Latest British health guidelines say daily consumption of fish oil supplements could prevent a repeat attack of survivors of cardiac arrest.
New guidelines by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) recommend cardiac patients one gram of omega-3 fatty acids every day to reduce the risk of having a repeat attack by up to 45 per cent.
Omega 3 fatty acids are important throughout adult life for mental well being but in particular help heart patients and those with arthritis by blocking the body's response to inflammation. They cut blood fats, reduce the chances of a blood clot and block dangerous heart rhythms that might otherwise prove fatal.
However, the guidelines only suggest pills for patients who have had a heart attack in the previous three months and are not getting enough oily fish in their diet. Experts drawing up guidelines for NICE said lifestyle changes were as important as drugs in preventing a recurrence of heart attack.
As per the NICE guidelines, patients should be told to follow a Mediterranean diet, which is typically rich in fruit, vegetables, grains, olive oil and fish. They would also be given advice on giving up smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, safe drinking levels and exercising for 20 to 30 minutes a day. Cardiac rehabilitation, including advice on diet and exercise, will also be given priority, reported online edition of Daily Mail.
Professor Gene Feder who worked on the guidelines said research evidence supported starting fish oil consumption in the first three months after an attack. While NICE did not suggest other heart attack victims stop taking fish oil supplements, "what we feel confident about is that three-month window", he said.