heart disease
heart diseaseReuters

Omega-3 Fatty acids found in fish oil may help in quick recovery of those patients who have suffered an acute heart attack, a new study published in journal Circulation has said.

Scientists involved in the study analysed nearly 350 people who had suffered heart attacks. They were divided into two groups, one of which was administered fish oil supplements and the other group was given corn oil capsules.

It was found that the patients who took fish oil supplements reported better heart functioning and repair than those who did not.

The patients at the beginning of the study received lifestyle counselling and were regularly monitored by doctors.

They also underwent cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) before and after the fish oil therapy. The results at the end of the treatment showed that compared to the other group, those who took fish oil capsules had less fibrosis (thickening and scarring of the heart muscle).

Their heart was also reported to perform its function of pumping blood more effectively as could be gauged from lesser blood in the left ventricle.

Although there has been a marked improvement in the treatment options for heart attack patients, the probability of a person suffering from second attack after he had a heart failure is still high. This could also be one of the leading causes of death.

However, if the heart has been able to recover fully or even partially after initial heart attack, the chances of repeated attack or death are reduced.

Since some people complain of poor absorption to fish oil, can they consume fish and reap the same benefits?

"There's no way that eating fish will provide the same amount of omega-3 that patients got in this trial, although in general it's not a bad idea to try to eat more fatty fish, " Raymond Y. Kwong, study's lead author and director of Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Imaging at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston was quoted by Reuters as saying.