Reliable, Unbiased Research Sources

FAQ Minerals Deficiencies: Reliable Research

“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. ‘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. The ‘MedFacts Natural Products Professional Database 'MedFacts Natural Products' ‘MedFacts Natural Products’

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

Note: 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 listing for ‘Nattokinase‘.

How to Search:  Go to 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.

Return to: FAQ Minerals & Supplements
Last updated: Monday, June 18, 2018


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