New study says omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil may help healing after heart attack
A new research suggests fish oil is beneficial for heart attack survivors. Taking high doses of fish oil after heart attack speed up the recovery process and improve heart function.
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When people have heart attack, the shape and function of their heart is altered. In other words, heart attack causes a significant amount of damage to heart muscle and weakens it which may lead to heart failure.
Changed condition of heart after heart attack is known as cardiac remolding. The more the damage is done, the more you found yourself at high risk of developing heart failure. So, taking measures after heart attack is important for preventing heart failure. People usually take medications and adopt healthy lifestyle to delay or prevent the onset of heart failure.
The latest research finds that fish oil that is enriched with omega-3 fatty acids can improve the structure and tissue of the heart in heart attack survivors. Those who consumed omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil for six months after the heart attack showed improved heart function and less scarring in undamaged heart muscle.
“Heart failure is still a major problem after a heart attack despite all the therapy we have and the advances in interventional care,” said senior author of the study Dr Raymond Kwong.
“Our findings show that omega-3 fatty acids are a safe and effective treatment in improving cardiac remolding, so it may be promising in reducing the incidence of heart failure or death, which are still major healthcare burdens to patients who suffer a heart attack.”
For the study, researchers involved 360 heart attack survivors and divided them into two groups. One was given high dose of omega-3 fatty acids while the other was given placebo pills. Both of the groups were followed up for six months.
Using MRIs of the heart, researchers found there was a 6 percent improvement in both heart function and scarring among patients who took 4 grams of omega-3 fatty acids daily than those who took placebo.
“The omega-3 fatty acids seem to be preventing scarring of the healthy muscle that now has to overwork because of the heart attack.” Kwong said.
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Omega-3 fatty acids were already linked to the survival of heart attack patients but it was the first time when the role of fatty acids in improving the structure and tissue of heart has been understood. However, it is necessary to conduct further researches for more conclusive evidences.