Doctors & patients are saying about ''...

" is a great web site for patients, that is unequaled by anything else out there."

Dr. Douglas L. Packer, MD, FHRS, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN

"Jill and I put you and your work in our prayers every night. What you do to help people through this [A-Fib] process is really incredible."

Jill and Steve Douglas, East Troy, WI 

“I really appreciate all the information on your website as it allows me to be a better informed patient and to know what questions to ask my EP. 

Faye Spencer, Boise, ID, April 2017

“I think your site has helped a lot of patients.”

Dr. Hugh G. Calkins, MD  Johns Hopkins,
Baltimore, MD

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.”

Roy Salmon, Patient, A-Fib Free,
Adelaide, Australia

"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

"...masterful. You managed to combine an encyclopedic compilation of information with the simplicity of presentation that enhances the delivery of the information to the reader. This is not an easy thing to do, but you have been very, very successful at it."

Ira David Levin, heart patient, 
Rome, Italy

"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

A-Fib Patients Ask: Which Brands of Vitamins and Minerals Can I Trust?

Supplements, minerals and vitamins are of interest to many A-Fib patients and are often discussed on this website. So, I wasn’t surprised when I received an email from Seila J. with this excellent question about purchasing supplements.

 “I don’t know what brand of vitamins and minerals to take. Is there a type of organization that inspects them and puts it on the label?”

In general, don’t look for much help from the U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In the U.S. the FDA does not regulate natural products or supplements but does require that supplements be produced in a quality manner and ensure that they do not contain contaminants or impurities and are accurately labeled. Supplements are not allowed to be marketed for the purpose of treating, diagnosing, preventing, or curing diseases.

In the European Union, food supplements are regulated as foods. Learn more at the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). In Canada, see the Natural Health Product Regulation. In Australia, see the Therapeutic Goods Regulations 1990.

Independent Organizations Test and Certify Supplement Brands

In the U.S., there are several independent organizations that test branded supplements. Supplement manufacturers pay, on a voluntary basis, to get their supplements tested and certified (many supplement brands don’t participate so don’t carry any of these test lab seals).

The purpose of testing is to verify that the product contains the amount of the ingredient(s) advertised on the label and that it isn’t contaminated with dangerous substances, such as arsenic, bacteria, or lead. (CL) is a leading provider of independent test results and information to help identify the best quality health and nutrition products. CL has tested more than 5,600 products, representing over 850 different brands and nearly every type of popular supplement. Look for specific CL Seals to identify products that have met standards.

CL tests products purchased from retail stores (not products supplied by the manufacturer/distributor). For the full list, see Brands Reviewed and Tested at is probably the most useful site for the average consumer. is probably the most useful site for the average consumer. Though not every product produced by a specific brand has been tested and approved, the following brands are judged reliable and good choices when selecting a supplement. This is a partial list of the brands ConsumerLab has tested and rated:

Doctor’s Best, Dr. Sears, Dr. Whitaker, Garden of Life, iHerb, Integrative Therapeutics, Jarrow Formulas, Julian Whitaker, Life Extension, Metagenics, Natrol, Natural Factors, Nature Made, Now Foods, NutriCology, Nutritional Science, One-A-Day, Optimum Nutrition, Ortho Molecular Products, Perque, Physiologics, Pure Encapsulations, Puritan’s Pride, ReMag, Solaray, Source Naturals, Swanson, Thorne Research, TwinLab, VitaCost, Vitamin Shoppe.

Private brands: ConsumerLab also lists retail companies which sell supplements under their house or private brand including:

Albertsons, Costco, CVS, GNC, Herbalife, Kirkland, Kroger, Rexall, Target, Trader Joe’s, Walgreens, WalMart.

The Value of Membership: There is much free information on the website. But to access the comprehensive testing reports, ConsumerLab offers membership that gives you instant access to comprehensive, unbiased testing reports including quality ratings and CL’s Top Picks. (Testing reports contain information you can’t find anywhere else). Cost: $42/year or $69/2 years. Go to membership page.

Laurie writes that she uses ConsumerLab to check out beforehand any vitamins and supplements she buys. 12/26/20

Other Testing Organizations

US Pharmacopeia (USP) tests and certifies products provided by the manufacturer. They currently have certified only over 100 products which can be found on the USP website. Most products are from NatureMade and Kirkland Signature.

NSF International is an independent, accredited organization that tests and certifies products and writes standards for the food, water and consumer goods industries. Products that earn NSF certification will display “NSF certified” or “NSF listed”.

NSF Certification helps confirm that what’s on the label is in the product and that the product contains no unsafe levels of contaminants such as heavy metals, pesticides and herbicides. Certified For Sports products have also been tested for banned substances, which is particularly important for college and professional athletes.

The NSF search engine can be checked to see if a particular product is NSF certified. (I wasn’t able to find many products with NSF certification.)

Bottom Line About Brands

To select a brand of reliable supplement with the ingredient(s) and amounts as advertised on the label and not contaminated with dangerous substances, your best resource may be the Brands Reviewed and Tested at (Read more at ConsumerLab Brands.)

Bonus: Recommended Sources for Reliable Info on Vitamins and Supplements

The three directories we recommend don’t 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 test search. To read our recommendations, go to: Our Top 3 Sources for Reliable, Unbiased Info on Vitamins and Supplements References

Resource for this article
Worth, Katie. Five Questions to Ask When Considering Health Supplements. Frontline, January 19, 2016.

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