In the early 2000s, I had graduated medical school and was working at a molecular biology fellowship at Duke. Then one day, I received a phone call that changed my life...
At the time, the biotech industry was really starting to take off. Porter Stansberry, founder of my now-publisher Stansberry Research, asked me to join his company as a biotech analyst.
I turned down his offer...
I hadn't yet decided what I wanted to do after I finished my fellowship. But I was interested in seeing where my medical career would take me.
Still, we talked for so long during that first phone call that both of our phones died. And we kept in touch over the years... talking and telling stories.
After a few years, Porter asked me to write a special health letter for his Alliance members. Every other Sunday, I'd write about a thousand words on various health topics. He paid me $1.25 a word – more than I was making as a resident – and I loved it.
Then in 2007... after I had become an ophthalmologist and was graduating from my residency... Porter, again, offered me a job as an analyst.
I was wavering. I liked working with Porter, but I also enjoyed medicine, eye surgery, and helping folks see again.
Then Porter said something that changed my mind...
Doc, you'll be a glorified women's shoe salesman if you become an eye surgeon. You'll do quality work, but only for one person at a time. With the power of the pen, you can reach more people and do a whole lot more than you're doing now.
Porter gave me the opportunity to share my unconventional wisdom with hundreds of thousands of folks around the world.
And I couldn't have done it without the talented folks I've worked with for over a decade. I'm proud that this year I can help Stansberry Research celebrate its 20th anniversary...
I was recently at our Baltimore headquarters, where I sat with the men who have helped make Stansberry a leader in financial research.
While I was in Baltimore, we made two huge announcements about the future of our company. You can watch it all right here.
Q: Doc said that he "recently purchased a case of 32 freeze-dried meals." Would he be willing to disclose what brand he bought? There are so many recommendations out there, I don't know who to trust. – D.S.
A: Long-term hermetically sealed (i.e., airtight), storable food products are another option. Several companies offer packaged foods designed to be stored for up to 20 years. The danger with these is that they may or may not live up to their promises. This would be unfortunate to discover in a crisis, when you need the food the most. The rotation approach to food storage ensures you have reliable reserves.
If you want to buy this type of product as an emergency backup, you can find them at Costco or on Amazon. I cannot personally vouch for the longevity of the products (give me about 18 more years). But the Mountain House brand, which I bought, is highly recommended. You can find a bucket on Amazon that's similar to what I bought, right here.
And do what I do: buy some and try them occasionally over the next few years. That way you'll know they're still edible and safe.
Q: You have written much about statins. What about the anti-cholesterol drugs that supposedly keep cholesterol from food out of your gut, such as ezetimibe? – A.I.
A: We briefly touched on ezetimibe in a previous issue, citing it as a non-statin cholesterol drug that you might consider. Here's how it works...
Your liver uses so-called "bad" cholesterol, LDL, to make bile acids. These bile acids move to your intestines and help you break down and absorb your food. The bile winds up returning to your liver, so the cholesterol essentially stays in your system. In fact, your body will need to make more cholesterol if more bile is needed. And you need extra bile when you eat fatty foods (think anything processed or fried).
In other words, eating foods hard on your liver, like those containing trans fats, will increase your body's own production of LDL cholesterol. Too much of that circulating in your bloodstream leads to the LDL moving into arterial walls, which triggers inflammation. That, of course, is the real cause of heart disease.
Ezetimibe works by blocking cholesterol (in the bile) from getting re-absorbed by the intestine and returned to the liver. So it effectively cuts off this step in the process. The liver still needs cholesterol, so it takes it out of the blood. That lowers the level of cholesterol in your blood, thus lowering inflammation.
There's more research on ezetimibe now than when we originally wrote about it, but we still don't have a lot of long-term research. One Italian meta-analysis of seven randomized trials found it reduced heart attack risk without affecting premature death or cancer risk. Other studies indicate it works best with a statin, but there is some promise of using it alone. We encourage you to talk to your doctor about non-statin options like ezetimibe. There are a few other types as well, like bile-acid sequestrants.
We'll cover more on these in an upcoming report for Retirement Millionaire subscribers. If you aren't a subscriber yet, get started today right here.
Q: I remember an issue in the last year titled something like "What to do if diagnosed with cancer." I have a cousin who just received a breast cancer diagnosis and I want to send her a copy. I can't seem to find it when I do a search on the site. Can you help me find it? – J.C.
A: We're sorry to hear the news about your cousin's cancer, J.C. These are the four steps to take after a cancer diagnosis.
If you're interested in finding clinical trials and seeing if your cousin qualifies, visit clinicaltrials.gov. The National Institutes of Health maintains this website as a registry and database of trials conducted around the world. The American Cancer Society can also help you find clinical trials appropriate for her situation.
We also recommend looking for one of the National Cancer Institute's highly specialized treatment and clinical-trial centers that focus on specific types of cancer, called Specialized Programs of Research Excellence (SPOREs).
The SPOREs for breast cancer are:
Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center | Website | Phone: 617-632-2100
Baylor College of Medicine | Website | Phone: (713) 798-1999
Mayo Clinic, Rochester | Website | Phone: (507) 284-2511
University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center | Website | Phone: 1-866-869-1856
Vanderbilt University's Breast Center | Website | Phone: (615) 322-2064
I'd encourage your cousin to contact any of them and ask questions. You can search SPOREs by state or by organ here.
What We're Reading...
- Did you miss it? A promise nearly 250 years in the making.
- Something different: America is sitting on a mountain of uneaten bacon.
Here's to our health, wealth, and a great retirement,
Dr. David Eifrig and the Health & Wealth Bulletin Research Team
October 25, 2019