Fish Oil & the Heart

22 Oct

Fish oil may protect the heart after a heart attack.

Scientists randomly assigned 358 people who had just suffered  myocardial infarction to take four capsules of either prescription Lovaza fish oil or a placebo each day with meals. (Each Lovaza had 465 milligrams of EPA and 375 mg of DHA.)

After 6 months, the hearts of the fish oil takers had less scarring and thickening and were able to pump blood more effectively than the hearts of the placebo takers. While that suggests that fish oil might lower the risk of heart failure, the study didn’t last long enough to say.

What to do: If you’ve had a heart attack, ask your doctor about whether to take fish oil. High doses can lead to bleeding, especially in people who take blood thinners.

The jury is still out on whether fish oil can prevent a heart attack. Earlier studies reported a lower risk, but recent studies have come up empty, possibly because drugs like statins and aspirin lower heart disease risk so much that fish oil adds nothing.

Source: Nutrition Action Health Letter October 2016

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