If you've had a heart attack, start taking fish oil it will reduce your chances of having another one.
A major study involving 11,000 survivors of heart attacks has found that those who regularly take omega-3 fish oil supplements significantly reduced their chances of suffering a second attack or a stroke.
Researchers from the GISSI-Prevenzione study in Italy gave survivors either fish oil supplements, vitamin E, both, or nothing. After three and a half years, 12.4 per cent of those who took fish oil suffered a second heart attack, stroke or death compared with 13.7 per cent of those who did not.
The fish oil seemed to provide protection against death from many diseases, not just heart problems, which accounted for the difference. There was no significant benefit for those taking vitamin E, the research team reported at the American College of Cardiology meeting.
Further proof of the wonders of Mother Nature was provided in two new trials which tested the effectiveness of tPA (tissue type plasminogen activator), nature's own clot buster, which has been included in two new thrombolytic agents.
In the first trial, 16,950 patients who suffered an acute heart attack were given tPA or TNK-tPA (tenecteplase), and mortality was down to just 6.2 per cent after 30 days in both groups.
A similar result was achieved in another major study of 15,078 patients, who were given either nPA (lanoteplase) or tPA. The death rate after 30 days was 6.77 per cent and 6.60 per cent, respectively (Lancet, 1999; 353: 988).