'You'll Probably Ignore This'

I love getting e-mails like this...

For those of us who don't particularly like the taste or hassle of coffee, I should point out that there are supplements containing green coffee bean extract, decaf. I know Doc has a major aversion to anything in the pill form, so he'll probably ignore this! – M.H.

I'm always up for a good challenge. One of my researchers hates coffee, despite knowing all the health benefits it offers. Americans get the vast majority of antioxidants from coffee. Since she doesn't like coffee, she just gets her antioxidants from other food sources. Foods that are packed with antioxidants include...

  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Walnuts
  • Dark chocolate
  • Cherries

That's just a small list. And if you stick with food instead of relying on pills, you'll know what you're getting.

Supplement companies are allowed to "self regulate."

In 1994, Congress passed the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA). The act says, "The manufacturer of a dietary supplement or dietary ingredient is responsible for assuring that the product is safe before it is marketed." This means the FDA doesn't verify claims made on labels or check the safety of products. So you're unlikely to see a supplement that's FDA-approved.

The FDA only steps in when there are complaints concerning a supplement. But researching a supplement after it has already damaged people's health is too late.

So if you don't like coffee, just add some antioxidant-packed foods to your diet.

Q: I missed Dr. Smith's chat [on Tuesday]. Is there a way to watch a recording? – L.L.

A: This past Tuesday, TradeStops founder Dr. Richard Smith hosted a free live event to reveal his latest breakthrough, share investment ideas of the world's greatest investors, and explain how to take the emotion out of investing.

If you want to learn more about Richard's TradeStops service, click here.

And we have a replay right here. But today is the last day to watch.

Q: You didn't mention rosemary, which is very good for brain health, boosts your memory, and smells so good. Fresh is best and it grows wild too! – B.C

A: Rosemary is another great scent for improving memory. A 2013 study out of the University of Northumbria in Newcastle, U.K., found people performed better on memory tasks in a room that smelled of rosemary than people in a room without the smell.

This study gave more evidence to what people have known for years. The ancient Greeks used rosemary to improve memory. It's believed that rosemary promotes blood flow to the brain and helps maintain the nervous system neurotransmitter acetylcholine... keeping your memory intact.

Q: In the 7/11 issue of Health & Wealth Bulletin, it says, "First, re-evaluate the bank stocks you own. Banks become less profitable as the yield curve flattens because they essentially borrow money at short-term rates and lend it at long term-rates. When the spread tightens, there goes the profits. And as the curve inverts, lending money is a losing proposition." How about mortgage-backed REITs? – C.C.

A: In theory, yes. Mortgage REITs earn a spread between short-term and long-term rates. However, they don't borrow and lend at the same rate as the government. They borrow depending on their credit rating and they lend into the mortgage market. The data show that a flatter yield curve can be a challenge for the performance of mortgage REITs, but they can diverge for quite a while.

Q: Are there any vitamin supplements you like? – C.R.

A: As I mentioned earlier, supplements as a whole are unregulated and can be dangerous. But not all of them are without benefit...

Longtime readers know I love vitamin C and zinc for cold prevention. When I researched vitamin C for the first time almost 30 years ago, I discovered an amazing fact: Vitamin C reduces the symptoms of the common cold within hours. But you won't hear drug companies tout that fact.

I take at least 1,000 milligrams of vitamin C almost daily during the cold winter months. (It's one of the few supplements that isn't a scam.) And if I feel a tickle in my throat, I go on a vitamin C blitz. I take 2,000 to 3,000 milligrams a day for a couple of days to knock out the viruses. Remember, you can get vitamin C through citrus fruits, peppers, and broccoli, but not in the amount you need to fight off a cold.

This is one supplement I recommend, as vitamin C has many good benefits. It's an antioxidant. That means it helps combat inflammation and regulates blood flow.

Vitamin C also helps your body absorb iron, which you need to carry oxygen throughout your body via red blood cells – iron is the center element in the hemoglobin molecule.

A 2000 study from Cochrane Library, one of the most prestigious database systems, evaluated 30 trials involving vitamin C and the common cold. It found taking vitamin C cut the duration and severity of symptoms.

As I've said, there are times when supplements are helpful – even vitamin D – but it's best to get what you can through a whole food diet. Supplements should be a last resort, not just an easy fix.

What We're Reading...

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

Dr. David Eifrig and the Health & Wealth Bulletin Research Team
August 3, 2018