Throw Away the ‘Snake Oil’ Once and for All

It’s time to stop believing in cure-all health scams…

I read that fish oil supplements are a way to fix AFib? Any comment? – J.J.

Don’t rely on fish-oil supplements to stop AFib. According to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, fish-oil pills don’t live up to manufacturers’ claims. Researchers in Canada found that fish oil doesn’t prevent or improve atrial fibrillation (an irregular heartbeat).

In the study, researchers gave some participants fish oil while others received a placebo (all participants had atrial fibrillation). Over the course of the study, 64.1% of the people taking fish oil had bouts of atrial fibrillation, compared with 63.2% of people taking the placebo.

One of the reasons this didn’t work… AFib is most commonly caused by too much alcohol and poor sleep quality. It’s yet another reason not to believe all the sales pitches of these “miracle pills.”

Unfortunately, fish-oil supplements are worse than useless… They’re dangerous. One of the chemicals found in fish-oil supplements – mercury – causes neurological problems in babies and the elderly. And it is more concentrated in pills than in fish flesh.

As I recently told Retirement Millionaire subscribers about these sorts of supplements… Don’t buy into the hype. Pills like these are a joke and an insult to real medical care.

Q: You recently wrote to consider blood thinners if you have AFib. I thought you were against aspirin because it’s a blood thinner? What gives? – L.B.

A: This is a great question. We’re against unnecessary blood thinner usage…

For example, we’ve criticized taking a daily aspirin in my Retirement Millionaire newsletter. Aspirin is a common blood thinner folks take during and after a heart attack (and some take as a preventive measure). But it causes some negative side effects… One of the worst is upper-gastrointestinal bleeding. That’s why I only recommend taking aspirin if you’ve already had heart problems. Studies show benefits for those who already have a history of certain problems like heart attacks.

In fact, I only take about one 325 milligram (mg) aspirin every 10 days or so and make sure I get one with an enteric coating to help prevent stomach problems.

The same is true for AFib. Blood thinners have a whole host of dangers, including stomach bleeding. But as with any medication, you need to weigh the benefits with the risks. With high-stroke-risk AFib patients, blood thinners are a good option.

The American Heart Association has a great patient handout on what you need to ask your doctor if you’re diagnosed with AFib. It includes questions about medications and what’s safe for you. You can find it right here. And don’t forget to discuss other non-medical treatments, too (like yoga).

Q: Ginger gets a lot of good publicity. Personally, I eat a little daily. Your comments please on both the positive and negative effects of ginger – L.V.

A: Ginger has earned that good publicity. It’s a natural way to fight pain, nausea, and vomiting. In fact, we wrote about the benefits of this incredible root here.

Eating too much ginger, like most things, does have side effects. Ginger naturally thins blood and lowers blood sugar. So people on blood thinners or diabetics should monitor how much ginger they consume.

The research on the safety of pregnant women eating ginger isn’t conclusive. While ginger does reduce the effects of morning sickness, some studies suggest too much ginger (more than about a gram a day) increases the risk of birth defects and miscarriage.

For most people, about two grams of ginger per day gives you the maximum health benefits without the risks. If you want to add some ginger to your diet do what I do… Mash up frozen ginger with club soda when you have a stomach ache. And for every day, add it to a stir-fry, enjoy it with sushi, or brew it up with some tea.

Q: Can I share the information about cellphone radiation causing health problems with my children and grandchildren since they use their cellphones constantly? – R.K.

A: Of course! I encourage people to share issues with their friends and family. Feel free to forward on the issues or send them to our website –

Q: Wow, Doc and RMD Team. I look forward to your publication every day… and rarely does one get by me. You should all be very proud of yourselves.

This year in particular the topics, warnings, and information is better than ever. Thanks for speaking about what you believe to be true, through both your experience and research. You are reaching a lot of folks who have never considered many of the subjects you present us each day… that’s very cool. And a wonderful example of adding value to people’s lives.

Thanks, Doc. Thanks, RMD Team. – C.K.

A: Thanks for taking the time to write in, C.K. And thank you for your kind words.

I’ve got a great team of people that help me research and deliver the best content to help you improve your health and wealth.

But you, our reader, are a key part of what we do in Retirement Millionaire Daily… from the hundreds of e-mails we get each week to the people who share our essays with friends and families. (We’re working on an easier way for you to help spread our letter in the future… stay tuned!)

So, keep sending your ideas and experiences to [email protected]. If you haven’t gotten a response to your e-mail or haven’t seen your topic in an essay, don’t worry, my team and I have read it.

We’ve got many more great essays coming your way.

What We’re Reading…

Here’s to our health, wealth, and a great retirement,

Dr. David Eifrig and the Retirement Millionaire Daily Research Team
Baltimore, Maryland
May 19, 2017